Ultimate unit of time
Everyone knows Y2K (or else you wouldn't be reading past this parentesis), but there's also Y2K38 (32-bit Unix timestamps run out) and the Y292B277M026K596 problem. Why not get rid of these problems through the power of science?
Planck time, at roughly 5.39106×10-44 seconds, is
the smallest time measurement that will ever be possible. The Universe
is, at current reckoning, about
13.75 ± 0.11 billion years.
Seems to me we could put these facts together, and create the last reckoning
our computers will ever need. With a bit of generous rounding, we get to
around 2.6×1053 Planck time units of time until now. Converting to
binary, that's 177 bits. But what about the future? Well, since computers
generally work best when given data in sizes equal to a
power of two, we might as well round up to the nearest - 256 - And have plenty of time.
In fact, 256 bits (less than it takes to store your postal address) would be
sufficient to store time units until way, way beyond the existence of
the human race, or indeed, of
the fundamental particles of the universe.
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