The Year 2038 problem

Remember the Y2k problem where the world was expected to end because computers did not know what to do when the year 2000 was reached?

Well start preparing, a similar issue will arise if you are still using a 32 bit computer on Tuesday 19 January 2038!

Technically it is because “when the clock strikes 03:14:07 UTC on Tuesday, 19 January 2038, a total of 2147483647 seconds since 1 January 1970 will have passed. Computers will then not be able to distinguish between the real time and date, and the year 1901.”

You don’t need to wait till them to have the problem hit you though – it may affect you sooner if you are trying to enter the year 2038 into any of your programmes (eg maybe financial planning etc)

The easy solution is to run 64 or 128 bit operating systems (like later versions of Windows). The majority of PC’s were expected to be capable of running 64 bit systems by this year. Not sure when exactly 64 bit systems will crash but it is way, way further into the future.

see http://www.nzherald.co.nz/technology/news/article.cfm?c_id=5&objectid=11375717 for more info.

So what use is this and why am I telling you? Just interesting and a piece of useless information that you might be able to drop into the Xmas lunch conversation to show how intelligent and well informed you are!! Hope it helps you to make small talk with that (not) favourite rellie that you never ever see and have nothing in common with!