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Tech Time Warp: Leap years trip us up every time

Tech Time Warp: Leap years trip us up every time

Tech Time Warp

Tech Time WarpLeap day 2024 was not without its technical complications. For instance, for more than 10 hours Thursday in New Zealand, drivers could not pay via credit card at gas pumps. Such problems are all part of the grand tradition of leap years, which, as we see in this edition of Tech Time Warp, serve as a quadrennial reminder that behind every computer is a human who makes mistakes.

While leap year 2000 was relatively calm overall—likely because everyone was still on high alert following Y2K—every four years Feb. 29 brings surprises:

Sometimes devices even succumb to leap year issues in non-leap years. In 2010—not a leap year!—an internal clock in the PlayStation 3 was programmed to recognize 2010 as a leap year, bringing about widespread connectivity issues.

Morale of the story: You might want to set a calendar reminder for 2028. Just make sure your calendar software recognizes leap years.

Did you enjoy this installation of SmarterMSP’s Tech Time Warp? Check out others here.

Photo: Ronnie Chua / Shutterstock

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