Thursday, February 01, 2007

So Long Y2K, Hello Spring Forward Fiasco

Remember Y2K, when all of the computers were going to explode because programmers 30 years ago wanted to save two bytes of memory when recording the year in a data? Well, as we know, Y2K was a bust, but we had plenty of time to upgrade everything and minimize the chances that our bank balances would suddenly all equal zero. But now the government, thinking that people use fewer lights when the sun is up for some reason (they must have actual windows in their actual offices, and thus notice a lighting difference when the sun is up), has decided to start daylight savings time on March 11 instead of the first week of April in an effort to "save energy".

A lot of devices are set up to automatically adjust for daylight savings time... in April. On March 11, networked devices (assuming the people in charge of the network have been paying better attention than the general public) will automatically update - your cell phone, your cable box, your atomic clock, and some computer operating systems will lose an hour as they should. However, non-networked devices that automatically update probably won't. You can set them manually, of course, but then they'll try to set themselves in April. So you'll have to set them again. And you'll have to go through the same thing in the fall, since DST will end a week later than before. Oh, and we'll be out of sync with the rest of the world during those three weeks in the spring and 1 week in the fall. So prepare to be confused (some more) if you work with people in countries other than Canada and the U.S. (Canada is adopting the new standard, too, because they keep forgeting they are a different country and not a suburb of the U.S.).

It kind of makes you want to move to Arizona. Indiana, sucks to be you.


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