102. DST: The time is a-changing
By Andrew D. Wright
On March 11, 2007 at 2:00 AM, Daylight Saving Time will begin three weeks
earlier than usual. We'll just lose an hour of sleep but our devices are
less flexible than we are and some of them are going to have problems.
Daylight Saving Time was a product of World War I designed to conserve
energy. By having workers' shifts adjust to follow the seasonally changing
daylight hours, less electrical energy was needed for lighting.
Locally it's been traditional for clocks to spring forward one hour on the
first Sunday in April and fall back one hour on the last Sunday in
October. With the passing of the U.S. Energy Policy Act of 2005 this
changes to the second Sunday in March for clocks to move forward and first
Sunday in November for them to shift back. Canada has adopted this policy
Business users should be wary of the DST changes to time zones they deal
with and double check appointment times for meetings scheduled between
March 11 and April 1, 2007 and between October 28 and November 4, 2007.
Any device that uses time and dates such as calendar software, handheld
planners, or programs that do time/date calculations can be affected by
the DST change. Consult the device or software maker's web site for
information and updates.
The new Microsoft Windows Vista operating system has the DST changes
already in place and will automatically adjust the computer clock at the
right time for most users.
Newfoundland and Labrador Windows users will need to adjust their computer
time manually in all Windows versions including Vista. The automatic DST
adjustment is using the old incorrect dates and should be turned off.
Microsoft does have a registry edit online to put in the correct automatic
DST settings for Newfoundland and Labrador but this has to be entered
manually using regedit.
Windows XP (all varieties) and Windows Server 2003 users can download a
system update from Microsoft. This update is listed as optional on the
Windows Update site at the time of this writing but is supposed to be
added to February's monthly critical updates and delivered automatically
to Windows users with Automatic Updates turned on.
Users of earlier versions of Windows like Windows 2000, Windows ME,
Windows 98 and Windows 95 can either turn off the automatic DST time
correction and reset the computer clock by hand, or manually edit the
Windows registry to fix the automatic DST adjustment.
Microsoft has a website listing all affected supported Microsoft programs
that need to be adjusted or patched. Users of Microsoft Outlook in
particular should be aware of the available patches.
Canadian Apple Macintosh users may also need to do some setup on their
computers so they will correctly adjust the time on the right dates.
Other operating systems such as Sun's Solaris and the various varieties of
Linux will also need to be patched.
National Research Council of Canada Official Time:
Microsoft DST changes site:
Microsoft Operating System DST updates:
How to manually adjust Microsoft computers:
Apple Macintosh information:
*nix (Unix, Linux, etc.) DST data:
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Originally published 11 February 2007