Virtual Clock Moves AIX Through 2000

While Year 2000 exposures on AIX or other Unix systems may not be as widespread as on other platforms, applications and data on these boxes still need to be checked. However, simply rolling the system clock forward to see what happens may be too risky for some date-sensitive Unix applications. For example, demo, rental or leased software may expire on the spot. That's why SolutionSoft Systems Inc. (Santa Clara, Calif.) recently began shipping a tool for simulating Year 2000 dates in AIX-based applications.

SolutionSoft's Time Machine intercepts programs' calls to the system clock at the kernel level and substitutes a date and time selected by the user. This "virtual clock" for applications enables both past and future dates to be tested. Time Machine also enables multiple dates to be simultaneously tested on different applications.

Time Machine is also offered for HP-UX, Sun Solaris and HP-MPE/iX operating systems. Currently, Time Machine is supported on versions 3.25 and 4.15 of AIX, with support for 4.21 and 4.31 in beta.

3M Company (Minneapolis) has been employing Time Machine throughout its organization to assess, on a piecemeal basis, the Year 2000 readiness of a large network of Unix boxes. Each application is being separately converted and tested to avoid disruptions in operations, says Ken Tibesar, Year 2000 project manager of 3M's manufacturing systems. Since Time Machine enables concurrent testing, there has not been a need to coordinate testing of Unix applications with other systems, Tibesar says.