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(Gizmodo)   The Mayan Apocalypse was obviously stupid, but this is the exact date when our computer world ends. For real   ( divider line
    More: Interesting, Chandra X-ray Observatory, Michio Kaku, interstellar travel, galaxy clusters, civilizations, integers, Unix, red giants  
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8967 clicks; posted to Geek » on 27 Dec 2012 at 2:14 PM (5 years ago)   |   Favorite    |   share:  Share on Twitter share via Email Share on Facebook   more»

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2012-12-27 02:20:15 PM  
7 votes:

Dinjiin: Meh. I'd worry about the Y2038 issue first.

Unlike the Y2K bug, which was mostly hype and only affected a handful of poorly written programs, the Y2038 issue could have some potential for impact. Anything which uses the time_t, which is the recommended method of keeping track of time in programs, will fail on systems where it maps to a signed 32-bit integer. So even properly developed software, including operating systems, will fail.

There is a lot of software from the 60s-90s still running on modern mainframes and servers within virtual machines (VMs) that will need to be reprogrammed, notably a lot of old stuff programmed in COBOL for the finance and banking sector.

Most mainframes and UNIX systems have switched to using signed 64-bit integers to store time_t, which is what the article is joking about in a tongue-and-cheek way. So yeah, we're good for another 293 billion years if you're using that in your software.

In a decade or two, even that might be pushed out. It is a matter of time before processors used in mainframes, servers and workstations switch from using a 64-bit integer as their native data type to either 128-bit or even 256-bit. It is usually faster and easier to manipulate a value stored as the native data type than something smaller, so time_t might get bumped in size again. Some people propose that when we get to that point, we might switch from the number of seconds since 1901 to the number of milliseconds since 1901.

/you can read about more time bugs here
//the mid-2030s will be a boom time for COBOL programmers

There was once a COBOL programmer who was getting burned out with all the Y2K
conversions taking place. He was so stressed out that he finally arranged to
have himself put in cryostasis until after Jan 1, 2000.

Time passed and he awoke to find himself in a white room with lots of people
rushing around. A voice from behind his head spoke in an awed whisper, "He's
awake!" Activity in the room stopped as all turned to look at him. He was a
bit nervous and asked if everything had gone ok - was he in good health and so
on. A nurse assured him he was ok, the doctors declared all his tests showed
him to be in excellent health. He was given a sumpious meal and all his wishes
were immediately fulfilled.

While all this attention pleased him it also made him a bit nervous. He kept
asking what day it was and he was told to never mind that all was well.
Finally about a week after he awakened a very official man walked into the room
and sat in the chair near his bed. He told the programmer that the Galaxy
Leader wanted to speak with him. A screen came down from the ceiling and a man
appeared who had a eerie resemblence to Bill Gates, he spoke....

"I have some bad news for you. You were scheduled to be awakened on 8/1/2000
but there was a glitch in the programming and it is now 8/1/9999. You have
nothing to worry about, all disease and war have been eliminated and the world
lives in peace and harmony. We hope to continue to live this way, but to do so
we need your help....

We understand you know COBOL......"
2012-12-27 01:09:30 PM  
3 votes:
lolbrary.comView Full Size

2012-12-27 02:58:55 PM  
2 votes:
ProfessorOhki: Then again, your home router thinking it's 1970 probably won't hurt anything anyway.

Will it make all my porn bushy?
2012-12-27 02:25:14 PM  
2 votes:

Dinjiin: //the mid-2030s will be a boom time for COBOL programmers

Oh great, a bunch of COBOL programmers rising from their graves....
2012-12-27 05:50:53 PM  
1 vote:
Dinjiin: And as for other embedded devices, it just comes down to programming. Because even 8 bit processors like the old 6502 can do 64 bit math. They're just slow at it since they have to work in 8 biatchunks.

I love the filter.
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