Monday, March 1, 2010

Playstation 3: February 29 bug

Well... this is actually a bit funny... excluding all the people affected by this problem (well, this includes me ;)) and SONY... We all remember Y2K/Millenkum bug, some may be also aware of 2038 year problem in UNIX systems... But would you ever expect a leap year bug? This is what hit PS3 systems today: the hardware clock of PS3 (which you cannot set/reset) assumes it's February 29th, but the OS rejects this date as incorrect. The consequences are disastrous:
  • some files, e.g. saved games, may get corrupted.
  • trophy information may not be synchronized correctly and new trophies may get lost.
  • most (all?) games cannot be started at all; it doesn't matter whether these are online or single-player (offline) games.
  • PSN cannot be accessed.
Most old ("fat") PS3 systems are affected by this bug and for now the only solution is to not use PS3 today (until the internal clock advances to March 2nd).

From software engineer's perspective I can only say: WOW, that's a nasty BUG. It's amazing what consequences such subtle bug can cause, but on the other hand it's kind of terrifying if you think of other hardware that could suffer from that kind of programming errors, such as planes...

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