At the tone, the time will be

by Michael S. Kaplan, published on 2006/04/05 04:02 -04:00, original URI:

Posted today (April 5th, 2006) at three seconds, two minutes, and one hour after midnight -- the date and time being:

01:02:03 04/05/06

in any country backwards enough to have an mm/dd/yy date format (such as the United States of America!)

I had an embarrassing number of people send this little factoid to me in mail, including four instances of spam trying to sell me things, one developer, two program managers, and one senior VP.

We all need to get lives, I think.


# Phylyp on 5 Apr 2006 5:18 AM:

The US uses mm/dd/yyyy, pretty much the rest of the world uses dd/mm/yyyy...

... geeks use yyyymmdd :)

# Adam on 5 Apr 2006 5:29 AM:

And any country backwards enough to put the time before the date!

What sort of endianness are you dealing with there? In terms of significance, where 6 is the most significant part of the date and 1 is the least -

ISO-8601 is: 6-5-4-3-2-1
AFAICT, most Americans would put: 5-4-6-3-2-1
Most English would put: 4-5-6-3-2-1

But you've just suggested: 3-2-1 5-4-6

That's almost random!


# HDZ on 5 Apr 2006 5:41 AM:


I have somewhere in my collection a commemorative train ticket from Tokyo dated 3-3-3, that being the 3rd of March in the 3rd year of the Heisei era (1991).

I think we both need to get out more :-)

Just out of interest, do any countries outside the US/Canada use the mm/dd/yyyy formatting for dates?

# Michael S. Kaplan on 5 Apr 2006 10:36 AM:

A little program enumerating through all locales and checking GetLocaleInfo(..., LOCALE_IDATE, ...) will reveal more than just the US and Canada returning a 0 (Month-Day-Year). :-)

# Mike on 5 Apr 2006 10:54 AM:

Canada doesn't use month-day-year, it uses day-month-year.

# Maurits [MSFT] on 5 Apr 2006 11:24 AM:

There is much greater agreement between locales about the numerological significance of the upcoming 6:6:6 6/6/6

To abet apocalpytophobes, I should note we've survived twenty of these so far with no problems :)

# Alun Jones on 5 Apr 2006 11:34 AM:

My Texas driver's licence expires 6/6/6.

# Mihai on 5 Apr 2006 12:21 PM:

I got this too, not sure why is so interesting.

I prefer the (almost) locale-independent one that is comming a bit later: 06:06:06 06/06/06 (with interesting biblical implications too :-)
(I say "almost" because the date is no so interesting in non-Gregorian calendars)

# Maurits [MSFT] on 5 Apr 2006 1:24 PM:

Then there's 8/7/6 5:43:21 coming up (though locales disagree exactly when)

# Maurits on 6 Jun 2006 1:55 PM:

Anybody remember where they were on 12:34:56 7/8/90 ?

# Michael S. Kaplan on 6 Jun 2006 3:51 PM:

I know where I was and who I was with for the AM, only a guess for the PM.... :-)

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