Corrections - BCL Molecular 18

BCL Molecular 18
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Errors & Corrections


I made the rather rash comment in the BCL book: 'None of the application software was year 2K compliant, and the effort required to make all the changes necessary would be enormous.  In particular, the operating system routines for handling dates only managed a two-digit year and while this could be modified, none of the fixed format files had space for extra digits.'

In retrospect this is quite wrong.  (My excuse is that the day job relates to patient health data and dates are vitally important, and I recall the efforts we went through in 1999 to ensure the system I was working on then would work as expected in 2000.)

Almost without fail, all application programs (and the OS itself) would use just two routines to handle dates:  Pack Date and UnPack Date.  These would store a date with a two digit century in a single M18 word.  

A huge range of dates (such as we find in healthcare) was never a requirement for the application packages and the customers that used them.   I am also not aware of any application programs that tried to sort a list of transactions into a date sequence.  Sales transactions (for example) would be in date order as they were added to the end of a linked list of transactions as they were generated.

I suspect, the applications would tick over in the year 2000 with few problems.

(C) 2022 Kevin Murrell & The National Museum of Computing
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