Archive of UserLand's first discussion group, started October 5, 1998.

Re: 9 AM and all's well on 9-9-99

Author:Ian Roberts
Posted:9/8/1999; 3:05:01 PM
Topic:9 AM and all's well on 9-9-99
Msg #:10769 (In response to 10768)
Prev/Next:10768 / 10770


When we first started with software, all of the programs and the data were actually punched out on cards - punch cards. And to let the computer know when all of the information was read in, they would have an 'end of data card' or 'end of file' -- and usually, they used all nines. So the computer was programmed to read data until it got to the 'end of data' or 'end of file' marker. When we got rid of cards and we put data onto computer discs, we kept that same convention of read until you get to ' end of file' -- or all nines. Well, the trouble is, september ninth 1999 is a real date -- and so if your file has september ninth '99' in it as well as 'end of file' marker, your software will read until the first one of those nine-nine-nines and stop reading - and not read all of the data. So you could end up with corruption because the system is not doing what you thought it was going to do. And it is going to give you incorrect results.

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