Victoria Pyle, of Ardgowan School, asks :-

What will happen to the computers that are not compatible for the year 2000?

David Armstrong, the Computer Editor of The Press, responded.

The answer depends on what part of the computer is not compatible, and what the computer is used for.

If the problem is with the computer's internal clock, then it may be made useful for most common uses simply by loading a small program that compensates for the clock's deficiency. Then as long as the computer is turned off before midnight on December 31, 1999, and turned on again the next morning, it should run properly.

If the computer is so old that this action will not fix the clock, the computer could still be used for programs that do not care about what the date is, such as games, writing letters, or making graphics.

To help ensure the clock error makes no difference, you could set the computer's clock to a year such as 1980 and fool it into thinking it has not passed the millennium yet.

If the computer still fails to work after the century ends (and you won't know this until the event happens), then the computer must be replaced.

If the computer's hardware is okay but the programs running on it have year 2000 problems, then the software must be upgraded. If this is an important problem, such as in a computer used for business, then an expert will have to be called in to help sort out what needs changing and how it is to be done.