Saturday, March 10, 2007

DST 2007 Begins Tonight

Now Is The Time To Change The Time
From Get Ready For The Big Time Switch

...This coming Sunday is the start of daylight-saving time. That, and the switch back to standard time in the fall, have been with us since long before computers were invented. But this year it will be different. A 2005 federal law dictates that daylight-saving time will begin three weeks earlier than before and extend a week later to the first Sunday in November.

The reason that we should worry is because some PCs and other devices are programmed to automatically switch to and from daylight-saving time based on the old rules. As powerful as Congress and the President may think they are, U.S. law doesn't automatically replicate itself into silicon and software.

Microsoft and Apple have got you covered if you happen to have the latest versions of their operating systems, but very few people have upgraded to Microsoft's new Windows Vista. Apple says it adjusted its calendar when it released OS X 10.4.5 in February 2006 though the company recommends you update again because "some additional regions that recently adopted time zone and DST changes."

Most Windows users are still using Windows XP, which needs an update to recognize the new start of daylight-saving time. ...

If you need the update, or aren't sure whether you do, go to, where you'll find instructions and links to the appropriate update sites. That Web page can also help you with earlier versions of Windows as well as other Microsoft products, including all versions of Outlook, even the newest 2007 version. ...

BlackBerry users who have version 4.0 or newer can upload a patch from the company's Web site. If you have an older version, you're advised to check with your cell phone carrier. Palm's Web site also offers updates for Palm OS and Windows Mobile devices. And Microsoft has updates available for other Windows mobile devices. ...

TiVo says its digital recorders have been updated, and most people who use standard cell phones shouldn't have a problem. That's because cell phone clocks are typically updated by cellular carriers, which is why the clock is usually correct when you get off a plane in a different time zone.

A Sprint spokesperson provided me with this statement about that company's equipment. "Most wireless phones will automatically adjust with the new daylight-saving time change, but BlackBerry devices and some PDAs and Smart phones may incorrectly display the wrong time or calendar appointments. ...

One problem is that the U.S. is going it alone on this switch, so any manual or automatic systems that synch between countries could pose a problem. ....

The price of not updating your device as described above? Well, if it's a computer, Blackberry, or PDA (Palm or Windows Mobile) that automatically adjusts for DST, you'll have to spring forward tonight. Then in April, when the date that we used to spring forward rolls around, your device will automatically spring forward, causing you to fall back an hour again. Then in October when we used to fall back, your device will fall back and you'll have to spring forward to stay on the right time. And come November, when we get back on standard time again, you'll have to fall back again.

Do we need any more reason to do away with DST? As if it wasn't bad enough before, many people will have to change their clocks four times a year going forward. Will the nonsense never end?


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