Because of a flaw in Unix regarding how computers calculate the date, we can not put posts online dated prior to 1970 and have them sort correctly via the published date. This page lists the newsletters and informational posts that date prior to 1/1/1970. If you are interested in why visit the bottom of this page for a detailed explanation.

List of Posts:

The earliest versions of Unix time had a 32-bit integer incrementing at a rate of 60 Hz, which was the rate of the system clock on the hardware of the early Unix systems. The value 60 Hz still appears in some software interfaces as a result. The epoch also differed from the current value. The first edition Unix Programmer’s Manual dated November 3, 1971 defines the Unix time as “the time since 00:00:00, Jan. 1, 1971, measured in sixtieths of a second”.

Unix measured system time in 1/60 s intervals. This meant that a 32-bit unsigned integer could only represent a span of time less than 829 days. For this reason, the time represented by the number 0 (called the epoch) had to be set in the very recent past. As this was in the early 1970s, the epoch was set to 1971-1-1.

Later, the system time was changed to increment every second, which increased the span of time that could be represented by a 32-bit unsigned integer to around 136 years. As it was no longer so important to squeeze every second out of the counter, the epoch was rounded down to the nearest decade, thus becoming 1970-1-1. One must assume that this was considered a bit neater than 1971-1-1.

There is another problem approaching because of this time keeping system, in that a 32-bit signed integer using 1970-1-1 as its epoch can represent dates up to 2038-1-19, on which date it will wrap around to 1901-12-13.

Note that a 32-bit signed integer using 1970-1-1 as its epoch can represent dates up to 2038-1-19, on which date it will wrap around to 1901-12-13.