Wednesday, December 26, 2007

TRAX mystery solved

Several times, when I have been waiting at a TRAX platform, I have noticed a problem with their clocks.

The computer has reset itself, and the date reads January 19, 2038. I've often wondered what that meant. Maybe it was some sort of sign that the world will end in 30 years or so.

Then I learned that the Linux operating system has a Y2K-like problem coming up on January 19, 2038. For those of you who speak geek, read here.

Problem solved, I think....

1 comment:

Shaun said...

Ah yes... UNIX time is seconds since january 1 1970 I believe. That date is supposed to be the end date once you have filled a signed 32bit integer. (2.1 billion seconds + january 1 1970)

If it were reckoning in 64 bit numbers you would have trouble displaying the end point for UNIX time.

I think that happens in ~292 billion years (~584 billion if it's an unsigned integer). Either way, it's some time after the sun turns into a red giant and overtakes the earth in its orbit.

Isn't it funny the difference 4 byte integers make versus 8 byte integers?

Just for fun... I determined that a 16 bit integer value for time would put the end of time 9 hours from the beginning. 18 hours if unsigned...

I think we hit the sweet spot with 32 bit time.