Year 2038 Computer Problem or Y2k38 UNIX Millenium Bug

Do you remember Y2K – Year 2000 or Millennium bug ?
The millennium bug or Y2K was the result of early computer designing systems with only two digits to represent the time as computer memory . Fortunately  most computers were updated and enough precautions were taken to fix Y2K bug, which saved the computers  from great failure.
A similar time related bug may occur in the year 2038.In Jan19,  2038 many computers will encounter a date-related bug in their operating systems.

What is Y2k38 or Year 2038 Bug?

On January 19, 2038, UNIX-based programs and UNIX-like operating systems will run out of time. To be more precise, at 3:14:07 GMT, UNIX will be exactly 1 billion seconds old.UNIX keeps track of time in a 4-byte integer that represents the number of seconds after January 1, 1970 12:00:00.

A 4-byte integer has a maximum value of 2,146,483,547. On January 19th 2038 at 03:14:37 this resetting will take place and lead the Unix systems to count the date from 1970.

To solve this problem, many systems and programming languages have switched from 32-bit to 64-bit version, and as the problem will not occur for nearly three decades there is plenty of time to fix this time related bug. :)

Reference: Project 2038 | Year 2038 Bug – Disaster

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One Response to “Year 2038 Computer Problem or Y2k38 UNIX Millenium Bug”

Sathish @ TechieMania | September 14th, 2010 at 12:09 PM

Well, this is going to be a serious issue. People were well aware of Y2K problem and the buzz it created around the world. I don’t want this bug to create a similar unwanted buzz around the world.

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