Millennium wonder card?

A millennium card offering full hardware Y2K compliance for desktops was launched today by Comparex Services, a subsidiary of the German mainframe distributor.

The Diamond YIIK card is designed as an alternative to software patches which are more generally used for solving Y2K date problems. Applications and operating systems take the system date from the Bios clock. The card fits into a spare ISA slot inside the PC, interrupts the Bios and replaces the system clock and CROM RAM when the machine is booted up.

David Horwood, business development manager for Comparex believes the card is a good alternative to software solutions. "It is a permanent solution whereas software patches can be overwritten by the end user," he said. He anticipates it being used by small to medium-sized businesses who, up until now may have been avoiding the Y2K date issue.

IDC analyst Stephen Minton thinks the only reliable answer to the problem is getting a programmer in to go through the code manually. "Any solution is inherently unreliable compared to manual solutions," he said. However as more and more companies realise the urgency of the problem, he believes the market will be swamped with automatic solution gadgets as vendors cash in on the panic.

The Diamond YIIK card will be available at £39.99. No distributors have yet been arranged, although Comparex hopes to target businesses and local authorities. Only one comparable product is currently available -- the AMI2000 card from American Megatrends.

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