Due to a software error, the clock on many older Honda models has been showing 1:00 PM every time the vehicle is restarted since New Year’s on January 1, 2002. Obviously, the error cannot be corrected at this time – but it may go away on its own at the end of August.
It was good 20 years ago that the world feared that the turn of the year 2000 would confuse computers. It was believed that the world could plunge into chaos with the celebration of the New Year. Fortunately, Y2K’s panic was clearly exaggerated at the time, as, for the most part, nothing happened after the turn of the year.
Now, 22 years later, computers seem to have bigger problems – but no one suspected it before. Owners of many older Honda models can currently report this: As the tech portal “The Register” writes, several readers have noted that the clock in their vehicle jumps to one o’clock in the night after each restart. And that date is also shifted to January 1, 2002 every time.
Honda dealers then told customers that nothing could be done at the moment, perhaps the GPS satellites are to blame.
A Honda representative reportedly responded to an online complaint that the navigation system problem had been referred to the development team. He had said that the error would be present from January 2022 to August 2022 and then would resolve on its own. When asked by “The Register”, Honda did not wish to confirm the statement.
One explanation for the error could be a known bug in the open source software Honda may be using to determine the time from the GPS signal. However, not all evidence seems to fit, reports Gary Miller, who is responsible for open source software.
On the other hand, the error may also lie in a specific negligence on the part of the software developers, as some users on the net suspect. This bug caused an already widespread problem with mail delivery from Microsoft’s mail servers after the end of the year.
For the time being, affected Honda owners have no option but to wait. If the problem is with the Honda, it can probably be fixed with just a workshop visit Updates is available. It is not yet confirmed whether the error will actually resolve on its own by the end of August.
The problem may also be in the 32-bit number space
But why the turn from the year 2021 to 2022 can cause difficulties? With Microsoft’s mail servers, the problem was an unfortunate way of storing the date internally. Obviously that was stored there as a 32-bit integer number. This means that at this point the computer can only calculate with a number that consists of 32 digits in a binary system (numbers are made up of only one and zero).
The maximum value of a 32-bit integer is a value composed of 31 digits (the 32nd digit is needed to indicate whether the number is positive or negative). If you convert this maximum number to the decimal system (the number system with which we calculate), the result is the number 2147483647.
Now some developers have explicitly mapped the date as a number, that is, a two-digit sequence of numbers from the year, month, day, hour, and minute. So the last minute of 2021 will be number 2,112,312,359. As a number it has nothing to do with the date, but every date in the first 21 years of this millennium can be represented this way. The problem comes in the year 2022 with the turn of the year, as there is now 22. All date numbers formed with it are in the range of 2.2 billion and above, but the maximum 32-bit numbers are only slightly larger than 2.1 billion. , This means that all numbers derived from the date can no longer be represented as 32-bit numbers – an error occurs.
So it’s quite possible that Honda’s responsible developers also used this method at the time – without considering that it could cause problems in 2022. It is conceivable that if an invalid date is entered, the system will always revert to a standard value – January 1, 2002 at approximately one o’clock.
However, users seem to observe different behavior of their date, which will not always match the error described above. However, it is unlikely that Honda will elaborate on the actual reason.
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