US-based National Software Testing Laboratory (NSTL) millennium bug expert Damien Lochran told PC Dealer that Compaq had contracted him to explain compliance and related issues to large corporates.
'Some of them need to know a bit more about what the year 2000 thing involves. I'm talking to Compaq every day. I've given consultancy when it needs more assurance,' he said.
Lochran said he had received a letter from Compaq, alerting the NSTL to a complaint made by millennium bug diagnostic and fix company Prove It 2000, about a Compaq advertising campaign that claimed its hardware was millennium compliant (PC Dealer, 27 May).
The vendor has also begun preparing a defence against a possible government inquiry which would question Compaq's claims.
'It's the NSTL test that Compaq is standing behind and the NSTL is standing behind its test. The NSTL is happy to do that,' he said.
Richard Coppel, Prove It 2000 MD, said the NSTL test used by Compaq to establish compliance was flawed because it did not check the computer's real time clock.
Coppel said the NSTL, a division of McGraw-Hill Companies, developed the test for the Canadian Government and was taken up by Compaq as its compliance tester. The test is free on the internet.
The debate was over checking the real time clock in a computer to see how it is affected by the year 2000. The Prove It 2000 test checks the clock while the YMK2000 test does not.
Compaq says the clock doesn't matter because only 'bad software' accesses it, while Prove It 2000 claims most virus checkers and bespoke software check it.
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