Powershell and dates

I wrote about unix timestamp i powershell.

I wrote : It is chockingly easy !
but I should have written : … it is not correct :-(

PS> ./perl -e "print time.'`n'"
PS> get-date -u %s

there is about 3605 seconds difference. 1 hour for Europe/Zurich and 5 seconds to type on a slow keyboard…

Even more confusing

PS> get-date "1970-01-01 00:00:00 +00:00" -u %s

Ok, why that? this is related to the Kind

PS> (get-date "1970-01-01 00:00:00 +00:00").kind

A Unix timestamp of Kind Local is useless. Don’t use this.

Unix timestamp should only refers to Utc.

PS> get-date
Sonntag, 11. März 2012 10:47:35
PS> get-date ((get-date).touniversaltime()) -u %s

still it is very confusing to using the unixformat in Windows

PS> get-date -u %c__%Z__%s
So Mrz 11 10:55:05 2012__+01__1331463305.85197
PS> get-date ((get-date).touniversaltime()) -u %c__%Z__%s
So Mrz 11 09:55:46 2012__+01__1331459746.07913

the %s does not work as expected with local (as it refers to a local 1970-01-01) and %Z does not work at all with utc (it sould be +00

OK, let’s switch to the Microsoft time. You count the time as the number of tenth of microseconds (or ticks) since 1 Jan 0001. Again it may differ if you do not use utc.

Let’s define constant $c as number of ticks until 1970-01-01, in utc

PS> $c = (get-date "1970-01-01 00:00:00 +00:00").touniversaltime().ticks
PS> $c

Let’s convert it to a human readable format

PS C:\> New-Object datetime($c)

Donnerstag, 1. Januar 1970 00:00:00

So far so good.

Lets convert 1331461119 back and forth

PS> (New-Object datetime($c + 1331461119 * 10000000)).tolocaltime()

Sonntag, 11. März 2012 11:18:39

PS> (New-Object datetime($c + 1331461119 * 10000000))

Sonntag, 11. März 2012 10:18:39
PS> ( (get-date "2012-03-11 10:18:39 +00:00").touniversaltime().ticks - $c ) / 10000000
PS> ( (get-date "2012-03-11 11:18:39 +01:00").touniversaltime().ticks - $c ) / 10000000

BTW, what does Oracle think of the number of ticks of current date ?

PS> $d=36217;"select to_char(date '0001-01-01' + $d,'YYYY-MM-DD') from dual;"|sqlplus -s -L scot/tiger;New-Object datetime($d*864000000000)


Sonntag, 28. Februar 0100 00:00:00

PS C:\> $d=36218;"select to_char(date '0001-01-01' + $d,'YYYY-MM-DD') from dual;"|sqlplus -s -L scot/tiger;New-Object datetime($d*864000000000)


Montag, 1. März 0100 00:00:00

Apparently Microsoft does not have a leap year in 100AD.

Ok, whatelse to say about date?

There is one more format that is commonly used in Microsoft world, the so-called DMTF or Distributed Management Task Force. Let’s have a quick look with 1-JAN-2000.

PS C:\> [System.Management.ManagementDateTimeConverter]::TodmtfDateTime((get-date "2000-01-01 00:00:00"))
PS C:\> [System.Management.ManagementDateTimeConverter]::TodmtfDateTime((get-date "2000-01-01 00:00:00 +00:00").touniversaltime())
PS C:\> [System.Management.ManagementDateTimeConverter]::ToDateTime('20000101000000.000000+060')
Samstag, 1. Januar 2000 00:00:00
PS C:\> [System.Management.ManagementDateTimeConverter]::ToDateTime('20000101000000.000000+000').touniversaltime()
Samstag, 1. Januar 2000 00:00:00

Published by

Laurent Schneider

Oracle Certified Master

2 thoughts on “Powershell and dates”

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