In case you happen to be looking for a reason to party this weekend that doesn’t involve pre-fab romance or talking vaginas, I’m here to tell you that you have the opportunity to experience a once-in-a-lifetime epochal event.
As some readers are probably aware, many computer systems (basically all UNIX or UNIX-like systems, including Mac OSX) keep time internally by counting the number of seconds (excepting leap seconds) elapsed since midnight UTC on January 1, 1970. This count is known as Unix time.
This Friday, at exactly 11:31:30 PM UTC (which is not quite the same as GMT), Unix time will reach 1,234,567,890 seconds. Many people celebrated the new millennium back in 2000 (or 2001 for the sticklers), but new millennia come along every thousand years or so. Barring some sort of 2038 disaster, Unix time will never be 1234567890 again. So really, this isn’t just a once-in-a-lifetime event, it’s a once-in-time event.
For those of you in the United States, the important time is 5:31:30 PM Central/6 Eastern (take that, TV!). There’s a nifty little site with a countdown(up) clock here. I imagine that site might get really bogged down once the time gets close, so you could also reprogram your left-over Y2K or Bush Presidency countdown clocks (there’s probably instructions for how to do this on the back).
Happy 1234567890, everyone!