Archive for Wednesday, March 7, 2007

Daylight-saving switch comes early this year

March 7, 2007

That electronic calendar that helps organize your life might betray you soon.

Digital calendars and computers run by older software could schedule appointments one hour later than intended because daylight-saving time starts three weeks earlier this year.

Thanks to Congress' 2005 Energy Policy Act, the time change (or "spring forward") begins Sunday, March 11, and will end a week later than normal, in November. Proponents hope the measure will conserve energy.

Because of the software and scheduling quirk, businesses and institutions that depend on technology have scrambled to make sure applications, particularly calendars, will work properly.

To add to the confusion, only the newest versions of Microsoft and Apple software are prepared for the switch.

Microsoft software users can go to support. microsoft.com to find out how to prepare their computers for the early changeover. The new Vista operating system already is equipped to automatically make the change.

For Apple, only Macintosh OS 10.3 and higher are equipped for the change, and users will have to run their update software to guarantee the switch.

Anyone who uses software that will not update the time will have to manually change their computer clocks not only on March 11, but again on April 1 -- when daylight-saving time would have begun under the old schedule -- and two more times in October and November at the end of daylight-saving time.

In Tonganoxie, Carl Robison, the school district's director of technology said he didn't expect the early time change to cause much added work.

"For the most part the computers update themselves," Robison said of the district's computers, most of which are Macs. "And the few that do not, we will have to manually update."

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