Didn't We Do This Already? IT Folks Worried About New Daylight Savings Time Screwing Up Appointments

from the sounds-familiar dept

Back in 2005, there were some worries going around that after Congress changed the dates for Daylight Savings switches, that computers wouldn't be able to handle it properly, creating a "mini-Y2K" effect (as if there ever were an actual Y2K effect). Of course, it was a total non-story because most computers can handle that sort of thing, and the few that can't can easily be corrected without too much trouble. However, as we get a step closer to this year's Daylight Savings time shift, it appears that the worries are back, with consultants getting the press to talk about the potential for (once again) a "mini-Y2K" while mentioning (of course) that their consulting firms can help. Even IT people are getting into the act, sending out emails warning about potential problems not just with scheduling meetings, but flights and even concerts (say what?). Overall, this problem is a non-starter, but don't be surprised to see more stories warning you, while pointing you at vocal consultants willing to help you solve this "problem."


Reader Comments (rss)

(Flattened / Threaded)

  •  
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    Bill W, Jan 25th, 2007 @ 3:47pm

    Non starter?

    I disagree. Although it's not going to be nowhere near the potential problem of Y2K I DO think it'll be a problem for many. If the vendors had responded quickly with the updates then it wouldn't be a blip on anyone's radar but because many are late with the updates there are schedules caught in the position of scheduling before the updates but within the window of the time changes. How these schedules are handled will be the source of the problems.

    But it reminds me of a time that my wife was flying out of town on a Sunday morning. It was, of course, daylight Sunday but we neglected to adjust the clocks. She grabbed the limo and blithely headed for the airport, at the counter they suggested that she hurry a bit, she got on the plane and they immediately closed the door and left. It was a few hours later that she realized that she was an hour later (or earlier) than she thought she was!

    At least I'll be able to use the "daylight chnage" excuse if I miss a meeting inside the change window!

     

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    Rob, Jan 25th, 2007 @ 3:48pm

    That would be

    NOT "daylight savings time"

     

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    Jo Mamma, Jan 25th, 2007 @ 3:59pm

    computer industry

    Any mini-panic to help hike up the rates, eh?

     

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    Anonymous Coward, Jan 25th, 2007 @ 4:33pm

    Y2K was a proper problem though and there are documented cases on problems that occurred.

    The reason it was so minor was because most companies took the time to fix their systems beforehand.

     

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    Rick, Jan 25th, 2007 @ 4:54pm

    Dark mornings

    Didn't they try changing daylight savings time once before, back during the 70's energy crisis? The real problem turned out to be the darkness in the morning for the kids going to school. If my memory serves, it was because of the darkness when kids were going to school that it didn't last and we immediately returned to the normal dates for daylight savings time the following year.

     

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    Ron, Jan 25th, 2007 @ 5:02pm

    This is real...

    This IS a problem. If it wasn't why is it that Microsoft has released a "fix" for 2000 & XP workstations and 2000 & 2003 servers? Why is Sun Microsystems fixing problems in its Java code all over the place? Why is IBM releasing new versions of Lotus Domino and Notes? SAP is creating fixes for their software.

    Calendaring and scheduling will be incorrect for 2 windows of time before fixes are applied. One window in March and the other in November.

    IT people don't sleep on this one. This time zone change is a problem for many large platforms used by several big companies. Contact your vendors and get the ball rolling because you don't have much time for planning and implementation.

     

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      TW Burger, Jan 25th, 2007 @ 5:35pm

      Re: This is real...

      No Ron, this is not real, not in the 'sky is falling' sense anyway. You cite SAP and Notes, these systems are heavily concerned with scheduling and synchronization, of course there will be updates to adjust for the change in the start of daylight saving time. This is a minor software adjustment of a minor change that has a minor effect.

      Non-scheduling software (most) can ignore this or depends on the OS user to change the time by one hour.

       

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        Mike D, Jan 25th, 2007 @ 6:11pm

        Re: Re: This is real...

        If you don't see this as a HUGE issue, especially with back end systems, and if an hour here or there doesn't matter, I guess your systems aren't that important. Good luck if you work at a large company and are only hearing about this now. The world won't end, but it'll be havoc for a while.

         

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      SimonTek (profile), Jan 26th, 2007 @ 8:02am

      Re: This is real...

      Actually there is a patch for windows. Only reason I know, is I did updates last week(for once) on my windows machines, and I read what each update is for.

       

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    Beefcake, Jan 25th, 2007 @ 5:06pm

    Grammar

    Not trying to make a huge deal about it, but the technically correct term is "Daylight Saving Time". No plural on "Saving".

     

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    Bumbling old fool, Jan 25th, 2007 @ 6:04pm

    uh. how quickly we forget...

    The feared great deluge of problems from y2k did not materialize because the systems were updated in time. Those systems that needed to be updated (not windows) desperately needed to be updated or bad thing (tm) would have happened.

    Right now, M$ is up to v9 of their DST patch, and its STILL causing so many problems that they wont remove it from the "optional" list. They havent even addressed exchange 2003, let alone announced if they will address exchange 2000.

    How is this not a big problem? Because you werent personally affected by y2k?

     

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    Dosquatch, Jan 25th, 2007 @ 6:18pm

    instead of changing

    How about if we just do away with DST all together? What purpose does it serve, except to fuck up my sleep pattern twice a year?

    Pick one or the other and stick to it. Or, split the difference, let us make one final-and-forever half hour adjustment, and call it a day.

     

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    Rob, Jan 25th, 2007 @ 6:51pm

    Think of all those black boxes....

    If you've ever been in a football field size data center, you can appreciate the coordiation required to get all of your vendors to apply the necessary patches ...

     

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      kneeL, Jan 25th, 2007 @ 10:09pm

      Re: Think of all those black boxes....

      I work for IBM and we support an account with a football-sized data center and last week there was a tremendous effort to get all of our systems patched,
      Although I agree with the writer of the story, there were indeed many many postential issues that required us to patch ALL of the servers before this change happened.

       

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    It's a pain, Jan 25th, 2007 @ 7:20pm

    MS screwed up (again)

    Our corporate MS rep told us that MS did not think congress would go through with the DST change, so did nothing. Now, they want to charge 5 figures for fixing 2k machines, even with an extended contract--BS!

    I'd like to know why we can't turn off DST and sync with a GPS. What is Arizona doing since they don't (didn't?) use DST?

    OBTW, MS also suggested scheduling our meetings with a note about what the correct time is supposed to be. They suggested a quill and papyrus, too.

     

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      Anonymous Coward, Jan 25th, 2007 @ 9:15pm

      Re: MS screwed up (again)

      It is called network time service, windows and unix both include it. If you turn off auto DST updating and use NTS, you are all set.

       

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    It's a pain, Jan 25th, 2007 @ 7:20pm

    MS screwed up (again)

    Our corporate MS rep told us that MS did not think congress would go through with the DST change, so did nothing. Now, they want to charge 5 figures for fixing 2k machines, even with an extended contract--BS!

    I'd like to know why we can't turn off DST and sync with a GPS. What is Arizona doing since they don't (didn't?) use DST?

    OBTW, MS also suggested scheduling our meetings with a note about what the correct time is supposed to be. They suggested a quill and papyrus, too.

     

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      EdB, Jan 25th, 2007 @ 7:31pm

      Re: MS screwed up (again)

      In Arizona we have to try to figure out what time it is everywhere else. Almost as bad except I can act like it's a mystery and ask "you guys changed what time it is?"

       

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    Anonymous Coward, Jan 25th, 2007 @ 7:29pm

    I agree, I am an IT consultant. Customers ARE panicking as this does create quite a problem for many. Just think...lawyers depositions are extremely time sensitive. One hour can make a HUGE difference. Screw Y2k..this is something that we KNOW will effect something, not something we spectate will effect something.

     

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    Tin Ear, Jan 25th, 2007 @ 9:05pm

    My only problem...

    The only thing I see wrong with this is that when I adjust my clocks, they will stay adjusted. When I set my computer, PDA or any other electronic device with DST recognition on the new scheduled date, will they set it again from the new setting when their programming says it's 'the right time to re-adjust'? I haven't gotten any notices about patches or fixes from MS lately...

     

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    Patrick White, Jan 25th, 2007 @ 10:06pm

    New DST Rules According to Microsoft

    If anyone is interested how the new DST legislation effects Microsoft products, check out: http://ushipoisv.spaces.live.com/blog/cns!29862A22A3FBB38D!156.entry
     
    -PW

     

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    Anonymous Coward, Jan 26th, 2007 @ 12:02am

    Wish they'd just get rid of stupid DST.

    Fucking farmers... making life harder for everyone else.

     

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      Bumbling old fool, Jan 26th, 2007 @ 5:32am

      Re:

      Wish they'd just get rid of stupid DST.

      Fucking farmers... making life harder for everyone else.


      Most farmers do not support DST. DST is about saving energy in the residential side by making twilight later. Its a farce, promoted by idiots, and should be abolished. It does save energy, but the amount is so little as to not make any siginificant difference, and far more time money and energy is spent in trying to "adjust" twice a year.

      Also, the negative impact it has on schoolchildren complete negate its benefits, let alone the increase in traffic accidents.

       

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        Jamaal Johnson, Jan 26th, 2007 @ 12:06pm

        Re: Re:

        DST is not only good for saving energy, it is also good for commerce. People are more willing to shop when it is still daylight.

         

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          Dosquatch, Jan 26th, 2007 @ 2:20pm

          Re: Re: Re:

          DST is not only good for saving energy, it is also good for commerce. People are more willing to shop when it is still daylight.

          Well, fine, if that's the real problem, then let's just abolish night.

           

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    Skippyboy, Jan 26th, 2007 @ 6:21am

    This is stupid

    It is ONLY a change of ONE HOUR!!! Set your clock to GMT, and DON'T adjust for DST - and you have no problem. You just have to remember to add/subtract the correct timezone...

    Aerospace and military use Zulu time - why can't You?

    :P

     

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    Ryan, Jan 26th, 2007 @ 8:24am

    A Big Problem

    If you're in I.T., and you have a large number of W2K machines without "Extended Hotfix Support", you get to make these changes manually. That includes Registery & Policy edits. The big problem here is that DST used to be on a fixed date, but now it's dynamic.

    See for yourself:

    http://www.microsoft.com/windows/timezone/dst2007.mspx

     

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      Chronno S. Trigger, Jan 26th, 2007 @ 10:27am

      Re: A Big Problem

      Thanks for that link, it will save me a lot of time when the time comes to change.

      I just used the TZedit.exe utility and it took me about 30sec. to change. Remember it starts on the second Sunday of March and ends of the first Sunday of November.

       

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    It's Inevitable, Jan 26th, 2007 @ 9:47am

    Fixed Date? Which DST are you running?

    Sorry, but the first Sunday in April or the last Sunday in October were never a fixed date . In Exchange you will need to run a script to fix all your meetings (or as stated, put it in the Notes field) as they are booked with an offset from GMT (or do it by hand for every meeting booked between 2nd Sunday in March and First Sunday in April). This makes it easy for booking across timezones, but awkward to script against.

    PST = GMT - 8
    PDT = GMT - 7

     

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    Lawrence D'Oliveiro, Jan 27th, 2007 @ 1:30pm

    Use UTC & zoneinfo

    It seems to me much of the time-related problems on Windows systems arise from two causes:

    1. The fact that their system clocks are set to local time, not UTC, and
    2. Their use of a proprietary format for timezone and daylight-saving info, instead of the industry-standard zoneinfo format.

    UNIX/Linux systems have kept system time in UTC for decades. One consequence of this is that they always know what time it is. And use of zoneinfo means they can always get updates from the source, without having to wait for vendor updates or resorting to low-level patching.

     

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    |333173|3|_||3, Jan 29th, 2007 @ 6:38pm

    solution

    set the system to only care what the time is in GMT (Zulu), and only use local time for the display (as an option).

     

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    k, Feb 1st, 2007 @ 4:36pm

    DST follies

    Yes its dumb but its not like you can change the deadline.
    My beef is that when the MS patch is applied, any Notes calendar (repeating) made before the patch is applied move forward an hour and IBM has a crummy utility that you run on the mailbox after to fix it...if you are doing automated fixes on the workstation, how do you correlate workstation names and user names (products reference differently).
    As for the win2000...yes another grab by ms. We used the code in the article and wrote our own automated patch. let's hope it works.

     

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