Just dating: The stories behind 12 computer system reference dates

There are reasons - sometimes good reasons - that all of those seemingly random dates were chosen for epochs
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Credit: flickr/Ian Bailey-Mortimer

Computer system epochs - reference dates from which operating systems, file systems and programming languages track the passage of time - span hundreds and even thousands of years. Some epoch choices seem obvious (January 1, 2001) while others (November 17, 1858?) not so much. Some aren’t even actual calendar dates (January 0, 1900). Some epochs are celebrated and others live in obscurity even to those who use the systems that depend on them. The one thing they all have in common, though, is that they were chosen for a reason. Here are a dozen computer system reference dates that have been used through the years and the stories behind their significance.

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