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Symantec suite pinpoints Y2K trouble spots

Symantec ships a Year 2000 auditing package for desktop and laptop PCs to help IS departments ready their systems for the upcoming turn of the millennium.

Symantec has shipped a Year 2000 auditing package for desktop and laptop PCs to help IS departments ready their systems for the upcoming turn of the millennium.

Priced at $54 per 100 user licenses, Norton 2000 Corporate Edition 2.0 pinpoints pieces of the system that aren't compliant by scanning data, applications, and hardware, including the BIOS and real-time clock.

Back to Year 2000 Index Page The new version includes enhanced administrative features and improved database options. The new version also features Fix Assistant to help automate repetitive and tedious remediation tasks, Symantec said.

A number of PC vendors consider the Year 2000 threat to the real-time clock minimal and have been criticized in the past for releasing computer systems that include non-Y2K compliant software.

This has caused confusion among some PC users, caught between listening to their computer vendors and Y2K analysts, and toolmakers who have pointed out the vulnerabilities of applications that use the real-time clock for time and date reference.

Symantec executives said their product addresses the real-time clock and those applications that use it.

The new Y2K PC package also audits other popular software applications for Year 2000 compliance and compares those applications against a database of known Year 2000 compliance problems. The database is kept up-to-date using LiveUpdate, Symantec's utility program that locates and helps install hardware drivers and software updates specific to the user's system from over the Web.

Norton 2000 Corporate Edition now supports the ability to associate machine names and user names for easy identification in reports. It also has the ability to sort the results from the data scan by severity, issues, errors, and notes.

In addition, the new Fix Assistant for Microsoft Excel allows for quick and easy remediation of common, repetitive Year 2000 issues in data. Norton 2000 scans Excel, Access, Paradox, dBase, Lotus, and Quattro Pro files. It also identifies, prioritizes, and reports on date calculation anomalies in spreadsheet cells and formulas, database fields, and forms text.

The Year 2000 problem, also known as the millennium bug, stems from an old programming shortcut that used only the last two digits of the year. Many computers now must be modified, or they may mistake the year 2000 for the year 1900 and may not be able to function at all, observers warn.