Guess What Time it is?

By Shamus Posted Friday Feb 13, 2009

Filed under: Nerd Culture 23 comments

This post went live at 6:31:30PM ET on Feb 13, 2009. That’s 1234567890 in Unix time. (Seconds since January 1, 1970.)

Just thought you should know.


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23 thoughts on “Guess What Time it is?

  1. Brian says:

    …Shamus, you magnificent bastard. How long have you been planning this?

  2. Ludo says:

    You mean we only have 277 more years before the counter runs full ? what will become of us, o tragedy !

  3. vdeogmer says:

    It’s not every day you pass such an important milestone, this will change the way I keep time forever.

  4. Erik says:

    “You mean we only have 277 more years before the counter runs full ? what will become of us, o tragedy !”

    Nope. You’re still thinking in decimal. :-) We have less than 30 years until it rolls over (on January 19, 2038, to be exact) at (2^31)-1, or 7FFFFFFF in hex. That’s going to make Y2K look easy to fix.

  5. Kimari says:

    That’s the most interesting and worthless piece of trivia I’ve ever seen.
    Also, did you know that cows can be led upstairs but not downstairs?

  6. Eric says:

    Well, I guess that “Dork” label in your picture next to your Escapist columns is rightfully earned… :)

  7. Scott says:

    When did you set THIS up to post? I can’t imagine you got lucky…

  8. Jeff says:

    Also, did you know that cows can be led upstairs but not downstairs?
    As the Patrician once said, “The trick of getting donkeys down from minarets is always to find that part of the donkey which seriously wishes to get down.”

  9. Sam says:

    You’re way more of a geek/dork/nerd than I thought you were, Shamus.

  10. Jabor says:


    You meant “Dork!”, right?

  11. Bryan says:

    Erik: Only if time_t stays a signed int32. Making it unsigned (which has other issues) will give another 68 years; making it either signed or unsigned int64 will give another … uhh, far more years than I want to think about.

    And since 64-bit programs’ time_t is indeed 64-bit (at least on Linux/x86; no idea about various other kernels or architectures), all we have to do is replace everything with a 64-bit binary. That can’t be hard, right? :-P

    But to be slightly serious — I think (almost) 30 years to upgrade everything to 64-bit is far more than we need. The 32-bit transition took a few years, but nothing like 30.

  12. Allen says:

    It’s Allentine’s day?

  13. Ingvar says:

    Bryan @ #14:

    The main problem isn’t “time_t inside a program”, it’s all the places where it’s slapped firmly into a file format or protocol specification. Those bastards are almost impossible to change smoothly (tip, if you EVER design a file/protocol format that needs to represent time down to the second, reserve 16 (if you want to be OK until end of year 9999) or 17 (if you feel better about year 99 999) octets and use ISO date-time strings).

    Incidentally, “lack of storage space” seems to have been one of the major reasons behind the Y2k problem, since sticking the century indicator in is a whole whopping 2 characters per record, it was a significant savings, back then and that created a file-format whose legacy, 30-40 years later, probably cost more than it would have cost to spend the money initially.

  14. Rats says:

    Heh, i wondered about that when i looked at the tile of the post. I was in a bar last night counting this down with some friends…

    Happy progressive Unix time day.

  15. Zaghadka says:

    This post brought to you by the letter “U.”

    “U” Is for Unix. oF 1 – 2 – 3 – 4 – 5 – 6 – 7 – 8 – 9 – 0 oF

  16. R4byde says:

    I’m going to tell this to everyone I know, just to see what kind of look they’ll give me. :)

  17. Yar Kramer says:

    This apparently caused some shennanigans in Ragnarok Online

  18. vdgmprgrmr says:

    Now we just have to wait for 9876543210…

  19. Face says:


    Good one though!

  20. Tacoman says:

    Yep, ultimate nerdery. Well played sir, well played.

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