Keep bug at bay with final check on the bank : LUSENET : TimeBomb 2000 (Y2000) : One Thread

ISSUE 1677 Tuesday 28 December 1999

'Keep bug at bay' with final check on the bank By Robert Uhlig, Technology Correspondent

WITH only four days to the Millennium, there is still time to minimise any effects of the Millennium bug, the Government's official watchdog said yesterday.

Prophecies that the computer glitch might cause widespread disruption or erase the contents of bank accounts are unlikely to come true. But Action 2000 advises that businesses and individuals should take the precaution of storing a copy of their bank records.

Tony Stock, operations director at Action 2000, said there would be no material disruption to the national infrastructure on Dec 31. He said: "On the domestic front, we are very confident that all vital services, such as water, telephones and electricity, will not be affected.

"Nevertheless, it would be prudent to check the last few entries on your bank statement before enjoying the Millennium weekend without any concern about the bug. If you are the sort of person who is risk adverse, make sure that you have print-outs of your financial records. However, our view is that there is no cause for concern."

Every household and business has been sent a booklet containing details of which domestic appliances and computers will not work unless they are rid of the Millennium bug. Mr Stock said: "Most people who have a personal computer at home use it for very straightforward applications. For them the impact of the century change is likely to be pretty limited."

The Action 2000 website has details of 500 items of computer software that need updating to ensure that PCs will continue to work in 2000. The website will be updated immediately as experts become aware of any software that has failed despite assurances that it would work.

Mr Stock said: "We advise domestic PC users not to attempt updating their software unless they know what they are doing. You could cause more of a disruption in the process of fixing software than the Millennium bug might wreak."

Action 2000 spent 18 months investigating the risk of domestic appliances being affected by the bug. Mr Stock said his research indicates that very few appliances are at risk. He said: "Only video recorders and burglar alarms are at risk, but the chance of any disruption is still very small. The Y2K bug will not find much of a home in the domestic environment."

Video recorders less than 10 years old will escape unharmed. On older machines, the timer might not work from Jan 1 but the machine will still record and play videotapes. For tracking purposes in the event of a break-in, most burglar alarms keep a note of the date. However, usually they limit their records to the date and month, but not the year.

Small businesses with fewer than 20 staff have been assessed as at low risk of disruption, but Mr Stock warned that every business should check whether its suppliers, which may be dependent on highly complicated computer systems, are ready for the bug. He said: "Every business should be aware that it is part of a supply chain and needs to check it will not be affected externally."

-- Old Git (, December 28, 1999

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