Did You Party Like It Was 1234567890?

Only technophiles would recognize this event, but at 3:31 PM PST on Friday the 13th, 2009, Unix time reached 1234567890. Unix time is the number of seconds since the beginning of the "Unix Epoch" at midnight UTC on January 1st, 1970 (not including leap seconds).

Celebrations abounded (seriously!), but now(!) there is the dread of the Epochalypse. Anyone remember the Y2K scare? While that mostly fizzled, there is a similar scenario scheduled for Tuesday, January 19, 2038.


Yep, that year, you'll have the same principle as Y2K. Systems using a 32-bit signed integer will wrap around, and be stored internally as a negative value, meaning that it'll be 1901 (sorta). That's bound to create software havoc.

The big problem is that while Y2K could be easily understood by Joe Schmo, this is something only computer scientists and geeks might see coming. Hopefully, there will be an early enough alert so that people take it seriously.

For now, let's party like it's 1234567890!
Via:  Various
Tags:  Unix, Date, Apocalypse
Comments
3vi1 5 years ago

A couple of months back, I was looking at some time/date fields in a Cisco CallManager 4.2 database and this occurred to me.  I quickly did the math and told my co-workers "IT'S GOING TO BE 1234567890 ON FEBRUARY FRIDAY THE 13th 2009!!!"

My next revelation was that the "weird geek guy" that everyone had been talking about for the last 18 years at work was me.

Super Dave 5 years ago

[quote user="3vi1"]My next revelation was that the "weird geek guy" that everyone had been talking about for the last 18 years at work was me.[/quote]

Most likely everyone that posts on this forum is the "weird geek-guy" at their respective places of employment.Surprise Unless, of course, you are employed by HotHardware!

 

bob_on_the_cob 5 years ago

[quote user="Super Dave"]

[quote user="3vi1"]My next revelation was that the "weird geek guy" that everyone had been talking about for the last 18 years at work was me.[/quote]

Most likely everyone that posts on this forum is the "weird geek-guy" at their respective places of employment.Surprise Unless, of course, you are employed by HotHardware!

 

[/quote]

Yeah I realized that a good while ago. Now when someone tells me a boring story I talk about the transition from 32bit to 64bit and how it differs from the 16bit to 32bit transition. They usually get the point quickly.

mazuki 5 years ago

well there's 2 simple ways to fix it, drop the signed integer, or sign extend it, both are very easy to do, most beginner books on assembly programming teach it

i only know of java using signed integers as the only option for storing numbers anyway, so changing how they are stored should be relatively easy with an update

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