Y2K holes hit Memtec test

Even companies well advanced into millennium projects -- such as progressive Australian water separation and purification company Memtec -- are hitting obstacles as they put their systems to the test.

The two-year certification of half of its Australian Lotus Notes users expired during a simulation, requiring recertification of 60 users who could not access their e-mail on April 1.

Memtec's US Notes application was also affected during the conversion from 2000 back to April 1998, when 46 out of 246 users' e-mail was delivered to the wrong folder, a known problem with a simple fix, according to Memtec officials.

"Had it been the year 2000, we would have been embarrassed because we couldn't work," said Carl Pearson, IT and quality assurance manager of Memtec. Pearson, however, concedes neither problem will occur when the year clicks over to 2000. "It was more a pain really," he said. Pearson said that Memtec originally planned to test all its IT systems this April Fool's day, but its acquisition by US Filter in early December landed the test in the thick of the US company's end of financial year. Memtec therefore chose to limit the test to its computer hardware systems across the US, Britain and Australia. Memtec's US operations also lost security functions when the building would not lock at the end of the day.

For the full story see ComputerWorld, April 17

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