25 Years From Today: A Time for Bugs

25 years from today, 19 January 2038, at 03:14:08 UTC, an odd thing will happen to some of the no doubt very large number of computing devices in our world: an old, well-known and well-understood bug will cause their calculation of time to fail.

The problem springs from the use of a 32-bit signed integer to store a time value, as a number of seconds since 00:00:00 UTC on Thursday, 1 January 1970, a practice begun in early UNIX systems with the standard C library data structure time_t. On 19 January 2038, at 03:14:08 UTC that integer will overflow, as demonstrated in this animated GIF:

25 Years From Today: A Time for Bugs

For more detail on the problem, see the Wikipedia article on it. Wikipedia also has an article with an interesting collection of important time formatting and storage bugs, including Year 2038, Y2K, Days 32,768 and 65,536 and Year 10,000 — via redwolf.newsvine.com

Share this Story
Load More Related Articles
Load More By Red Wolf
Load More In Technology

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Check Also

The Tiny Monorails That Once Carried James Bond / Tom Scott

The Roadmachines Mono-Rail may have been the only ...

Photos from Flickr