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VOL. 23, NO. 2September 12, 1997

AIS: Year 2000 Need Not Be a Computer Disaster

Administrative Information Services, which is responsible for human resources, financial, and alumni information systems, as well as many others, has issued an alert on year 2000 computing problems.

  If not corrected before the new century, the year 2000 bug will create havoc for any hardware or software that uses date-dependent logic, said Robert Juckiewicz, deputy vice president of AIS. Such equipment includes personal computers as well as workstations, LAN servers and mainframes.

  To prevent these problems, departments should identify which equipment or software relies on date-dependent logic. AIS will publish a "Year 2000 Alert" newsletter to keep departments abreast of developments.

  "The good news is that there is time to fix the problems," Juckiewicz said. "But we must actively and progressively work on solving them, if we are to be ready."

  Many computers use the format mm/dd/yy to generate dates. Computers write the date January 1, 1999 as 01/01/99. When the year 2000 comes, the computer will write it as 01/01/00, and a child born in the year 2000 will be considered 100 years old. If you are renewing any software licenses or purchasing any hardware or software, make sure that the product is year 2000 compliant, or will be before the century ends. You must get this assurance in writing in your contract.

  Fred Trickey, AIS Information Security Officer, 854-5558 or adpft@cuvmc.ais.columbia.edu, will coordinate year 2000 activities. Or contact Rebecca DeWeese, manager of information technology auditing in the office of internal audit, at 851-5777 or rd171@columbia.edu.