Monday, March 12, 2007

What time is it .... here and now

Who the Phd who came up with the idea to change Daylight Savings Time (DST) again!

Ok, I understand the idea is to move 1 hour of daylight from the morning hours where the children do not need it, to the evening, where it can be better utilized in an energy efficient manner for the betterment of mankind...... Rrrrrright ?

When I first heard of this idea my first question was, what about all the computers and timers that are DST aware? The official party line has been, we had so little real problems with Y2K, because of the upgrades and upgrades made then, changing the rules will somehow be accounted for. Ok.... if You say so ......

Let me take a moment to look back to Jan 1, in 2000, I along with many other Technologists were on call New Years Eve 1999 to monitor the great Y2K switch over. Here in my town, the Emergency Management Team had a full crew in the bunkers prepared and drilling for the possible end of the world. I had set up an automated remote monitoring system that pinged several critical points on the internet recording any disruptions or changes in timing should they occur, and watched and waited. The only excitement in my house was when I saw IBM going down unexpectedly at midnight. While, expected by everyone directly connected to IBM or its customers or anyone for that matter who cared to check their scheduled maintenance announcements. It was a shock to me, it sure appeared to be a serious network crash, and it did coming back on line immediately.

So, when this idea of extending DST came up, I was not surprised to see most people have assumed it would not be a problem. On the other hand I took a wait and see attitude.

Well the time has come and gone. I was pleased to see the vast majority of my technological tools and toys handled the switch over properly, but alas several did not, as too was expected.

About 50% of my Microsoft based computers updated to DST properly on Sunday night.
While the NT and 2003 servers updates properly, the Win2000 servers required DST to be turned off and time to be changed by hand. I fully expect to have to fix it again in November. In one case I was asked to open a hole in a corporate firewall so that an old Unix box that has been running in total isolation since it was lasted updated in 1999 for Y2K could be connected to the internet and get its clock fixed. There were ans still are good reasons to put the system back into isolation again.

The only DST based problem to blind side me, occurred with my DirectTV HD DVR. It should have not been a surprise. This TiVo based system runs a flavor of Linux and I added a second hard drive shortly after I got it. I should not have been surprised the automatic update from DirectTV did not take. Oops my bad :-)

I understand the good people of the European Union have taken a wait and see approach to this problem and will not begin, their experiment in time, until 1am on the last Sunday in March.

I happened across this link on WebExhibits about daylight savings plan Incidents and Anecdotes which covers the subject well.

Feel free to add DST related stories and comments .....

1 comment:

Rebecca said...

don't have any related stories but would like to say I miss my hour..where are you by lost will be remembered..