Macs and Y2K

1999: The latest news from Microsoft headquarters is that they will be delaying the final release of Windows 2000 (Win2K) until the later half of 1900. Nope, this isn’t true; it’s just a joke (in fact, I didn’t even make it up). But, this joke does have some truth.* Many Windows users will be hit hard by the Y2K bug. Some of their computer’s applications will cease functioning.

Mac Happens

But, don’t worry: You have a Mac; you don’t have any problems.

Y2K isn’t much of a problem for us. Mac OS 7.5.5 and higher will have no trouble going from 1999 to 2000. Apple reports that these operating systems will work correctly when January 1 rolls around. However, they did not test any earlier OSes.

All Macintosh hardware can handle dates to AD 2040. Power Macs and later, to AD 29,940. However, the Mac OS only supports dates to 2020 (this may be solved in Mac OS 9, an will definitely be fixed on Mac OS X). dk

My suggestion for people using Macs with operating systems earlier than 7.5.5 is to upgrade to 7.5.5. If you have system 7.5.3, you can download the update from Apple. However, if you have something earlier than 7.5.3, you will need to install System 7.5.3, and then upgrade to 7.5.5. You can download System 7.5.3 from the same page as the 7.5.5 updater – and it’s free.

Another problem that arises is software compatibility. We know about the system software working, but what about your other applications?

The best way to get your programs up to speed is to get the latest version of the program. Version Tracker is one of several sites that will help you get all of your programs ready for the new millennium.

Now you’re ready for Y2K. Coming soon, this article’s sequel, getting prepared for Y3K – in about 1000 years.

* Microsoft does hope to release Win2K on February 17, 2000. At least Windows fans can play beta tester until then. dk

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