[clug] Microsoft Azure down for 9 hours with " leap-year date (problem) that prevented systems from calculating the correct time."

steve jenkin sjenkin at canb.auug.org.au
Thu Mar 1 22:01:06 MST 2012

Two articles by Dan Goodin with same text, different photos.


and a comment from a Gartner 'Cloud Expert':


And the Rest of the World, based on POSIX, seemed to sail on regardless...
Linux and OS/X [and AIX, Solaris, HP/UX, ...] Just Work in this.

Getting something so basic wrong, something that has been definitively
solved for over half the lifetime of Commercial Computing (!), says
there are serious flaws in both the Microsoft Software Development and
Acceptance processes *and* their basic competence/capability in writing

Why don't commentators draw attention to this???

I can't remember the full history of Time Zones in Unix.
Don't recall them being there in V6 or V7. UNSW & early BSD had them
from memory. [Please correct me!]

Seem to recall that Adelaide, being 0:30 behind Aus East Coast, caused
the first attempt with whole hours to be redone (TZ="5EDT6", where time
behind GMT/UTC was positive and for Australia (ahead) TZ="-10EDT-11", IIRC.)

Full Internationalisation was definitely there with System V Release 3
(SVR3 included streams and "file system switch" as well). Was that same
time as BSD 4.3/4.4 or a little before?

Previously, by System V 2.2, there were two competing 'curses' libraries
and databases (SysV - terminfo, BSD - termcap [Bill Joy]).
There were so many ascii terminal makers around that 'terminal
definitions' couldn't be hard-coded.

Unix wasn't born being 'portable' and 'the Universal glue', but that
followed on so fast as to be indistinguishable to most folk.

Not sure how long it took before we had "8-bit clean" utilities in Unix.
SVR4?? [ie. a 'null' character didn't stop reading, and not just 7-bit
ANSI/ASCII characters supported]

It took Ken and Rob Pike to come up with UTF-8, and create a system
(Plan 9) that began life without any 7- bit ascii limits, ie native
UTF-8 and UTF-16.

Steve Jenkin, Info Tech, Systems and Design Specialist.
0412 786 915 (+61 412 786 915)
PO Box 48, Kippax ACT 2615, AUSTRALIA

sjenkin at canb.auug.org.au http://members.tip.net.au/~sjenkin

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