Portable general timestamp format, not 2038-limited

Peter J. Holzer hjp-usenet2 at hjp.at
Tue Jul 3 15:47:53 CEST 2007

On 2007-07-03 08:57, Richard Heathfield <rjh at see.sig.invalid> wrote:
> Paul Rubin said:
>> sla29970 at gmail.com writes:
>>> As for the primacy of UTC vs. TAI, this is the classical chicken and
>>> egg problem.  The bureaucratic reality is opposed to the physical
>>> reality.
>> Well, if you're trying to pick just one timestamp standard, I'd say
>> you're better off using a worldwide one rather than a national one, no
>> matter how the bureaucracies work.
> In that case, the obvious choice is Greenwich Mean Time.  :-)

Hardly. That hasn't been in use for over 35 years (according to

> Seriously, GMT is recognised all over the world (far more so, in fact,
> than UTC, which tends to be recognised only by some well-educated
> people, and there are precious few of those), so why not use it?

While the layman may recognize the term "GMT", he almost certainly means
"UTC" when he's talking about GMT. GMT was based on astronomical
observations and the be best approximation available today is probably
UT1, which may differ from UTC by up to 0.5 seconds.

> I always leave my PC's clock set to GMT,

Your PC is directly linked to an observatory? Impressive :-). If you
synchronize your PC to any external time source, it's almost certainly
UTC, not GMT or UT1. If you don't synchronize it it's so far off that it
doesn't matter.


   _  | Peter J. Holzer    | I know I'd be respectful of a pirate 
|_|_) | Sysadmin WSR       | with an emu on his shoulder.
| |   | hjp at hjp.at         |
__/   | http://www.hjp.at/ |	-- Sam in "Freefall"

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