A reminder that January 19th 2008 will mark the beginning of the 30-year countdown to the Y2K38 bug, when Unix time will overflow 32 bits. What is Y2K38 bug you say?
The year 2038 problem (also known as “Unix Millennium bug”, “Y2K38,” “Y2K+38,” or “Y2.038K” by analogy to the Y2K problem) may cause some computer software to fail before or in the year 2038. The problem affects Unix-like operating systems, which represent system time as the number of seconds (ignoring leap seconds) since January 1, 1970. This representation also affects software written for most other operating systems because of the broad deployment of C. On most 32-bit systems, the time_t data type used to store this second count is a signed 32-bit integer. The latest time that can be represented in this format, following the POSIX standard, is 03:14:07 UTC on Tuesday, January 19, 2038. Times beyond this moment will “wrap around” and be represented internally as a negative number, and cause programs to fail, since they will see these times not as being in 2038 but rather in 1901. Erroneous calculations and decisions may therefore result.
Personally I feel the concerns of any problem caused by this event is grossly over exaggerated, because by than I don’t believe there will be many computers running 32-bit software or hardware for that matter. However even if they did, the below gif gives an example of what it would look like in an actual even: