Free watch for UK hacks as kit falls over

Clock ticks as gravy train pulls to a halt

Vendors selling Millennium Bug solutions are resorting to ever more bizarre stunts as the time for them to continue making money runs out. This time it is a watch which will expire. Meanwhile, the gravy train for PC manufacturers will roll on as companies, panicked by stories which vary from nuclear power stations going phut to pacemakers stopping their owners dead, swap to brand new machines. Computer Experts UK invited a bevy of journalists to a party in Drury Lane last night and watched as four PCs, produced by Dell, Compaq, Hitachi and Gateway all duly fell over when their clocks were pushed forward to 1 January 2000. And Ian Partington, MD of Computer Experts, said: "The truly scary thing about the Millennium Bug is its unpredictability. There is simply no telling what problems one errant bit of data will cause when introduced into an ordinary PC." The four machines which fell over were a Dell XPSD333 bought in late August, a Fujitsu ICL Technicl bought last week, a Gateway G6333 bought late August and a Presario 5130 bought on 2 September. None of the PC vendors were willing to talk to The Register today. Each journalist who attended the gig was given a Millennium Watch, showing the current time and the number of seconds left to doomsday. We were not told whether or not this watch will cease functioning when the champagne bottles are de-corked. ®

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