A New Pair a Dime

Last year I bought one of those low cost tiny BeagleBone Black computers, and recently started to re-play with it. Re-playing is when you start to play with something but for what ever reason you don't get to finish playing with it to your satisfaction, so set it aside to re-play with later.

The thing that is really amazing to me is that this little credit card sized device is actually a computer. A pair of dimes illustrate its size. I guess you could say small devices are becoming the new paradigm.

My intension was to build something to control LED lights via some software algorithm to be dreamed up later. The idea was for someone to flip the switch and have light (and or sound, etc.) react in some way to be determined.

One thing that really bothers me for some reason is the year 2038. Some Linux/Unix/BSD 32 bit operating systems are set to do weird things in the year 2038. That bothers me for some reason, especially when we move into this Internet of Things universe, and embedded chips are all over the place.

I found this handy dandy Perl end of time tester floating around the Internet:

use POSIX;
$ENV{'TZ'} = "GMT";
for ($clock = 2147483641; $clock < 2147483651; $clock++) {
    print ctime($clock);

When I tested 32bit Debian it stopped advancing time. Some 32bit UNIX-like hybrids stop advancing their clock and some return a negative number for time. According to my research there are a few 32bit operating systems that have this problem taken care of. My concern about this years away glitch is that I favor the idea of doing things that are archival, at least when posible.