A blog about teaching and learning in a maths classroom.

1234567890 Day

Friday, 13 February 2009 | 0 Comments

We celebrated 12345678890 Day in class today…

Ok, maybe not celebrated, but I pointed it out and we had a bit of a chat about it.

1234567890 Day occurs once, and is very nerdy.  It’s when Unix time reaches 1234567890.

Unix time … [is] defined as the number of seconds elapsed since midnight Coordinated Universal Time (UTC) of January 1, 1970.

Source: Wikipedia: Unix Time

Unix time is how many computer systems keep track of time.

Read more about 1234567890 Day on the Wikipedia page or watch the countdown on

In class we discussed what Unix time was, we worked out how to say the number “1234567890”, we considered what the Unix time would be 1 second after.  Some students thought that this number was too small to be the number of seconds since 1 Jan 1970, so we got out our calculators and worked out the number of seconds per year and multiplied that by the number of years since 1970.

Unfortunately, I’ve posted this a bit late on my blog for many to use in class, but I only saw it this morning.  Why not use it on Monday anyway…

Oh, and we survived the millenium bug, but will we survive the 2038 bug (when Unix time breaks)?

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Simon Job — eleventh year of teaching maths in a public high school in Western Sydney, Australia.
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