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Win95 short date style problem

Posted on 1999-07-29
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Last Modified: 2013-12-16
I am sure many are aware of the Win 95 short date style Y2K related problem. When you go to Control Panel | Regional Settings and click on the Date tab you see that by default Win 95 makes the Short Date Style M/d/yy instead of the preferred M/d/yyyy.  I want to roll out a fix for this to approx. 130 users.  Does anyone know if Microsoft offers a fix?  If not, I was thinking of creating a .reg file to modify the appropriate registry settings.  Any ideas on what reg settings to modify without screwing anything else up?  Any ideas/comments would be appreciated.
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Question by:tdiamond
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21 Comments
 
LVL 3

Expert Comment

by:knowme
ID: 1747697
tdiamond,

Well, the same thing it happened to us. My department instructed us to do the settings to be changed. But as a result, we were obliged to go into individual PC and modify the settings from there. I dont think so there is a patch or registry editor that will automatically change the settings to the desired format we wanted as a four digit numbers.

If I were you, sent email to your users and instruct them how to go to control panel and change the settings from m/d/yyyy format. Thats what I did for I got 350 users with me and send them notes and they are all done.


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Author Comment

by:tdiamond
ID: 1747698
That is exactly what I want to avoid.  I can't be sure that everyone will do what I ask if I send out an e-mail.  I need a way to be absolutely sure that everyone gets this fix before Y2K.  I still think that there has to be a way of modifying registry settings using a .reg file.
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LVL 13

Expert Comment

by:Epsylon
ID: 1747699
I'm not sure if you are aware of this. The short date is only used for display. Internally the system uses the full year.
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LVL 1

Expert Comment

by:deltree
ID: 1747700
You would likely have to do it programatically. Got a guy with a few spare minutes? We did a Wise install for most of our programs, and had the machines email a log file to us for tracking, as many programs are installed in the wrong directories (grrr). Guess I'm getting lazy in my old age.
It's not in the registry, it's win.ini, as I recall. (my memory is really bad, though)
And Epsylon is right, that's just for display.(though we changed it)
Better paranoid than sorry!
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LVL 13

Expert Comment

by:Epsylon
ID: 1747701
Yes, it in win.ini:

[intl]
sShortDate=d-M-yy
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LVL 5

Expert Comment

by:bparnes
ID: 1747702
Could someone (tdiamond?) explain to me why the short date format is a Y2K problem that needs this level of fixing?

Are you going to have users who will be confused about which century it is, when they see a date in the short date format? I can assure you that any computer that is able to display the date correctly in the long format is not going to be confused about the century, and most all the Y2K concerns are with computers being confused.
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Author Comment

by:tdiamond
ID: 1747703
I feel that there is a need to address this problem at my organization.  Do you have anything to contribute?
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LVL 5

Expert Comment

by:bparnes
ID: 1747704
I understand that you feel it is a problem. I am trying to find out what the nature of the problem is. It may well be that you are mistaken in your feelings, and that what you feel is a problem isn't really one. It may also be the case that you will need to fix more than just the way the short date is displayed in order to remedy the real problem.

From my perspective the problem with the short date format is getting the user to interpret it appropriately. That doesn't seem like much of a problem to me, which is why I asked you to expand on the description of the problem. Once I have that greater understanding I may well be able to contribute more to help you solve the problem you feel you have to address.

Also recognize that you are not the only person reading this. Others are reading this too. Some of them may agree with me that it isn't much of a problem, and you could educate us as to why it is. Others may agree with you that it is a problem, and I can try to convince them that it isn't (unless you succeed in convincing me first that it is). Ultimately we can all learn a little more about this problem if we keep talking in good faith.
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LVL 13

Expert Comment

by:Epsylon
ID: 1747705
It's not a Y2K problem at all. In the latest version of Windows 98 (SE) it still is M/d/yy. It realy is only for display. As you can see there is also an longdate...
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Author Comment

by:tdiamond
ID: 1747706
Epsylon--Are you telling me that because Win98's default short date format is M/d/yy I should believe that it is not at all a Y2k problem?  Thats pretty funny...  You could be absolutely correct in saying that it is not a Y2K problem but your logic seems a bit off.

bparnes--Microsoft gives the advice, in the form of a quick tip, of changing the short date format to yyyy (see link below).  That seems like a good enough reason as any to change it.  I also like the idea of viewing fully distinguished dates to avoid any confusion on the part of the user.  I don't want the user to have to "interpret" the date when there could be an easy way to show them the full date.

http://computingcentral.msn.com/guide/year2000/msy2k/learningmore/quicktip.asp
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LVL 13

Expert Comment

by:Epsylon
ID: 1747707
Nothing to add.....
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LVL 5

Expert Comment

by:bparnes
ID: 1747708
I've read that article now, and it is indeed a tip. It doesn't say why they think it should be done and that is what I'm hoping someone here can clarify. I've long gone beyond doing things just because someone at Microsoft says to. If I didn't behave that way, I'd be going full time just reading everything on their site and acting on it.

To set this in perspective (an enhancement of Epsylon), if the short date format were REALLY a problem, do you think Microsoft would have left short dates as an option for people to use? It would have been trivial for Microsoft to have removed the short date format as an option (let alone the default) from their latest versions of their operating systems if they thought the format was an actual risk to Y2K compliance. Suffice it to say, they didn't.
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LVL 1

Accepted Solution

by:
dragonlord earned 800 total points
ID: 1747709
REGEDIT4

[HKEY_USERS\.Default\Control Panel\International]
"sShortDate"="MM/dd/yyyy"

This is what I used to patch all 2000+ machines in our public microlabs.  The only apps that will read the short date from the ini file are 16-biters :)  Hope this is what you need :)  For future .reg files, you can download a file call regdump.exe from www.pyzzo.com.  Then you run it, make changes, and run it again and get a .reg file with all the registry changes.  very nice and it's free.  TTFN!
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Author Comment

by:tdiamond
ID: 1747710
dragonlord--My thanks are beyond words.  Finally, someone who is willing to answer my question instead of wasting my time questioning whether or not what I am trying to do is necessary.  You are a scholar and a gentleman.
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LVL 1

Expert Comment

by:dragonlord
ID: 1747711
Hey, glad to help.  That and the windows 95 update from www.microsoft.com/y2k and you should be good to go as far as the OS is concerned :)  Have a great day!
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LVL 13

Expert Comment

by:Epsylon
ID: 1747712
> Finally, someone who is willing to answer my question instead of wasting my time questioning whether or not what I am trying to do is necessary.

How could your say a thing like that? People here try to help you IN THEIR OWN TIME and if that's not good enough, go some place else, you stupid @%#$@%^#$^@!

Sorry for wasting your time, tdiamond!!!!
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LVL 13

Expert Comment

by:Epsylon
ID: 1747713
> Any ideas/comments would be appreciated. (see your question)

NOT!

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LVL 13

Expert Comment

by:Epsylon
ID: 1747714
Sorry for losing my temper........
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Author Comment

by:tdiamond
ID: 1747715
Epsylon--Hey, I can understand your anger and you are right, people do make time out of their own schedule to answer questions like mine.  I appreciate all the help I have received from the people at experts-exchange over the years.  I just got frustrated after repeatedly being questioned about what I had already made a firm decision about.  I was looking for a quick answer not a drawn out debate.

Just to clarify though, if you go back and read my question, I said "Any ideas/comments would be appreciated" to the following:

"I want to roll out a fix for this to approx. 130 users.  Does anyone know if Microsoft offers a fix?  If not, I was thinking of creating a .reg file to modify the appropriate registry settings.  Any ideas on what reg settings to modify without screwing anything else up?"

I did not ask for ideas/comments concerning whether or not the short date format in Win95 was a valid Y2K problem or whether it was necessary or not to address.
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LVL 5

Expert Comment

by:bparnes
ID: 1747716
That's not quite honest, tdiamond. You did say "Any ideas/comments would be appreciated."  But that was the closing sentence to the (only) paragraph that began "I am sure many are aware of the Win 95 short date style Y2K related problem."

I'm sorry I did not realize that you were restricting ideas/comments to the later part of the paragraph only. I'm also sorry that you interpreted my input as wasting your time.

My intention was entirely in trying to help you avoid an enormous waste of time (from my perspective), and meanwhile learn something about this purported "problem" if my understanding was incorrect. I clearly failed to prevent you from wasting your time and I apologize for not being perceptive enough to pick up on what you wanted me to give you and the rest of the readership here. Best of luck in rolling out this "fix."
 

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LVL 5

Expert Comment

by:bparnes
ID: 1747717
Before this fades from everyone's mind I thought you would enjoy reading the following, which IS from microsoft and essentially says what epsylon and I have been saying here. Please note that Microsoft calls it a "y2khoax" and those who spend their time acting on the hoax information are the ones wasting their time. I hope this info save someone a lot of time. Best to all...

http://www.microsoft.com/y2k/hoax/y2khoax.htm
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