Beware Y2K38 problem

  • data-coding
  • idea
  • spring

The Y2038 problem, often referred to as Y2K38, arises because many computer systems store time as the number of seconds since "UNIX epoch" – 00:00:00 UTC on January 1, 1970, using a 32-bit integer. This format can only represent time up to 03:14:07 UTC on January 19, 2038. Beyond this date, the integer will overflow, potentially causing systems to malfunction or interpret the time incorrectly, as 20:45:52 UTC on December 13, 1901.

This can lead to various problems in software and systems that rely on date and time calculations for operations, scheduling, file timestamping, and more. If not addressed, it could result in errors, system crashes, and incorrect processing of dates, which could affect everything from financial services to critical infrastructure.

The solution involves updating systems to use 64-bit integers for time representation, which can handle dates far beyond the foreseeable future.

Also known as "Y2038", "Y2K38 superbug" or the "Epochalypse".