Did Patched Versions Of Software Foul Up The Time At Gatwick Airport?

from the did-everything-right-but-figure-out-which-country dept

Yesterday we wrote about the minor glitches spotted thanks to computers not knowing that Congress moved out Daylight Saving Day. However, there was an odd time glitch over in the UK that is worth examining. Apparently, at Gatwick airport, computers were all screwed up because they hadn't changed times properly. You see, in the UK this past weekend was the conclusion of British Summer Time, the equivalent of our Daylight Saving Time. So what happened here? My guess is that the systems that run the computers at Gatwick were patched... for the US change. In other words, while the computers would have made the change properly beforehand, somehow there was some confusion and a patch meant for US users was applied (or some other setting indicated that it was a US-based computer system), meaning that the computers didn't switch -- not because of confusion over the date of the hour shift, but because the system had been patched for the wrong country.

Reader Comments (rss)

(Flattened / Threaded)

  1. identicon
    The Swiss Cheese Monster, Oct 30th, 2007 @ 3:21pm

    Maybe they had told that they were in CST, MST, PST, or EST, instead of GMT. And instead of setting the clocks and adjusting the time zone, they just set the clocks.

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  2. identicon
    Anonymous Coward, Oct 30th, 2007 @ 3:23pm


    Or maybe their IT people are complete idiots who can't read release notes.

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  3. identicon
    The Man, Oct 30th, 2007 @ 4:13pm

    Re: Re: Release notes?

    They make those? Anyway, reading is for suckers!

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  4. Early Trick

    It was by accident? Maybe it was done on purpose. You just can't trust employee's like you used to.

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  5. identicon
    Lawrence D'Oliveiro, Oct 30th, 2007 @ 9:06pm

    Local-timeitis again?

    Sounds like another screwup caused by systems maintaining the clocks in local time, instead of UTC. That's the only way they could have been thrown off by a change to rules that were only supposed to affect US time zones. Unix/Linux systems maintain their system clock in UTC, and only convert to local time when somebody asks for the local time; this makes them a bit more robust against time zone and daylight-saving stuffups.

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  6. identicon
    unknowledgable geek, Oct 31st, 2007 @ 6:21am

    Re: Local-timeitis again?

    Yeah, but end users have NO idea what time it is.

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  7. identicon
    Dumb flamer user with a f'ed up calendar, Oct 31st, 2007 @ 7:11am

    Re: Re: Local-timeitis again?

    "...end-users have NO idea what time it is."

    Sure do, time to quit fucking with what time it is and get to work! Now, if I could just figure out what time my appointments really are for...

    Yours Truly,

    "Let's burn multiple weeks worth of time and energy, trying to save energy, by playing with the clock."

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

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