History Of The Mike Date

The Mike Date idea was hatched somewhere between 8800 and 8900 days, which is in late 1999. I was using the computer to write journals and web pages, and I was interested in trying to keep track of the chronology of certain events. Because I had been working with text files, web pages, and journals, I got the idea to create a numbered index of all the different days in my life.

The idea for a physical numbered index was abstracted and refined into the Mike Date. In the Mike Date, every day has unique number, and the numbers start at 0 and march up.

I was working with AutoCAD at the time, and in AutoCAD you enter a lot of numerical data into the computer using fractions, decimals, radians, and degrees. I realized that I could incorporate time of day into the Mike Date using decimals.

Early Problems

The Mike Date was originally beset by The Zero Problem. Here is what I mean by The Zero Problem: when you're counting something, do you start with zero or one? Certain things, like a dozen doughnuts, you start counting with one. Other things, like the distance from Photon to Neutron, you start counting with zero.

For the Mike Date, if you were just counting whole days you might start by saying the first day is day 1. But when adding on the time of day as fractions of a day, it is clear that the first day starts at 0.0, that halfway through the first day is 0.5, and so on.

At the same time I corrected The Zero Problem, I also realized that I needed to refine my origin point. I consulted my Baby Book to get my exact time of birth, and I doublechecked the time zone and daylight saving time policy in effect at that time. This gave me the universal time of my birth, which I use as my origin point.

Not Invented Here

I was researching, on the internet, different ways that I could have a Mike Date clock on my computer. That's how I found out that this idea is actually old, old news. The Modified Julian Date was the existing time standard that I focused on as being exactly the same as what I was doing. Everything but the origin was the same.