[TUHS] The 2038 bug...

Stuart Remphrey stu at remphrey.net
Fri Jan 8 08:56:15 AEST 2021

> Dave, who's kept his COBOL knowledge a secret in every job

Indeed! Also FORTRAN/RATFOR and BASIC, in my case; but especially COBOL:
apart from everything else, too much like writing a novel to get anything

On Tue, 5 Jan 2021, 05:50 Dave Horsfall, <dave at horsfall.org> wrote:

> On Mon, 4 Jan 2021, Peter Jeremy wrote:
> > Alternatively, my understanding is that the Unix epoch changed on
> > several occasions in the early days.  Presumably the knowledge of how to
> > achieve this hasn't been lost.  (Though actually performing an epoch
> > rollover may be more difficult today).
> My understanding is that it's been 1st Jan 1970 since at least Ed5, if not
> Ed6.
> > I suspect that 2038 may actually wind up being more serious than Y2K
> > because there are now far more embedded systems than there were then but
> > it's not clear that the designers of those systems learnt the lesson
> > from Y2K.  A few weeks ago I tried to count the number of CPUs in my
> > bedroom, bathroom and study - my best guess is around 2 dozen.
> > Admittedly, I think relatively few of those will be concerned about
> > epoch rollover.
> The only systems I have that would care would be the various computers,
> and they are all NTP-synced (except the NBN modem/router takes its time
> from T$).
> > Plus 2038 is merely one epoch.  Someone mentioned the Microsoft epoch
> > rolling over in 2048.  Between those two, the IBM S/360 epoch rolls over
> > in 2042 - the Z-series appears to have glued another 8 bits onto the MSB
> > end of the TOD clock but that won't help all those S/360 and S/370
> > binaries that are still being run.  And they are just the well- known
> > ones.  I expect that there are lots of embedded systems running custom
> > epochs with weird rollover dates.
> Well, I don't care about the M$ epoch, and at 86 I might even get to see
> the world come to a grinding halt :-)  Of course, I may be reliant upon M$
> systems in hospitals etc...
> Interesting story about the S/360 though.  As a side-issue I wonder how
> many COBOL programmers will still be around to maintain all that payroll
> software etc?
> -- Dave, who's kept his COBOL knowledge a secret in every job
-------------- next part --------------
An HTML attachment was scrubbed...
URL: <http://minnie.tuhs.org/pipermail/tuhs/attachments/20210108/62830fdf/attachment.htm>

More information about the TUHS mailing list