Yesterday at 23:21:30 GMT, tech geeks worldwide celebrated the 1234567890th second on their Unix Clock as used by systems worldwide, some of which are employed for mission critical environment like the space shuttle, air traffic control or nuclear power stations.
The "epoch time" clock as it is known UNIX Operating systems use the Unix Time, which measures time elapsed since midnight January 1, 1970 Coordinated Universal Time (UTC). For economic reasons, UNIX time were stored in 32-bit format when the system was first devised in the 1960s.
This means that by 2038, systems will no longer be able to function, causing a memory overflow, in a scenario similar to the Millennium Bug that caused billions of dollars to the global economy more than a decade ago. The Unix Millennium Bus as some call it, will be especially prevalent in embedded systems.
In the next 20 years, computers around the world will need to be updated to 64-bit which should give them enough time before the next upgrade is due, 293 billion years down the road.
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For those who missed the countdown (like me), there's a perpetual clock created by Chris Rowe at Coolepochcountdown.com which is currently displaying 1234638476. The Epoch Time passed 1 billion seconds back on the 9/9/2001, two days before 9/11. Funnily, yesterday was a Friday 13th.