Wednesday, 1 January 2020


At the stroke of midnight universal coordinated time 1970, the Unix epoch began. Counting the seconds from that point on and treating everyday as if it had eighty-six thousand four-hundred of them (discounting leap seconds makes the logging events slightly asynchronous with time as measured by atomic clocks but this discrepancy is factored in later in dating), the calendar convention does not have the y2k problem built into the programming from the beginning.
However, under the current conventions for designating a timestamp, Unix will experience its own on 19 January 2038, when the thirty-two-bit integers that seconds are stored in exceed capacity and reset to 13 December 1901. The future implications of this bug weren't appreciated until around 2006 when programmers (a notoriously lazy group) began to realise that their kludge, a temporary solution—a quick and dirty work-around, for computer operations to never time out (substituting forever for after a billion seconds, about thirty-two years) started to cause an overflow error when the tumblers roll over.