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The End of Time (UNIX)

Did you know... Time will "end" for 32-bit computers on 19 January, 2038.

James Clewett explains.

32 bit computers are slowly being replaced by 64 bit computers on the market. I do not know computer science but it would probably not be a problem because by 2038, 32 bit computers would probably be no longer be sold. I am using a 64 bit Macbook Pro Late 2011 so this doesn't affect me.
Yeah, I know but it is 25 years until then so there will not be many 32 bits computers left. Even my 8 years old computer is 64 bits.

64 bits expands the possible uses for unix time. With 32 bits it was mostly useful for timestamps and for storing times not very far away. If you want to store any date, e.g. 200 BC, you couldn't do that with 32 bits, but with 64 bits it's possible.
Indeed, Unix aficionados have seen this one coming for a long time, way before the y2k problem. Unix and related OS's (Linux, BSD, etc.) have traditionally counted time as seconds since 1970. That number ticked over to one billion a while after y2k occurred, which wasn't a problem since 32 bit numbers count a lot higher. An integer on a 32 bit machine, or a long integer on a 16 bit machine, can hold a number a little larger than two billion, which brings us to the year 2038 without overflow. In fact if the time value is stored as an _unsigned_ integer, which it's supposed to be, we would be good past 2100. Since no one wants to count on that, there is a potential for programs to go awry in 2038, and we can imagine the potential for code reviews like we did for y2k.

In fact, 32 bit machines are already a little long in the tooth and we should have a new standard for time representation within the next few years which solves the problem. Even 32-bit machines (of which there may be many -- embedded computers in smart toasters, etc.) will be coded to use the new 64-bit values. The only question which will need to be asked in 2038 is, "Was this code upgraded to current standards within the last 20 years?".

* * * Unix: Better by design * * *
With Windows XP support ending in April next year, and with pretty much every new retail PC being 64 bit, 32 bit computing will be gone sooner than you may think.
Thank you for this information. I can see that 64 bit has its remarkable ending and give us a great memory.
Using a 64-bit representation indeed solves the problem.

Most operating systems designed to run on 64-bit hardware already use signed 64-bit time_t integers, effectively eliminating the Year 2038 problem in any software that has been developed to use the extended format. Using a signed 64-bit value introduces a new wraparound date that is over twenty times greater than the estimated age of the universe: approximately 292 billion years from now, at 15:30:08 on Sunday, 4 December 292,277,026,596.


Even keeping track of milliseconds, instead of seconds, gives more than enough range when using 64 bits.
Its good to know that with technology these days we can surpass the end of the known universe.

There is a Utopia for us all Wink
so because UNIX time ends we should change our OS ? i like the old but good 32bit win xp ! but it seems it is time to change it.
sysna wrote:
so because UNIX time ends we should change our OS ? i like the old but good 32bit win xp ! but it seems it is time to change it.
XP has been microsofts most recent success, surely.
2038 are the new Y2K bug Smile
bahba wrote:
2038 are the new Y2K bug Smile
You could make a lot of money from offering the upgrade to companies using the old system Smile
i will be 50 years old that time Very Happy so i'm not worry about it , by the way 32bit systems will be replaced completely till then , the only problem is that now PC/Laptops are getting 64bit still tablets/phones are 32bit and this will be a problem.
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