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As I was working today I was database diving, checking to make sure some data was added correctly.  There happened to be a date field involved and I froze upon seeing it.  There was something very familiar about it.

2008-11-17 ??

???8-11-17 ???

1858-11-17 !!!!

Yes!  That date holds quite a familiarity to me.  I saw that many a time in an old debugger and in data for default dates.

It’s none other than the epoch value for OpenVMS, an operating system that is near and dear to my heart.

“The OpenVMS Alpha operating system counts intervals of 100 nanoseconds since the Modified Julian Day epoch, 1858-11-17, 00:00:00.00 UTC. However, it is only incremented every 10 milliseconds, 100,000 intervals (10,000,000 ns) at a time. OpenVMS VAX (formerly VAX/VMS) uses the beginning of the current year as the epoch.”

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