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Daylight Saving Time

Q. Nothing really happened with the much-hyped Y2K bug. Now I am hearing about a Daylight Saving Time bug. Should I be concerned?

One of the reasons that there weren't many ill affects from the Y2K bug is that companies spent millions of dollars and countless hours in making corrections ahead of time. The new Daylight Saving Time issue won't have that impact but can cause some problems.

By now you've undoubtedly heard that Daylight Saving Time (DST) has been extended in the US starting this year. DST will start on March 11, 2007, three weeks earlier than usual, and it will end on November 4, 2007, one week later than usual. So we get 4 extra weeks of DST.

Since most of our PCs automatically update for DST based on rules that were established before this extension became law, there will be errors in time, calendar and scheduling unless you do some patching.

There are two areas on your PC to be concerned with: Your Operating System and your Applications.

Operating Systems

If you are using Windows Vista, don't worry. Vista is new enough to have the new rules embedded.

If you have your Windows XP computer set up to automatically update, you should be OK as well. Microsoft has released a patch that is automatically installed if you have Auto Updates enabled.

If you don't have Automatic Updates enabled, this may be the week to do it. (Click on Start - Settings - Control Panel - System and then choose the Automatic Updates tab and Click on the Automatic choice and click OK)

Apple said Mac OS X Tiger, the most recent edition of the operating system, is fixed and has just released a fix for Mac OS X Panther.

You can manually turn off the Automatic DST setting in most versions of Windows by right-clicking on the Date/Time in the lower-right hand corner of your display and choosing Adjust Date/Time and then the Time Zone tab and then deselect the Automatically adjust clock for daylight savings changes. If you have other or older operating systems, check the details at this site.


You may also have to update your scheduling and calendar software. Microsoft Outlook for example, will need an update. Most such software gets the time from the system time but not all.

If you have other calendar and/or scheduling programs, check with the company that produces them for a patch. More details.

So what's the big deal?

The change in DST will mostly affect products that small to midsize businesses are currently using for scheduling, time calculating, transaction logging, and billing.

Plus, you can't assume that others will have made the corrections. So pay extra attention to meetings and appointments scheduled between March 11 and April 1, and again between October 28 and November 4.

Many people rely heavily on their computer calendar programs so if they aren't updated, you could miss them by an hour. Make sure you confirm with people the exact, corrected time of appointments.

And if you are flying or doing other time-sensitive actions, double-check the times.

Don't forget your laptops, smart phones and other mobile devices. Without a fix, calendars on those devices will show appointments at the incorrect time.

The problem won't show up only in computers. It will affect non-networked devices that store the time and automatically adjust for daylight saving, like some digital watches and clocks. But in those instances the result will be more of a nuisance and you can adjust the time manually, or wait three weeks.

Isn't technology fun?

Answered by Tech Expert Dan Hanson

If you have computer or Internet questions, e-mail our Tech Guru at tech@ClevelandWomen.Com

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