Answers to Quiz:

RTC and CMOS. A ready BIOS will update the CMOS date code
information without a hitch.

3. True. Most Pentium systems have updated BIOSes you can
download for free from the manufacturers’ Web sites. A 486 or older PC needs a
software patch that corrects any errors. Again, most computer makers offer this for free.

4. False. A corrected BIOS only makes the computer hardware
give the correct date. This is primary and vital, but the PC as a whole will not be ready
until you fix any errors in the operating system, applications and data.

5. True. Windows NT controls the CMOS chip and acts as a wall
between the hardware and software. In other words, NT performs the BIOS function for the
2000 rollover. Updating the BIOS will not hurt and could prevent other glitches, but NT by
itself will update the CMOS memory’s century entry.

6. False. Year 2000 readiness is ongoing. Data files and
applications might have hidden problems after Jan. 1. A good software utility will keep
you on track.

7. False. Think about how you habitually note the date on memos
and personal checks. Do you write or type, say, 5/1/99 or May 1, ‘99? If so, you
should immediately get in the habit of including the century digits. Computer software
will make assumptions about which century you meant, and that could introduce errors.
Perhaps you are referring to census data from 1920, but if you type 05/01/20, the computer
might think you mean May 1, 2020.

Did you score seven correct answers? You’re a lucky one.
You’re ready for year 2000, and your agency’s systems are in good hands.

Six or five correct? Pretty good. You probably also know that 2001,
not 2000, is the start of the next millennium.

Four or three correct? Not great. Time to start asking the
doomsayers some hard questions.

Two or fewer correct? You’re in trouble. But don’t build a
bomb shelter and stockpile food just yet. You have 263 days to study up.

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