How about representing time as the number of seconds (0.1 seconds? 0.01 seconds?) since midnite 12/31/1999? Use a signed 64 bit int, and depend on a time library to convert it into the desired format? This allows times to be stored in a compact form, and YOU don't need to worry about leap seconds, etc. You're just dealing with int's.) Also figure out the desired time range to cover, and use that to figue out the precision in pieces of a second you are interested in. (I got into this discussion with someone before, and they convinced me that 2^63 hundreths of a second is a LOONNNGGGGGG time.)

Either Unix epoch (1/1/1970) or 1/1/1900 would be dates that have a lot of existing software support. 1/1/1999 is a problem if we're storing birthdates for anything besides summer-camp.

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