The Year 2038 Problem

I was reading up on calendar data structures and came across something I hadn't thought about in years: the 2038 problem.

This is more serious than the year 2000 problem that was supposed to lead to the collapse of technological society. Out in my neck of the relatively modern woods, all that Y2K meant was that a few applications started displaying 19100 instead of 2000, and a few others showed the wrong time or date. They were fixed with minimal incident.

Y2038 is more serious. It's a problem a lot of Unix applications will suffer if they're still running in 34 years. Now, that might sound far-fetched, but, consider this: many important parts of Linux were written in the early 1990s, and haven't yet been updated. Many of these programs were originally written in the early 80s, and the origins of Unix as we know it go back to 1970.

We're already past the halfway mark: Unix is 34 years old, and there are only 34 years left until 2038. So, let's be conscious of this issue, and start dealing with it now, before it's too late.

The Year 2038 Problem - and follow the link to TAI.