Japan: Banks jumpy as leap year may cause PCs to crash

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Banks jumpy as leap year may cause PCs to crash

Yomiuri Shimbun

After successfully handling the threat of computer malfunctions due to the date change to 2000 on Jan. 1, financial institutions are now scrambling to tackle another millennium bug problem that might cause computer systems to crash on Feb. 29 of this leap year.

Major commercial banks have said they will have several hundred employees on alert to deal with possible computer malfunctions from Feb. 28 to March 1. At their branch offices, employees will check systems from early in the morning of Feb. 28 until the banks open the next morning.

Automated teller machine manufacturers will also inspect ATMs that are operating over the 24-hour period. If the banks pass Feb. 29 with no major problems, they are reportedly to disband Y2K countermeasure task forces that were set up last year.

The Financial Supervisory Agency said it will lift a freeze on financial institutions from altering their computer systems to develop new products if their computers operate normally on Feb. 29.

Feb. 29, 2000, has been raised as a problematic day because an extra day is not usually added in years divisible by 100, unless that year is also divisible by 400, which 2000 is.

The 365-day solar calendar does not exactly match Earth's cycle around the sun, so an extra day in February every leap year brings it into step again.

It has been pointed out that some computer calendars may not be programmed to recognize Feb. 29 of this leap year as following the 400-year-cycle, and thus may trigger computer systems to malfunction.



-- Carl Jenkins (Somewherepress@aol.com), February 20, 2000


carl baby! i dont know where you get all these articles from, but they're good reading.

you and i are true doomers! keep up the good work.

-- lou (lanny1@ix.netcom.com), February 20, 2000.

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