Feds not worried about Sept. 9 date problem

The federal government plans to do "very limited testing'' of its computer systems as a practice exercise to determine potential glitches when the date Sept. 9 arrives next week.

Jack Gribben, a spokesman for the President's Council on Year 2000 Conversion, said federal Year 2000 programmers expect little or no problem Sept. 9 and decided to conduct a routine test as a precautionary measure.

Many computer experts believe Sept. 9, 1999—written as 9/9/99—could create widespread computer problems similar to those that the Year 2000 date-change problem could cause. Experts said 9/9/99 could be read as "9999," the code that many computers use to stop a program.

Each federal agency will test its own systems and will most likely have complete results the next working day, if there is anything to reveal, Gribben said. "We don't think 9/9/99 will be a significant issue,'' he said.

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