Y2K evangelist seeks to cash in his URL for $US1M

After six years of creating awareness of possible Year 2000 glitches as the result of the date rollover from 1999 to 2000, Canadian computer consultant Peter de Jager says his work is nearly done and he's ready to cash in his URL.

The domain name for his Web site, Year2000.com, is now on sale at eBay with a minimum bid price of $US1 million.

"We created the Year 2000 Information Centre in 1995 for a single purpose - to create awareness of the year 2000 computer problem and to get people to take the problem seriously. To the best of our ability we achieved that goal," said de Jager in a message to visitors at the Web site.

The auction will end at midnight US Central time at the end of the day on January 1, 2000.

With five days to go, no bidders have been found. But eBay officials aren't concerned. "It's not unusual to see a lot of action take place in the last 24-48 hours of an auction," said spokesman Kevin Pursglove. "On the other side of the coin, the cold hard reality to the auction process (is that) sometimes you can put an item up there and nobody's interested in it."

The highest know price for the sale of a domain name is $US7.5 million, which was paid in November 1999 for the Business.com name. Santa Monica, California-based eCompanies paid that sum to a Houston businessman, Marc Ostrofsky.

Another big ticket sale: Compaq's $US3.35 million purchase of the altavista.com domain name in 1998 from AltaVista Technology. Compaq subsequently sold an 86 per cent stake in Altavista to CMGI, an investment firm, for $US2.3 billion in July.

De Jager and his partner, Tenagra, a Houston-based Internet marketing agency, also are offering a $US10,000 reward for suggestions leading to a buyer for the domain name.

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Stacy Collett

PC World

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