DATE (year,month,day,hour,minute,second)(Minerva & NewDate) or

DATE (year,month,day,hour,minute [,second])(SMS v2.57+)



The function DATE returns the current date and time as the number of seconds since midnight on 1st January 1961. For example, PRINT DATE$(DATE) is exactly the same as PRINT DATE$. The NewDate version of this command is exactly the same as Minerva’s implementation.


Due to the way in which the system clock is implemented on the QL (it is stored as a 32-bit unsigned number), early versions of this function have problems with dates after 3.14:07 on 19th January 2029 (this would result in a number of seconds which needs to be stored in all 32 bits).

Although the SDATE and DATE$ functions treat the number correctly, the DATE function ignores the most significant bit, meaning that it returns the wrong value for dates later than this.

The NewDate version of this function, as well as Minerva ROMs and under SMS, DATE treats the figure as a 32-bit signed number. Although this allows the line PRINT DATE$(DATE) to work correctly for all dates between 0.0:00 on 1st Jan 1961 and 6.28:15 on 6th Feb 2097, note that any dates after 3.14:07 on 19th January 2029 are returned as negative numbers, with earlier dates giving the largest negative number.


DATE can accept the same six parameters accepted by SDATE. This enables you (for instance) to find out the day on a given date without having to alter the QL clock: PRINT DAY$(DATE(1968,6,25,1,1,0))

This does also enable you to easily set the update date on a given file without altering the QL clock:

SET_FUPDT \flp2_test_file, DATE(1990,11,1,0,0,0)


As from v2.57, DATE has been brought up to the same standard as on Minerva. However, the seconds do not have to be specified and will default to zero if omitted.


SDATE will alter the QL clock. DAY$ returns the day on the given date, DATE$ will return the current date. T_ON and T_START can be used for accurate stop-watches for timing programs.