Friday, 13 February 2009

It's Geek Party Time

Today is one of those special anniversary days. This has nthing to do with Lincoln and Darwin's bicenteneries, but Unix/Linux fans all over the world will be partying later this evening. Why? Because at exactly 23:31:30 the Unix Time will be 1,234,567,890.

Unix Time counts the number of seconds since the Epoch. This great Epoch is not the birth of a religious leader, or the founding of an empire, but simply the start of 1970.

I'm not sure if there's any particularly good reason why they chose it, except that Unix was invented round about this time (in 1969), and so it was a reasonable place to start counting. I'm about 3 million seconds younger, so I'll be 1,234,567,890 seconds old sometime in mid-March. You become a billion seconds old while you're 31.

I won't be joining in the festivities - in fact I only remembered it was happening when I looked at one of the Greek Linux blogs. Of course, having a mathematical background, I don't really believe in these "magic" numbers, but I must admit that I might just be sad enough to run "date +%s" on my computer at the appropriate time.

Almost there...

If you feel like partying, there's a list of venues online. Just look for the groups of people holding a glass of champagne in one hand and a laptop in the other. This Unix date thing couldn't come at a better time. After all, none of them will have dates for tomorrow...

Update: In the end I wasn't sad enough, and missed the magic second. Google didn't, though, and had this banner up for a short period:

18 comments:

Bee said...

FIRRRRRRST!!

Bee said...

Ummm yeah. Congrats. :o)

Brian o vretanos said...

Bee:

I agree it's a bit sad, but there's no such thing as a feeble excuse to celebrate. Especially not on a Friday night ;-)

for a different kind of girl said...

This sounds too wild for me. Also, it clearly involves math. I'm confused...

Brian o vretanos said...

FADKOG:

You get to celebrate Valentine's Day instead.

Jean Knee said...

I like to celebrate all occasions.

except probably not this one

Do you get to use a calculater?

Brian o vretanos said...

Jean Knee:

You need something that can display the unix timestamp. There's no calculating involved. If you take such a device to the party in Vienna, they'll give you a free drink.

All this happens at 15:31:30 in your time zone, which you might feel is an hour or too early to start downing bubbly. Even on a Friday...

Jean Knee said...

not too early for hot chocolate though is it?

Brian o vretanos said...

Jean Knee:

No, hot chocolate is a 24x7 beverage.

Jean Knee said...

I drank a cup of coffee just a minute ago.
I dare Dr.Grim to say something

Brian o vretanos said...

Good morning, Jean Knee!

Funnily enough, I have a half-written post on the subject of the demon drink. I'm just about to have some too.

Jean Knee said...

I still feel pretty okay, no double vision or shaking yet

Chris Wood said...

That's a little wacky, not to worry though. I'm sure the parties were good!

Jean Knee said...

I read panties instead of parties, ha!

Brian o vretanos said...

Chris:

I expect they were.

Jean Knee:

That's the coffee talking - are you sure you only had one cup?

Dan said...

I missed it ! can I celebrate in on year the fist anniversary of 123456789?
Speaking of anniversaries I think I did my very first post around V day.

Dan said...

Why is there a garbage can next to the time I posted? Are you trying to tell me my comment is useless trash?

Brian o vretanos said...

Dan:

They put a garbage can next to your posts so you can delete it if you get second thoughts. I certainly don't think your comments are rubbish.