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schwern (1528)

schwern
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Schwern can destroy CPAN at his whim.

Journal of schwern (1528)

Friday February 08, 2008
08:06 PM

Critical and Significant Dates

[ #35620 ]

Speaking of 2038, J R Stockton wrote up an enormous and comprehensive list of Critical and Significant Dates. The original site has, alas, been knocked out but the Wayback Machine remembers all.

It's a fascinating look back at historical date and time related crises as well as possible future ones. 2038 is, of course, on there but there are hundreds more between now and then. Not just computing problems, but multiple ends of the world ranging from Mayan predictions to near-misses by asteroids. The last crisis point to pass was 2008-01-19 when 30 year look aheads fail. Next up is an unusually early Easter, 2008-03-23.

Not so exciting but what about 2010 when a lot of not particularly robust Y2K fixes will fail and 2019 when yet more will fail? Various dates used as magic marker values happen. 2009-09-09 (09/09/09) and 2011-11-11 (11/11/11). 2008-12-31 is coming up, the 366th day of the year which has caused major failures in the past. 2015-09-05 is when Apollo/HP 32 bit machines run out of time.

After 2025 the pace of systems failing accelerates. Quickbooks starts to die in 2025. 2028 overflows systems that store the year as 1900 + signed byte. More Y2K fixes break in 2028 and 2029. MSDOS file dates start to fail in 2030. Palm Pilots die in 2031. Microsoft's Y2K compliance ends at 2035...

Looking far, far into the future, around the year 300 billion 64 bit time_t runs out. Finally, in the year 2^1E80, it becomes impossible to express the date as the size of the year in binary is larger than the number of particles in the universe.

But by then I think we can safely assume we'll all have migrated to a 1e160 particle universe.

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  • But by then I think we can safely assume we'll all have migrated to a 1e160 particle universe.

    You haven't already?