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Discussion on: Level up: UNIX Timestamp

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Jonathan Apodaca

UNIX timestamps are such a beautiful thing. I just learned about a week ago that, Excel stores dates/times using it's own timestamp, relative to its own epoch, and has several bugs :(

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Mihail Malo

Excel floating window for parsing incomplete dates is hilarious

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Ghost Author

I've run into a few other timestamp implementations as well.

An embedded device manufacturer in the US produces a line of industrial controllers that I have worked with in the past. The use a custom timestamp that references the epoch 00:00:00 1 January, 1997 EDT. I was pretty blown away that they did not use UTC rather than a -4 GMT time zone.

However I was not shocked that they didn't reference an epoch that begins in 1970. As @tux0r mentioned above, 32bit signed timestamps will overflow before too long. I think their choice of 1997 was a way to still use a signed 32 bit register and buy themselves a couple of decades :).

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