On UNIX and UNIX-Like systems:

Type 'date' at a prompt.

$ date
Tue Jan  8 11:17:06 EST 2002

In Perl:

#!/usr/bin/perl 
use POSIX 'strftime';
$date = strftime("%c",localtime);
print $date;
exit;

In PHP:

<?php $tdate = date("F j, Y"); print $tdate; ?>

In Windows:

Hold your mouse cursor over the time displayed in the system tray within 
the taskbar. A tooltip will pop up with today's date.

In DOS:

Type 'date' at a prompt. Hit ENTER twice. 

C:\> date
Current date is Tue 01-02-2002
Enter new date (mm-dd-yy):

C:\>

In MacOS:

Click on the clock inside the menu bar.

In Java:

new Date();
or
System.currentTimeMillis();

Thanks to Xamot for the Java code, and mkb for the MacOS method.

Getting a date (as in, a formal outing with another human being with the sole intention of pursuing a significant relationship for a period of time lasting longer than an episode of Friends) requires a number of other "techniques" which you will have to master. Top at the list is flirtation. Knowing how to flirt, in regards to dating, is about as integral as knowing the difference between an automatic transmission and a stick-shift, if you want to drive a car.

Asking a person out on a date requires, also, a certain level of empathy. More to the point, you must be somewhat confident that this person can withstand your presence for more than ten-minute intervals and wouldn't necessarily be opposed to the idea of sharing some of their precious time in your exclusive company. If you are somewhat adept at flirtation without getting slapped too often (or laughed at), then you should be able to make this asceration. Some clues to look for from the other person:

  • Smiling
  • Continued conversation
  • Active interest in your thoughts, opinions, character or activities
  • Divulging personal information about themselves (such as "favorites", beliefs, sexual preferences, history, occupation, etc.)
  • Physical contact of a peaceful manner (touching your forearm, thigh, knee, hand, shoulder... limbs and extremeties)
  • Eye contact
  • Undivided attention
  • Next comes the Big Step (tm):

    "Hey, what're you doing Friday night?" or some analog thereof, wherein the time is variable, the activity chosen is non-threatening and the implied intention is clear: this is ideal.

    You should not come right out and say, "Would you like to go out on a date with me?" For some reason, this is simply not done. It is considered too bold, too obvious and uncouth. For some reason people tend to respond better to subtlety and lack of pressure. I don't know exactly why this is so, but I've come to find that the mere mention of the word "date" has a certain measure of stigma attatched to it. On the other hand, being more specific is perfectly acceptable. Such as:

    "I'm going to see a band at The End next Thursday night. I hate going to those alone. Wanna come with?"

    "I was going to see the new Harry Potter movie last night with a friend, but he backed out. Would you like to join me tomorrow instead?"

    "I've really enjoyed our conversation. And I'd really like to buy you dinner some time. When would be a good time for you?"

    When naming specific things To Do, the engagement seems less nebulous and more precise- and less like a veiled invitation to sex, which can often be just as much of a turn-off (but not in all cases, mind you... I've actually witnessed someone using the pick-up line, "Hey. Nice shoes. Wanna fuck?" and make it work). It is important to note that you should suggest specific activities if (and only if) they come up in the course of the conversation. It is often easy enough to "aim" a conversation in a particular direction so that you may lead up to asking your all-important question. If you want to go to a movie with this person, then bring up the topic of movies in general. If you have a particular movie in mind, mention movies in which the actors in this movie also appear. Natural progression, yes? Then move in for the kill, as it were.

    Before making this request, it is a good idea to have a decent notion of what your personal schedule will look like over the next few days or week. If you have a night job that keeps you awake until 5 AM, you will find your options are limited. The ideal is to have an open schedule which would permit night-time activities such as movies, dinner, coffee, concerts and other such "public" outings on neutral territory.

    On the subject of concerts: do not invite a person to an ear-splitting, rock and roll concert performed by a big-name act for a first date. Such engagements last long, inhibit conversation and offer little in the way of a first shared experience. A jazz concert, however, is good. As is going to see the symphony, park events and pub-bands (in most cases, anyway- some tend to be twice as loud as your average AC/DC concert).

    What you do afterwards is equally important. Are there any 24-hour restaurants open in your area which the two of you can repair to once the concert is over? Coffee houses? Note: Waffle House does not qualify as a particularly fantastic post-date outing unless you're extremely charismatic- and sometimes not even then.

    Ask sincerely. Do not press the issue. Do not allow yourself to seem desperate over the matter. Smile (if it's appropriate to do so- and it usually is). Take "no" for an answer, if it is given as an absolute. Be prepared to have the tables turned on you, such as the person you're asking out taking control and stating firmly that they do not like going to concerts (let's say) and would much rather go out to see a movie. If the person says that they are unable to attend, then kindly suggest another time. If they are still resistant, then you are being told "no" and you should leave it alone, change the subject.

    If you are told no immediately then do not jump right up and walk away in defeat. Stick around a bit and continue to make light conversation- they might be testing your resolve/interest and may very well change their mind in a few minutes. It is important that your intentions are clear; doing so will ensure an honest response. If you want to "nail" the person (have sex), but you behave as though you are interested in them as an individual, then it will be apparent. If you are truly interested in them as a person, then try to avoid immediately getting back to flirtation with them after being "shot down"- that's too much like a mixed signal. But don't let it immediately kill the conversation or render you to dismayed and thoughtful silence.

    Refrain from seeming too eager. Relax. Train/prepare your mindset so that you will not be too terribly affected whether they say yes or no- not quite aloof, but not 100% invested, either.

    Be patient. The person you're asking out may not have an immediate response, one way or the other. Hell, they might even be too surprised (or flattered) to answer immediately. Don't crowd them about it or prompt or rush them.

    Asking a person out is sometimes an incredible personal risk- and sometimes you end up on the losing side of the gamble. That's okay. With more than 6.2 billion people in the world, the chances are very, very, very good that someone will say "yes" eventually.

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