You are on your computer on June 23rd, 2021 at 10:24:58 am, when it suddenly becomes bricked. Your electronic devices all fail, except for your newest technology. Why?

Hint 1:

Look at the year and the time passed since it began.

Hint 2:

T1J11 >ks

This didn't happen to me, this is just a scenario I made up myself. It could've possibly happened in real life.

  • $\begingroup$ Does it have something to do with a Y2K/year 2038-esque problem? $\endgroup$ Jul 20, 2023 at 16:44
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    $\begingroup$ Most computers use Unix time, which is a 32 bit integer that keeps track of the seconds since Jan 1, 1970. This could potentially have to do with using less than 32 bits. $\endgroup$ Jul 20, 2023 at 17:01
  • $\begingroup$ @TylerSelden "most computers" Don't 64 bit computers use 64 bit integers to keep track of time? $\endgroup$ Jul 20, 2023 at 17:11
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    $\begingroup$ @webadventurer It is likely nothing related with the outside world and is probably a complete result of the way the computer measures time or some other thing. $\endgroup$ Jul 20, 2023 at 19:38
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    $\begingroup$ @fljx Yes, it seems so. I guess there is some ambiguity about where "your computer" is. $\endgroup$
    – RobPratt
    Jul 21, 2023 at 13:41

2 Answers 2


Consider that the integer used for storing the date time value

may be a 32-bit signed integer, i.e has a max value of 2147483647

Notice that

The max value 1) starts with 21 and 2) if the rest is to be regarded as a percentage (47.483647%), it looks as if it could match with how much of the year 2021 has passed on June 23rd.

Let the imaginary date time format be an integer which is constructed like

(last 2 digits of year) +concat+ (how much of the year has passed as a percentage, 8 digits + remove decimal point)
((Year - 2000) * 10^8) + floor(SecondsPassed / AverageSecondsInAYear * 10^8)

Let's try to calculate that max value as an actual date

Calculate (0.47483647 * 365.25 * 24 * 60 * 60) (note the average 365.25 is taken thanks to @fljx in the comments), add that to 2021.01.01 00:00:00 and it yields: 2021.06.23 10:24:59 UTC

OP here. The newest technology is


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    $\begingroup$ If you use the actual length of a year (just under 365.25 days) I think this gets much closer. $\endgroup$
    – fljx
    Jul 27, 2023 at 10:42

My wild guess:

A solar flare or another cataclysm that would be able to disable electronics worldwide for a certain amount of time could have possibly happened. Your "newest technology" is a tool you made recently that doesn't use electricity (for example a hammer or axe).

  • $\begingroup$ Well, this isn’t the answer, sadly. Look at the tag. $\endgroup$
    – misc544
    Jul 20, 2023 at 17:21

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