Washington Apple Pi

Infrequently Asked Questions: Computers

Time Travel and the Macintosh

© 1999 Washington Apple Pi Labs

Macintosh computers are Y2K compliant. Almost everyone knows this, or at least the important people know this. Or possibly just those who downloaded the famed "HAL" QuickTime clip from Apple's Web site know this.

Being Y2K compliant is reassuring. But for Apple, of course, this isn't enough: modern Macs are not only Y2K compliant, they are Y29K compliant. Mac OS uses math routines that can correctly calculate dates between 30,081 BC and 29,940 AD.

"Cool," you say. Then you ask, "But 29,940 AD? Who cares about that?"

As with many things, the answer should be obvious: time travelers. While the mainstream press seems to have, once again, missed a great Apple story, it can no longer be kept secret: the Macintosh is the preferred computer of time travelers everywhere. Or everywhen. Or at least everywhen across a span of sixty millennia.

The proof is out there. Or possibly right in front of you. Look at the accompanying image. Notice anything strange about the date for NAV Virus Update Installer?

Yes, that's right: when this screen capture was made, on May 31, 1999, the Macintosh in question had a file from the future, in this case an update for Norton Anti-Virus for Macintosh that was released the next day.

Suddenly, many old questions are answered. Haven't you always wondered how the computer gurus get their information long before everyone else? "I've been using Mac OS 9 for a year now," they say, and you are still waiting for it to go on sale. Where did they get it? The future, of course.

Where did you go tomorrow?

Go to the Finder, tell your Mac to View things by date, and you may uncover a timeless secret.

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Washington Apple Pi IFAQ
August 7, 1999 Lawrence I. Charters