1234567890 seconds since 1/1/1970: tonight!

In a special IT Blogwatch Extra, Richi Jennings watches geeks celebrate 1234567890 night. Not to mention more mayhem from the Improv Everywhere crew...

Dylan Tweney gets ready to paaar-taaay:

Unix weenies everywhere will be partying like it's 1234567890 this Friday.

That's because, at precisely 3:31:30 p.m. Pacific time on February 13, 2009, the 10-digit "epoch time" clock used by most Unix computers will display all ten decimal digits in sequence. (That's 6:31:30 Eastern, or 23:31:30 UTC.) Unlike time systems intended for humans, Unix time simply counts the number of seconds since midnight UTC on January 1, 1970.

David M. Williams offers TMI:

Strictly speaking, this measure of counting time does not represent time linearly nor is it a true representation of UTC, because it does not have any provision to represent leap seconds. Not only this, UTC didn’t exist in its current form until 1972.
Cutting across the technical guff, numerologists, geeks and party animals around the world are rejoicing.

Jitesh Nunnan goes for the youth audience:

You know those stories elders speak of, the ones in which they tell you where they were when some rather major event in history took place, well now its your turn to pen a story.
For interest sake, it was on 19 April 2001 at 6:25:21 AM CAT that the unix clock read 0987654321 and it will be the 22 December 2282 at 10:13:30 that the clock reaches 9876543210.

Speaking of elders, Jon "maddog" Hall recalls:

I remember asking Alan Cox ... in 1999. I was confident that most Linux systems would not be adversely affected by "Y2K", but I knew about a hidden time-bomb in the year 2038, when the "UNIX epoch" comes to an end. Alan assured me that Linux was now working on 64-bit time, and its "roll-over" would happen about the time that the sun burnt out. And while this upcoming event is not a "roll-over", nevertheless because it occurs on Friday the 13th I will be holding my breath.
While our friends at Bell Labs (er, ah, Lucent....O.K. "Alcatel-Lucent") strive to understand this phenomenon, I will be doing my civic duty by drinking fine beer, and maybe an Islay scotch. This is hard to do while you are holding your breath, but I will suffer through. Who knows, perhaps the U.S. government will give us a "bailout" to study this issue.

Christopher Reinhard is baffled:

If you’re still completely baffled by the meaning of this—ahem, like we are—you’ll have to take it for what it is and recognize that, on your end, the biggest plus of 1234567890 day is the freaking party! In fact, there will be parties for this, the strangest of celebratory occasions, all over the globe. So if you’re looking for a reason to get down with your bad self and still seem like an intelligent individual tomorrow, just head this way.

But Faramarz Hashemi just grumbles, in lower case:

how ridiculous. i don't need a bunch of damn numbers to tell me when to party.

And now, a quick roundup of international opinion:

@worellana: Hoy es el día 1234567890 :) y mañana es el día de !debian Lenny :)
@kaspo: aspetta stanotte alle 00:31:30 quando lo unix timestamp raggiungerà il magico valore
@simonvreeman: Morgen is het unix time 1234567890
@dmrl: Nette dolan?rken çok muhte?em bir?ey ke?fettim
@sasamistreet: ?????????????????????????

[Don't forget: it's on Saturday in the eastern hemisphere]

And finally...

Previously in IT Blogwatch:

Like this stuff? Subscribe to the RSS feed.

Richi Jennings is an independent analyst/adviser/consultant, specializing in blogging, email, and spam. A 23 year, cross-functional IT veteran, he is also an analyst at Ferris Research. You can follow him on Twitter, pretend to be Richi's friend on Facebook, or just use boring old email: blogwatch@richi.co.uk.


Copyright © 2009 IDG Communications, Inc.

Shop Tech Products at Amazon