Here Comes the Daylight Savings Bug!

 


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DST Bug - ETA: Sunday, March 11, 2007 2:00 A. M.

Back in 2005, President Bush signed an energy bill into law that will lengthen daylight-saving time by four weeks starting in 2007.

Under the bill signed by President Bush, Americans in all 50 states except Arizona and Hawaii will move their clocks ahead one hour starting on the second Sunday of March, rather than the first Sunday of April. The same people will set them back an hour on the first Sunday of November, rather than the last Sunday of October. This raises the possibility of of Y2K-like computer bugs and problems with electronic devices.

For the average computer user, the effect will likely be a small inconvenience. If computers are networked or updated, they will be configured to connect to network time servers that will know the correct time. However, not everyone's computer is networked or routinely updated. Some glitches could occur, especially in electronic devices that weren't designed to be reprogrammed.

Once we spring forward, your electric automated coffee maker may miss its morning wake up call, and your VCR or DVD player may miss recording the latest episode of American Idol. Older electronics with systems that are programmed to reset under the old Daylight Savings Time guidelines will likely have to be manually reset. This assumes the user manuals for those products can still be found.

For old products, people may not have any option but to try to manually reset the devices four times this year. . .

(1) when DST starts on March 11
(2) three weeks later, when the device thinks DST is supposed to start
(3) again in the fall, when DST ends
(4) on the fall date when the device thinks DST is supposed to end.

The bigger potential problem, however, is that businesses that rely on time-sensitive data or networks might run into problems when DST hits. Imagine your bank not recognizing your ATM deposit made at 2:15 AM, and the headache of trying to fix the problem. . .

In 2001, eBay.com failed to jump forward an hour to reflect daylight-saving time. As a result, the auctions ran into snags, prompting some head-scratching from sellers and bidders.

For more info and solutions to the DST Bug, visit this website:

  • http://daylightsavings.blogspot.com
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