Utahns who purchased computers with the flawed Pentium chip seem to be reacting calmly to the furor that has erupted about the chip, manufactured by Intel Corp.

On Tuesday, Intel announced that it would exchange the chip - the brains running the world's fastest personal computers - for corrected versions. Reversing a previous policy, the company will make the trade without requiring customers to prove that they needed to use the computers for the kinds of higher calculations that are affected by the flaw.The decision followed more than a month of controversy. According to postings on the Internet, a worldwide web of computer connections, Intel discovered the flaw in the new processor months ago but said nothing publicly until a math professor stumbled upon it and posted the error on the Internet.

That set off a firestorm of complaints, with computer users demanding recall of the chip. Intel initially stood firm, refusing to replace the chip, except for people who could prove they needed it.

However, IBM announced it would no longer ship computers with the flawed chip. Then after some consultants advised against mass purchases of computers with the Pentium chip, Intel backed down. The company announced it would make the exchanges at its own expense, and it apologized for its previous intransigence.

As one petition pointed out, many computer users could encounter the error, including engineers who need to design struc-tures that must be safe, financial analysts, designers, scientists, mathematicians and users of business spreadsheets.

The flaw doesn't affect such uses as word-processing, games and lower-level math. Utahns who purchased computers with the Pen-tium chips seem unconcerned about the flap, for the most part.

"We have customers with concerns, but we have had no one complaining about problems with it," said Danny Smith, general manager of Burgoyne Computers, 414 E. 300 South.

For those worried about whether their computers are affected, Smith has provided a formula that will show the flaw. Invoking the calculator built into the "Windows" program, the user divides the number 4,195,835 by the number 3,145,727. Then the result is multiplied by 3,145,727, which of course would result in the first number if the calculator worked correctly.

An Intel official with the "Pentium Hotline," Tom Waldrop in Santa Clara, Calif., pointed out that owners of computers with Pentium chips could get information about the pending exchange by calling 1-800-628-8686. This is the toll-free numberto call to get new chips free of charge.

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"There are basically three possible ways or avenues that people might proceed down for replacement," he said:

- Getting a new chip sent from Intel, and making the change themselves. "If they're comfortable going inside their computer," the chip is easily changed. People can call a toll-free number and get advice on it from Intel.

- Going to a service center that Intel will set up to make the exchanges. Where these will be, Waldrop doesn't know yet, but "I'm sure there'll be enough to make it practical."

- Going to the computer manufacturers to get the chip changed. "We're working with those manufacturers, too, helping them, and in fact sharing some of the financial pain."

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