Trivia

Hard

With The Y2K Problem Behind Us, We Now Need To Worry About What?

The Year 1 Problem
The Year 2025 Problem
The Year 2038 Problem
The Year 4000 Problem

Answer: The Year 2038 Problem

In the early days of the computer revolution, data storage space and processing power were quite limited. As a result, programmers took many shortcuts to maximize the space they had while, frequently, not thinking about how their creations would hold up decades into the future.

Although not as widely known or discussed as its cousin the Y2K bug, there is another bug lurking in computer systems across the world: the Year 2038 problem.

The crux of the problem is that some old 32-bit software applications and hardware systems store the system time as a signed 32-bit integer that is calculated as the number of seconds that have passed since 00:00:00 Thursday, January 1 1970. The furthest date that can be represented by this 32-bit integer is 03:14:07 Tuesday, January 19 2038. When these systems reach that date (or the software runs calculations that pass that projected date), there will be an integer overflow which will effectively reset the time back to January 1 1970.

Since the problem primarily affects Unix-based systems, the Year 2038 Problem is also referred to as The Unix Millenium Bug.

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