General Question

lc's avatar

Anyone know why my Mac's date/time reverts back to December 31st, 1969 everytime it dies from a low battery?

Asked by lc (346points) March 16th, 2009

Weird right?

I have a Mac Powerbook G4 and every time it dies from a low battery, it reverts back to December 31st, 1969 at 7:00PM. I’m sure it was a great year, and time, but I like it here in 2009! Anyone know why this happens? I mean, computers weren’t even around then, so I know it’s not the ghost of computer past…

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11 Answers

gailcalled's avatar

When we have long power outages (like the six days in mid December) my iMac does the same thing when I finally get to reboot.

SeventhSense's avatar

Steve Jobs was a hippy teen and it was the end of an era?

lc's avatar

@gailcalled: the same date and time???

lefteh's avatar

That’s 0 in Unix time. As far as your computer is concerned, that is when the world began. Computers count time in seconds since midnight on January 1, 1970 (this event was called the Unix epoch). It’s a common bug in PowerBook G4s. When I had one, it would happen quite often. Just go into Sys Prefs -> Date and Time and it should usually automatically fix itself as long as you are connected to the internet.

lc's avatar

@lefteh I wish I could give you multiple ‘Great Answer!’‘s for that one! That is so cool!

jrpowell's avatar

Normally computers have a battery on the motherboard that supplies power to the chip that keeps track of the time. The G4 PowerBook doesn’t. It has a capacitor that draws power from the main battery. If the main battery is weak it doesn’t charge the capacitor. The answer is usually a new battery. This is a common problem.

IchtheosaurusRex's avatar

It misses the 60’s and wants to go back. I know I do.

steve6's avatar

The powers that be consider the 60s to be the glory days so SeventhSense was right. When the computer dies so do the 60s, symbolically.

ronski's avatar

Haha. I recently had this happen to me, and thought their was a ghost in my house and that the date was significant! I’m such a dork. It’s good to know my computer is just wack.

lc's avatar

I know, I thought for a moment that I had travelled back to 1969. It was scary, but kind of fun considering it would have been new years eve ;)
But when it kept happening, I thought that it must have some sort of significance to my past life like, maybe that’s when I died? Cause I always thought I went down with Atlantis ages ago.
I’m kind of weird.

maccmann's avatar

I actually had that happen with my G4 Digital Audio. It wouldn’t play any of my CDs or DVDs and insisted on my installing a reel-to-reel tape drive. The mouse couldn’t be recognized. The video wouldn’t work properly either. It would just keep bringing up the Terminal. And my printer kept spitting out punch cards.

It kept saying, “I’m sorry, Matt. I’m afraid I can’t do that.”

Boy I sure am glad I had a spare system battery!

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