jeffsoesbe (jeffsoesbe) wrote,

the deal with future email from 1/1/38

I have an overactive spam filter on my Yahoo mail, which grabs things like story submission confirmations and important workshop info. So I have to make regular trips to the spam folder to "unspam" useful mail.

Once I'm done washing my eyeballs, I realize I saw something interesting. Many, many spam emails have the date "1/1/38" aka January 1, 2038 (which, by the way, is a Monday). I realize they have the future date so they're the latest emails, but why that date?

Being a nerd, I figured it has something to do with the maximal value of the "date" field on an email and how time is measured on computer systems (from a fixed date in the past like Jan 1, 1970).

Turns out that, according to the Intertubes, I'm right. It's the largest date representable with using the 32-bit time value. There's even an associated problem (like Y2K), called the Year 2038 problem (Wikipedia).

And there you go. Wonder no more.
Tags: technology

  • random thoughts

    1) I did *not* get laid off from work today. Yay! But many people were, which is sad. It's also been a very quiet day. 2) The Theodore Sturgeon…

  • good nerd joke on _The Office_

    (Pam, talking about Erin's ancient computer) "I'm not saying it's old, but its IP number was one." I laughed.

  • LOST: Season 6, Episode 17/18 (SERIES FINALE) "The End"

    Pre-Hash: I watched the 6 season review beforehand. It was fun to see all the old scenes, all the old characters from five years ago, all the old…

  • Post a new comment


    Anonymous comments are disabled in this journal

    default userpic

    Your reply will be screened