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The Year 2038 Problem

As per Google's Usenet archives
[http://groups.google.com/googlegroup...ounce_20.html], the
first discussion of the Y2K problem on the Usenet was on January 18
1985 [http://groups.google.com/groups?thre...0%40reed.UUCP]. That
is a good 15 years before the problem manifested. Even then, it
turned out, we were scrambling for cover when the D-day was
approaching.

Although the Y2K scare turned out to be vastly overblown, we do have a
massive problem ahead of us ------ the Year 2038 problem. On Mon Jan
18 21:14:07 2038, the Unix seconds-since-epoch count will "roll-over".
After that, the time on the Unix systems will read as Fri Dec 13
14:45:52 1901.

IMHO, if we want to avoid the last minute panic that we witnessed
towards the end of the last millennium (while pursuing the Y2K
problem), we should begin the process of debating the viable solutions
to this problem NOW. It will take a long time for the consensus to be
built, and to come up with a solution that most (if not all) people
find acceptable. We also need considerable time to test out all
possible solutions in the real world, to decide if the solutions
really work as expected. We may also need to develop a suite of
recovery strategies should the problem manifest in some system on that
fateful Monday morning. All this takes time. So, as the late Todd
Beamer would have said: Let's roll.

Bhat
Nov 14 '05
248 10592
Mabden wrote:
OK, Topic Nazi!


Godwin's Law invoked. Thread terminated.
Nov 14 '05 #171
On 28 May 2004 18:16:23 -0500, Dale Henderson <ni****@hotpop. com>
wrote:
>> "AB" == Alan Balmer <al******@att.n et> writes:

AB> The only reason it didn't happen was because we fixed it.

I was actually tasked with fixing one of these "y2k Bugs".

I had to rewrite a CGI script for the Air Force. The old one only
cared about the last 2 digits of the year I had to modify the
script to accept all 4 digits. (Presumably the air force can't infer
that a birthday marked 82 means 1982 and not 2082 (or 1882) and
has to be explicitly told.)


I obviously can't speak to that particular application, but the
so-called "window" solutions to the problems have limitations. In
fact, last month I invested significant effort to fix a program (data
storage in an educational environment) which broke when the university
involved enrolled an 82 year old student.
Of course this broke the badly
designed reporting format that the marketing company used and that
had to be redone too.

Quite a bit of work so it could be labeled Y2K compliant and make
DoD happy when the original script was quite sufficient.


For what range of years would it have been sufficient? Do you know for
a fact that it will never have to handle dates outside that range?

I got caught several years before Y2K. In 1973, I wrote a serial date
function (in assembler, fortunately) which would overrun its 16-bit
word size on a certain date in 1993. I even added a comment to that
effect. Neither I nor my employer ever imagined that software package
would still be in use twenty years later. You can guess the end of the
story - in early 1993, I was contracted to fix it. I was able to use
the overflow bit to double the function's range. If it overflows
again, I'll be many years past caring :-)

--
Al Balmer
Balmer Consulting
re************* ***********@att .net
Nov 14 '05 #172
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Nonymous wrote:
>I assume that $20 is after inflation, which means it'll be on par
>(in constant dollars) with what we pay for petrol or ethanol
>today. Hardly a problem, though I'd expect us all to be running
>on hydrogen by then; ethanol is a transition fuel.

And where does the power to extract that hydrogen come from?

Nuclear power plants.


Now you are really trying to pull my chain. Better known as a
silly way to boil water.

'boil water'? How does one get hydrogen from vaporized water?


1) A nuclear power plant uses atomic decay to heat water to steam.
2) The steam goes into a steam turbine to generate electricity.
3) The electricity is used to electrolize water into hydrogen and oxygen
4) The oxygen is discarded, leaving hydrogen to power those hydrogen
engines.
[snip]
- --

Lew Pitcher, IT Consultant, Enterprise Application Architecture
Enterprise Technology Solutions, TD Bank Financial Group

(Opinions expressed here are my own, not my employer's)
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Nov 14 '05 #173
"John Smith" <JS****@mail.co m> wrote in message
news:40******** ******@mail.com ...
Mabden wrote:
OK, Topic Nazi!


Godwin's Law invoked. Thread terminated.


Ah, at last someone gets it!

It hard to be a Troll in the City these days!

--
Mabden
Nov 14 '05 #174
rl*@hoekstra-uitgeverij.nl (Richard Bos) wrote in message news:<40******* *********@news. individual.net> ...
rw*@fambright.c om (Robert W. McAdams) wrote:
Actually, the next big date problem is the Y2100 problem (at least for
those who aren't still concerned about Y2K, which is still 44 years
away). Many programs still assume that any year that's evenly
divisible by 4 is a leap year.


That's a small date problem, easily corrected. All it takes is an
amendment of a tiny expression to a still not complicated expression.
No changes to any interface are needed, so this is very straightforward
to put into effect.


It is certainly a much smaller problem than Y2000 was, since it will
not require changes to files or databases (which, in turn, have to be
coordinated with changes to all the programs that use those
files/databases), and since application programmers will not have to
wait for system software changes before addressing the problem. But
it does mirror other aspects of Y2000, in that it will take effect
everywhere at the same time and will affect all platforms and
languages (which could potentially overload available staff if it is
not dealt with in advance), and there is no way to determine which
applications need to be changed short of actually looking at the logic
in each one.
Bob McAdams
Fambright
Nov 14 '05 #175
Je***********@p hysik.fu-berlin.de wrote in message news:<2h******* *****@uni-berlin.de>...

Well, if I am not completely mistaken, there's quite a bit of a
difference in the _concentration_ the stuff has been hidden 'under
the rug' by nature (plus stuff like plutonium doesn't seem to be very
common there) and the one the waste products are going to be stashed
away in. Or did they come upt with a way to distribute that stuff
evenly over a volume of a small mountain range and nobody told me?


Actually , the issue is not CONCENTRATION, but RADIOACTIVITY. Nuclear
waste is, initially, much more radioactive than the uranium ore that
was mined to produce the nuclear fuel that, in turn, produced the
waste. But the most radioactive isotopes contained in the waste also
have short half-lives. The result is that if you can isolate the
waste from the biosphere for 1,000-10,000 years (depending on the type
of waste), at the end of that time it is less radioactive than the
uranium ore that was mined to produce it. (This is in sharp contrast
to, e.g., the toxic chemical wastes produced by coal combustion, which
never decay.)

Technologies already exist for isolating nuclear wastes from the
biosphere for that period of time. (In fact, the best of these
technologies utilizes a layered approach, in which a number of
isolation techniques are used together, each of which, by itself, is
capable of isolating the waste from the biosphere for substantially
more than 10,000 years.)
Bob
Nov 14 '05 #176
Bob Day <xx*****@yyyyyy y.com> coughed up the following:
"Gerry Quinn" <ge****@DELETET HISindigo.ie> wrote in message
news:MP******** *************** *@news.indigo.i e...
In article <nZ************ *****@nwrdny03. gnilink.net>,
xx*****@yyyyyyy .com says...
"Generic Usenet Account" <us****@sta.sam sung.com> wrote in message
news:90******** *************** **@posting.goog le.com...
< snip >
Although the Y2K scare turned out to be vastly overblown,
< snip >

Idiot!! It wasn't "vastly overblown" at all. The fact is,
we did a damn good job fixing it.


In countries where little or no effort was put into preventing it, no
significant problems occurred either.

"Only the vigilance of our firefighters has prevented this 2000-year
old forest from burning to the ground dozens of times over the last
decade!"

- Gerry Quinn


Pull your head out of the sand for a moment, and take
a look at: http://www.grantjeffrey.com/article/y2kretro.htm

-- Bob Day


Indeed, I agree totally. But even if someone doesn't agree, /WHY/
*must* there always such a rush to 20-20 hindsight condemnation?

--
Everythinginlif eisrealative.Ap ingpongballseem ssmalluntilsome oneramsitupy
ournose.
Nov 14 '05 #177
Mabden <ma****@sbcglob al.net> coughed up the following:
"John Smith" <JS****@mail.co m> wrote in message
news:40******** ******@mail.com ...
Mabden wrote:
OK, Topic Nazi!


Godwin's Law invoked. Thread terminated.


Ah, at last someone gets it!

It hard to be a Troll in the City these days!

Nice try.
--
Everythinginlif eisrealative.Ap ingpongballseem ssmalluntilsome oneramsitupy
ournose.
Nov 14 '05 #178
Lew Pitcher <Le*********@td .com> coughed up the following:
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Nonymous wrote:
>> I assume that $20 is after inflation, which means it'll be on par
>> (in constant dollars) with what we pay for petrol or ethanol
>> today. Hardly a problem, though I'd expect us all to be running
>> on hydrogen by then; ethanol is a transition fuel.
>
> And where does the power to extract that hydrogen come from?

Nuclear power plants.

Now you are really trying to pull my chain. Better known as a
silly way to boil water.

'boil water'? How does one get hydrogen from vaporized water?


1) A nuclear power plant uses atomic decay to heat water to steam.
2) The steam goes into a steam turbine to generate electricity.
3) The electricity is used to electrolize water into hydrogen and
oxygen 4) The oxygen is discarded, leaving hydrogen to power those
hydrogen engines.


The pure O and O2 are fed into an O2 combustion engine to generate even
more....

(maybe?)



[snip]
- --

Lew Pitcher, IT Consultant, Enterprise Application Architecture
Enterprise Technology Solutions, TD Bank Financial Group

(Opinions expressed here are my own, not my employer's)
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--
Everythinginlif eisrealative.Ap ingpongballseem ssmalluntilsome oneramsitupy
ournose.
Nov 14 '05 #179
Nonymous <no****@nospam. net> coughed up the following:
When I was in middle school, mid to late 70's, they told us with
completely /authoritative tones/ that if the world were entirely
hollow and filled with oil that it would be used up before the year
2020.


Gee, wonder where they thought all the emmissions would go?

ROTFLMAO!!!!!!! !!!!!!!

YES!

I actually even remember one such similar argument from a clearly
ignorant teacher. Words to the effect of:

If we continue our throw-away society, the world will
be gaining mass from all the garbage...

Jeepers.

--
Everythinginlif eisrealative.Ap ingpongballseem ssmalluntilsome oneramsitupy
ournose.
Nov 14 '05 #180

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