Y2K All Over Again

The media and computer people made a big deal about the switch to Daylight Savings Time (also known as Daylight Saving Time, either is correct; not sure where the “s” ever came from). I didn’t see why it would be an issue and that Microsoft sends out so many patches that this should just be fixed without any effort on my part. Yesterday, after the time change, my computer at home knew the correct time automatically. I did install a fix on my Palm, but didn’t realize that for it to work I actually had to run the program once. But I did that and it made the adjustment. So far so good.

But at work my computer was an hour behind. I thought it would adjust itself after a few minutes. It didn’t. Everyone else’s had adjusted already. So I adjusted it myself. An hour later it was back to the old time. Our computer people have a program installed that automatically updates the time to the server time. It was a leftover from when they locked all the computers down so tight that you couldn’t even change the time without administrator privileges.

I went to Microsoft’s website and ran the Windows update in case I had missed something by turning my computer off at night (it doesn’t help that I’m running Windows 2000 at work, which is pretty ancient). There were something like 15 updates and many of those had errors as they installed, which is probably why they hadn’t automatically updated in the first place. After all of that, and a restart, the clock was still off.

I went to Microsoft again and found a program that could be installed (tzedit.exe), but it didn’t install with the correct settings. It still had the old Daylight Savings Time settings, but once installed it let you change what month, week (first, second, third, last week of a month), day, and time DST happens. Once I got those setting right, the computer’s clock was correct again.

But I wasn’t the only one having problems. This morning I had a meeting invitation for a meeting from 11:30 to 1:30. I thought that was a really bad time for a meeting, right during lunch. But I noticed the meeting invite had been forwarded and the original meeting time was 12:30 to 2:30. That’s better, but I would still have to take lunch early. To be sure, I asked for clarification on what time the meeting was supposed to be and soon got the answer: 1:30 to 3:30. I have no idea how that happened, but a Blackberry was involved so it could be anything.

Susan said all of her appointments moved 1 hour.

So all of the preparation was done, the media sent a panic through everyone, and the systems still seemed to have failed.

It was stupid to change the time anyway. I heard one report that the value of energy saved was tiny compared to the amount of money computer support people have spent trying to fix the problem. I won’t even go into the other questionable benefits of the bill that included this change, but the subsidies (corporate welfare) for alcohol were certainly one of the more expensive measures we are paying for.

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