UNIX Time Last Night – Uber-Geeky Coolness!
Whoa! Last night at precisely 23:31:30 GMT, the official UNIX time read as; “1234567890” – How geeky-cool is that?!?! Dewd! I am totally celebrating!
“Ready to party like it’s 1234567890? Computer lovers certainly are. Thatâ€™s because at precisely 23:31:30 GMT tonight (Friday), the ten-digit clock used by Unix computers – which includes the servers that run everything from the internet to air traffic control – will display all ten decimal digits in sequence. For computer geeks everywhere, this seemingly dubious milestone deserve celebrations just like those that greeted the end of the millennium. Parties are planned around the world from London to New York, to Yerevan in Armenia and AsunciÃ³n in Paraguay. But after the brief flash of joy, comes the dread. Computer scientists fear the worst for the next major moment in Unix time – some time in the year 2038, when the Unix clock will run out of seconds it can count. On that January day, computers will fail to compute time, and crash. Your computer could shut down. Vehicles may pile up as traffic lights fail. Planes could fall out of the sky. The advice is to party now, because the digital apocalypse may soon be upon us. Understanding how this will happen requires you to do away with your parochial understanding of time, and instead think more like a machine. You, being human, were under the impression that today was merely Friday February 13 in the year of our Lord, 2009. Computers count time differently. They simply count the seconds from ‘Co-ordinated Standard Time,’ or to human beings, the seconds elapsed from midnight, January 1, 1970 – the digital equivalent of the birth of Christ. Unix time is how many seconds there have been since then (not including leap seconds, in case you were wondering). But why is 1234567890 a more significant moment in time than any other sequence of numbers? ‘All calendars are just arbitrary,’ argues Julian Burgess, a web developer from London. ‘Celebrating the millennium – why do that? It was just like any other day, the Earth rotates on its axis and it moves around the Sun. All these things are arbitrary, so for geeks to celebrate Unix time is something for them to enjoy.'”