Get that champagne ready to go

Tonight, at 0:31:30 (23:31:30 PM UTC Feb 13 2009) it will be 1234567890 unit time. In case you’re not as much of a nerd as I am: unix timestamps are used in many database systems around the world to record date/time combinations. In this system, time is counted as the number of seconds that has passed since the start of 1970. Put on the clock tonight and keep that bottle ready to pop!

Sadly, leap seconds are ignored, so since we have counted 24 leap seconds since the start, you might want to leave the cork on until 0:31:54. I’m sure many of my colleagues at the National Archives – used to think about decades and centuries instead of seconds – can see the humour of of a system that won’t work beyond 1970 (or rather 1901) and will be useless starting January 19 2038…

Epoch fail!
Epoch fail!