s32 Unix Clock

By David Buchanan, 13th September 2023

I've been thinking I should do more "short form" blogging. Something between microblogging and regular blogging. This is me doing that!

Anyway, I was thinking about ways to visualise the year 2038 problem, and this is what I came up with: https://retr0.id/stuff/2038/ (go check it out, it looks much better in motion)

It's pretty simple. The clock face has 256 "ticks" (annotated in hexadecimal), and four dials, each moving exactly 256 times slower than the previous. The longest and fastest moving dial moves at one tick per second, which means it takes very approximately 4 minutes to do a full revolution (4:16, actually). The next hand takes roughly 18 hours, the next roughly 6 months, and the smallest hand takes ~136 years - or exactly 2^32 seconds.

There's nothing particularly special about this arrangement, but I find it quite aesthetically pleasing, from a numerical perspective. Mathsthetically pleasing?

On the subject of aesthetics, I picked the colours for the clock hands using https://coolors.co/

I wasn't joking about the "short form" blogging, so that's all I have to say!