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Date/time bugs throughout the years for Apple


As 30GB Zune owners deal with the sudden bricking of their systems after midnight this morning, hopefully they can take comfort in the fact they are not alone in this. Throughout the years, Apple products had their share of time & date problems.

In February 2000, Newton owners began reporting that they were having issues with the Newton being rather confused about what century it was in. Some users discovered that when they entered two-digit numbers as part of birthdays and other common abbreviated dates, things got wonky. For example, if I entered my birth date as 2-28-80 on the Newton, it interpreted the number as being February 28, 2080 rather than 1980. Entries of full dates in the 1900s were also affected. Other users stated that when they tried finding 20th century dates in the Find applet of the Newton, the system actually performed the search using 21st-century dates.

Fixes included resetting the system clock back to 1999 to enter those dates before resetting it again back to 2000 and applying software patches. Sadly, it's a bug that HAL-9000 forgot to mention. Apple even reported back in 1998 that the Newton was Y2K-compliant. Of course, this won't even begin to cover the problems that Newton owners still using the product will have in 2010. If you see our own Newton-sporting Steve Sande at Macworld, be sure to tease him about it.

A Tiger bug discovered in 2005 revealed that Safari's RSS reader would list some items as being an hour ahead of when they were actually posted -- news from the future is not catastrophic, but certainly could be confusing.

Our research this morning hasn't turned up any date-related iPod or iPhone hiccups, but if you know of any examples please let us know in the comments. As for the Zune bricks, there's been no word yet from Microsoft regarding the failures, but Engadget's readers have already come up with a number of theories including blaming it on Steve Jobs, the year 2008 being one-second longer, and other conspiracy theories that are sure to come throughout the day.

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