Vendors of the Pick database system, much loved by the healthcare and government sector, have few pretensions about their position in the wider market that is dominated by Oracle Corp, IBM Corp, Informix Software Inc and Sybase Inc. Pick has a 1% market share, they boast – about four million users worldwide. But they have hit upon a unique marketing ploy that may revive its image. While much of the rest of the industry struggles to update its products to avoid the year 2000 date-change problem, Pick users are able to sit back and relax, says Pick Systems Inc, which recently launched the next-generation version of its database for Windows95 and NT under the new name of D3 (CI No 3,060). Pick database technology is based on an internal rather than external date system, which means that the world according to Pick began on ‘Day One’, 1 January 1968 and runs to infinity. Note the start-up date: it betrays Pick’s roots as a software package originally commissioned by the US government to handle the supply of helicopter parts to the United States forces fighting in Vietnam.