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Boredom reigns in computer industry

One of the most potentially debilitating problems to ever face the computing industry is passing with nary a whimper.

One of the most potentially debilitating problems to ever face the computing industry is passing with nary a whimper.

Whether it can be attributed to outstanding preparation, good luck or judicious use of factory down-time, computer companies are reporting few, if any, problems from the Y2K bug.

Most major companies began to monitor for effects from the bug when it turned midnight in New Zealand and Australia and have followed the non-event as it traveled around the globe.

"It has been very, very quiet around the world," said T.R. Reid, a spokesman for Dell Computer.

Intel, the world's largest chipmaker, also reported few problems. The company, in fact, is continuing to manufacture processors through the night, a spokesman said.

The company is "warming down," or idling, manufacturing facilities as midnight approaches around the world. But after midnight passes and standard maintenance is performed, the factories will be placed back in service.

"So far it looks pretty good," said Intel spokesman Bill Calder.

The world's largest software company also was faring well.

"We've got nothing but smooth sailing," a Microsoft spokesman told Reuters. Microsoft has 6,000 staffers working at centers around the world.

Most high-tech companies have spent Millennium countdown millions of dollars in preparing against the bug and have put contingency plans in place to ensure against disaster.

At Intel, for example, the company worked with its suppliers to ensure that their systems were Y2K complaint and wouldn't have a rebound effect, Calder said. Several thousand employees also are working over New Year's Eve, more than usual.

Dell idled its factories Dec. 31 for the three-day holiday, Reid said, adding that the factories will resume operations next week.

Like others, Reid cautioned that not all of the potential effects of the bug will occur tonight. As a result, Dell will continue to monitor for any disruptions. Many analysts have said that a number of Y2K-related issues will only be discovered later.

Reuters contributed to this report.