Archive for Monday, February 12, 2007

Time change could put some behind schedule

Not all electronics equipped to accommodate early arrival of daylight-saving time

February 12, 2007


That electronic calendar that helps organize your life might betray you soon.

Digital calendars and computers run by older software could schedule appointments one hour later than intended because daylight-saving time starts three weeks earlier this year.

Thanks to Congress' 2005 Energy Policy Act, the time change (or "spring forward") begins March 11 and will end a week later than normal, in November. Proponents hope the measure will conserve energy.

Because of the software and scheduling quirk, businesses and institutions that depend on technology have scrambled to make sure applications, particularly calendars, will work properly.

"It's interesting when decisions like this get made by Congress. Did anybody think through all of the ramifications of a decision like that?" said Thelma Simons, a service manager for KU Information Technology.

Nationally, most technology professionals believe inconvenience will be the biggest result, much like when Australia made a similar change in 2004 to add daylight for the Olympics in Sydney.

"It depends on how important that meeting is that you might have missed," Simons said.

But technology experts also have warned that if banks, stockbrokers or airlines do not prepare their computers, it could affect transactions, trades or airline flight schedules.

Preparations at KU

Kansas University has sent out campuswide e-mails and operated an informational Web page in recent weeks to notify students, faculty and staff.

The university operates a secure Web site that students and faculty use to schedule meeting times with advisers, use of equipment and room reservations. For now, staff have advised faculty and students to type in the correct time in the subject line in case the software does not spring its clock forward during the three-week period.

"The scope from our perspective is huge because of updating all of the servers and all of that," said Simons, who is helping communicate the change to the KU campus. "We're trying to reduce the effect on our campus users. There will probably be some disruption of calendars no matter what we do."

David Barnhill is part of the staff that will reset most of the servers at the Kansas University Computer Center. The computers' clocks will need attention because daylight-saving time comes three weeks early this year, thanks to Congress' 2005 Energy Policy Act.

David Barnhill is part of the staff that will reset most of the servers at the Kansas University Computer Center. The computers' clocks will need attention because daylight-saving time comes three weeks early this year, thanks to Congress' 2005 Energy Policy Act.

KU technology staff members are checking the more than 300 servers and other equipment. They also are working with support staff to make sure each individual department is prepared.

Fixing attempts

To add to the confusion, only the newest versions of Microsoft and Apple software are prepared for the switch. Microsoft is releasing a patch Tuesday that will update software as far back as Windows XP, and it will be added during a computer's next automatic update. For Apple, only Macintosh OS 10.4 is prepared.

Anyone who uses software that will not update the time will have to manually change their computer clocks not only on March 11, but again on April 1 - when daylight-saving time would have begun under the old schedule - and two more times in October and November at the end of daylight-saving time.

At Lawrence Memorial Hospital, staffers have worked for several weeks on making sure about 800 desktop computers and 70 servers will not be affected.

"It's a process. But it's definitely something that we are working on, and nobody seems to think that it will cause us any problems," said LMH spokeswoman Janice Early-Weas.

John Menghini, an Overland Park real estate developer and builder, said Sunday in Lawrence that appointment times in his BlackBerry get thrown off when he changes time zones for business travel. If his digital scheduler has not been automatically updated, he expected the daylight-saving switch to have the same effect.

"It's just an inconvenience. It's not a major thing," he said Sunday afternoon in downtown Lawrence.

Richard De George, a KU distinguished philosophy professor, said because of the huge stake businesses have in technology and computers today, they have been preparing. He doesn't consider it as serious as the Y2K situation leading up to Jan. 1, 2000.

"People now are pretty savvy about what problems are coming up and how to handle them," he said.

- The Associated Press contributed to this report.


classclown 11 years, 3 months ago

How many people are going to crawl back into their Y2K bunkers?

number3of5 11 years, 3 months ago

I think we need to leave our time on Central Standard Time and not change it at all. We burn electricity all night long anyway, we heat our houses 24-7 in cold weather and cool them in hot. How is changing the time going to help save energy? The children born in the 80's, 90's, and now 2000's do not know a decent bedtime. They stay up all hours of the night. Their attention in school is minimal because they cannot stay awake in class. Parents in the USA, rise up, take back control of your children lives, give them a set bedtime and stick to it. Feed them three times a day, at regular times. Give them the chance that many of you did not have given to you by your parents, that of a balanced lifestyle. Tell the powers that be that we want them to quit messing up our internal clocks and our schedules just to fit the needs of their agendas.

don_shorock 11 years, 3 months ago

As soon as Congress passed the extension of daylight time, it struck me that this would create a problem with computers and even more importantly with other devices with the rules for daylight time embedded in chips.

That brings us back to WHY they passed it. There was a grassroots push to do something about energy conservation for a variety of reasons. Meanwhile, the Administration was opposed to things that would really cut into energy use.

It was therefore useful to APPEAR to do something about energy conservation without taking the real and necessary steps. Changing the clock was the way to have energy conservation legislation without conserving energy.

drake 11 years, 3 months ago

Yes Marion, and you will be the first one knocking on his door if something ever happens.

gr 11 years, 3 months ago

'Operating system sales have been sluggish requiring the need for a time change to help boost sales.'

"How is changing the time going to help save energy?"

Let's assume it did. Why are we only saving energy part of the year? If we are going to change the time to save more energy, why have we been wasting all that energy we could have been saving all these years? Did someone make a mistake - is this admission of of that mistake? And if changing just a few weeks of time is going to save any energy, why are we not saving more? Are we going to wait until gas gets to be $5 a gallon and then change the time a few more weeks to save more? Kind of taints the whole energy conservation propaganda.

If we are somehow "saving time" or energy, let's save it all year. If changing the clocks one hour saves so much energy, what is the optimum amount we can save and why don't we change it to that amount permanently?

Someone's been pulling all the lemming's legs.

Fred Whitehead Jr. 11 years, 3 months ago

WHEN has ANYONE accused congress of doing ANYTHING reasonable, workable, useful, logical, meaningful or any other positive effect you care to imagine?????????????

rhd99 11 years, 3 months ago

Somone said to leave our CST the way it is. Why is there no time change in Indiana? Are they another country all on their own? Never mind, they seem to be.

Staci Dark Simpson 11 years, 3 months ago

Yippee! I hate darkness and winter, this will be great!

Linda Endicott 11 years, 3 months ago

I had the same thought, you get an extra hour at night. Big deal. It also takes an extra hour in the morning before it gets light. So I fail to see how it's going to save any energy at all. You'll still be using that hour's worth of energy, just at a different hour.

gr 11 years, 3 months ago

"If you add an extra hour of daylight in the evening then it will just be darker for an extra hour in the morning....hellllooooo,"

I've read the real reason for changing the time was not for manipulating time and energy, but for manipulating people.

It seems this Franklin dude was touring Europe and was appalled people were sleeping in so late when the sun had already risen! You know, early to rise helps make one healthy, wealth, and wise. The sun rises later in the winter, so don't need it changed then, but in the summer, you change the time and then you can manipulate people's behavior. So, he came back and started promoting the idea to get people up earlier. Make them "good" even if they don't want to be.

If people realized they were being manipulated, they might rebel. So, to get the people behind the movement, weapons conservation was promoted as something people could get behind and to justify the idea.

Simon says, all you lemmings, jump over the cliff.

snowWI 11 years, 3 months ago

I wish that we stuck with CST the entire year. Manipulating daylight does not seem natural to me. Personally, I do not like the mornings darker anway.

spacystaci8- You think it is dark around here during winter? How about living in northern New England when the sun sets at 4:00 in the afternoon for two months during the winter. You people have it easy this far south in latitude.

Staci Dark Simpson 11 years, 3 months ago

Which is why I will never live in the northeast again! You guys get punished in the winter. I would still live in Florida if I could get the rest of my family to relocate!! In the grand scheme of things it really won't make that big a difference, I can just get more done outside in the evening.

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