# The 2038 Problem

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## 14 Replies - 1920 Views - Last Post: 09 January 2009 - 06:52 AM

### #1 RodgerB

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# The 2038 Problem

Posted 06 January 2009 - 10:53 PM

Quote

By the year 2038, the time_t representation for the current time will be over 2 140 000 000. And that's the problem. A modern 32-bit computer stores a "signed integer" data type, such as time_t, in 32 bits. The first of these bits is used for the positive/negative sign of the integer, while the remaining 31 bits are used to store the number itself. The highest number these 31 data bits can store works out to exactly 2 147 483 647. A time_t value of this exact number, 2 147 483 647, represents January 19, 2038, at 7 seconds past 3:14 AM Greenwich Mean Time. So, at 3:14:07 AM GMT on that fateful day, every time_t used in a 32-bit C or C++ program will reach its upper limit.

One second later, on 19-January-2038 at 3:14:08 AM GMT, disaster strikes.

http://pw1.netcom.co...ermw/Y2038.html

Epic fail.

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## Replies To: The 2038 Problem

### #2 no2pencil

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## Re: The 2038 Problem

Posted 06 January 2009 - 10:56 PM

I'm going to go out on a limb & assume that by 2038 there will be very very few 32 bit computers in use.

### #3 RodgerB

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## Re: The 2038 Problem

Posted 07 January 2009 - 12:04 AM

The fact this time flaw exists even after y2k is lollable. I don't expect anything major to happen and any client using 32-bit at that time probably deserves to live in 1901, but the fact the flaw exists says a lot about how much the UNIX developers actually care about quality control of a possible catastrophic failure.

### #4 ayman_mastermind

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## Re: The 2038 Problem

Posted 07 January 2009 - 12:16 AM

RodgerB, i don't think that in 2038, 32 bit computers will still be popular as they are now, as the article says, in 2038 most computers will become 128 bit if not even more, so i don't think there will be a disaster out of that...

### #5 baavgai

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## Re: The 2038 Problem

Posted 07 January 2009 - 04:32 AM

no2pencil, on 6 Jan, 2009 - 11:56 PM, said:

I'm going to go out on a limb & assume that by 2038 there will be very very few 32 bit computers in use.

I still find Windows 95 boxes about. I got rid of a DEC mainframe a few years ago that was older than the one in the Smithsonian.

While logically I'd agree with you, I've seen people in the real world consistently hang onto crap for way too long.

There will be 32bit computers in 2038 and probably more than anyone expected.

### #6 josiahb

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## Re: The 2038 Problem

Posted 07 January 2009 - 06:35 AM

My office will still have them.....

Only kidding, well kinda.

Seriously though, the closer we get to this deadline the more likely there will be the same totally pointless panic when everyone starts believing planes will fall out of the sky and their washing machine will explode as there was in 1999.

### #7 Nykc

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## Re: The 2038 Problem

Posted 07 January 2009 - 06:45 AM

you mean it is safe to come out from my secret underground bunker?

### #8 OliveOyl3471

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## Re: The 2038 Problem

Posted 07 January 2009 - 08:20 AM

No! Get back in there. I'll tell you when to come out.

### #9 BigAnt

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## Re: The 2038 Problem

Posted 07 January 2009 - 08:25 AM

See, they know about the problem now, almost 30 years ahead of time, but come 2038 there will probably be panic like Y2K.

Given that most computers will not be 32 bit at that time, but there will still be enough of them to have a panic, prorbably not as bad as Y2K but there will still be panic.

### #10 Nykc

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## Re: The 2038 Problem

Posted 07 January 2009 - 08:35 AM

Banks will not be prepared for this....

### #11 KYA

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## Re: The 2038 Problem

Posted 07 January 2009 - 08:45 AM

We better bail them out now! O wait...

### #12 gl3thr0

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## Re: The 2038 Problem

Posted 07 January 2009 - 11:50 AM

w/e we'll be enjoying the 'The Singularity' with computers at least as smart as a person.

there will be no problem

### #13 Nykc

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## Re: The 2038 Problem

Posted 07 January 2009 - 12:12 PM

Saw this on A.O.T.S monday.

This almost deserves it's own topic.

This post has been edited by Nykc: 07 January 2009 - 12:13 PM

### #14 gabehabe

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## Re: The 2038 Problem

Posted 09 January 2009 - 06:50 AM

Looks like it did deserve its own topic, eh Nykc?

### #15 Nykc

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## Re: The 2038 Problem

Posted 09 January 2009 - 06:52 AM

Of course it did