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Subject: Year 2000 problem

Year 2000 problem

From: Todd Ellison <ellison_t>
Date: Monday, October 19, 1998
The silence re: preparing for the Y2K problem is notable, isn't it.
Remarkably, it seems that only one session at the end of the
American Association of Museums annual meeting in LA last May
addressed the Y2K problem.  As I recall, the session (entitled
Museum Law: Legal issues that impact managerial decisions) was not
well attended (it was a huge room, and there were more empty chairs
than not).  The speaker (I believe it was Clarissa Coyoca of the
UCLA Fowler Museum of Cultural History) did a great job.  She also
observed the museum profession's apparent lack of attention to this
issue, and noted that a session at the 1999 meeting will be a year
too late.

Regarding Walter Henry's suggestions about re-setting the date on a
device:  I've read that "simply setting the date and time on your PC
can cause a great of damages and data, especially if the dates are
changed whilst applications are opened." (Bill Garlick, Digital
Technology Solutions, Durango, Colo., in The Four Corners Business
Journal, Oct. 1, 1998, p. 12).  He emphasizes that "...PCs actually
have three critical clocks built into them.  By only using software
to set and test the dates you are ignoring the other two clocks.
These can only be accessed and tested by specially designed and
engineered Y2K software."

    **** Moderator's comments: I said no such thing, and did not
    mention personal computers all; I was speaking of embedded
    systems, as might be found in sprinkler systems and the like and
    I never, ever, said to reset the date. I said that if there *is
    no way to reset the date* (and specifically the year) in such a
    system, then the device can't be doing anything with the real
    year, but only with duration.

    Resetting the date on a computer and "seeing what breaks" is
    usually a terrible idea, only slightly less so on your home
    computer than on more complex office/lab systems, which may have
    licence managers, and other things that will not just break, but
    stay broken. I trust I need not comment on the wisdom of
    resetting the date on your sprinkler system to see what happens?

    Fair warning: The topic of this thread is being heald to Y2K
    impacts on collections, that is, conservation matters. There's
    plenty of info available elsewhere on dealing with your general
    computing situation. Try Yahoo and it's brethren for a

Todd Ellison, Archivist and Associate Professor
Center of Southwest Studies
Fort Lewis College
1000 Rim Drive, Durango, CO 81301-3999
Fax: 970-247-7422

                  Conservation DistList Instance 12:38
                Distributed: Thursday, October 22, 1998
                       Message Id: cdl-12-38-008
Received on Monday, 19 October, 1998

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