One less day to worry about

The nation's computers took a flying leap Feb. 29 over doubts that the pesky

Year 2000 bug had one last bit of bite. It was possible, computer experts

feared, that systems would have trouble handling the extra day tacked onto

February for the leap year.

But nada. Essentially, anyway.

A U.S. Coast Guard message archiving system did not recognize Feb. 29 as

a legitimate date, so it refused to archive any messages. And at Offutt

Air Force Base in Nebraska, a computer that tracks maintenance equipment

stopped working.

Across the United States, some caller identification equipment and some

pagers displayed the date as March 1 instead of Feb. 29. In many instances,

the machines corrected themselves upon receiving their first call of the

day.

Should Y2K worriers go into withdrawal now that computers seem to have cleared

the biggest hurdles, there are still a few dates left on the calendar to

fret over. But the fretters will be on their own, because even

the President's Council on Year 2000 Conversion has no intention of monitoring

those dates.

Still Nervous?

Here are the handful of days left this year for a potential Year 2000

bug-bite:

* June 30 End of fiscal "00" for 46 state governments.

* Sept. 30 End of fiscal "00" for the federal government.

* Oct. 10 First six-digit date for systems that store data in MM/DD/YY

format.

* Dec. 31 Computers may not have counted 366 days for the leap year.

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