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Free Y2K Analysis
Have your computer assessed for Year 2000 Compliance for Free
For further information please email [email protected]

When computers were designed in the 1970s, all dates were stored in 6 digits ie DDMMYY, where DD is the day of the month MM is the month of the year and YY is the year. Therefore, 100199 would be the tenth of January 99.  Because there is no century, dates can only be identified accurately until the end of 1999.  This problem affects computers in five different ways:

1. Hardware
This is the actual physical computer.  can the computer store and hold dates past 31/12/99?  If it can't, the hardware is not Year 2000 compliant and should not be used after 31/12/99 as it will not function properly.

2. Operating System
This is the software that drives/runs the computer.  This software gets the dates from the hardware and passes it to the computer applications.  Possible operating systems can be DOS, Windows 3.1, Windows 95 and Windows 98.
Did you know that even the new version of Windows 98 is not Year 2000 compliant, as Microsoft have just released some updates.  If the operating system is not compliant, all applications will not function correctly, as they all receive the date and time information from the operating system.

3. Applications
This is the actual software that you are using.  This includes programs such as Word, excel, Word Perfect, MYOB, Lotus 123 etc...There are two main types of applications.  The first is the off the self variety - these are available to everyone and have not been customised for your organisation.  The other type is the purpose built or customised applications.
What type are you using? If the applications are not Year 2000 compliant there is no chance the results (eg calculations, data, information) coming from these applications will be accurate.

4. Data
This is the hardest Year 2000 problem to find and fix.  Data is all the information that is on your computer, eg spreadsheets, financial information, debtors, creditors, payroll, correspondence etc. All this information could have Year 2000 problems and might not work in the next millennium.  Your debtor statements will show no one is owing any money, your payroll systems will think your employees have not been born, and thus they do not need to get paid.  The list goes on and on.

5. Interface
This is the exchange of data (information) between organisations.  Does your business or community group send information to your bank? (eg payroll or debtors)  Does you send information to any other organisation? 
If the answer is yes, you could have a major problem, as this information is probably not Year 2000 compliant.  To make matters worse, does your organisation receive data.  If it does, this data could also not be Year 2000 compliant.  if this is true, loading this data into your computer system could cause major problems and affect your current Year 2000 compliant systems.

What happens if I do nothing? 

This is not the desired approach, but if you do nothing, your computer systems will not function correctly next year.  It is worth noting that the systems may seem to function correctly but on further detailed inspection they do not.  If your computer system is critical to your business, doing nothing is a recipe for failure and business closure.

When should I start?

Now is the right time to start your Year 2000 project for your organisation.  If your business calculates dates into the future, such as budgets and forecasts, holiday, you could have a Year 2000 problem months before next year.  Your computer system will need to calculate dates for the future and when it comes to calculating for January 2000, the computer will not know what to do.  The result could be a computer crash or the computer could calculate it for January 1900 - the most probable.  each result will be completely different between companies.  it will all depend upon what each business is running and how they do under the 5 categories listed above.

As you can see from the five categories, there is a lot for small business owners.  There are so many variables for each company and no company will ever be the same.

For your computer systems to function correctly, all FIVE categories must be made compliant.  Your applications will not function correctly unless the operating system (category 2) and hardware (category 1) are made compliant first.  As you can see, there are numerous dependencies for this project, and without assistance, most business people will not be able to deal with this problem by themselves.

You will need outside assistance from a computer consultant who is able to do an inventory of your systems for each category and then make the appropriate recommendations.  These recommendations once actioned will enable your systems to be FULLY Year 2000 compliant.

For further information please email [email protected] , or phone 9415 6770.


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