Y2038 bug promises moderate chaos

Y2k has a brother. It's called the Y2038 bug, so warn your children

Even if the Y2K bug does not cause the widespread mayhem and destruction so many have predicted, another bug could well bring the world of computing to its knees in the year 2038.

The "year 2038 bug" is expected to effect all programs written in the C programming language on the stroke of midnight January 19, 2038.

The problem arises from the standard time library inherent to C, "time.h." This library uses a 4-byte format to store time values relative to the year 1970, which will reach its maximum value of 2,147,483,648 on January 19, 2038.

There is no need to run screaming to the hills just yet, however. Afflicted applications should only suffer difficulties with date calculations and the problem is reportedly far easier to deal with than the notorious Y2K bug.

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