# Holocene calender

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 605732.  Sun Aug 30, 2009 10:32 pm Or the year of the bug

605737.  Mon Aug 31, 2009 1:37 am

 thegrandwazoo wrote: I'm sorry if this is a stupid question but do all computers work on the "christian" calendar? I wondered about this when watching some repeat programme or other where comments were made about the "millenium bug" Do countries and cultures with different calendars use them on their computers?

Admittedly that is an issue. In terms of a deca-millenium bug, it would probably be years set to something like the Jewish calender that would be the first to suffer.

 605743.  Mon Aug 31, 2009 2:07 am Computers have two different kinds of calendar: an internal representation and a way of displaying it. So maybe you store the year as a two digit number, xy, and display it as 19xy. Different programs use a wide variety of each one. It's easy to take any representation and make a display for it, whether you want to use a Jewish calendar, Japanese years, or whatever. The internal representations don't usually correspond to anything like a natural calendar. Unix time is measured as the number of seconds since midnight on 1 January 1970 UTC. It will run out of seconds in 2038. I seem to recall Microsoft Excel (and presumably its relatives) stored dates as the number of days since 1 January 1900.

 605746.  Mon Aug 31, 2009 2:18 am For those interested, "Holocene" is Greek for "Entirely new".

605821.  Mon Aug 31, 2009 5:56 am

 Ian Dunn wrote: The Holocene calender is a calender which deals with problems such as Year 0 and also with the problems of having a year system based on a religion. In this calender, we are currently in the year 12,009 H.E. (Holocene or Human Era). The staring point is c. 10,000 B.C. as this is believed to be the start of human civilization.

So how do you deal with the problems such as Year 0 when you want to talk about things which happened before 10,000 BC?

 Posital wrote: Why don't we just adopt "this year" as year zero

You are Pol Pot and I claim my five pounds.

605915.  Mon Aug 31, 2009 8:16 am

 ColinM wrote: I seem to recall Microsoft Excel (and presumably its relatives) stored dates as the number of days since 1 January 1900.

Yes, that's day 1. I think lotus might have started in 1904; either way, there's a highly annoying option in tools which makes all your dates wrong by 4 years.

 606019.  Mon Aug 31, 2009 1:04 pm I think we should just assign random words and numbers the date. After all in this point in civilization, Cow 456 Strawberry 18, we should be beyond traditional means of dating. So what are you guys doing for Leviticus 456 Bubble butt 44?

606111.  Mon Aug 31, 2009 3:30 pm

Davini994 wrote:
 ColinM wrote: I seem to recall Microsoft Excel (and presumably its relatives) stored dates as the number of days since 1 January 1900.

Yes, that's day 1. I think lotus might have started in 1904; either way, there's a highly annoying option in tools which makes all your dates wrong by 4 years.

Yes, Excel does count 1/1/1900 as 'Day 1'. The reason this was chosen was for compatibility with Lotus 123's existing date conventions. Microsoft even included the Lotus bug concerning 29th Feb 1900 (1900 did not have a leap year).

Excel allows for this non-existent date. In fact, if you type 01/01/1900 in Excel and link a formula to subtract 1 from it, it will return the answer 00/01/1900. Perhaps this is the real 'Day Zero' ?

So, be careful if you are manipulating dates in a spreadsheet covering the first two months of 1900. Although, VBA is much more flexible and is able to cope with this anomaly.

The 1904 date option in Excel is for compatibility with the Mac. Mac programmers avoided the above problem by starting from 1904. Whether this was by accident or design I do not know, never having used one.

606163.  Mon Aug 31, 2009 5:39 pm

 costean wrote: So, be careful if you are manipulating dates in a spreadsheet covering the first two months of 1900. Although, VBA is much more flexible and is able to cope with this anomaly.

Should I find myself sent back through time with a functioning windows laptop I'll bear this in mind!

606250.  Tue Sep 01, 2009 2:55 am

 Lukecash wrote: I think we should just assign random words and numbers the date. After all in this point in civilization, Cow 456 Strawberry 18, we should be beyond traditional means of dating. So what are you guys doing for Leviticus 456 Bubble butt 44?

My birthday this year is 3 Chen 5 Chichan (Mayan), or a week on Sunday. I'd like to rename it 13 Fishcake.

 607975.  Fri Sep 04, 2009 3:51 am . Was Napoleon the last guy who tried to renumber and rename the calendar? His metric system caught on for just about everything else, but not for the passage of days and seasons. These things are just currencies among people, very difficult to legislate for. I for one would like to reorganise the educational year into four terms, shift the main school exams to the end of the autumn term rather than hold them in balmy June, and rationalise the length of holidays. The only reason we have a massively long summer holiday in schools is that it is a leftover from the days when children were expected to help their parents bring in the harvest. I'm not sure this topic is really Holocene - should I set up a string on General Banter instead? Peregrine Arkwright

608088.  Fri Sep 04, 2009 9:20 am

 Peregrine Arkwright wrote: Was Napoleon the last guy who tried to renumber and rename the calendar? His metric system caught on for just about everything else, but not for the passage of days and seasons.

Actually, it was Napoleon's government which got rid of the decimalised Republican calendar (and the much shorter lived decimalised system of hours and seconds had ceased to be mandatory in 1795, well before Napoleon was in charge).

 608132.  Fri Sep 04, 2009 11:05 am WAsn't there something on QI about having 4 years difference between because Christ was born on year 0 or something? Me confused and mentally ill??

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