Unix year 2038

by thulashi 2014-01-16 10:27:18

Although Y2K is passed, we’re not out of the woods just yet. Not all computers handle dates in the same way, and many computers based on the UNIX operating system handle dates by counting how many seconds a date is since 01/01/1970. For example, the date 01/01/1980 is 315,532,800 seconds after 01/01/1970. This number is stored on these computers as a “signed 32-bit integer”, which has a size limit of 2147483647. That basically means it can only handle dates that are up to 2147483647 seconds after 01/01/1970 – which only takes us up to the 19th of January 2038, after which, we may have problems again.

This is especially true when we consider that UNIX-based software is more commonly used in “embedded systems” rather than a home PC – that is, systems that have a very specific purpose closely related to their hardware, such as software for robotic assembly lines, digital clocks, network routers, security systems and so on.

You must LOGIN to add comments