UK government marketing year 2000 fix-it guides

The UK government's Central Computer and Telecommunications Agency has released a set of step-by-step guides for companies seeking assistance in how to implement a year 2000 compliancy programme, officials have announced.

The UK government's Central Computer and Telecommunications Agency has released a set of step-by-step guides for companies seeking assistance in how to implement a year 2000 compliancy programme, officials have announced.

The CCTA -- which stands to make a nice profit selling the guides for about £320 a piece -- says it is concerned that many UK companies are falling behind on dealing with the problem because the companies are unsure about how to begin.

The year 2000 problem stems from the fact that many computer systems were programmed in the last three decades to recognise dates as two digits -- 1997 was read as 97, for example. When 2000 rolls around, many computer systems will have trouble distinguishing 2000 from 1900 and will malfunction or cease to operate completely.

One computer expert estimates that the total cost for UK companies to fix the bug will reach US$50 billion. Peter de Jaeger, another year 2000 expert, told UK audiences last month at Comdex that 1% -- nearly 40,000 -- of UK companies will go out of business by failing to fix the problem.

The CCTA's "Tackling The Year 2000" guide will include six volumes addressing such issues as starting, managing and implementing a corporate year 2000 programme.

To develop the guides, the CCTA worked with the Task Force 2000 (an industry group set up to encourage executives to take action on the year 2000 problem), the UK Department of Trade and Industry and the Computer Software and Services Association (CSSA), a spokesman says.

A CD-ROM version of the guide is available for £440. The CCTA will also build custom Internet-based versions for companies that request it, officials say.

The CCTA, based in London, can be reached at +44-171-238-2250.

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