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COMPUTING

From...
PC World

8 easy Y2K fixes

December 9, 1999
Web posted at: 10:24 a.m. EST (1524 GMT)

by Scott Spanbauer graphic

(IDG) -- If you're as optimistic (or stubborn) as I am, you'll deal with Y2K by simply ignoring the whole thing. I'm wagering that come January 1, calm will reign o'er my PC and yours. But you never know. If you've been reading PC World's ongoing Y2K coverage, you know that you can do many things that supposedly will minimize the chance of problems. No need to rehash all that -- but here's a quick list of updates for major products likely to be affected.

Operating-system fixes

WINDOWS 98 YEAR 2000 UPDATE X2: Microsoft came out with one patch (1.2MB), and then another (635KB); these fix incorrect leap-year calculations, date/time settings, and online connection logging. Pick up the patches from Windows Update.

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WINDOWS 95 YEAR 2000 UPDATE: Like Win 98, Win 95 stumbles over leap years and call logging. Get all the details -- including a warning that installing network and other drivers may uninstall portions of the patch (thanks a lot) -- in this readme file. Find the 2.17MB fix itself at the Year 2000 Update page.

WINDOWS NT 4.0 SERVICE PACK 6 SERVICE PACK 6 (at this download page) contains new Y2K patches that correct date handling errors in programs and let NT display the proper system date on January 1. But if you've already installed Service Pack 4 or 5, you don't have to download all 34.5MB of SP6 just to get these fixes.

Office-suites fixes

COREL WORDPERFECT SUITE: Corel says that versions 8 and 9 (the latter's also known as 2000) are year-2000 compliant, and that Suite 7 is compliant except on minor points. If you want to enter dates in the document summary, for instance, the company recommends using a four-digit year to avoid possible ambiguity. For full details visit Corel's Year 2000 Product Information page.

LOTUS SMARTSUITE: Lotus says that all versions of SmartSuite for Windows from Release 3.1 forward, as well as all versions of SmartSuite for OS/2 starting with the 96 Edition, are "Year 2000 Ready." This means that some versions will handle two-digit dates correctly, but you have to know which century the program assigns the year to. For example, Lotus 1-2-3 97 assumes that 74 means 1974; but Organizer 5.0 thinks 74 means 2074. For a full explanation, go to The Lotus Year 2000 site.

MICROSOFT OFFICE 97 SERVICE RELEASE 2B: Find a minor update to SR2 (namely, SR-2b) at this Fact Sheet page. It adds Y2K updates for Outlook 97 and the Jet database engine. For links to the fixes, visit Microsoft's Online Support pages for Outlook and Jet.

Personal-finance fixes

INTUIT QUICKEN: Intuit declares Quicken 2000 to be year-2000 compliant, but as with the Lotus products described above, you may need to enter some two-digit dates in a certain way to identify which century they belong to. For details about your product, including earlier versions of Quicken and QuickBooks, see Intuit's information page.

MICROSOFT MONEY: Money 99 and 98 will cope handily with 21st century dates, but as with the Lotus products and Quicken, you'll have to adjust for the way Money interprets two-digit dates. Visit Microsoft's TechNet pages for Money 99 and Money 98.

Scott Spanbauer is a contributing editor for PC World.



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