RESCUECOM CEO Talks About DST Issues in Tribune Star

Technician Not Necessary to Fix DST Problem for Computers

Computers may not keep up with time change

By Arthur E. Foulkes
March 6, 2007

TERRE HAUTE — Ready or not, the switch to daylight-saving time is less than a week away, but a change in the law means your computer may not keep up with the times.

At 2 a.m. March 11, the time will suddenly become 3 a.m. The only trouble is most computers and other electronic devices that normally change automatically when daylight-saving time arrives will not do so. They will want to change three weeks later, on the first Sunday in April.

Why the confusion?

It all goes back to the Energy Policy Act of 2005, a law passed by Congress that moved daylight-saving time forward from the first Sunday in April to the second Sunday in March. Things also will be different in the fall, when daylight-saving time ends a week later than previously.

Unfortunately, computers don’t read the paper, so many of them will fail to change at the right time.

“It is a big deal to a certain degree,” said Yancy Phillips, director of user services at Indiana State University’s Office of Information Technology. But it is nothing to panic about, Phillips said.

Phillips’ office is alerting the ISU community to prepare for the time change by making sure all computers are updated with a new software “patch” from Microsoft. The new “patch” will update a computer’s internal clocks to account for the change in the daylight-saving time schedule. Problems involving calendars, especially automatic calendars, are still possible, Phillips warned.

“There are so many variables,” Phillips said.

Fixing this problem is not something for which you need a technician, said David Milman, CEO of Rescuecom, a computer services company in Syracuse, New York.

The easiest way for most people to deal with it is to go into a computer’s Window’s “control panel” and turn on “automatic updates,” he said.

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