It's Your Problem Now Future!

February 27, 2013

So Unix Time is going to run out, this is unavoidable, thankfully the solution to this is quite simple, in fact it is so simple most people will probably never be aware that Unix Time ever posed a problem in the first place. If the problem with Unix Time is that it's stored in a 32 bit number, just store it in a larger number, duh. While this wasn't really a posibility in the early days of computing, now a days computers are capable of storing much, much larger numbers. Case and point, new computers now run on 64 bit processors, thus their Unix Time is stored in a 64 bit number, and that is a reeeeeeeeeeeeeaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaally big number.

64 bit Unix Time will last nearly 300 billion years into the future. Theorhetically Unix Time will be no one's problem, first off 300 billion years from now we will,

1. Have gone extinct a million times over.

2. The Earth would have been engulfed by the sun about 280 billion years prior.

3. If humanity somehow survives for 300 billion years, and we haven't evolved past the need to use computers, we probably would have upgraded to 128 bit systems, chances are even by 2038, the end date of the original 32 bit Unix Time number we'd have moved well beyond 64 bit processors anyway.

Fun fact, Unix Time stored in a 128 bit number would take so long to run out that the heat death of the universe would have happened about quadrillion times over. It's a bit humbling that eventually we'll all be using computers capable of counting past the end of eternity.