Unix billennium

Unix billennium

The Unix billennium is the point in time represented by a Unix time value of 109: 01:46:40 UTC on September 9 2001. Some programs which stored timestamps using a text representation encountered sorting errors, as in a text sort times after the turnover, starting with a "1" digit, erroneously sorted before earlier times starting with a "9" digit. Affected programs included the popular usenet reader KNode and email client KMail, part of the KDE desktop environment. Such bugs were generally cosmetic in nature and quickly fixed once problems became apparent.

The problem also affected many 'Filtrix' document-format filters provided with Linux versions of WordPerfect; a patch was created by the user community to solve this problem, since Corel no longer sold or supported that version of the program. [http://linuxmafia.com/wpfaq/problems.html#FITRIX]

The Unix Billennium is sometimes described as "109 seconds after the Unix epoch". This is not quite correct, because Unix time is not a purely linear count of seconds: "109 non-leap seconds after the Unix epoch" would be a more accurate description.

The name is a portmanteau of "billion" and "millennium", recalling the year 2000 bug. The name is not very logical as billennium should rather mean a billion "years". "Gigasecond" would be a more apt term.

External links

* [http://www.electromagnetic.net/press-releases/unixonebln.php UNIX Approaches its One Billion Second Milestone]

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