0607: "2038"

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0607: "2038"

Postby nickjbor » Wed Jul 08, 2009 4:18 am UTC

Image

Alt-Text:If only we'd chosen 1944-12-02 08:45:52 as the Unix epoch, we could've combined two doomsday scenarios into one and added a really boring scene to that Roland Emmerich movie.

http://xkcd.com/607/
http://imgs.xkcd.com/comics/2038.png
Last edited by nickjbor on Wed Jul 08, 2009 4:28 am UTC, edited 1 time in total.
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Re: "2038" Discussion

Postby Flagpole Sitta » Wed Jul 08, 2009 4:20 am UTC

I can't see this comic on the main page.... ;_;

EDIT: aaaaand never mind, now I can. That was weird.
Last edited by Flagpole Sitta on Wed Jul 08, 2009 4:21 am UTC, edited 1 time in total.
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Re: "2038" Discussion

Postby GodShapedBullet » Wed Jul 08, 2009 4:20 am UTC

Comic was probably up a little late to put the finishing touches on that art.

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Re: "2038" Discussion

Postby thinktank_09 » Wed Jul 08, 2009 4:20 am UTC

I don't get it...
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Re: "2038" Discussion

Postby takatomon » Wed Jul 08, 2009 4:20 am UTC

reload it. randal forgot to upload it at the regular time.

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Re: "2038" Discussion

Postby glasnt » Wed Jul 08, 2009 4:21 am UTC

I've been refreshing xkcd.com/607 for 20 minutes.

I was feeling sad it wasn't appearing :(

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"2038" Discussion

Postby nomulous » Wed Jul 08, 2009 4:21 am UTC

On the other hand, all the smart people made big money selling anti-Y2K software that really did nothing more than give the purchaser a sense of security. Somebody explain the title text?

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Re: "2038" Discussion

Postby nickjbor » Wed Jul 08, 2009 4:23 am UTC

glasnt wrote:I've been refreshing xkcd.com/607 for 20 minutes.

I was feeling sad it wasn't appearing :(

I hear you, I was doing the same.

FTR
"Roland Emmerich (born November 10, 1955) is a German film director, screenwriter and producer, known for his disaster and action films. "
"He is currently directing 2012,[23] an apocalyptic film inspired by the theory that the ancient Mayans prophesied the world's ending in 2012."
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Re: "2038" Discussion

Postby '; DROP DATABASE;-- » Wed Jul 08, 2009 4:24 am UTC

The correct thing to say would be it's Y2K for real this time. Then go on to explain how people who thought 2000 would be an issue had no idea how shit works*, and 1970 + 2^32 seconds is in 2038, and how 2^32 corresponds to 2 digits (0, 1) and 32-bit. By then they should be either panicked or completely baffled.

Any hacker knows what people thought would happen in 2000 really would happen in 2156. :P

*OK, systems that were storing dates in fixed-width text format would have likely had some issues, but they're doin' it rong.

Also the best way to deal with a late comic is to think "there won't be a new xkcd today because it's Tuesday", failing to realize that it's late Tuesday night and because of timezones it's Wednesday in Randall's time. Then come to read the fora and be pleasantly surprised and then feel kinda stupid for having made that mistake.
...or so I've heard <_<
Last edited by '; DROP DATABASE;-- on Wed Jul 08, 2009 4:26 am UTC, edited 2 times in total.
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Re: "2038" Discussion

Postby nomulous » Wed Jul 08, 2009 4:24 am UTC

Way to get in before me by not even posting a comment, you douche.

Edit: And no link either! What do the mods do in this situation? Whose post gets merged with whose?
Last edited by nomulous on Wed Jul 08, 2009 4:26 am UTC, edited 1 time in total.

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Re: "2038" Discussion

Postby Aeetlrcreejl » Wed Jul 08, 2009 4:24 am UTC

Aw, o'er my head.

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Re: "2038" Discussion

Postby suso » Wed Jul 08, 2009 4:25 am UTC

What's annoying to me is that people haven't learned from the year 2000 problem not to use two digit dates. I still see people use two digit dates on important documents. When I call them out on it, they act like its nothing.
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Re: "2038" Discussion

Postby Eternal Density » Wed Jul 08, 2009 4:27 am UTC

Play the game of Time! castle.chirpingmustard.com Hotdog Vending Supplier But what is this?
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Re: "2038" Discussion

Postby '; DROP DATABASE;-- » Wed Jul 08, 2009 4:27 am UTC

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Year_2038_problem for those who don't get it.

64-bit timestamps turn it into the year 292,277,026,596 problem and I fail at math. :D
Last edited by '; DROP DATABASE;-- on Wed Jul 08, 2009 4:31 am UTC, edited 1 time in total.
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Re: "2038" Discussion

Postby GodShapedBullet » Wed Jul 08, 2009 4:28 am UTC

suso wrote:What's annoying to me is that people haven't learned from the year 2000 problem not to use two digit dates. I still see people use two digit dates on important documents. When I call them out on it, they act like its nothing.


Maybe they have the expectation that the importance of the documents will diminish over the next 100 years.

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Re: "2038" Discussion

Postby nickjbor » Wed Jul 08, 2009 4:29 am UTC

oops, sorry for no link, I'm new :oops: I've added it now.
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Re: "2038" Discussion

Postby sje46 » Wed Jul 08, 2009 4:29 am UTC

GodShapedBullet wrote:Comic was probably up a little late to put the finishing touches on that art.

Yes, the umm, art. . .
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Re: "2038" Discussion

Postby Omegaton » Wed Jul 08, 2009 4:29 am UTC

Man, I'm glad there's the other forumites around to clear up when I don't get a comic.

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Re: "2038" Discussion

Postby almafuerte » Wed Jul 08, 2009 4:32 am UTC

Oh Man, I read XKCD at {monday,wednesday,friday} 00:00 EST .... sharp. I was desperate for about 19 minutes. Then, I was kind of disappointed about today's cartoon. Theory:

00:00 -> Randal didn't post any comic
00:02 -> XKCD readers start to panic
00:03 -> First angry mail arrives
00:05 -> Randal reads the mail and remembers it's wednesday
00:06 -> Randal starts writing comic
00:09 -> Comic is finished
00:09 -> Randal checks for Raptors in the kitchen
00:11 -> Randal checks for Raptors in the bedroom
00:14 -> Randal checks for Raptors in the under the table
00:17 -> Randal checks for Raptors in the backyard
00:20 -> Randal posts comic


It's ok Randal, we still love you.

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Re: "2038" Discussion

Postby Cody » Wed Jul 08, 2009 4:34 am UTC

oh dear, Randall you have seriously upset the John Titor chronology here. We're not even supposed to be worrying about 2038 until well after time travel has been invented in the 2030s.

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Re: "2038" Discussion

Postby RandallGetOutOfMyHead » Wed Jul 08, 2009 4:35 am UTC

I'm actually okay with this comic.

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Re: "2038" Discussion

Postby TheSkyMovesSideways » Wed Jul 08, 2009 4:41 am UTC

Randall wrote:that Roland Emmerich movie

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Re: "2038" Discussion

Postby pyroman » Wed Jul 08, 2009 4:52 am UTC

I was just explaining this concept to a friend the other day. She had started talking about various conspiracy theories and I felt it was my duty to inform her of the lack of logic in those theories (I wasn't as pompous as i sound now though i swear) and one of the examples i brought up was everyone's panic over y2k where people seemed to think that come midnight of December 31st 1999 all technology everywhere would just blow up. Anyone who actually understood the problem would have realized there was almost no problem come 2000 but rather 2038 was the big one.
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Re: "2038" Discussion

Postby Faranya » Wed Jul 08, 2009 5:01 am UTC

GodShapedBullet wrote:Maybe they have the expectation that the importance of the documents will diminish over the next 100 years.


I know I'm still anticipating a sharp rise in the popularity of phonographs between '70 and '80.
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Re: "2038" Discussion

Postby Zero51423 » Wed Jul 08, 2009 5:22 am UTC

almafuerte wrote:Oh Man, I read XKCD at {monday,wednesday,friday} 00:00 EST .... sharp. I was desperate for about 19 minutes. Then, I was kind of disappointed about today's cartoon. Theory:

00:00 -> Randal didn't post any comic
00:02 -> XKCD readers start to panic
00:03 -> First angry mail arrives
00:05 -> Randal reads the mail and remembers it's wednesday
00:06 -> Randal starts writing comic
00:09 -> Comic is finished
00:09 -> Randal checks for Raptors in the kitchen
00:11 -> Randal checks for Raptors in the bedroom
00:14 -> Randal checks for Raptors in the under the table
00:17 -> Randal checks for Raptors in the backyard
00:20 -> Randal posts comic


It's ok Randal, we still love you.



The time lapse between checking for raptors in the kitchen and actually posting the comic is more than enough for a raptor to sneak in through the front door. I do hope it was locked and that he has no large windows. Guess we'll know by Friday...

To be on topic, I doubt that any computer system of any true importance of today will still be running in 2038, we just need to start fixing the problem now rather than an January 10, 2038.
Last edited by Zero51423 on Wed Jul 08, 2009 5:30 am UTC, edited 1 time in total.

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Re: "2038" Discussion

Postby Doug52392 » Wed Jul 08, 2009 5:28 am UTC

I frequently warn everyone I know about the upcoming potential apocalypse that mankind will face on that faithful day in 2038.

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Re: "2038" Discussion

Postby e^iπ+1=0 » Wed Jul 08, 2009 5:36 am UTC

Okay well clearly I don't understand things like I thought. Yesterday it was explained to me that the first bit was for sign, the next 8 were for exponent, and the other 23 were for the number. So 01111111111111111111111111111111 would be 0 for positive sign, 2^129 for exponent, and 16777215/8388608 for the number. Multiply and you get 1361129386554115439246816733938067701760 seconds which would give a date way the fuck in the future. Could someone explain to me, step by step?
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Re: "2038" Discussion

Postby Squid Tamer » Wed Jul 08, 2009 5:46 am UTC

I was panicking a bit. I made sure that it really was the right day for a comic about five times.

Hopefully 64 bit will become more common soon... the 8 GB limit to 32 bit ram is rather annoying (I want to use 16 exabytes of RAM that I can totally afford and actually fit into my case :lol: )
But I'm still waiting for my GigaBit processor!

Edit: Apparently the RAM capacity of a 256 bit processor is more than can actually be constructed, due to using more matter than is actually in the universe(at only 1 bit per atom).
Last edited by Squid Tamer on Wed Jul 08, 2009 5:55 am UTC, edited 1 time in total.

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Re: "2038" Discussion

Postby Amnesiasoft » Wed Jul 08, 2009 5:51 am UTC

e^iπ+1=0 wrote:Okay well clearly I don't understand things like I thought. Yesterday it was explained to me that the first bit was for sign, the next 8 were for exponent, and the other 23 were for the number. So 01111111111111111111111111111111 would be 0 for positive sign, 2^129 for exponent, and 16777215/8388608 for the number. Multiply and you get 1361129386554115439246816733938067701760 seconds which would give a date way the fuck in the future. Could someone explain to me, step by step?


That's floating point numbers, we don't use those for imortant things that require any sort of precision.

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Re: "2038" Discussion

Postby violask81976 » Wed Jul 08, 2009 5:55 am UTC

I understand the unix problem...basically...but one thing stumps me on the comic:

the tooltip.

what happened on december 2 1944, or february 12, 1944 (i dunno which?) that was also doomsday-like? a quick wikipedia consult didn't help...

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Re: "2038" Discussion

Postby e^iπ+1=0 » Wed Jul 08, 2009 5:56 am UTC

Alright, got it, it's just 2^31. *slaps forehead*
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Re: "2038" Discussion

Postby phlip » Wed Jul 08, 2009 6:05 am UTC

e^ip+1=0 wrote:Okay well clearly I don't understand things like I thought. Yesterday it was explained to me that the first bit was for sign, the next 8 were for exponent, and the other 23 were for the number. So 01111111111111111111111111111111 would be 0 for positive sign, 2^129 for exponent, and 16777215/8388608 for the number. Multiply and you get 1361129386554115439246816733938067701760 seconds which would give a date way the fuck in the future. Could someone explain to me, step by step?

That's for floating-point numbers, not for integers. specifically, that's for an IEEE 754 32-bit ("single-precision") float.

Floats have much larger range than integers (and are able to store fractional values), but at the loss of precision... storing the number of seconds from 1970 as a single-precision float would allow us to store dates up to about the year 7x1030... but when we get there, it'd only be able to store a date as accurate to the nearest 1023 years! (May be out by an order of magnitude or two - these are estimates). Even right now, in 2009, it could only store the time accurate to the nearest 128 seconds (the clock would tick over from 4:11:12 to 4:13:20, without showing, or being able to refer to, any times in-between)... that value is the case for any time between early 2004 and 2038, when it'd jump up to only being accurate to the nearest 256 seconds. Whereas, when using a 32-bit integer, we can only store times up to 2038, but those times are always accurate to the nearest second.

violask81976 wrote:what happened on december 2 1944, or february 12, 1944 (i dunno which?) that was also doomsday-like? a quick wikipedia consult didn't help...

Nothing... but if that time on 2 December 1944 was the unix epoch, instead of 1 January 1970, then the overflow would happen at the start of 2000, instead of 2038... so the Y2K bug would actually happen.
Last edited by phlip on Wed Jul 08, 2009 6:17 am UTC, edited 3 times in total.

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Re: "2038" Discussion

Postby Eversist » Wed Jul 08, 2009 6:07 am UTC

Aeetlrcreejl wrote:Aw, o'er my head.

We tried.

All I got was the 2012 movie reference, which other people apparently didn't. DX

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Re: "2038" Discussion

Postby HighSpeedFallingObjects » Wed Jul 08, 2009 6:16 am UTC

Finally on first page! But I don't know what this is . . .

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Re: "2038" Discussion

Postby theEdge » Wed Jul 08, 2009 6:32 am UTC

phlip wrote:
violask81976 wrote:what happened on december 2 1944, or february 12, 1944 (i dunno which?) that was also doomsday-like? a quick wikipedia consult didn't help...

Nothing... but if that time on 2 December 1944 was the unix epoch, instead of 1 January 1970, then the overflow would happen at the start of 2000, instead of 2038... so the Y2K bug would actually happen.

That's not entirely true, since 1970 - (2038 - 2000) = is 1932; so the Unix epoche should have started in 1932.

I think it's more a hint to the movie, that Emmerich is directing today. As nickbjor pointed out, he is directing "2012", "an apocalyptic film inspired by the theory that the ancient Mayans prophesied the world's ending in 2012" and 1944 + 68 (the duration of the Unix epoche) = 2012.

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Re: "2038" Discussion

Postby Max2009 » Wed Jul 08, 2009 6:42 am UTC

I thought this was hilarious.
I got it immediately, but I suffer from being a wacko, and using binary clocks.
Is anybody else reminded of the Microsoft Zune crash January 1 2009?
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Re: "2038" Discussion

Postby odie » Wed Jul 08, 2009 6:50 am UTC

ah damn, i thought we were safe after 2000. once again XKCD opens my eyes to some absurd conspiracy theory

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Re: "2038" Discussion

Postby Max2009 » Wed Jul 08, 2009 6:56 am UTC

odie wrote:ah damn, i thought we were safe after 2000. once again XKCD opens my eyes to some absurd conspiracy theory

It's not absurd, and it's not a conspiracy theory, this is really going to happen, and will really screw things up. Somebody linked to a wikipedia page, check it out. Also, if you don't believe us, run a simulation. Set up a virtual machine where the date and time is January 19 2038, 03:19 and wait 8 seconds. See what happens.

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Re: "2038" Discussion

Postby phlip » Wed Jul 08, 2009 7:02 am UTC

theEdge wrote:That's not entirely true, since 1970 - (2038 - 2000) = is 1932; so the Unix epoche should have started in 1932.

I think it's more a hint to the movie, that Emmerich is directing today. As nickbjor pointed out, he is directing "2012", "an apocalyptic film inspired by the theory that the ancient Mayans prophesied the world's ending in 2012" and 1944 + 68 (the duration of the Unix epoche) = 2012.

Bah, I knew I should've checked the numbers...

Yes, 2012 makes much more sense. And actually calculating it this time, that's what it seems to be:

Code: Select all

phlip@boris:~$ php -r "print gmdate('r',gmmktime(8,45,52,12,2,1944)+0x80000000);"
Thu, 20 Dec 2012 12:00:00 +0000


Seems it's out by 12 hours... maybe he meant 8PM?

Max2009 wrote:You need to be running a *nix system

Windows uses the same 32-bit timestamps too... I think (but I could be wrong) that some of the newer ones might have handling for times post-2038, but I'd bet a large majority of programs running on top of it don't.

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Re: "2038" Discussion

Postby dtilque » Wed Jul 08, 2009 7:21 am UTC

phlip wrote:
Max2009 wrote:You need to be running a *nix system

Windows uses the same 32-bit timestamps too... I think (but I could be wrong) that some of the newer ones might have handling for times post-2038, but I'd bet a large majority of programs running on top of it don't.


Assuming Windows inherited the system clock from DOS (and that's a dangerous assumption which I'm sure someone will correct if it's not the case), then its end-of-the-world will happen 10 years later in 2048. The DOS system clock counts seconds from 1-JAN-1980.
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