[time-nuts] A milestone approaches

Bill Hawkins bill.iaxs at pobox.com
Wed Jul 12 00:29:29 EDT 2017

Got this from a friend whose MN license plate is UNIX.

Begin copy of note

I'm curious if your friends on the time wizards mailing list have
noticed that an important moment in computer history approaches.

On Thursday night, 21:40 PM CST, it will be exactly 1.5 billion seconds
since Jan 1, 1970 UT, the Unix EPOCH.  At that instant, billions of
Linux and Unix computers and devices, everywhere on the planet, will all
return time() == 1500000000.  It will not be until 2033 when that number
reaches 2 Billion.  The Thursday date is computed as follows:

% cat >epoch.c
#include <time.h>
#include <stdio.h>
#include <stdlib.h>

int main(int argc, char **argv) {
    const time_t gsec = 1.5e9;
    struct tm thursday = *localtime(&gsec);
    char buf[100];

    strftime(buf, sizeof(buf), "%m/%d/%y %H:%M:%S", &thursday);
    printf("Epoch + 1.5B seconds = %s\n", buf);
    return 0;
% gcc -Wall epoch.c
% ./a.out
Epoch + 1.5B seconds = 07/13/17 21:40:00

And if they haven't noticed, it might be a good time to point it out.

End copy of note

Some of us are impressed by long strings of zeros, so here I am,
pointing it out.

Bill Hawkins

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