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Old 10-26-2022, 04:30 PM   #17 (permalink)
freebeard
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Self-threadjack.

I worked in one career in close support to computer programmers. I grew to appreciate the depth of the rabbitholes programming takes you down. One example I found was the complexity of creating a field where people can enter their name. The set of possible names is large (character count, captialization, names that start with punctuation, etc.)

Via Hacker News, here's a discussion of Unix time: https://www.netmeister.org/blog/epoch.html

Quote:
Time is an illusion, Unix time doubly so... October 23rd, 2022
As you well know, on Unix systems we measure time as the number of seconds since "the epoch": 00:00:00 UTC on January 1st, 1970. This has made a lot of people very angry and been widely regarded as a bad move.

For starters, this definition is not based on something sensical such as, say, the objective frequency of vibration of a Cesium-133 atom, but on a convenient fraction of the time it takes a particular large rock to complete a full rotation around its own axis.

You see, in Unix time each day is guaranteed to have exactly 86400 seconds, and we pretend that this number monotonically increases. When it turns out that because our reference rock actually took a bit longer than what was convenient for us to complete its rotation and we need to add a leap second, we simply pretend that didn't happen, and our timestamp mechanism ceases to identify a unique point in time.

The other thing that continues to cause problems here is that as we try to count seconds, we run into data storage and representation issues, because honestly, computers aren't really all that good at numbers, it turns out. Talk about "epoch fail".
Conclusion:
Quote:
As I said, time is an illusion, and Unix time doubly so. And while the Year 2038 Problem may not concern you (unless you happen to use OmniOS, I suppose), perhaps I was able to show you that there are plenty of other surprises lurking. And we haven't even touched upon the insanity that is timezones and Daylight Saving Time...
I love the phrase "this number monotonically increases." When you count 60ths of a second base on line frequency you're at the mercy of the local utility company.
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