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Be Ready For The 'Daylight-Saving' Bug
engine




msg:3257886
 4:40 pm on Feb 20, 2007 (gmt 0)

This year, daylight saving is starting early--a change that could cause Y2K-like headaches for IT professionals, and even for consumers.

Congress decided in 2005 to extend the period of daylight-saving time by three weeks in spring and one in the fall, reasoning that providing more daylight in the early evening would reduce energy use. However, the shift could cause trouble with software set to automatically advance its clock by an hour on the old date, the first Sunday in April, and not on the new date, the second Sunday in March.

Be Ready For The 'Daylight-Saving' Bug [news.com.com]

 

Quadrille




msg:3257911
 4:57 pm on Feb 20, 2007 (gmt 0)

Sad, isn't it?

So a few computer clocks will be wrong.

Bearing in mind that Y2K was overestimated by a factor of approx one million by 'experts', an extra hour in bed holds no fears for me ;)

Prophets of doom really do need to get a life!

amznVibe




msg:3258013
 6:36 pm on Feb 20, 2007 (gmt 0)

By the way, Windows 2000 users will need a third party patch for this, Microsoft won't officially fix it.
Or you can follow their manual instructions (good luck on that!)

complete list of daylight savings patches from Microsoft [support.microsoft.com]

Microsoft: Preparing for Daylight Saving Time changes in 2007 [support.microsoft.com]

[edited by: amznVibe at 6:41 pm (utc) on Feb. 20, 2007]

adamnichols45




msg:3258029
 6:56 pm on Feb 20, 2007 (gmt 0)

Does this apply to USA OR UK or both?

BillyS




msg:3258053
 7:22 pm on Feb 20, 2007 (gmt 0)

I bought one of those "atomic" clocks about four months ago. It was programmed to make the changes automatically through the year 2100. :(

Zamboni




msg:3258110
 8:10 pm on Feb 20, 2007 (gmt 0)

It will apply to Canada, but according to the Canadian Government link below it does not apply to Europe.

[inms-ienm.nrc-cnrc.gc.ca ]

cameraman




msg:3258116
 8:16 pm on Feb 20, 2007 (gmt 0)

IMO daylight saving time is the most idiotic moronic senseless idea known to mankind; I'm glad we don't participate. I wish I could go back in time and smack Benjamin Franklin upside the head.

Either you're using the energy in the evening or you're using it in the morning, so how does it "save" energy?

Quadrille, if you go to sleep at 10:00 pm and wake up at 6:00 am in February, then you go to sleep at 10:00 pm and wake up at 6:00 am in March, where do you get an extra hour of sleep? Are you talking about the one day - do you set an alarm clock and get up at a specific time on Sundays? Then you lose that hour in the spring? And it's not just "a few computer clocks", it's internet and intranet servers, thousands of VCRs, alarm systems, and other time-keeping gadgets. Doom? No. Pain in the petula? Yes. For what? Nothing.

Y2K wasn't doom either, but according to that article its price tag was 21 billion.

BillyS, now you'll get to deal with it four times each year.

buckworks




msg:3258121
 8:24 pm on Feb 20, 2007 (gmt 0)

Y2K was overestimated by a factor of approx one million by 'experts'

Yep ... because a lot of people fixed a lot of things to make sure the predicted problems would not come true.

lgn1




msg:3258225
 10:03 pm on Feb 20, 2007 (gmt 0)

I like DST. That one hour of extra light in the evening give the false impression that spring and warmer weather is on the way.

Likewise, getting out of bed in the morning is difficult anyways, regardless if it is bright or dark.

As far as bugs. All critical applications and services should be running in GMT or UTC anyways, and should be unaffected.

weeks




msg:3258236
 10:14 pm on Feb 20, 2007 (gmt 0)

Apple has sent an update to its OS users already.

mcavic




msg:3258279
 10:53 pm on Feb 20, 2007 (gmt 0)

Sad, isn't it?
So a few computer clocks will be wrong.

Yeah, you're right. Computers don't need to keep accurate time.

!?

plumsauce




msg:3258322
 11:56 pm on Feb 20, 2007 (gmt 0)

Um, kerboros? Or any other cryptographic channel which relies on the ticket being within a time spec?

Here's a goodie: *any* program written in C which relies on the time routines in the standard libraries. Ok, open sourcers, who's going to patch this one? Are you going to patch it in the code or wait for an update to the library?

I agree with those who don't like the changes. I would go further to say that if they want people running around in the dark, then they should mandate that businesses, schools, etc. should just adjust their hours accordingly at certain times of the year and leave the clocks alone.

Used to go to work from 9 to 5, okay, now it's 8 to 4.

Except government employees, now it's 9 to 4. This crock is all your fault anyways, and the less time you spend at *work*, the less damage you can do.

Oh yeah, and my standard answer to those local centric users who whine about having "their" timezone in their server reports, "the internet is timezone agnostic, there is no one timezone that suits all users, therefore we run our servers on GMT, make the adjustment mentally"

Quadrille




msg:3258328
 12:11 am on Feb 21, 2007 (gmt 0)

Y2K wasn't doom either, but according to that article its price tag was 21 billion.

Sure.

But approx 20,999,999,999 was due to panic, and approx $1.00 due to the effects of Y2K.

I exaggerate, of course; but you can bet that 'pre-emptive panic' will cost us much more than the clock effects, which should be amenable to software patches.

I'm no techie, but are we really that concerned? With Y2k, at least we had the 'assurance' that there was a definite, hard-wired issue, which could affect many people.

In this case, were they really damn fool enough to hard-wire daylight saving? Maybe I really don't want to know!

And yes, I'll sleep through it, whatever they do, even if milking is an hour late and the stock market an hour early.

[edited by: Quadrille at 12:12 am (utc) on Feb. 21, 2007]

grandpa




msg:3258380
 1:00 am on Feb 21, 2007 (gmt 0)

there was a definite, hard-wired issue

Speaking as someone who was there working on that fix, most of our time was spent scanning lines of code that someone else wrote.. a long time ago. Panic? Sure, I guess, since no one knew the extent of the 'hard-coded' issue. Everything had to be checked and tested. And there was a deadline that couldn't be extended. I don't recall a state of panic in our office, even as the final hours approached. It was more a state of resignation - 'here's another task that some unknown created for us'.

Back on topic. I had no idea of this change. If I ever saw it, it didn't register at the time. My computer, and my sites *should* be OK, I don't run time sensitive applications. I'm not so sure how this might play out with things like cookies and session ID's, not only from my site, but also from my third-party apps like my shopping cart.

Time will tell...

Hester




msg:3258666
 9:36 am on Feb 21, 2007 (gmt 0)

The sooner we lose DST the better. In the UK it was brought in to help a minority of school children in Scotland! So the rest of the country suffers just for them. But what about all the students going home in the dark because of this? Do they feel safer?

As for saving energy, that doesn't mean you but power stations. Less energy needed to light and heat homes.

In WWII, I think, they even extended DST to 2 hours, to help soldiers use the most of daylight. But in today's wired society, it's nothing but a waste of time.

My digital camera stopped taking pictures at the right time when the clocks were last changed. If I hadn't noticed, all my subsequent pictures would have been out by an hour. Cameras don't connect to the net for automatic date changes. D'oh!

I also noticed problems on Flickr, where some dates were incorrect. Probably a bug in their code, but we wouldn't have to worry about such things if they left the clocks alone!

amznVibe




msg:3258677
 10:02 am on Feb 21, 2007 (gmt 0)

At least this time they extended it past Halloween so fewer little kids get hit by cars when they aren't paying attention crossing the road.

I think the time and money wasted on this could have been used to encourage more efficient lighting changes sooner for streetlights instead and saved just as much energy/money.

balam




msg:3259030
 5:05 pm on Feb 21, 2007 (gmt 0)

For the record, I really *@#$! hate DST... If you need to apply a "patch" to the "system" for 75% of the time, then the system itself doesn't work - or maybe it's just North America that doesn't. When I was officially registering my displeasure with the (then proposed) changes to the proper authorities, I heard one Canucklehead government official state that the change was necessary "to keep inline with the rest of the world." That's one way to stroke an ego, I suppose.

So I've heard the change is in "North America" only - what constitutes "North America" in this case? Specifically, I've yet to determine if Mexico is adopting the extra weeks (they do observe DST).

> In this case, were they really damn fool enough to hard-wire daylight saving?

Speaking of hard-wired DST...

In Perl, the command localtime(time) will return the current date & time, and a flag indicating whether DST is in effect. What time will "North American" LAMP web servers report on March 12? Have Redhat, FreeBSD, etc., rolled out a DST patch? (Do they need to?) It's not a Perl issue, is it? (I note the documentation states, "[...] list elements are numeric, and come straight out of the C `struct tm'.")

OOooooo, DST. Nothing is being "saved."

mcavic




msg:3259104
 5:46 pm on Feb 21, 2007 (gmt 0)

What time will "North American" LAMP web servers report on March 12? Have Redhat, FreeBSD, etc., rolled out a DST patch? (Do they need to?)

All applications should rely on the operating system to determine DST. And all supported operating systems should have a patch. XP has a patch, and I think 2000 has a manual workaround.

Operating systems and devices that don't automatically adjust for DST don't need a patch.

I bought one of those "atomic" clocks about four months ago.

DST shouldn't be pre-programmed into it. It should receive a DST signal from the master clock at the appropriate time. At least I believe that's how the WWV protocol works.

[edited by: mcavic at 5:57 pm (utc) on Feb. 21, 2007]

mcavic




msg:3259112
 5:52 pm on Feb 21, 2007 (gmt 0)

Manual fix for Unix and Linux systems:

Tested successfully on SCO Unix 5.0.5, and Fedora 4.

Set following environment variable system-wide, rebooting afterwards so that the daemons get the new value.
TZ=CST6CDT,M3.2.0/2,M11.1.0/2

Replacing CST6CDT with your time zone. This says that DST starts on the second Sunday of March, and ends on the first Sunday of November.

balam




msg:3274872
 5:06 am on Mar 8, 2007 (gmt 0)

So the girlfriend came home from work today, relating this story...

Over the weekend the IT department patched all the XP machines, roughly 300. Today, throughout the course of the day, those machines jumped either an hour forward or back...

The impact? Company operations - across three countries - was brought to a complete standstill. "Millions" of dollars lost. Client projects, which can't proceed without the girlfriend's employer being fully functional, shut down...

Glad I don't have to deal with this... :)

mcavic




msg:3274892
 5:54 am on Mar 8, 2007 (gmt 0)

Manual fix for Unix and Linux systems

Actually, the TZ setting works on SCO Unix, but it isn't sufficient under Linux (sendmail doesn't obey it). The proper Linux procedure is given here [linuxquestions.org].

Also successfully used the tzedit [google.com] utility to update our Windows 2000 workstations.

I'm told that Java needs to be updated because it has its own DST functionality.

phranque




msg:3274934
 7:13 am on Mar 8, 2007 (gmt 0)

So the girlfriend came home from work today, relating this story...

Over the weekend the IT department patched all the XP machines, roughly 300. Today, throughout the course of the day, those machines jumped either an hour forward or back...

The impact? Company operations - across three countries - was brought to a complete standstill. "Millions" of dollars lost. Client projects, which can't proceed without the girlfriend's employer being fully functional, shut down...

according to the spousal unit, there are two patches delivered for xp since there is a problem with the first patch.
if you installed KB928388 you need to install KB931836 [support.microsoft.com] as well.
KB931836 is cumulative, so if you installed KB931836 you don't need KB928388.

balam




msg:3278221
 8:04 am on Mar 11, 2007 (gmt 0)

> Also successfully used the tzedit utility to update our Windows 2000 workstations.

So, did it work for you, mcavic?

I too updated four W2K machines using tzedit (straight from Microsoft) and it didn't work on any of them. On three of the machines there was no change; the fourth machine did advance... by two months!

balam




msg:3278670
 8:55 pm on Mar 11, 2007 (gmt 0)

> the fourth machine did advance... by two months!

Hah... Upon further review it turns out the girlfriend had accidently advanced the date while vacation planning (looks like I'm heading out in May!). After resetting the time to 1:59 AM though, it still failed to properly advance...

mcavic




msg:3278865
 1:56 am on Mar 12, 2007 (gmt 0)

Everything worked fine for me, except my alarm clock, an old version of this one [brookstone.com]. I always thought it was a radio-controlled clock, but it's not. I want to shoot the person who designed it. Why the heck would you make a fake self-setting clock when WWVB receivers are so available?

I'm thinking of replacing it with this one [hammacher.com]. The only thing strange about it is, why is the outdoor temperature sensor so darn big?

Visit Thailand




msg:3278879
 2:20 am on Mar 12, 2007 (gmt 0)

Probably a stupid question but if we are not in North America do we still have to do anything to our computers?

Lorel




msg:3278880
 2:22 am on Mar 12, 2007 (gmt 0)


IMO daylight saving time is the most idiotic moronic senseless idea known to mankind; I'm glad we don't participate.

You must live on the equator.

DST is very beneficial for those of us in the northern latitudes. I say that any changes that allow our kids to go to school and come home while it's still daylight is a good thing.

mcavic




msg:3278898
 2:47 am on Mar 12, 2007 (gmt 0)

if we are not in North America do we still have to do anything to our computers?

Only if your daylight saving rules have changed.

Visit Thailand




msg:3278928
 3:21 am on Mar 12, 2007 (gmt 0)

Only if your daylight saving rules have changed.

No. We never change. I was wondering because my computer is set to update the time "automatically" through time.windows.com

I am happy if it does not affect me. I do think though that all these countries that change should do so at the same time.

It is an headache trying to remember who changes when.

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