Mottek: 2010-02-10

The 2008 Bug

The NewtonOS still has one problem related to the year 2010 problem: Very early in the boot sequence, the OS adjusts the real time clock to a "reasonable" value. Unfortunately, dates past 2009 are not considered reasonable, and the OS resets the date therefore to 1996.

The 2010 patch kicks in after that, and it can then only get the date to something slightly better, which is 2008. A proper fix would require to change the function which adjusts the clock, but it is not in the patchable area. It also occurs so early in the boot sequence that there is no easy way to intercept it, backup the proper clock value, and restore it later.

There are some workarounds possible, for example storing the correct time every minute when the Newton is turned on, but they require a good place for the time value. Flash memory is not ideal, a better place would be somewhere in RAM which survives resets and reboots. I'm now on the hunt for such a buffered location...