Millennium Time Machine for Rent

In an unusual twist to the millennium date-change mess, mainframe computer manufacturer Amdahl Corp. earlier this month began offering "big iron" for rent to companies that need extra processing and storage space to test their Year 2000 fixes.

Called the Amdahl TimeMachine 2000, the special package deal includes the processor, storage capacity, and maintenance service. Charles Foley, vice president of systems marketing at Amdahl in Sunnyvale, Calif., says the service "presents customers with a flexible, easy way to have badly needed short-term testing capacity without using precious capital resources."

According to International Data Corp., an information technology research firm, there is likely to be a need for such a service. "IDC research has identified that large corporations need about 9% more (processing power) and 13 % more (data storage) for Year 2000 testing," says Thomas Oleson, research director at IDC in Framingham, Mass.

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