Not All Mac Programs Ready for Y2K (San Francisco Chronicle) : LUSENET : TimeBomb 2000 (Y2000) : One Thread


For those MacTypes among us.


Not All Mac Programs Ready for Y2K
Henry Norr
Thursday, November 4, 1999
)1999 San Francisco Chronicle

[Fair Use: For Educational/Research Purposes Only]

Q: A few months ago, you mentioned in your column that even though Mac hardware and the Mac OS are Year 2000-ready, some Mac applications may not be. Can you provide any more details?

A: Thanks for an important reminder, because Mac users can't afford to be complacent on this issue. Current versions of most Mac applications seem to be ``Y2K compliant'' -- in other words, they will work properly with dates after Jan. 1, 2000 -- but earlier versions of some very common programs could cause serious problems.

The most complete source of information on this subject that I've found is Richard Barron's ``Not-So-Compliant List,'' which is regularly updated at a Web site called ( You owe it to yourself to skim through it, see if any applications or utilities you use are listed as noncompliant, and, if so, pursue the links on the list until you've found an upgrade -- or an alternative.

If that sounds too hard, a utility called Y2K App Checker for Macintosh, created by Blue Line Studios of Basel, Switzerland, will automatically check the applications installed on your hard drive against Barron's list. You can find both a free version and $20 ``Professional Edition'' at

Another Y2K checker, which I haven't tried, is Year 2000 Software Audit from Pedagoguery Software. Both the full program, which costs $38, and a free but limited demo version are available at

Among the popular programs you may need to update:

-- Apple's own FileMaker Pro. For details, read the Year 2000 Disclosure and Q & A files listed at

-- Several products from CE Software. These include older versions of QuickMail Pro and versions prior to 3.5.3 of the QuicKeys keyboard shortcut utility. QuickMail Pro client and server updates are free, but if you use QuicKeys 3.0 or earlier, you'll have to pay for an upgrade to the current release, version 4.1, which will cost you $50. See

-- Global Village fax software prior to GlobalFax 3.0.6. In other words, the software that came with many of the company's PowerBook fax modems is not Y2K-compliant. If you own any Global Village product, check it at .

-- Intuit's Quicken personal finance program and QuickBooks small business accounting package. For details, start at

-- Version 4.0 of Outlook Express, Microsoft's free e-mail program. (Version 4.01, which was included with Mac OS 8.5 and 8.6, and later releases, including the current 5.0, are safe, according to Microsoft.)

-- Version 3.0x of Microsoft's Internet Explorer Web browser.

-- Microsoft Excel. Various versions of the industry-standard spreadsheet handle dates with two-digit years inconsistently (see Even though the current version, Excel 98, is officially Y2K- compliant, Microsoft strongly recommends that you convert all such references to four-digit format. You can find Wizards that help with the conversion at


Q: I've heard rumors that Mac OS 9 is incompatible with a lot of Mac models and a lot of third-party products. Is that true?

A: In a word, yes. The latest version of Apple's operating system, which just came out at the end of last month, requires an Apple computer with a PowerPC chip and at least 32 megabytes of RAM. (If you have less than 40 megabytes of real RAM, you'll need to keep virtual memory on.) Officially, Apple didn't test and doesn't support the new OS on Mac clones, although it seems to work normally on such systems.

A bigger problem is that Mac OS 9 conflicts with some of the software and peripherals most widely used by Mac owners. The list includes Adobe Type Manager, version 4.5.1 and earlier, and pre-4.0 versions of Adobe Acrobat; a number of utilities from Aladdin Systems, including StuffIt Deluxe and StuffIt Expander, the decompression utility I recommended here just last month; Connectix' RAM Doubler, Speed Doubler, and versions of Virtual PC prior to 2.1.2; versions of Dantz Development's Retrospect prior to 4.1E; and all versions of Symantec's Norton Utilities and Norton AntiVirus for Macintosh prior to the recently released versions 5.0 of the former and 6.0 of the latter.

There are even problems with some of Apple's own software. All versions of ClarisWorks and AppleWorks prior to 5.04 are incompatible with Mac OS 9. So is Final Cut Pro, a video-editing program Apple released just a few months ago. And some features of HyperCard, which the company is no longer updating, reportedly slow to glacial speeds.

On the hardware side, Mac OS 9 conflicts with Kingston Technology's EtheRx PCI 10/100 Ethernet cards. It's also incompatible with a long list of Hewlett-Packard inkjet printers, including the DeskWriter 600, 660, 680 and 690 series and the DeskJet 610, 612, 670, 680, 690, 850, 855 and 870 series.

In short, proceed with caution. For further information and links to vendor sites, check the special reports posted and regularly updated on MacInTouch ( and MacFixIt (

Macadam Computers, for my money San Francisco's best Mac dealer, also provides a hard-copy list of incompatibilities. It's located at 1062 Folsom St., between Sixth and Seventh streets.


-- Diane J. Squire (, November 06, 1999


---i used that app checker last year, works great, found one "questionable" file to delete. I had already rooted out every trace of microsoft anything, including the i.e. browser stuff, lost quiken(don't need it), and i took anything resembling games off my system, too, just for the heck of it. don't have a powerbook-sigh-but thankis for the good updates. It's good to not be complacent, everyone has to do their part on their own systems, no matter what. the puter world and the net are-in my opinion-sort of a group effort and responsibility. ---I just always been able to use puters better with icons over command lines, so when the mac gui became available i jumped on it. DOS kinda left me a little dry, and the original apple dos-like experience was no better, so..........

-- zog (, November 06, 1999.

Thanks for posting this Diane! Whew, our iMac is ready and able :-) We trashed the Quicken stuff a long time ago. Running OS 8.6, very nice. Michael Taylor will guinea pig OS9 ;^) Still gotta update IE, running 4.01, which is OK (they say), but hear tell 4.5 is good. Baby-stepping this computer stuff! Major migraine whenever downloading 'n updating -- yikes! It's easy but we're too newbie to know what to do if something glitches out ...

One thing that's smart to do is download all tried 'n true updates of all software very soon, before the Net goes blinkers. We've been doing that bit by bitsy bit ...

-- Ashton & Leska in Cascadia (, November 06, 1999.


I have updated the Mac programs that I use [some mentioned above]. This is trivial compared to the one important app I run on Win98 which [so far] has required 22 patches. What I have now is one large patch [no this is not from MS; it is a very specialized program]. I question whether some of this stuff is going to run when the date changes. It is like writing a whole new app [developed by an incompetent code writer; me].

Best wishes

-- Z1X4Y7 (, November 06, 1999.

Z1X4Y7 (,

What MicroStuffey program is that?

A company I consult with (marketing, internet research & special projects) is still in the Y2K compliant dark ages. Daily they use Windows98, MS Word, Access97, Excel, Eudora, Internet Explorer, PowerPoint, etc.

I keep prodding them that they need to get someone in to fix things... a.s.a.p.


They'll just let one of the older PC's "die" but they haven't bought that replacement yet.


Diane (hugging my little Mac)

-- Diane J. Squire (, November 06, 1999.


Whoa, thanks so much for the heads-up. Forget Y2k, now its OS 9.0 I gotta worry about.

This post has saved my middle school (full of Macs) a gazzillion headaches. We were going to install OS 9 as soon as it came in. Now, NOT!

I just got a new G3 today (for home), and the last thing I want to do is trash all my apps by loading a problem OS.

Bowing to the Mac I hug all of my new megahertz.

-- semper paratus (, November 06, 1999.


It is a statistics program, used by people in some area's of science. It is not an MS program. It deals with data over time and is very date sensitive. My question with this pile of patches is as follows: I have their word that it has to be fixed; I also have their word that the patches fix the problem. As a cynic, I will wait and see. Leaving again and will stop travel in mid-Dec.

Best wishes,,

-- Z1X4Y7 (, November 06, 1999.

semper paratus:

I am still running OS 8.1 on my Mac's. I use them for graphic analysis. I find that every time I change OS's that I spend a month dealing with fixes. They now do the job without problems. I really need an overwhelming reason to change OS's.

Best wishes,,,,,

-- Z1X4Y7 (, November 06, 1999.

One last question. Among the programs listed above, I saw Outlook Express, but not Outlook. I ask a question a few weeks ago [from on the road] about the date sensitivity of Outlook. I was in Nortwest Washington [not that far from Redmond] and tried to access my e-mail from my laptop. It appears that the battery had failed and the thing reverted to 1956 [Aug to be exact]. The response from the Web access site was that the clock in my computer was wrong and that I could not access my e-mail. This was with a Mac. I have now talked to a PC person who had the same problem. Someone may have provided an answer, but I travel so much that I only have a few days to check in and I miss alot.

Best wis

-- Z1X4Y7 (, November 06, 1999.

Thanks Diane.

Going to trash Quickbooks and go back to MYOB I guess, but will go back to a manual system to run parallel in December.

Very glad Photoshop, Illustrator and Quark Xpress aren't on that list, not to mention all the FTP and Internet software programs I use.

8.6 is nice. Runs great on the G4, have some issues running it on the G3 and 9600. Will hold off on OS9. Have all the peripherals that they say are not compatible with OS9.

I do love my Macs though. Got a generator just for them.

-- INVAR (, November 06, 1999.

semper paratus... I LUST!!!

(Lucky you).


Be prepared... solar calculator, pencils, hand sharpener and lots of graph paper. Or be prepared to change jobs.


(22 patchs... thats NOT comforting!)


I love MYOB, but Id check on that one too. They must have a web-site somewhere. Didnt they sell out to someone? Cant recall now. Dont use/need it at the moment.

Since generators sound like rasty fingernails on a chalk board to me, Ill just go camping. The Mac can be ballast or something until juice is restored. Or not.

(If I won the Lotto--cept I forget to buy a ticket--Id buy a G-3 or G-4? laptop and a solar panel all its own).


-- Diane J. Squire (, November 06, 1999.


Need the power of the G3's & 4's. Doing heavy Hi-res graphics.

I 'spose if'n you just using the Mac for basic business and netsurfing, A g3 is a bit of overkill.

But 'aint it fun?

BTW, did you see the new iBooks? In your case, just rev up the generator long enough to charge your batteries and you are all set for camping and writing your memoirs.

-- INVAR (, November 06, 1999.

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