epoch.
© 2003 David Drysdale


In 1999 the whole Western world was worried about the Millennium. Thousands of computer systems had been written to assume a two-digit date, and would not cope with it rolling over from 99 to 00.

What particularly tweaked my interest were the news reports that old COBOL programmers were being tempted out of retirement by offers of huge amounts of cash, so that they could fix the old systems they had written years earlier.

So I started to think. There are far more UNIX machines around today than there ever were Cobol machines, and I can certainly count UNIX systems work among my skill set. In January 2038 the UNIX epoch will roll over, and I'll be 67—time for a little consultancy work to top up the pension, methinks?

Of course, the reality of the millennium was rather more of a damp squib, so sadly my plan for how to get flipping great wodges of cash for my retirement is unlikely to pan out.


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