Thursday, January 01, 2009

So what happened to the Zune?

This new (or rather, end of) year story just made my day: every first generation 30 GB Zune reportedly freezing after midnight of 30th December or, starting 31st December, 2008. (See one forum thread here, or a Google trends graph for "zune freeze" here)

So, what was the issue? Apparently, someone forgot to take care of leap years in their code. I would _hate_ to be that someone right now.

This reminds me of my first new year at CT: more than one date handling bug in our code caused weird things to happen around the turn of the year. Thankfully, our failures were nowhere as epic as this one.1

I wonder how long us programmers will keeping tripping at each happy new year's.

1 The most any business guy reported was that some flight/fare was not showing up correctly, and no one apart from a couple of devs even knew what had happened (that was before we became heavy on processes, and JIRA was no longer a joke).

Update: Apparently the piece of source code that caused this problem has been identified and is out on the internets. So what did it? Well, seems like a date routine from Freescale was the culprit. See this forum post for the gory details.

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