Microsoft Recommends "Test BIOS" on Windows NT Machines;
Centennial 2000 Only Available Networked Tool
London, UK - 4 January, 1999 - Microsoft recommends all Windows NT machines
be tested for Basic Input/Output System (BIOS) and Real Time Clock (RTC)
issues, despite NT's built-in Y2K functionality, according to Microsoft's
Year 2000 web site (http://www.microsoft.com/technet/topics/year2k).
However, following this recommendation is problematic said officials at
Tally Systems today, because the Windows NT Hardware Abstraction Layer (HAL)
prevents most Y2K desktop tools from directly accessing the BIOS and RTC to
perform properly the required tests. Consequently, most Y2K testing tools
either require manual user intervention at the PC to test NT machines, or
erroneously test the Windows NT system clock instead of the BIOS, producing
unreliable hardware compliance results.
However, Tally Systems Year 2000 tool, Centennial 2000, uses a unique
networked technology for conducting the BIOS and RTC tests prior to the HAL
loading, without disrupting end-users.
"Centennial 2000 has been shipping with this NT functionality since April
1998, and we're proud to have the only solution currently offering tools
that can do NT testing through the network without end-user interruption,"
said Karen Horvath, Year 2000 product manager at Tally Systems.
"Because PCs exist in a widely distributed environment, testing each PC
manually or with tools that require end-user intervention is a tedious and
expensive process that causes significant business disruptions. By testing
through the network, Centennial 2000 allows a single administrator to gauge
the scope of the Y2K problem, apply a fix, and monitor that fix without ever
having to leave their desk."
Many Y2K project managers are under the mistaken impression that Windows NT
machines do not require any sort of Y2K test or fix. Although Microsoft
states on its web site that Windows NT 3.51(sp5), Windows NT 4.0, Windows 98
and Windows NT 5.0 all have logic built into them that will recognise 1900
as an error case and automatically compensate by setting the date to 2000,
Microsoft also says "there are other BIOS problems we do not compensate
for." These other problems include a "2001" problem, as well as other
possible BIOS related Y2K handling problems that could strike in 2000,
according to the web site. The bottom line: "Microsoft recommends that all
BIOS platforms be identified and tested to ensure functionality beyond
Relying on having end-users manually test and fix PCs, or on using post-Y2K
contingency planning if they fail, is a risky business. IT managers who do
so can't answer the pressing questions from senior management, investors,
customers, bankers and others demanding documented Y2K due diligence, and
also place a huge demand on already over-burdened help-desk infrastructures.
Tally Systems Centennial 2000 offers a wealth of reports capable of showing
due diligence to any concerned party and, as a networked tool, allows for
the scope of the problem to be assessed without ever disturbing a single
Key features of Centennial 2000 include:
* Machines are tested, fixed, and monitored via the network, providing a
non-disruptive solution for clients and a single management workstation for
* The Non-TSR solution accomplishes the "reboot test" before the operating
system initiates, even on Windows NT machines, and does not disrupt
date-sensitive applications, such as evaluation copies of software with
* Continuous monitoring ensures that fixes remain effectively in place
through the millennium
* Extensive reporting provides evidence of due diligence to vendors,
customers, and stockholders, and the data can be imported into any generic
spreadsheet or database application
* Support includes DOS, Windows 3.x, Windows 95, and Windows NT client
systems and is accredited by Novell to run seamlessly with its NetWare
Availability and Pricing
Centennial 2000 - NetCensus Edition, incorporating data file scanning and
providing an integration with Tally Systems NetCensus, is now available
through Tally Systems and its authorised resellers world-wide. Centennial
2000 is one piece of a complete PC2000 product and services package offered
by Tally Systems. Prices for NetCensus and Centennial 2000 - NetCensus
Edition are based on the number of PCs assessed.
About Tally Systems
Founded in 1990, Tally Systems Corp. is the world's leading supplier of
full-featured asset management products, providing packaged software
solutions and service to improve management of end-user computing resources.
Asset management products include NetCensus, unparalleled inventory for your
PC enterprise; CentaMeter, comprehensive software usage management; and
Cenergy, which combines the inventory and metering products with WinINSTALL,
effortless electronic software distribution.
Tally Systems' desktop asset management products are currently licensed on
over 5,500,000 PCs at more than 10,500 client sites worldwide. Visit the
Tally Systems Corp. on the World Wide Web at http://www.tallysystems.com
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