Dear Everyone;

Special alert - daylight savings is coming 4 weeks earlier this year - on March 11. Please note your computer clocks will have to be adjusted and all the other auto clocks - like TV timers and so on.

The Energy Policy Act Bush signed in August 2005 is the culprit - it's supposed to save energy. Unh Hunh.

Ron Getty
SF Libertarian

Individuals, businesses need to adjust calendars, clocks run by computers
Tom Abate, Chronicle Staff Writer
Wednesday, February 21, 2007
In 2005, Congress decided Americans needed a little more sunshine in their lives and ordered that daylight-saving time be extended four weeks beginning this year.
Now with clocks slated to spring forward three weeks earlier than usual, on March 11, high-tech pundits are wondering how big a headache this will cause for computer users -- and whether this will be a replay of the Y2K bug drama of 1999.
For instance, airlines could be thrown off schedule, creating havoc for travelers. People could miss meetings. Cell phone calls could be mistakenly billed during peak hours. All kinds of automatic orders and messages could be mistimed.
But John Pironti, who evaluates risks for the global computer consulting firm Getronics, said the smart money is betting that the change will cause annoyances, not catastrophes.
"It's not a doomsday scenario, it's a discomfort scenario,'' said Pironti, adding that while big companies have had time to prepare, small businesses and consumers might be unaware of the problem.
"Nobody knows about this," said Scott Hauge, who leads the 2,700-member nonprofit advocacy group Small Business California and also runs a 31-person insurance firm in San Francisco.
Microsoft Corp. has sought to minimize any time-change difficulties by issuing updates to the most current version of its Windows XP operating system, and it already has built the time change into Vista. But users of older operating systems, such as Windows 2000, might have to figure things out for themselves.
Apple has taken pretty much the same posture.
With the change still three Sundays away, it's an open guess as to how big or small a deal this will turn out to be. But an obvious question is: Why?
The change was one of many provisions that became law when President Bush signed the Energy Policy Act in August 2005. The act mandated that, starting in 2007, daylight saving should begin on the second Sunday in March -- instead of the first Sunday in April -- and end on the first Sunday in November rather than the last Sunday in October.
Energy savings was the reason given for the addition of four weeks. A California Energy Commission document said studies have generally found that longer daylight hours save money on electricity because people run fewer lights when the sun is shining.
The United States first began experimenting with daylight saving during World War I, and since then, the practice has taken hold. Today, roughly 70 nations and all 50 states except Arizona and Hawaii practice the ritual.
But that doesn't stop the arguments that seem to occur whenever the period is adjusted, as occurred temporarily during the Arab Oil Embargo of the 1970s and again in 1986 when President Ronald Reagan moved the start of daylight saving to the first Sunday in April from the last Sunday of that month.
One of the arguments against such changes has been that they disrupt sleep patterns, but in today's computer-dependent world, the bigger worries might be tech-related. In January, the Gartner market research firm warned that "few information technology organizations have any formalized risk assessment and remediation program" to figure out how big a glitch the time changes could cause and how to fix any such problems in advance.
But in the same report, the company suggested that in three recent time shifts -- in Australia, the United Kingdom and the state of Indiana -- there were relatively few problems in big, central systems but "significant problems at the application level."
Translation: Corporate America could be just fine, but Mr. and Ms. Consumer might miss a few meetings until they figure out why their automated calendars are amiss.
Don Rhodes, a technology expert with the American Bankers Association, said he is confident that financial institutions large and small -- having headed off possible Y2K aggravations by extensive planning -- have taken steps to make the time shift painless.
"Invariably, somebody's not going to correct something, but they'll notice within a day or two,'' he said.
Sarah Bulgatz, spokeswoman for Charles Schwab & Co., said a lot of people in her firm's technology division have been working since September to make sure the switch doesn't affect their time-sensitive business.
"We don't feel there's going to be any client impact," she said.
But Pironti, the Getronics expert, said many smaller businesses, including law firms and companies with just-in-time inventory systems, could be stung. For instance law firms time-stamp all correspondence, and he suggested that if wrong times ended up on notes or e-mails, it could lead to evidence being disqualified. Firms that run lean inventories could be shocked when orders they placed automatically are rejected because they were placed at the wrong time.
And what of the millions of ordinary computer users who hit the on-switch every day -- and say silent prayers of thanks when their machines boot up as expected?
Microsoft spokesman Jim Desler said his firm has built the time changes into the Vista operating system and its 2007 Office systems, which were finalized after the Energy Act took effect. Starting last Tuesday, Microsoft also began sending out automatic updates to users of its Windows XP SP2 operating system. So XP users who have logged onto the Internet since then, and who allow automatic updates to their operating system, have had the problem fixed.
Apple started sending out similar updates to its current operating system in January.
But customers who use older operating systems might have to do more homework to patch their own computers. Peter O'Leary is chief executive of the San Francisco software consulting firm, Summit TCD Corp. But back in the 1990s, he worked with what was then Lotus Development Corp. on calendar software. O'Leary said he uses a Windows 2000 computer and had to hunt around for clues on how to fix his date issue.
"I'm surprised we haven't read more about it,'' he said. "It's clearly going to affect anyone who isn't aware of it."

Daylight time
Congress has extended daylight-saving time to save energy. This year it will start March 11 and will end Nov. 4.
Protect your computer
The change will affect the clock and calendar functions in computer operating systems. Here are some places to learn how to make sure your system shows the right time:
Microsoft Windows


If you're using Windows Vista, you don't have to do anything; the new DST
settings are already incorporated into the operating system. If your
computer is running Windows XP, all you need to do is download the DST
update released last month (just use the Windows Update feature from the
Start Menu).

If, on the other hand, you have an older computer running Windows 2000, you
will have to manually update your clock or download the tzedit.exe utility
from Microsoft.

I don't have a Macintosh, but I see that Apple released a DST patch for OS X
on January 8, 2007, so Mac users should be okay as long as they keep their
systems updated.

If you're a real geek running Linux, you probably have your system clock
synchronized with a network time server, so you probably don't need to worry
about it either. A quick Google search shows just about every Linux
distribution has its own fix for the time change, but keeping your clock in
sync with a reliable time server is the lazy way to avoid any disruptions.

Terry Floyd