First to 40,000

So apparently today is a big day for everyone that measures dates from a certain arbitrary date in the past. Yes, that means you and me.

excel date 40000 forty thousand

But Martin claims he saw it first. Apparently in New Zealand, the sun comes up really early. J-Walk is looking forward to September 5, 2021, while I’m more smitten with January 21, 2025.

Also, hat tip to Dan.

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13 thoughts on “First to 40,000

  1. I guess I get to be the first to say that tomorrow is day 40,000. It is only because of the 1900 leap year bug in Excel that it thinks today is day 40,000.

  2. Bob –

    There’s a difference between the 40,000th day (lower case, defined by logic and arithmetic) and Day 40,000 (capitalized, defined by edict).

  3. According to Microsoft, they followed Lotus 123 in perpetuating the leap year bug for compatibility reasons, and now we are stuck with it.

    Why don’t they just count the days from 31 Dec 1899, rather than 1 Jan 1900, and remove the fictitious 29 Feb 1900?

    Not that it really matters that much. Just curious.

  4. RT, that would be because you are using the 1904 date system which was created to fix this whole 1900 leap year bug created by Lotus and inherited in Excel. I don’t know if mac’s have the same options as Windows, but in Windows Excel 2003 go to “Tools”, “Options” then click the “Calculation” tab, you must have “1904 date system” checked.

  5. I know that we must be total nerds, but I absolutely LOVE little things like this! I’m an Excel kinda gal and even though I’m a little late, when I saw the fact that the ten thousandth place had changed the first thing I did was look around the web to see if there was a little “woohoo” going on amongst us dorks!! HA! LOVE IT! Happy 40000!

  6. Doug –

    I believe the VBA documentation says it’s the number of days since 31 Dec 1899, and they ignore the discrepancy between VBA dates and Excel dates prior to March 1900.

  7. Jon -I couldn’t find the documentation, but that seems to be right. Day number 60 displays as 28th Feb 1900 in VBA, but 29th Feb 1900 in Excel (and also Lotus 123). That seems like another good reason for doing it the VBA way everywhere.

    I also discovered that if you save a file in xls format from XL2007, 123 can’t read it, even if you open it in XL2000 and re-save it with a new name. Files saved from XL2000 (or 2003) can be opened in 123 with no problem.

    Michael – surely they meant 69617.52426 (formatted as hhmmssdmyy ;)

  8. Doug –

    Well, maybe they shoulda…but they actually said yesterday that 12:34:56 7/8/9 comes only once a century.

    We’ve shown that to be wrong :-)

    …mrt (who can’t figure out how to get just a y format)

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