Thank you, Word auto recovery. Gosh, which one shall I use?

Perplexing… My notebook crashed on Friday, and I just returned to this Word document now. Word conveniently saved two versions of the document for me, including the original draft, apparently written some 370 years before I was born, and 51 years before Jan Van Riebeeck sailed to sunny South Africa.

DocRecovery

Anyway, I did some digging (very little), and the significance of the weird date is explained on Raymond Chen’s blog here. It’s a short post, so here it is quoted verbatim:

Public Service Announcement: This weekend marks the start of Daylight Saving Time in most parts of the United States.

The FILETIME structure records time in the form of 100-nanosecond intervals since January 1, 1601. Why was that date chosen?

The Gregorian calendar operates on a 400-year cycle, and 1601 is the first year of the cycle that was active at the time Windows NT was being designed. In other words, it was chosen to make the math come out nicely.

I actually have the email from Dave Cutler confirming this.

In English, what that means is that the date is an uninitialized Win32 FILETIME structure, so the original date was somehow lost, and the Office developers didn’t test for that variable being undefined. (Hey, at least it didn’t crash. And they did correctly convert the date to a local date time for this country.)

So if you see that same confusing date anywhere, now you know…

Advertisements

About Jerome

I am a senior C# developer in Johannesburg, South Africa. I am also a recovering addict, who spent nearly eight years using methamphetamine. I write on my recovery blog about my lessons learned and sometimes give advice to others who have made similar mistakes, often from my viewpoint as an atheist, and I also write some C# programming articles on my programming blog.
This entry was posted in General, Programming and tagged , . Bookmark the permalink.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s