Sunday, March 11, 2007

Time is broken

Sun Dial, Kew Gardens
Originally uploaded by bluedwarf.
Did everyone remember that the new, improved Daylight Saving Time begins today?

I did remember, and spent the last half-hour or so before bed last night changing clocks. We have cheap battery-powered wall clocks in almost every room: Those would have to be changed manually. So would the clock on our oven, and the one in the breadmaker (we have a microwave, but it doesn't have a clock), and alarm clocks in my son's room and on my wife's side of the bed. Oh, and the clocks in our answering machine and thermostat, and my analog pocket watch.

I missed the VCRs. I confidently expect I'll have to change them four times this year: Once when DST now is, and once when DST would have been. I'll see if I can disable the auto-settings for that, while I'm in there.

My alarm clock, my daughter's alarm clock, and the wall clock at my wife's desk all get atomic timekeeping signals: They all updated themselves. So did the computers and cel phones. (Exception: My iPaq, an older model, didn't update. I wonder if there's a patch for that version of Windows Mobile. Why, yes, there is.)

Outlook, of course (and those of you who use it should be aware of this), jumped the gun and went wonky a couple of weeks ago. My all-day events spanned two days, because they begin and end at 1am instead of midnight, and my timed events drifted forward an hour. Downloaded Microsoft's Time Zone Data Update Tool: Worked just fine. Although I am amused that Windows itself can update automatically and Outlook can't.

Note to myself: When I replace clocks of any kind, replace them with clocks that receive atomic timekeeping signals. I shouldn't have to do this.

Ah, well, it could be worse. I could live in Indiana.


Jake said...

Yes, you could live in Indiana, or you could have had to change over 500 individual devices to comply with something that has the possibility of being transient.
Just can't wait for the Dept of Energy report on how much energy we saved, or didn't, as the case might be.

Daniel said...

I thought of you when I wrote this post. I do have some idea of what you went through.

I'm not expecting to see any energy savings reports. If Daylight Saving Time were actually conserving any significant amount of energy, I wouldn't have to search far for confirmation: It would be all over the front page. They hide numbers when they know the numbers aren't on their side.