Many months ago I found myself exploring a website with the collected works of Alexander Pushkin, and taking inspiration from the Samuel Pepys blog, I thought it might be fun to import Pushkin’s letters into an email client. Apart from the novelty value, the mail client provides all kinds of very useful search and sort features you don’t usually get with literary texts.
I love this tidbit, however:
I had to bump the date up by 200 years because Mail.app refuses to properly sort nineteenth century email. I consider this a bug.
Maciej has some fun ideas about setting up “historical correspondence,” annotating the letters of famous people via email.
Just out of curiosity, I pulled up iCal and was able to head back to 1298-07-21 which marks (according to Wikipedia), “English and Irish forces led by Edward Longshanks defeated William Wallace’s Scottish troops at the Battle of Falkirk.” The “Go to Date” dialog seemed a little wonky while changing the numbers, changing the month for example when I changed the day, but otherwise seemed to work.
Update: Commenters on this post reminded me that iCal doesn’t handle the switch to the Gregorian calendar very well. See below for details. As Maciej said in regards to mail, I consider this a bug. :)
It’s sort of a reverse Y2K problem if your app doesn’t handle things properly. I assumed that other programs that were not strictly date-based would have an issue, but Address Book at least seemed happy enough:
(Happy birthday, Sixtus.)
Haven’t tested any other apps yet, but of course there is the impending and arguably more pressing Year 2038 problem to worry about.