Sunday, October 28, 2007

Clock's not right? Leave it alone!

This morning was a little perplexing. The alarm clock beside the bed said one time. The VCR in the same room, however, read one hour earlier. Likewise, the time on the security system also displayed a time one hour earlier than the alarm clock. Extended Daylight Saving Time strikes again! The makers of our VCRs, computers, security systems, and the like did us a favor by programming them to automatically adjust for Daylight Saving Time. But then, Congress came along and changed the starting and ending dates for DTS!

I have written about this new wrinkle which entered our lives in the spring with posts here and here which talk about preparing ourselves. What if we didn’t prepare? What if we wake up and find clocks displaying the wrong time? I have an easy answer for you---do nothing! Let me clarify that one: Do nothing--at least for now.

Yes, you could go and manually roll the time forward on these various time pieces and have every clock in your world in perfect sync. Guess what will happen in exactly one week? When DST does kick in, you are going to have to turn right around and set each of these timepieces back one hour. So, “Part 1” of my three-part advice is to simply leave well enough alone. In one week, those time pieces are going to be reading the correct time. You will probably also find that your newer electronic devices will self-adjust.

My second piece of advice applies to those of us who live by digital calendars such as the one on Outlook, BlackBerry, or Palm. Be aware that the appointments for the next one week may be an hour off. In addition, since the time displayed may be an hour off, any alarms you have set are also going to chime an hour too soon. My point is that for exactly one week you need to double-check appointments so that you know which entries are the "real deal" and which are the imposters.

Finally, you can steps to prepare so that when arrives March, the Extended Daylight Saving Time bug does either does not strike, or its effects are minimized. (Remember, in March, DST kicks in 3 weeks earlier than before.) The earlier links in this article describe a patch for the BlackBerry which fixes the problem. Microsoft has addressed the issue concerning computers in articles such as this.

The good news is you don’t have to do any of this now. You have until March (but be sure to jot something in your signature tool now, while you are thinking about it). Who knows, by March, you may have replaced that VCR, computer, coffeemaker, security system, or fancy wristwatch anyway!
Post a Comment