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February 10, 2009 5:43 AM   Subscribe

1234567890
posted by swift (51 comments total) 10 users marked this as a favorite

 
For those of us that aren't nerds, the "epoch time" is the number of seconds since midnight on January 1, 1970. This is how UNIX and its derivatives represent time internally. Windows has a similar method, but uses a different date for the start of the epoch (I forget what it is and don't care). This number is stored in a signed 32-bit integer and will overflow in January of 2038, causing a similar problem to Y2K for anything still running on a 32 bit system by then. Most 64 bit operating systems already use a signed 64 bit integer for time, which won't overflow for hundreds of billions of years, i.e. long after the probable end of humanity.
posted by DecemberBoy at 5:52 AM on February 10, 2009 [4 favorites]


So, how is this celebrated?

Should I get a gift basket for the systems guys downstairs?
posted by orme at 5:54 AM on February 10, 2009 [2 favorites]


No. Just don't give him any wedgies on that day.
posted by NoMich at 5:57 AM on February 10, 2009


NERDS
posted by disclaimer at 5:58 AM on February 10, 2009 [2 favorites]


If you are a Linux user fire up a console and type

perl -e 'print scalar localtime(1234567891),"\n";'

and it will tell you when it will happen at your geographical area.
posted by dollyknot at 6:02 AM on February 10, 2009 [2 favorites]


Sorry - that should read

perl -e 'print scalar localtime(1234567890),"\n";'
posted by dollyknot at 6:05 AM on February 10, 2009 [1 favorite]


Ah, as a nerd I'm glad to have something to distract myself from the howling emptiness that is Valentine's Day.
posted by orthogonality at 6:08 AM on February 10, 2009 [9 favorites]


I forget what it is and don't care

Your favorite epoch time? It sucks.
posted by Kirth Gerson at 6:08 AM on February 10, 2009 [1 favorite]


For me it will happen on Valentine's Day.

I hope I don't get confused and give my server flowers and try to correct my girlfriend's permissions.
posted by chillmost at 6:08 AM on February 10, 2009 [5 favorites]


-rwxr--r-- 1 chillmost chillmost    8000 2009-02-09 19:00 girlfriend
-rwxr-xr-x 1 chillmost chillmost    8000 2009-02-09 19:00 mom
Oh yes, I went there...LAST NIGHT!
posted by DU at 6:13 AM on February 10, 2009 [9 favorites]


For those of us who made it to the twenty-first century:
python -c 'import time;print(time.asctime(time.localtime(1234567890)))'

posted by phooky at 6:40 AM on February 10, 2009 [4 favorites]


Cool, but only because 1234567890 epoch time will fall on my birthday.
posted by kisch mokusch at 6:41 AM on February 10, 2009


5318008 ႨoႨ
posted by Potomac Avenue at 6:45 AM on February 10, 2009 [1 favorite]


Numerology has no place in modern times.
posted by blue_beetle at 6:53 AM on February 10, 2009


For those of us who made it to the twenty-first century:
python -c 'import time;print(time.asctime(time.localtime(1234567890)))'


The twenty-first century looks complicated.
posted by swift at 6:59 AM on February 10, 2009 [3 favorites]


If you made it to the twenty-first century without having to learn yet another programming language:

$ date -d @1234567890
posted by ghost of a past number at 7:09 AM on February 10, 2009 [9 favorites]


For some reason I thought the post was going to be this.
posted by P.o.B. at 7:10 AM on February 10, 2009


10 PRINT "FRIDAY OR THEREABOUTS"
20 GOTO 10
posted by ook at 7:12 AM on February 10, 2009 [2 favorites]


$ date -d @1234567890

Or depending on your system:

$ date -r 1234567890
posted by howling fantods at 7:13 AM on February 10, 2009 [3 favorites]


Does this have anything to do with addable time?
posted by Dr-Baa at 7:16 AM on February 10, 2009


Phew, though it was a link to a new Feist song.
posted by ALongDecember at 7:25 AM on February 10, 2009 [4 favorites]


Before there was Unix:

1st Roman Soldier: What is the time? 2nd Roman Soldier: XX past VII.
posted by netbros at 7:31 AM on February 10, 2009 [1 favorite]


Is this something from which I would need to take more than 'there is a space missing between: secondsuntil' to understand?

Also does the fact that I typed the previous sentence at all, mean it might be relevant to me?

Finally should I be reading into the absence of tags?
posted by therubettes at 7:52 AM on February 10, 2009


perl -e 'print scalar localtime(1234567890),"\n";'

perl -le 'print scalar localtime(1234567890)'
posted by sidereal at 7:53 AM on February 10, 2009


Yes, on January 13, 2038 there will be another Y2K problem. "But all Linux computers will be running 64 bit Linux by then." No, small embedded Linux and Unix based systems like the iPhone and Android and your DVR will probably still be running on low-power, low-cost 32 bit processors. It is more difficult to resolve than the Y2K problem because fixing it in software can make the problem worse unless everything is recompiled (as is required on 64 bit systems).

And you don't have to wait until 2038 for problems to appear. Some software looks ahead to determine timeouts. AOL has already had server crashes because of it.

The Unix Epoch is for nerds which means only nerds will know what is going on when society collapses in 2038.
posted by eye of newt at 8:34 AM on February 10, 2009


No, small embedded Linux and Unix based systems like the iPhone and Android and your DVR will probably still be running on low-power, low-cost 32 bit processors.

That's crazy talk. Do you really think you'll still be using an iPhone or a DVR or anything remotely similar to either of them twenty-nine years from now?

That'd be the equivalent of using a VIC-20 to surf the net today.
posted by ook at 8:47 AM on February 10, 2009 [1 favorite]


I believe the event occurs at @980 in Swatch™ brand Internet Time®.
posted by Nelson at 8:56 AM on February 10, 2009 [5 favorites]


I've never had so much fun using my console. Thanks guys.
posted by alligatorman at 9:32 AM on February 10, 2009


Yes, on January 13, 2038 there will be another Y2K problem.

Civilization's spectacular failure to collapse on January 1, 2000 has lulled everybody into a false sense of security. I fully expect Y2038 to signal the beginning of the End Times. I have already begun stockpiling canned food, toilet paper, ammunition and lawn care products.
posted by ghost of a past number at 9:33 AM on February 10, 2009


No, small embedded Linux and Unix based systems like the iPhone and Android and your DVR will probably still be running on low-power, low-cost 32 bit processors.
Are there currently embedded systems running low-power, low-cost 16-bit processors? I suspect there are, but not many.
posted by fantabulous timewaster at 10:00 AM on February 10, 2009


Well, seeing as I'll be 74 in 2038, the collapse of the nerdtime continuum may coincide with my death, throwing me into another dimension full of the green women Captain Kirk banged and thousands of hot Tina Fey lookalikes. If so, I won't complain. If not, nerds suck!
posted by jamstigator at 10:02 AM on February 10, 2009


Phew, though it was a link to a new Feist song.


1-2-3-4
Fire up your dual-core
5-6-7-8
Console tells the date
9-0
*computar asplode*
posted by mannequito at 10:07 AM on February 10, 2009 [9 favorites]


btw, Dollyknot - I used your code on my machine:

~$ perl -e 'print scalar localtime(1234567890),"\n";'
Sat Feb 14 00:31:30 2009


uh, should I be worried this Saturday?
posted by mannequito at 10:09 AM on February 10, 2009


You should be worried 1 second after
$ perl -e 'print scalar localtime(2147483647),"\n";'

posted by swift at 10:48 AM on February 10, 2009


For those of us who made it to the twenty-first century

Maybe by 2038, programming will have advanced far enough that it'll take even longer to specify.

In Emacs, M-x hanoi-unix will display a large Towers of Hanoi puzzle and solve it at a rate of one move per second, such that it will finish at the precise end of the 32-bit UNIX epoch. If there's a geekier UNIX time hack, I don't know about it. (And, yes, there's M-x hanoi-unix-64, too, if you have even more spare time.)
posted by Zed at 11:15 AM on February 10, 2009 [1 favorite]


Oh, is this turning into a perl golfing thread? Okay, well I see your bet and raise you perl -le 'print ~~localtime(1234567890)'
posted by Rhomboid at 11:17 AM on February 10, 2009 [1 favorite]


Pfft. The real cool epoch is 123456789101112.
posted by Blazecock Pileon at 11:29 AM on February 10, 2009 [2 favorites]


xkcd
posted by SPrintF at 12:03 PM on February 10, 2009


8675309
posted by moonbird at 12:25 PM on February 10, 2009 [2 favorites]


Bummer.

Sounder:~ bp$ perl -e 'print scalar localtime(2147483647.9),"\n";'
Mon Jan 18 19:14:07 2038
Sounder:~ bp$ perl -e 'print scalar localtime(2147483647.99),"\n";'
Mon Jan 18 19:14:07 2038
Sounder:~ bp$ perl -e 'print scalar localtime(2147483647.999),"\n";'
Mon Jan 18 19:14:07 2038
Sounder:~ bp$ perl -e 'print scalar localtime(2147483647.9999),"\n";'
Mon Jan 18 19:14:07 2038
Sounder:~ bp$ perl -e 'print scalar localtime(2147483647.99999),"\n";'
Mon Jan 18 19:14:07 2038
Sounder:~ bp$ perl -e 'print scalar localtime(2147483647.999999),"\n";'
Mon Jan 18 19:14:07 2038
Sounder:~ bp$ perl -e 'print scalar localtime(2147483647.9999999),"\n";'
Fri Dec 13 12:45:52 1901

posted by Blazecock Pileon at 12:42 PM on February 10, 2009 [4 favorites]


That link is sort of a /. Rickroll, right?
posted by Chuffy at 1:18 PM on February 10, 2009


/me successfully replicates Blazecock Pileon's results, starts equipping computer with lightning arrestor and flux capacitor
posted by eritain at 4:51 PM on February 10, 2009


Woah, Blazecock Pileon went all steampunk on us.
posted by dirigibleman at 5:42 PM on February 10, 2009


Do you really think you'll still be using an iPhone or a DVR or anything remotely similar to either of them twenty-nine years from now?

Well, lets go back in time 29 years for reference. Heck, let's go back 39 years! Unix was already created, with the same epoch bug that still exists today. Hasn't been fixed in 39 years. Wireless phones and video recorders existed. I'm curious, just what changes do you see in the next 29 years that hasn't happened in the last 39?

Are there currently embedded systems running low-power, low-cost 16-bit processors? I suspect there are, but not many.

Microchip and TI and many other companies would be rather surprised to hear that, considering they sell millions of 4, 8, and 16 bit processors, many of them are almost the same ones they've been selling for 30 years. With embedded it is all about cost. People argue about parts that cost 5 cents too much, which is why these devices will only have as much power as they need to accomplish their job. Calculators and toasters will have 4 bit processors, and very complex devices will have 64 bits or more and somewhere in the middle will be 32 bit devices. Considering the multiple decade longevity of Unix so far and low cost of Linux, there's no reason to think it will go away in the next 29 years, and it runs just fine on these 32 bit devices.

I've been waiting for bionic computers and mental telepathy communications since I was a kid and there's nothing even close yet, so I'm not getting my hopes up for anything in the next 29 years. If you have a different vision I'd love to hear it.


And, as I said before, this bug is already causing problems.
posted by eye of newt at 8:53 PM on February 10, 2009 [1 favorite]


Oh, man, I googled Unix Is Female and came up howlingly empty.

Does no one remember and keep sacred this meme from the prehistoric
days?
posted by telstar at 11:41 PM on February 10, 2009


It's interesting that it took so long for the wave of interest to catch on about this date. I remember blogging about the rollover to 1,111,111,111 back in March of 2005. And I've been looking forward to February 13, 2009 ever since.

Unix Time's 1111111111 Second Countdown

We will soon witness the last significant numerological date in computer history during our lifetime (using decimal notation at least, so long as the standard for Unix time maintains signed 32-bit integers).
posted by rkrause at 10:38 PM on February 11, 2009


8675309

Moonbird, everyone knows that should be 6345789. That's MY number.
posted by Nick Verstayne at 4:06 PM on February 12, 2009


I can't resist. I feel guilty, but...

python -c 'import time;print(time.asctime(time.localtime(1234567890)))'

Pffft.

ruby -e "puts Time.at(1234567890)"

(Howlin Fantods and Ghost Of A Past Number remain the golf winners)
posted by BinaryApe at 10:57 AM on February 13, 2009


Is anyone else disappointed that this didn't come up in xkcd today? Stupid vday, ruining everything.
posted by lunit at 1:01 PM on February 13, 2009


So, how is this celebrated?

In... two hours 34 minutes, 57... 56... 55 seconds, it will be officially drinking time.
posted by quin at 2:01 PM on February 13, 2009


happy 1234567890, eveyone!
posted by potch at 3:34 PM on February 13, 2009


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