UNIX time system reaches 1234567890 seconds old

Just a quick one to give a passing nod to the UNIX time system, which will ‘celebrate’ reaching 1234567890 seconds old on Friday 13th February 2009.

Or, to re-phrase, at 23:31:30 GMT on 13/02/2009 it will be 1234567890 seconds since 00:00:00 GMT on 1/1/1970, which was the UNIX epoch.

I hasten to add that it is not just UNIX operating systems which make use of this process, most operating systems do these days.

For example have you ever tried to put a date into Microsoft Excel and it’s come out with a date in the 1970s (normally 01/01/1970)?Β  It happens all the time to me – especially when trying to input 2010 dates! Most date detail is actually stored as a number in computer operating systems – once again, playing around with data formats in Microsoft Excel is a rather good way of illustrating this point.

Although Friday 13th is being referred to as ‘epoch’ by many, this definition is technically incorrect, as an epoch would refer to a defining moment at the creation of something… which this is not – 00:00:00 01/01/1970 was though.

Friday isΒ  just a really cool thing for slightly weird people like myself who derive a degree of satisfaction when numbers work in a way like this!

Abtruse Goose has a grand sketch which really does sum it all up hehe…


Here’s a link to a nice little site which has a count-down (or should that be count-up!) clock which shows when the Unix clock will reach 1234567890 and whatnot.

I’ll leave the final words with Dilbert:




About Gari

Northern lad; living out in the Peak District and rediscovering life after having had a brain tumour.

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