Y2.038K bug


Y2.038K bug
n.
A computer software bug that will cause programs to cease functioning properly when confronted with dates in the year 2038 and beyond.
Example Citation:
"First it was Y2K. Then the Euro conversion. And now, as if the Y2K and Euro problems weren't bad enough, there's the year 2038 bug. Dr. GUI got a letter from Mahmoud Saleh alerting him (reminding him, actually) of a similar problem that will face C and C++ programmers in coming years: we can call it the Y2.038K bug.
The problem stems from the common definition of the time_t as an integer containing the number of seconds since midnight, January 1, 1970. Most C/C++ runtime libraries define time_t as a long int. On most systems, long int is 32 bits, which means that we've got a range of 2^31-1 (2,147,483,647) seconds — until sometime on January 18, 2038. (Assuming Dr. GUI's Windows CE Palm-size PC has it right, that's a Monday. Figures.)
Since the number is signed, when the clock rolls over the time will be a very large negative number, giving us a time warp of a little over 136 years — we'll flip back to sometime late in December, 1901."
— Dr. GUI, "All Ready for 2000 and the Euro? What About 2038?," MSDN Online Buzz
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