26 Jan 2007

On Daylight Savings Time

Author: q | Filed under: Uncategorized

Wouldn”t you know I”d eventually get sucked into this. First, let me state my “political” views about Daylight Savings Time: it should be abolished. Ideally, we”d never switch over to DST in April (or now March, thanks to the US Government), or just split the difference and move a half hour one of the times and just leave it there. Given that I seriously doubt anyone would take seriously a suggestion of splitting the difference, I”ll plant my stake on abolishment. Unfortunately, it won”t happen in time to avoid the impending disaster that looms on the horizon.

What impending disaster, you ask? Well, unless you”ve been living under a rock, or just haven”t been listening to the prophets of doom, there”s a bit of an issue with making sure that our computers adjust for the new DST rules in the US in 2007, and we can thank Microsoft for that. As it turns out,Microsoft has released updates to several software tools that will be affected by the new DST rules,but not all of them, and not all at the same time. Currently, updates are available for the Windows XP operating system (so long as you are running SP2), Windows 2003 Server (original or extra crispy, I mean SP1), Windows 2000 (if you”re under extended hotfix support), Exchange 2003 SP2 (yet another reason to update to SP2), Entourage 2004, and a few others. Most notably missing from this list are: Outlook 2003/XP/2000, Microsoft Dynamics CRM 3.0, and a few others. Windows Mobile users are asked to edit the registry on their devices to adjust for the new DST laws, as are Windows CE device users (unless of course you just want to manually change the date/time yourself).

So what? Big deal, right? Well…

Let”s say I patch my Exchange server and I patch my Mac running Entourage, but I don”t patch my Outlook, and then I make some appointments for March 2007. This is entirely possible, as I”m traveling to Washington for an activity over the weekend that DST will change – how convenient – and perhaps I”ve already put appointments into my calendar in Entourage and have sync”d my mobile device to my Exchange server. It”s possible that I”m going to see the wrong times in either my Outlook or my Entourage or my PocketPC device. For me, not a huge deal. For a company with employees spanning multiple time zones (which always seems to be confusing even when everything works correctly anyway), this could generate real headaches as people show up an hour early or late for meetings scheduled by someone else.

How on earth could we have never foreseen this coming and be so behind the times? After all, the act of Congress, literally, that spelled out these changes was written in 2005. And it”s not like the US is the only country dealing with DST issues. Australia changed their DST in 2006 for the Commonwealth Games. Israel has had moving DST date targets for some time.

However, rather than beat up on MS for not getting the updates to the community in a manner in which the community would like to get them, could we please do away with DST altogether? Maybe I”ll just move to Arizona and be done with it…

One Response to “On Daylight Savings Time”

  1. alunj Says:

    Unless you move to the Navajo areas of Arizona, which do DST – except for one town inside there, which doesn”t do DST.
    No, it”s not really all that clear cut, is it?
    And then there”s the issue of making appointments with people outside of Arizona…

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