There has been increasing discussion in the media about the year 2038.
In 2038 the date field used in some C code can overflow. This date
overflow can adversely affect any applications or operating systems
that are dependent on C code.
Why the overflow? The C language time-base typically stores the number
of seconds since midnight January 1, 1970, in a 32-bit integer field.
Applications that treat the field as an unsigned value will operate
past 2038. However, in C applications that manipulate or store this
time-base field as a signed value, the field will overflow on January
19, 2038. Code that manipulates time_t values can potentially
encounter this limit even sooner.
A date-related overflow has the potential for adverse effects as varied
as those caused by the year 2000 problem. The overflow can occur on any
platforms or applications that are directly or indirectly dependent on
The scope of the 2038 problem is extremely limited for OpenVMS because
very little C code is used in the OpenVMS operating system. A few areas
of OpenVMS are written in C and OpenVMS Engineering is investigating
reports of a 2038 issue with the OpenVMS Security Server. However,
generally speaking, the OpenVMS operating system has been designed to
function properly through the year 9999.
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