Friday, December 19, 2003

Heh - Software glitch brings Y2K deja vu | CNET

The flaw involves the way the programs handle date entries, Gavaghan said. To be able to recognize dates, PTC programmers had to set a date for infinity. They chose 2 billion seconds since 1970--when the Unix operating system was developed and Year Zero for many Unix applications.

That number brings PTC software up to Jan. 10. After that, the software will be unable to recognize dates and will no longer operate.

"It's not something where they would lose data," Gavaghan said. "The software just stops working."

Unix itself uses a similar method to resolve dates, but developers chose an infinity value of 4 billion seconds, the maximum a 32-bit system can process. That means that most Unix programs will continue to operate until 2038.


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