The Unix Time "Apocalypse"

The end of Unix Time will occur on January 19, 2038 03:14:07 GMT.  On January 19, 2038 03:14:08 GMT all computers that still use 32 bit Unix Time will overflow.  This is known as the "Year 2038 problem".  Some believe this will be a more significant problem than the "Year 2000 problem".

UnixTime Conversion

Unix Timestamp:  

Convert any time/date into Unixtime timestamp.


You can enter all kinds of dates like "today", "next Tuesday" or "2 years ago".

Of course you can enter "normal" dates too, like "11/21/1991", and you can include time like "1/1/2001 12:35:00 CDT".

Buy a groovy t-shirt to show your UnixTime prowess!

Unix Time Primer

Unix Time is represented by a 32 bit whole number (an integer) that can be positive or negative (signed).  Unix was originally developed in the 60s and 70s so the "start" of Unix Time was set to January 1st 1970 at midnight GMT (Greenwich Mean Time) - this date/time was assigned the Unix Time value of 0.  This is what is know as the Unix Epoch.

While Unix Time begins at 0 on January 1st 1970 it also has a pre-history and an ending.  A 32 bit signed integer can represent whole numbers between -2147483648 and 2147483647.  Since Unix Time starts at 0, negative Unix Time values go back in time from the Epoch and positive numbers go forward in time.  This means that Unix Time spans from Unix Time value of -2147483648 or 20:45:52 GMT on December 13th 1901 to Unix Time value of 2147483647 or 3:14:07 GMT on January 19 in 2038.  These dates represent the beginning, the pre-history and the end of Unix Time.

Unix Time Value Represents Date
0 The Beginning of Unix Time January 1, 1970 12:00:00 GMT
-2147483648 The Pre-History of Unix Time December 13, 1901 20:45:52 GMT
2147483647 The End of Unix Time January 19, 2038 03:14:07 GMT

Most common computer systems support the Unix Time format so essentially all popular computers can use Unix Time.  This means that dates and times between the pre-history and end of Unix Time can be represented by a single signed 32 bit integer.

Some Examples:

Man takes first steps on the Moon: -14159040
The wedding of Prince Charles and Lady Diana: 365250000
The dropping of the first Atomic bomb on Hiroshima Japan: -770172300
The start of the 9/11 attacks: 1000212390
The Billennium (1 billion seconds in the Unix Epoch): Epoch 1000000000 represents the date 09/09/2001 01:46:40 GMT
Decimal Digit Day: Epoch 1111111111 represents the date 03/18/2005 01:58:31 GMT

The fix for the Year 2038 problem is to store Unix Time in a 64 bit integer.  This is already underway in most 64 bit Operating Systems but many systems may not be updated by 2038.  More Epoch Info at Wikipedia