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PTC Communication - What's going on?


New member
Anybody know any further details? Am I being a bit too dramatic in thinking that someone has sabotaged the codes?


Dear PTC Customer:

The purpose of this communication is to inform you of an important software issue that has recently been identified and corrected that will affect numerous Pro/ENGINEER, Pro/INTRALINK, and Windchill customers worldwide. Specifically, this software issue may cause certain inter-process communications between Pro/ENGINEER and related application modules to time-out prematurely on January 10, 2004 and thereafter. This issue, which affects Pro/ENGINEER and related products, does not corrupt data but may impact productive utilization of the software unless addressed before January 10, 2004.

This isolated software issue can be readily addressed via a small downloadable software patch or by implementing a new maintenance build of the release of the software you have currently deployed. Nonetheless, PTC believes it to be prudent to notify customers to give you ample time to address this issue prior to January 10, 2004 and avoid any interruptions to your use of the software. We encourage all Pro/ENGINEER, Pro/INTRALINK, and Windchill customers to go here to determine how this issue may affect your implementation. This web site will provide you with a description of the problem, a timeline showing when various solutions to this issue will be made available, and what actions will be required to implement those solutions.

Over the past several releases, PTC has demonstrated our commitment to continuous improvement of the quality of our software. I want to assure you that quality remains our top priority and we are investing heavily in quality assurance.

Should you have any questions once you have read the material posted on the web site, please do not hesitate to contact PTC's Customer Support organization. Our staff is prepared to support you through this update. We value your business, and I apologize in advance for any inconvenience that we may have introduced.
Looks like they had a bug in code they've used for years... affecting Pro/E interaction with Intralink, Windchill, etc.

They'll have a nmsd.exe patch for Pro/E pre-Wildfire & a new build of Wildfire coming out soon.
Lesley, I just opened my inbox mail for this morning and found no fewer than 3 e-mails telling me about some Time-out Issue that I must address before 10 JAN 04 or it could impact productive utilization.

I'm like you, what's going on here? It doesn't (at least I couldn't find it) tell me what date code I should be at in order to be OK. It doesn't even tell me which product is damaged. We use Wildfire and Inralink here, but before I go do any date code changes I want to here from the user crowd.


Steve C

We are anticipating this issue to affect Pro/E SE copies as well.

We are having a conference with PTC tomorrow to discuss how to handle this and will be letting all of our customers know what can be done at this point.

So, if you purchased an SE copy of Pro/E keep your eye out for an email from JourneyEd in the near future.

People with free SE copies (i.e., got from a training class, seminar, sales rep, etc...) unfortunately, I don't know what to tell you at this point. Hopefully PTC will make some attempt to contact or assist you with these issues.
Looks like some programmer created a little Y2K-type deadline issue for ProE. From the website:


The root cause of the issue is an incorrect value having been placed in a constant that is used to identify a theoretical infinite time in the future. Because the value of this constant was not set to the largest possible value, the theoretically infinite time will be reached on Saturday, January 10, 2004 13:37:04 GMT, which is Saturday, January 10 08:37:04 EST.


I'll bet somebody(s) lose their job(s) over this one. All supported versions are effected.
PTC really are looking more and more amateurish lately compared to other CAD vendors

this is without shooting themselves in the foot...

i for one will sorely miss proe if it goes but (never though id say this) i am begining to think its days are numbered

only a matter of time before EDS swallow another company?
I doubt this will knock PTC from the top of the CAD field, but it may change the way they do business. I can't wait until we hear from all the people using versions of Pro prior to Rel 20.

Steve C
Some background info on why this is happening from the PTC message board on Yahoo! Finance...

You'd think this would have been corrected with any Y2K issues or at the very least well in advance of PTC becoming aware of it on 12-12-03. Seems to be rooted in the fact that Pro/E was originally coded and ported for a UNIX platform.

<<It seems like it must be a hoax, why would the software somehow have Jan 10 hardcoded as the end of the world?>>

I have a guess for the answer... I notice that Jan 10 is 2^30 seconds after the beginning of the UNIX epoch, Jan 1, 1970. It has been long expected that failures would begin to occur 2^31 seconds after the beginning of the epoch, since time information in UNIX has traditionally been stored in a signed 32-bit integer indicating the number of seconds since the beginning of the epoch. My guess is PTC does some sort of date arithmetic (adding two dates, perhaps?) that makes it good for only 2^30 seconds after epoch.

Has anyone heard of other software facing a Jan 10 problem?

Not sure if anyone else is going to have a problem, but this so-called UNIX epoch issue has been known among programmers for years. In fact, when we were all running around responding to the Y2K situation, the inside joke was that this was not the problem that real programmers had to worry about but rather that the UNIX timekeeping scheme could prove to be more of an issue since the average person won't even be aware of it and it could sneak up on the industry. Of course, anyone who did not take the time back when the original Y2K issues were on everyone's mind to fix ALL of the potential time problems was being very shortsighted in their thinking.

The Unix epoch is the representation of points in time as the number of non-leap seconds since 00:00:00 UTC on January 1, 1970, introduced by the Unix operating system, standardized in POSIX, and later adopted by the Java programming language and JavaScript. Because many computers today store the number of seconds as a 32-bit signed integer, the Unix epoch is often said to last 231 seconds, thus ending at 03:14:07 Tuesday, January 19, 2038 (UTC).

Brad Hacker

ME CAD Admin

Zebra Technologies Corp.
I wonder....

This would be an EXCELLENT way for PTC to identify all the folks with dormant, (that is no longer paying for maintenance) users, both by logging who downloads the patch, or bitchs when their copy of Rev 20 or whatever gets weird on them.
Not sure what to do still - the PTC website doesn't show a patch for 2001 running on XP! Arghh!!!

Still confused, but it's my last day at work til 5th Jan - I'll worry about it when I come back.

Hope everyone has a merry Christmas, and a peaceful New Year.


Thanks for that - the website wasn't showing a correlation between XP and the i486_nt download when I visited it. Will download it as soon as I get back to work!