With just over four months to go until the beginning of a new millennium, there are still plenty of non-compliant PCs out there. PCs which may either fail to correctly ‘roll over’ from 31st December 1999 to 1st January 2000, or which may take anything from a tenth of a second to several hours for their clocks to update. In mission-critical servers and other applications, this roll-over problem is potentially a huge one, and it’s one which the Cybergeddon 2000 card is intended to address.
This card, which is basically a Y2K-compliant clock with some additional firmware, removes any potential for leap-year and century date errors, because it is based on a four-digit clock chip. Supporting Windows 95/98 and NT, OS/2, Netware and SCO Unix among other operating systems, the card ensures that the correct date and time is given to the operating system – whether by the BIOS or the RTC – during roll-over and beyond.
The card is an 8-bit ISA device, and so can be fitted to most desktop PCs currently in use, from 286 machines onwards. The installation process itself, if you’re familiar with the insides of a PC, is quite easy, with an installation disk determining the card’s memory addresses and activating the battery and clock. The lithium cell on the card should provide backup power for ten years, while the clock itself is claimed to maintain the correct time and date until December 31st, 2099. It’s a fair bet than any pre-millennial PC still running by then will be in a museum.
Once installed, the card operates in several ways. First, it copies its own true date and time values to the system’s real-time clock at every boot time, and maintains synchronisation with the system time counter. Updates are also made every hour, except midnight, when the full date and time values are copied to the real-time clock, ensuring that the date and time information is always correct.
What it boils down to is that you can ensure hardware compliance of virtually any desktop or server PC using this clock card, because the BIOS clock and real-time clock will both be accurately updated over the millennium and beyond. The Cybergeddon 2000 is certified Year 2000-compliant by the National Software Testing Laboratory (NSTL), and additional features include password-protection and CMOS backup and restore.
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