Novell responds to Y2K requests

The company's new line of Y2K patches, upgrades, and tools are part of its continuing effort to allay customers' concerns that it was slow to respond to their demands for Y2K assistance.

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Novell says all of its Y2K ducks are in order for the coming year.

The networking giant has launched a new line of Y2K patches, upgrades, and tools downloadable from Novell's Year 2000 Web site, as part of its continuing effort to allay earlier concerns by customers that it, like other major software vendors, was slow to respond to their demands for Y2K assistance.

Novell said with NetWare and Novell Directory Services, its customers can inventory their managed network environment and identify specific hardware and Back to Year 2000 Index Page software components, then utilize this data to analyze their network environment and its Y2K exposures.

As reported earlier, Novell is also offering the Y2K Information Ferret tool and an application from Greenwich Mean Time called Check 2000 to help customers address the technology problem from the server and client level.

The Year 2000 Information Ferret tool is a free Windows 95/98/NT client-based tool that queries servers for Novell products and identifies the Y2K status of Novell products. This month, Novell plans to deliver more than 300,000 copies of the Ferret tool to customers worldwide, the company said.

Check 2000 is a Windows product that checks PCs for Y2K risks. An updated version of Novell's Zen Works directory-based desktop management tool, dubbed version 1.1, is now shipping with a five-user version of Check 2000. It analyzes five levels of the Year 2000 problem: the BIOS, OS, applications, data, and data exchange.

"Novell has gone to great lengths to ensure that our products are ready for the next millennium. As our customers continually analyze their Y2K problems, our products provide them with solutions and answers to these issues," Eric Schmidt, chairman and CEO of Novell, said in a statement. "Novell will be taking more networks into the 21st century than any other company; being Year 2000 ready isn't a question, it's a given."

The Y2K bug comes from antiquated hardware and software formats that denote years in two-digit formats, such as "98" for 1998 and "99" for 1999. The glitch will occur in 2000, when computers are either fooled into thinking the year is 1900 or interpret the 2000 as a meaningless "00." The glitch could throw out of whack everything from bank systems to building security procedures, observers warn.