Intelliquis – IntelliFix 2000 review

Y2K fix
Photo of Intelliquis – IntelliFix 2000
£35

It’s getting nearer. That big day that IT departments are dreading and lawyers are gleefully anticipating. Y2K, the day of reckoning. The day when we discover whether all the worry was just hype, or whether something as simple as a two-digit date code can really bring the computing world to its knees.

Enough of the dramatics. What this all means for the user and systems administrator is a pretty large headache. Some applications should doubtless be upgraded to avoid potential data loss or corruption, while others were probably programmed correctly or don’t use date-specific functions. Upgrading and replacing all applications would be a real pain, which is where IntelliFix 2000 comes in.

This package features several components. The first is a now almost traditional CMOS clock fix, which first evaluates any potential problems with date roll-over, leap-year awareness and so on, and installs a boot-sector TSR program to correct any problems while the PC is in use. The second part of the package is altogether more interesting. It’s an application and operating system file scanner, which searches through the assembler code of all your installed applications, searching for evidence of the dreaded two-digit date codes. Even better, once it’s found them, it can replace them with four-digit codes.

It does this in a clever way. Since altering the length of the original compiled file would be a bit of a no-no, IntelliFix 2000 copies the file and alters the original in such a way that it calls a memory-resident program whenever the date code problem is detected. The advantage of this is that your original files are all present and correct, and so any fixes can be ‘undone’. The disadvantage is that it is absolutely imperative that the necessary device driver is loaded at all times. Otherwise your PC may not function at all.

On a reasonably standard PC running Windows 95, we were surprised to discover how few applications actually needed fixing. There were 24 instances of ‘illegal’ date codes in 18 files, which related to seven different applications and a few DLLs belonging to the operating system itself. Not bad, really. And despite the fact that the PC’s BIOS was dated 1996, it only failed one of the clock tests, which was reassuring.

IntelliFix has a few other tricks up its sleeve, such as altering the PC’s 100 year ‘century window’ – the feature that determines to which century a particular two-digit date code is assigned – as well as, depending on which version of the program you have, a tool to scan data files from Word, Excel, Access and 1-2-3 to repair any Y2K-related errors.

Company: Intelliquis

Contact: 00 353 61 702 038


Verdict
This is the most comprehensive Y2K solution we've seen yet. It checks and repairs hardware problems and searches your software to find and fix any problems there too. As a simple method of reassurance - telling you how many files must be fixed - it's invaluable enough, but it has so many other features that it deserves to be a part of any techy's armoury.