Title text: The universe started in 1970. Anyone claiming to be over 38 is lying about their age.
In computer systems, time is measured starting from some arbitrarily chosen point. That particular time is known as the "epoch" for that system. The UNIX operating system internally uses an epoch of January 1, 1970, and measures time as a number of seconds from then. Since this was intended only for things internal to the OS (File last modified times and the like), using 1-Jan-1970 was safe as no UNIX systems existed before that date. However, since UNIX included a number of system functions to manipulate these dates, some developers mistook them for a general purpose date object, and misused them in applications requiring dates before the epoch. Such usage would inevitably fail (for example, the date might be considered to be far in the future, instead of in the past)
In the comic, one developer has clearly misused the system date in this way, and the second developer is making a pun by combining "Epoch" with "Epic Fail" - a colloquial term meaning "a very big mistake was made".
- [Cueball sits at a computer, staring at the screen and rubbing his chin in thought. A friend stands behind him]
- Cueball: Weird - My code's crashing when given pre-1970 dates.
- Friend [pointing at the computer]: Epoch fail!