Still little concern for Y2k



    Local businesses and BYU are preparing for the Year 2000 by getting their computers ready with plans, committees and task forces.

    Local businesses and BYU report they are ahead of the situation, and they and their computers will be ready for the year 2000.

    To help BYU get ready, the University Computing Services has established a task force. In March, the Board of Trustees mandated the establishment of the task force to make sure the university is Y2K compliant. The task force has a five-phase plan to ensure that all universtiy computers are in compliance.

    H. Gordon Bennett, campus Y2K compliance officer, said the high impact systems and applications will be compliant by the end of 1998. These systems include the payroll, the telephone information system which helps with student registration and financial aid and the AIM system.

    Computing services will work on other systems during 1999.

    “Everyone on this campus has a personal responsibility to make sure devices are Y2k compliant,” Bennett said.

    The task force has computing service representatives assigned to the different colleges and departments to help their systems be compliant.

    Bennett said any computer that the university has provided for use in departments, computer labs or with the Freshman Academy will be taken care of by the computing department. Any private machines are the responsibility of the owners to become Y2K compliant.

    Universal Campus Credit Union has a plan in place to become compliant by the end of 1998.

    Brad Norton, of the CCU marketing deptartment said a special committee has been formed to get their computers Y2K compliant by the end of 1998. After that task is completed the committee will help its vendors get ready for compliancy.

    The U.S. Senate has appointed a special committee appointed to study the preparation of the country for the new millennium computer problem. The committee released a report saying that 62 percent of those surveyed had not completed their assessment of Y2K compliancy.

    Even though the survey was informal and only targeted major transportation authorities, according to the report, this percentage is “disturbing given only sixteen-and-a-half months” until Dec. 31, 1999

    Sheila Shrout, BYU Year 2000 awareness coordinator said students need to be careful when they check their computer for Y2k compliance. Shrout said one thing to do is to check the BIOS, baisc input output system, by downloading a BIOS checker from an Internet site.

    Shrout says students should check with their software vendors to find out if the software is compliant. In any case, Shrout says, make backup files in case something goes wrong and the computer will not boot up again.

    Computing Services has a website for those with university machines to answer questions and help the conversion. The address is .

    John Meade, manager of Aroma Computers of Orem, said most home users will not have too many problems. Most problems will occur with businesses. Especially those using networks such as banks, Meade said.

    “People haven’t panicked yet,” Meade said. Aroma has not received a lot of calls about the problem. For those who do call Meade refers them to a support team designed to help his clients get ready. Meade says if the computers are very old he simply advises customers to buy a new computer.

    The Year 2000 bug, or Y2K virus, questions the ability of computers to interpret the new millennium. When computers were in their infancy programmers abbreviated the year date to two numbers to save memory space.

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