Re: Sorry if you crashed (W95 FYI: Chaos in 2038!)

David Perrell (
Sun, 24 Nov 1996 19:01:38 -0800

Message-Id: <>
From: "David Perrell" <>
To: "Benjamin Franz" <>
Cc: "Style" <>, "HTML" <>
Subject: Re: Sorry if you crashed (W95 FYI: Chaos in 2038!)
Date: Sun, 24 Nov 1996 19:01:38 -0800

Benjamin Franz wrote:
> You can both probably thank Microsoft for your problems. Apparently
> writing their C compiler, they committed a serious error that causes
> *MANY* applications compiled with it to crash and burn for dates in
> second half of the next century.

UNIX and DOS/Win C libraries use a datetime number based on seconds
from 1 Jan 1970. On machines where this 'signed long' is a 32-bit
value, the end of time arrives 19 Jan 2038. The Win32 runtime library
has a date limit of 2099, corresponding to the opsys. Since most Win95
apps handle dates beyond the capabilities of the standard C routines,
I'm inclined to believe the problem is in the code of the bad apps, not
just the compiler.

MS Office 97 apps support dates to 9999. Just think, if Win97 is
equally capable no will need to upgrade for the next 8003 years!

David Perrell