Starting March 11, you'll be an hour early…or late

For as long as I could remember, we set our clocks forward one hour the first weekend in April, and set them back one hour the last weekend in October. This year, that all changes as a new law moves Daylight Savings Time to begin the second Sunday in March and end the first Sunday in November.

The goal is to increase daylight hours and therefore save money on energy. We’ll see if it does that. For now, we just have to deal with the havoc the change will cause to our computers that are set to automatically update for Daylight Savings. Software written before 2005 didn’t have a contingency plan for if the Daylight Savings time changed on the calendar. It’s not quite the panic of the Y2K bug, but it will still be interesting as folks are caught in its net from March 11 until early April.

Microsoft has gone as far as being quoted on the subject:

For three weeks this March and April, Microsoft Corp. warns that users of its calendar programs “should view any appointments … as suspect until they communicate with all meeting invitees.”

Microsoft already has a patch for their computers (set to push on Tuesday according to the AP article above), and steps one should take to update a Windows Mobile device. Apparently, Apple has already patched OS X 10.4, but if you’re running an earlier version of the operating system you may be on your own.

I’ll update mine and ours, and you’ll update yours. But this isn’t going to be a mess because of what you and I will do. It’s going to be a mess because of what the “other guy” will do. You know, that guy who just uses his/her computer to get stuff done and ::gasp:: doesn’t read blogs or tech notes. That guy who entered that 3 pm appointment on March 15th you made months ago, that has now become the 2 pm appointment (or will it be the 4 pm appointment? I always get that confused) on his calendar because his copy of Windows updated but he hasn’t run the Office update to fix Outlook.