Embedded System tester kit....

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The following Press Release was found at: www.embeddedscience.com

R.A. Mann

Monday 4th November 1998


Valuable contribution to help businesses prepare, says Action 2000

Engineering consultants WSP Group and Embedded Science today launched their millennium-bug test-kit - the Delta-T Probe - with the news that #250,000 of sales have already been secured. It was demonstrated publicly at The Royal Exchange in the City of London by its inventor Patrick Bossert.

The breakthrough invention, details of which were announced in June this year, provides an electronic means of checking the millennium-date dependency of embedded systems, by means of a test which takes only half an hour. The speed of the process helps businesses rapidly assess the scale of the risk and allows them to take the appropriate remedial action.

Embedded systems are the single-function computers which control the business infrastructure governing anything from lifts and fire alarms to manufacturing process equipment and public service infrastructure. They therefore pose the greatest threat to business should they fail or freeze on 1 January 2000.

Speaking today, Gwynneth Flower, Managing Director of Action 2000, said:

"Action 2000's latest wave of research in October showed that awareness of embedded systems in business is high, with four-fifths claiming knowledge of the problems associated with them. This is not to say, however, that they necessarily know how to deal with them. I welcome the Delta-T Probe as a valuable contribution to helping business in the UK deal with the embedded systems part of their programme to get ready for the millennium bug."

Following delivery of a working prototype in August, the Delta-T Probe is now in full production. The recommended retail cost is #16,000, which includes training and support services.

#250,000 sales have already been agreed with a number of companies - including British Aerospace, which will be using the equipment in its infrastructure programme, Guardian Royal Exchange and companies in Hong Kong and Australia.

Tim Mills, Director of Guardian Properties, outlined the benefits of the Probe in terms of potential savings to business in time and money. He said:

"GRE were delighted with the field tests of the Delta-T Probe, which were conducted on systems in two of our city offices, a shopping centre and a number of GRE occupied buildings. The results showed a potential saving of up to 88 % against our original budget for replacing equipment of unknown compliance.

"We are now implementing a programme to test all our Embedded Systems for which there is any degree of uncertainty. Any cost is significantly offset by savings in replacement costs and more importantly, the value of certainty which businesses need as they head toward the millennium."

WSP Business Technology Director Paul Scott said:

"WSP is proud to have developed and driven forward what others, as well as we, recognise to be a unique breakthrough invention. It is clear there is significant interest in the Delta-T Probe throughout the world. We are now devoting our attention to securing suitable distributors in order to satisfy that demand."

Notes to editors

1 WSP Group plc is a broadly based international business providing design, consultancy and facility management services in the property and construction sector. It employs some 1500 people, and operates through a network of 50 offices in the UK and overseas. WSP already offers a number of services on Year 2000 issues, including programme management, auditing and testing. Clients include Commercial Union, AMP Asset Management, British Airways and British Land.

2 It is embedded systems which contain the most serious millennium bug problems. Detection is more difficult than for desktop and enterprise computers, as the code they run is literally embedded in one or more of the chips. In 1997, over 7,000 million embedded systems were manufactured, compared to 200 million desktop computers.

3 The Delta-T Probe was manufactured by Embedded Science, which is managed by WSP and part-owned by Central Data Control (CDC), a specialist embedded systems integration business. It is promoted and managed by WSP Group plc, and is intrinsically linked to their audit and compliance consultancy products.

4 Technical details of the Delta-T Probe were announced on 22 June 1998. This was followed by the appointment of suppliers, R&D and both field and laboratory testing, with manufacturing in parallel. The prototype was available at the end of August, and first products were shipped in mid-October.

Press enquiries

Chris Carter, Josie DobrinLuther Pendragon0171 353 1500Paul Scott/Patrick Bossert/David GoddardWSP Business Technology0171 314 5000

Sales enquiries

Website addresses  http://www.embedded-science.com  http://www.wsp-y2k.com

Dedicated phone line: 0171 314 5715

A full information pack, including photographs, is available on request from Chris Carter or Josie Dobrin at Luther Pendragon

-- R.A. Mann (ramann@hotmail.com), November 12, 1998


Delta T Probe
Issue date: 12 November 1998
Article source: Computer Weekly News (long URL, could split)

http://www.computerweekly.co.uk/cwarchive/news/19981112/cwcontainer.as p?name=c16.html

Cube boy boxes the bug
James Robinson

You know the millennium bug is a major problem when users turn to the boy who cracked the Rubik's cube to help them solve it. Patrick Bossert, who wrote You Can Do The Cube at the age of 12, has invented a device that tests whether embedded systems contain date-dependent chips. He said, "The majority of embedded systems aren't date dependent, but a lot of organisations, including the Health & Safety Executive, require you to prove it. This product can do it."

Bossert claims that only about 10% of embedded systems are non- compliant, and that just 2%-5% of them will malfunction come the turn of the century. The problem is that in the majority of cases, the only way to find out which ones are non-compliant is to dismantle them, a process which costs valuable time and huge amounts of money. The Delta T probe is a box-like device which can be attached to a system and monitors its memory for time/date data. It isolates sections of code which can then be captured by the operator, removing the need to scan the entire memory.

Bossert said, most embedded systems only have "a few hundred lines" of date-dependent code for every 20 Mbytes of memory. Tim Mills, director of Guardian Royal Exchange subsidiary Guardian Properties, said he has saved 88% of his budget for testing embedded chips by using the device. "I've cut the budget that I would otherwise have spent on replacing kit that I wasn't certain was compliant," he explained.

"Secondly I have got certainty: I know that all our systems will work come the millennium." Many of the UK's nuclear power stations have also bought the Delta T probe. The device is being produced by WSP Business Technology. Bossert can be contacted on 0171-314 5000.

-- Jon (jonmiles@pacbell.net), November 12, 1998.

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