Kopec Explains Software
Computing Concepts Simplified
1 year ago

#105 The 2038 Problem

It's Y2K all over again!

On January 19, 2038, certain non-updated legacy systems that use Unix time will roll their dates around to December 13, 1901. In Unix, time is recorded as the number of seconds since January 1, 1970. Because a signed 32-bit integer is used to record this value on many legacy systems, they will run out of seconds in 2038 (a signed 32-bit integer can record numbers up to 2,147,483,647, and that's the number of seconds between January 1 1970 at 12:00:00 AM and January 19, 2038 at 3:14:07 AM). Many legacy operating systems, programming languages, and databases that use signed 32-bit integers to record Unix time are still in use in non-updated embedded systems. In this episode we explain the problem and its potential implications.

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