Below is an excerpt from the Year 2000 Information Sheet on Embedded Chips supplied by the South Australian Business Centre.
Electronics engineers in Maine, USA have developed the following procedure to identify embedded chips systems which may be subject to the effects of the so-called Millennium Bug in stand-alone (ie non-computer) electronic devices.
Six Steps To Identifying Problem Chips.
Does it operate with electricity? If no, the device is low risk. Examples of low-risk things include wind-up clocks, tables, chairs, etc.
If yes, look further.
Does it have a battery? If no, it is low risk. Some low-risk devices include lamps, hair dryers, electric pencil sharpeners, analog (traditional) clocks, etc.
If yes, look further
Does it have a display? If no, it is low risk. Low-risk devices include paper shredders, power supplies, refrigerators, some of the older microwaves, etc.
If you consider the equipment does have a display or one that may be otherwise attached then look further.
Does it have a microprocessor? If no, it is low risk. Low-risk devices include TV sets, stereo equipment, computer monitors, etc.
If yes, look further.
Does it have a calender? If no, it is low risk. Low-risk devices include paper shredders, power supplies, refrigerators, some of the older microwaves, etc.
Does the device use the calender to schedule events? If no, then it is low risk. Examples of low-risk devices include digital clocks or calenders that don't schedule anything; cameras, watches, etc. These are low risk because the operation of the item is not dependent upon an accurate calender and routine operation of the device depend on what date is shown.
If yes, look further since the embedded chip device clearly falls into the potentially high-risk category for being subject to the effects of the Millennium Bug.
Examples of high-risk devices include ut are not restricted to; phone systems, fax machines, irrigation systems, energy management systems, security systems, ATMs, card-readers, sophisticated health equipment, etc. All high-risk devices need to be investigated further.
As your organisation begins looking into embedded chips, use the above checklist to minimise the number of items that you need to research most carefully. At first glance, the embedded chip problem can appear to be much larger than it need be. With a little common sense, you can save yourself a lot of time on the embedded chip search and your Millennium Bug efforts can be better focussed.
Gav's Note : I can just imagine staff looking under chairs and tables and pulling apart desk lamps and pencil sharpeners for embedded chips until the manager walks in. "Hang on guys, that's low-risk stuff. We gotta check the lunch room microwave first!".