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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 10589
Corey Murtagh <em***@slingsho t.no.uce> wrote:
AngleWyrm wrote:
The entire planet's 3 thrillion barrels of oil is about 25% gone, and at the
current rate of 80 million/day, it will be completely gone within the lifespans
of some of the folks walking the earth today.


Last time I heard a prediction on that (which wasn't all that recent,
admittedly), trend analysis on usage vs known (or suspected) supplies
put the run-out point around 2025.


The two previous times I heard predictions on that, the dates were 1980
and 2000. So I'm not scared. I see much better reasons for finding
alternative sources of energy; Shell, Exxon, and the oil-guzzling USA
getting a bit nervous don't matter much to me.
My solution is that I plan to be dead around 2040 or so.


15 years after the oil runs out and we're all paying US$20/gallon for
vehicle grade alcohol :>


I won't. I'll never be paying US$20 or US$ anything for anything.

Richard
Nov 14 '05 #51
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

Nov 14 '05 #52
Alan Balmer <al******@att.n et> wrote:
On Thu, 27 May 2004 14:42:45 -0700, Tobin Fricke
<fr****@ocf.ber keley.edu> wrote:
On Thu, 27 May 2004, Alan Balmer wrote:
The only reason it didn't happen was because we fixed it.


I don't recall you getting anywhere near my coffee machine or volkswagen.

Vastly overblown it was.


What was overblown was Joona's rhetoric, which was why I ignored it.


Joona's rhetoric was mild compared with the hullabaloo which occured in
the newspapers and on TV. Those _did_ present scenarios where everything
from automobiles to coffee makers stopped working - and worse, would
suddenly go berserk. Remember the "all Russian nuclear missiles are
going to go kabloom because they detect a wrong date" scare? Well, I do.

Richard
Nov 14 '05 #53
Villy Kruse <ve*@station02. ohout.pharmapar tners.nl> wrote:
On 28 May 2004 04:15:10 GMT,
Joona I Palaste <pa*****@cc.hel sinki.fi> wrote:
I am quite sure I've heard stories about everything having an
electronic timer stopping working in 2000.


I'm sure these stories didn't come from the professionals who knew
what they were talking about.


Of course. It wasn't the programmers creating the scare, it was
journalists looking for a story, politicians looking for a vote, and
conmen looking for a fleece. Which is _exactly_ why it was so overblown.

Richard
Nov 14 '05 #54
"Bob Day" <xx*****@yyyyyy y.com> wrote in message
news:nZ******** *********@nwrdn y03.gnilink.net ...

"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.


Indeed, the problem was worked on for over a year and a half at my
workplace. I personally spent many a Saturday and late night for a full
year, with no extra money - ah, salary. Our system had a 2000 and a 20XX
problem (I forget the exact year - maybe the 2038 Unix year) and we spent
many man-hours fixing the problems so that all the sales people would get
their commissions on time, and not have them sent to their grandfathers!

--
Mabden
Nov 14 '05 #55
"corrlens" <as*@me.later > wrote in message
news:CK******** **********@news read1.news.pas. earthlink.net.. .

"Guillaume" <gr*******@NO-SPAMmail.com> wrote in message
news:40******** *************@n ews.club-internet.fr...
In 2038 all OS (Unix included) will have 64 bits
to hold a Date value and with 64 bits the rollover
will happen 292 billion years after 1/1/1970.


Which is why we probably won't ever need any more than
64 bits to hold dates.

Our galaxy will probably have collapsed by then, and
maybe along with the whole universe.


Hoping we haven't contacted any kind of higher intelligence Humans from
other planet and they want us to modify our date to theirs.


Especially if they happen to be trans-dimensional beings with Multiverse
time / space co-ordinate expectations that require 2048 quad-bit timeline
calculations.

But perhaps we could just send a few Christians over and get them all to
convert to Jesus Time (r).

--
Mabden
Nov 14 '05 #56
"Mike Wahler" <mk******@mkwah ler.net> wrote in message
news:3P******** **********@news read1.news.pas. earthlink.net.. .

"Joona I Palaste" <pa*****@cc.hel sinki.fi> wrote in message
news:c9******** **@oravannahka. helsinki.fi...
q@q.com <q@q.com> scribbled the following
on comp.lang.c:
No need to go into 'panic mode'.
There is time to resolve this issue
in a calm, cool and collected manner.
Certainly 64 bit processors and/or long long
data type will go a long way to resolving the issue.
But there will NOT be any need to import
thousands of H1b visas to fix this problem.
Y2K was definitely blown way out of proportion!
This was done by high priced consulting companies
trying to justify their worth.


What's with the obsession about H1b visas then, eh?


Some folks are insecure, and thus greatly fear
competition. I welcome it.


They filled a perceived need. That need is over. They may go now.

--
Mabden
Nov 14 '05 #57
"T.M. Sommers" <tm*@nj.net> wrote in message news:<0q******* *************@t elcove.net>...
Dan Pop wrote:

So, what's the next massive problem we have to worry about, now that we
have just solved this one?


The Y10K problem, when all those 4-digit years everyone is so
proud of become obsolete. If it took several years to fix just
40 years worth of software for the Y2K problem, just think how
long it will take to fix 8000 years worth of software for the
Y10K problem. We had better get started right away. There is no
time to lose.


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.
Bob McAdams
Fambright
Nov 14 '05 #58
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.

Richard
Nov 14 '05 #59
q
I do not think that t was ever equal to zero,
t only approches zero.
rossum wrote:
On 27 May 2004 21:27:14 GMT, go***********@b urditt.org (Gordon
Burditt) wrote:

[snip]

My personal preference would be for a 256-bit number of picoseconds since
the creation of the universe. It gives better precision than 1 second.
It won't run out during the life of this universe. The only trouble is,
we don't know accurately when that was.
Gordon L. Burditt

< mode = nitpick >
Not quite accurate. We know precisely when the universe started; at
time = 0. The problem is that we don't know what the time is now.
< mode = whatever_passes _for_normal >

rossum

--

The Ultimate Truth is that there is no Ultimate Truth


Nov 14 '05 #60

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