Celebrating 50 Years of Unix

Thread Starter

nsaspook

Joined Aug 27, 2009
6,610
https://www.bell-labs.com/var/articles/celebrating-50-years-unix/
The summer of 1969 was one of the most culturally significant times in modern American history. It was the summer when Neil Armstrong landed on the moon, more than 400,000 people attended the legendary Woodstock music festival, and the Stonewall riots brought the fight for gay rights to the national stage.

However, something else happened that summer which you won’t find in most history books… a Bell Labs researcher named Ken Thompson created the first version of Unix, which turned out to be one of the most important pieces of computer software ever invented.
 

Kjeldgaard

Joined Apr 7, 2016
381
I got a little curious about the 1571188526 seconds, and my calculations showed that something special might happen in 18 years, 3 months and some days.

A quick search revealed the Year 2038 problem - a 32 bit signed rollover.
 

dl324

Joined Mar 30, 2015
9,332
All because someone decided to allow negative time and used signed instead of unsigned. Anyone know the story behind that decision?
I attribute it to lack of foresight. We had the same problem with file sizes; that's why we hit the wall at 2GB instead of 4GB.
 

Thread Starter

nsaspook

Joined Aug 27, 2009
6,610
I attribute it to lack of foresight. We had the same problem with file sizes; that's why we hit the wall at 2GB instead of 4GB.
That and the fact that 32-bit time_t computing systems are likely to be as archaic as vacuum tubes in 2038. The Y10K problem is something we need to start planning for today.;)
 
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