Y2K Impact on Unix systems

greenspun.com : LUSENET : TimeBomb 2000 (Y2000) : One Thread

I've heard conflicting reports on the impact of Y2K on Unix OS platforms. Some have stated "no impact" due to the four character date field usage in Unix, some have said, while the four character date field minimizes the impact, there could still be problems with specific applications, tools, utilities, and linkages to other systems. Feedback appreciated, including references, from those that have info on these issues or have been involved in testing Unix OS platforms for Y2K impact.

-- Dave Macrae (MacraDG@LOUISVILLE.STORTEK.COM), January 18, 1999


You need to assess your particular OS and application software. For instance, HP-UX 9.07 will not handle 4 digits and must be upgraded to at least 10.30.

-- a (a@a.a), January 18, 1999.

there have been many posts re Unix on comp.software.year-2000 - do a search at Deja News using Unix in the subject line.

-- Mitchell Barnes (spanda@inreach.com), January 18, 1999.

The software which runs ON the unix system will be troubled in the same way as anything else if it uses two-digit dates, which will be the case for many programs originating on some other system or written by staffers doing things the "traditional" way.

Unix, and anything storing data in Unix's own internal time format, has a problem all of its own in 2038. the original unix kept dates as the number of seconds since 1970. This overflows a 32 bit variable or binary field in 2038.

-- Nigel Arnot (nra@maxwell.ph.kcl.ac.uk), January 19, 1999.

The impact on Unix systems is fairly dramatic - if there are power, HVAC (system cooling or people heating), or telecommunication failures elsewhere in the infrastructure.....exchanged data from a customers/client's system is dependent on their program for 2 digit vice 4 digit.

Fortunately, more Unix systems are a little more modern than many older "big iron" systems, so there _may be_ more documentation and more up-to-date programs that are easier to fix. Fewer Unix programs are company operations critical too - an analysis program developed by a professor to do a specific job or check a specific design model probably will not bring a company's financial structure down like a payroll or inventory system will.

-- Robert A. Cook, PE (Kennesaw, GA) (cook.r@csaatl.com), January 19, 1999.

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