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

Alex Satrapa grail at goldweb.com.au
Thu Mar 1 23:06:21 MST 2012

Or the short version:

"Those who do not understand Unix are doomed to reinvent it, poorly" — Henry Spencer

On 02/03/2012, at 16:01 , steve jenkin wrote:

> Two articles by Dan Goodin with same text, different photos.
> <http://arstechnica.com/business/news/2012/03/how-a-leap-year-bug-could-topple-microsofts-azure-cloud-service.ars>
> <http://www.wired.com/wiredenterprise/2012/03/azure-leap-year-bug/>
> and a comment from a Gartner 'Cloud Expert':
> <http://blogs.gartner.com/kyle-hilgendorf/2012/02/29/another-cloud-outage-insight-and-reactions/>
> 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
> Software...
> 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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