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The thoughts and theories of a guy who basically should have gone to bed hours ago.

I know, I know - what's the point? But look at it this way - I stayed up late writing it, but you're reading it...

Let's call ourselves even & move on, OK?

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Tuesday, January 23, 2007

DST2K7 Just Doesn't Have the Same Ring To It...

Back in August of 2005, President Bush signed the Energy Policy Act of 2005, which sent us off to fight in an unfair war based on dubious evidence. Oh, wait - wrong policy. What the EPA actually did was extend Daylight Savings Time by four weeks, beginning in 2007.

So, this year, for the first time, our clocks will "Spring Ahead" on the second Sunday in March (March 11th), as opposed to the first Sunday in April (April 1st) as has been the case since 1966. Similarly, we will "Fall Back" on the first Sunday in November (November 4th), rather than the old standby - the last Sunday in October (October 28th). If you're curious (as I'm sure that you're not), this site tells you everything you'd ever want to know about Daylight Savings Time, including a discussion about spelling and grammar. See, it's actually Daylight Saving Time, not Daylight Savings Time, but (and I swear this is a direct quote):

Nevertheless, many people feel the word savings (with an 's') flows more mellifluously off the tongue. Daylight Savings Time is also in common usage, and can be found in dictionaries.

Just about the only thing that site doesn't talk about is the effect this has on the world's computer systems. The whole "first Sunday in April through last Sunday in October" rule is baked into most computers, so a small change needs to be made to each one, and then all the programs that run on them need to be tested to make sure this "small change" doesn't break anything. Kind of like a mass recall for every computer ever made.

Astute observers (read: geeks) will note that this is similar to the infamous Y2K thing, in that any problems that aren't caught are going to come to light on March 11, 2007 - no extensions, no exceptions. Luckily, though, the implications of the world's computers being one hour off are relatively minor, whereas having them be 1,000 years off requires the building of underground bunkers, the purchasing of copious amounts of duct tape, and a deep introspection about our society's dependency on technology. But, I digress...

I bring all of this up because my boss at work is holding a two-day offsite meeting this week, and wants to talk about our plans for Daylight Savings Time testing at the end of the meeting. All of which led to this rather ammusing e-mail in my inbox:

John had requested that we add Daylight Savings Time to our agenda which means that our meeting's end time on Friday will be extended one hour, from 12:00pm to 1:00pm. Please adjust your schedule accordingly. Thanks.

OK, that was a long way to go for a bit of irony, but it gave me a chuckle...

UPDATE: The meeting ended at 11:00AM. Don't you hate it when you mess up the time change like that? SO embarrassing... ;-)

posted by Brian at 2:19 PM


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