Frequently Asked Questions -- GPSy Year 2000 Compliance

FAQ Index

GPSy Year 2000 Compliance (Y2K Bug) Overview

GPSy's TM core code and GPS engine are Year 2000 Compliant. However, as with any part of a complex integrated system, GPSy's Y2K compliance is also dependent on the Y2K Compliance of the hardware it interfaces with as well as the general Y2K compliance of the Global Positioning System. While we do our upmost to ensure that other component's Y2K non-compliance is handled properly by GPSy, we cannot take responsibility for all possible situations since they are beyond our control. Please note that Year 2000 compliance statements are based upon the latest shipping version of GPSy and GPSy Pro. We encourage all clients to monitor and upgrade to the latest versions by subscribing to the GPSy-list mailing list.

On this FAQ page, please find information detailing GPSy's Year 2000 Compliance and the compliance of attached equipment. For information on MacOS Year 2000 compliance, please see the Apple Computer's Apple and the Year 2000.

GPSy Year 2000 Compliance: Details

The following components of GPSy are Year 2000 Compliant:

Display EngineYes All display routines are Y2K Compliant (as per standard MacOS toolbox).
AppleEvent EngineYes All AppleEvent routines are Y2K Compliant (as per standard MacOS toolbox).
NMEA-0183 Protocol EngineYes GPSy's NMEA-0183 Protocol Engine is Y2K Compliant. However, as the NMEA-0183 protocol holds dates/years using a 2-digit non-Y2K format, the "sliding window" solution is used to attain Y2K compliance. All dates > "90" are assumed to be 199x and dates <= "90" are assumed to be 2000-2090. We properly handle the Y2K bug in older Trimble receivers where year 2000+ dates are displayed as 3 digit NMEA numbers.
Garmin Protocol EngineYes GPSy's Garmin Protocol Engine is Y2K Compliant.
Rockwell Protocol EngineYes GPSy's Rockwell Protocol Engine is fully Y2K Compliant.
Sony IPS Protocol EngineYes GPSy's Sony IPS Protocol Engine is Y2K Compliant. However, as the Sony IPS protocol holds dates/years using a 2-digit non-Y2K format, the "sliding window" solution is used to attain Y2K compliance. All dates > "90" are assumed to be 199x and dates <= "90" are assumed to be 2000-2090.
Trimble Protocol EngineYes GPSy's Trimble Protocol Engine is fully Y2K Compliant. However, some older Trimble units are not Y2K compliant (see below) due to the GPS Week Rollover Problem. GPSy will attempt to detect this issue with older units and compensate. A sliding window is used where if the GPS Week is < 900 and the system year is > 1997, then the GPS Week += 1024.
Code CompilationYes Please read the Year 2000 Compliance for Metrowerks Compilers. We use the CodeWarrior Pro compiler. Our code is standard C/C++ using the standard C library and MacOS toolbox.

GPSy Pro Compliance

GPSy Pro shares the same code base as GPSy and is Y2K compliant to the same degree. See the above chart for details.

However, please note that GPSy Pro uses the Department of Defense World Magnetic Model Epoch 1995 (WMM-1995) for local magnetic declination calculations. While the WMM-1995 model is year 2000 compliant, the data has only a 5-year validity as issued by the Department of Defense Defense Mapping Agency (DoD DMA) and is not guaranteed past the 5-year epoch (although it will continue to extrapolate data past the epoch period). Thus, GPSy Pro customers will need to upgrade to a new version of GPSy Pro after the year 2000 in order to maintain the validity of the WMM magnetic declination calculations. This is not a Y2K bug but simply the end of the data sample's validity.

Global Positioning System Y2K Compliance

In general, the Global Positioning System does not suffer from either the classical Y2K problem nor the oft-mentioned GPS-week rollover problem. Practically all civilian and military units in circulation will not suffer from either as well. Some of the DOD mainframe/control systems may have the Y2K problem, however the major systems should be clear by the time the problem comes around. Despite what your brother-in-law may have told you, planes will not come crashing to the ground and trains colliding when the digits come rolling around. Sorry to disappoint you.

This bibliographical list was originally written by Marc Brett (and taken off the internet) with further additions by Karen Nakamura:


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This page was last updated on March 11th, 1999. We've had [N/A] hits since April 20th, 1998.