July 15, 1998 12:15 PM PDT

Symantec tool to fight Y2K bug

Symantec is launching utility software to help big companies squash the Year 2000 bug on PCs.

The company today announced Norton 2000, a tool for scanning application files and PC BIOS software to pinpoint where Year 2000 problems exist.

Symantec said the tool can scan Excel, Lotus 1-2-3, Quattro Pro, Access, dBase, Clipper, FoxPro, and Paradox files. The software then generates a report that indicates which files need to be fixed, and where.

The company said spreadsheet and database files are particularly susceptible to Year 2000 problems, since many development tools allowed programmers to abbreviate year date information to two digits. The year 1998 would be abbreviated as "98," for instance, which raises problems when the Year 2000 arrives.

Symantec also said Norton 2000 can scan PC BIOS and time clock hardware, and automatically install fixes to make systems Y2K compliant.

The software will ship in two versions, Symantec said. The first, targeted at large corporations, is expected to ship later this month. Pricing has not been announced.

In September, the company will ship a consumer version of the software which will be able to scan installed applications and alert users of problems identified by the software's manufacturer.


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