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Wednesday, February 28, 2007

Another Y2K is on the way

As if today's severe weather in the Portland metro area wasn't enough to worry about, check out this news:

This year, Daylight Saving Time (DST) will start three weeks earlier beginning on Sunday, March 11 at 2:00 a.m. It will end one week later on Nov. 4. The extended period is the result of the Energy Policy Act passed by Congress in August 2005. Daylight saving time is not observed in Arizona (with the exception of the Navajo Nation), Hawaii, Puerto Rico, the Virgin Islands, American Samoa, and Guam.

Technology support professionals are preparing for the change by deploying patches to many time dependent applications prior to March 11. Software vendors are recommending that customers also validate time information for certain applications during the weeks between the new and previous DST dates.

Here at Storm Center 9000, we are already stocking up on canned tuna and ammunition for this one, less than two weeks away. We predict a disaster, unless it is averted.

Comments (5)

Huh. Well, so much for "Spring Forward"... technically now it's "Winter Forward".

Oh how I hate DST... maybe because I was born on Guam... ;-)

I'm going to have to rethink my practice of staying sober until dark on St. Patrick's Day.

"...Daylight Saving Time (DST) will start three weeks earlier beginning on Sunday, March 11 at 2:00 a.m. It will end one week later on Nov. 4."

Even scarier is the loss of Spring, Summer, and Fall, those great seasons that once fell between March 11 and November 4.

I predict the disruption will be . . .minimal. Unless of course I miss two or three episodes of "24" because my VCR misses the switch and I instead have to watch the Fox 10 O'Clock News. In that case, there will be a riot.

I've heard some people lament the new switch, but personally I would much rather have the daylight after work, when I want to do stuff, than before, when I'm comatose.

Not quite as interesting as Y2K. But not as much attention has been given to it either. We were patching for Y2K years before it got here, and doing very major testing on everything.

I think a buggy software patch is more likely to cause a problem than something having the wrong time or wrong time difference. But I suppose an unexpected time difference (maybe due to other countries not making the change at the same time, or one system being changed and another not being changed etc ...) could send something down a never before traveled code path, and cause a behavior, which causes something to shut down, which causes something else to shut down etc ...

Maybe there is a line of code somewhere, that has If Time Difference Between Here and Ireland = X Then ...

I plead guilty, to having at least once, hard-coded a time difference potentially effected by this? I thought the dates for changing between daylight time and standard time were something that a static formula could handle.

Other countries, who use Daylight Savings time, are still changing April 1.
This difference might be its own problem.

I see some April Fools potential here.
(Assuming the world doesn't end on March 11 and we are still here on April 1).

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