Minor Y2K Fix for Excel 98 -- Microsoft Corporation has released a minor update to Excel 98 for Macintosh to address a problem exporting date information to text files using Visual Basic for Applications (VBA). Dates with four-digit years will be exported using two-digit years, meaning century information about the dates is lost. Depending on how the data is subsequently used, this may cause date problems: for instance, Excel 98 assumes two-digit years 00 to 29 are in the 21st century, so any dates pointing to the years 1900 through 1929 would be misinterpreted by Excel if they were exported to a text file using VBA, and re-imported into Excel 98. Other applications may interpret two digit years as being in the 20th century, while some use varying "date windows" for interpreting two-digit years. (See "Parsing Like It's 1999" in TidBITS-475 for more details.) This issue applies only to dates with four-digit years exported to text files using VBA: no other instance of saving or exporting Excel data is affected. Microsoft's Excel 98 Y2K Update is available for English language versions of Office 98, either as a new part of its Mac OS 9 Updater for Office 98 released earlier this month, or separately as an 818K download for those who have already installed the Mac OS 9 update. Microsoft says versions for non-English versions of Office 98 should be forthcoming. [GD]
Set Time Zone Automatically in Snow Leopard
Frequent travelers may be interested to know that in Snow Leopard your time zone can now be set automatically by bringing up the Date & Time preference pane, clicking the Time Zone view, and selecting Set Time Zone Automatically. A progress spinner appears while Snow Leopard sends off information about the Wi-Fi signals in your vicinity and receives location data back.
- Parsing Like It's 1999 (05 Apr 99)
Published in TidBITS 511.
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