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A reader suggested last week that with all the missiles and bombs raining down on Yugoslavia, it would at least ensure future US arsenals are Y2K compliant. Gulp. This idea is a hard one to stomach, given that it suggests a cynicism far greater than even the most hardened hacks that throng The Register's offices can muster. The fact is that the embedded semiconductor market is enormous and no-one has any real idea about whether chips and embedded software in these devices will go belly-up come midnight on the 31st of December this year. That's probably why Virgin Atlantic decided it wasn't going to fly its planes then -- just to be on the safe side, so to speak. Intel says that any chip from the Pentium onwards is Y2K compliant but it's not x86 processors, necessarily, that are the culprits. Some embedded systems use DOS derivatives as software and we've just no way of telling how many of these have been tested and certified Y2K compliant. ®

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