And then there are less than 292,277,024,583 years left until 64-bit Unix time rears its ugly head. When will these boffins learn that their band-aid solutions just won't cut it.
I survived Y2k, I'll survive Unix2038!
Slight gripe: an unsigned 8-bit integer has a maximum of 255, not 256.
Also the RTC does keep on counting up seconds even when the power is off, via the RTC battery.
Upgrading your computer to 64-bit has very little to do with fixing this problem though. 32-bit CPUs can do 64-bit math just fine. But a lot of things, like filesystems, databases, etc. have 32-bit timestamps stored in a fixed-size column.
Hopefully most things out there that use a 32-bit time_t are only using it for interval computations, and not absolute storage. Interval computations are good as long as the interval itself is less than 2.1billionish seconds long.
Of course there are 256 possible values, but he said that an 8-bit number "goes from 0 to 256." Multiple times, even.
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