Tech Headaches May Surface When Daylight-Saving Time Returns
The expansion of daylight-saving time in the United States and Canada this year has the potential to impact the operations of computers and other electronic devices with time zone features, according to the Computing Technology Industry Association (CompTIA).
Within the U.S. and Canada, computers, personal digital assistants, videocassette recorders, digital video recorders, phones, and any other electronic devices that have a time zone setting will require a small software update to accommodate the change in daylight-saving time. Otherwise, the internal clocks in the devices could be off by one hour for three weeks in the spring and for one week in the fall.
CompTIA suggests that it’s not too soon for consumers and businesses to check computers and electronic devices to make sure they are updated to accommodate the earlier start and later end dates.
In 2007, daylight-saving time will begin at 2 a.m. (local time) Sunday, March 11, and end at 2 a.m. Sunday, November 4. The start date is three weeks earlier than in 2006, and the end date is one week later. The expansion of daylight-saving time in the U.S. was included in the Energy Policy Act of 2005. Arizona, Hawaii, and parts of Alaska and Indiana are unaffected since they do not observe daylight-saving time.
The same start and end dates will be observed in Canada in 2007.
All major computer operating systems have released a software patch to reflect the change of the start and end dates for daylight-saving time. Computers using an operating system automatic update feature will soon receive the software patch if it hasn’t already.
Most cable and satellite television tuners and digital video recorders will receive an update automatically with the current show schedule.
However, many computers and other electronic devices will require the manual installation of a software update. This includes almost all computers, PDAs, VCRs, and mobile phones that are not connected to the Internet. Voice-over-IP phone systems, GPS navigation systems, alarm clocks, and other “smart home” appliances may also be affected. Users will have to check the settings on these devices to determine if they recognize daylight-saving time and if the correct start and end dates are present in the settings. If not, consumers should contact the service provider or product manufacturer to find out how to update the settings for each affected device.
For 25 years, the Computing Technology Industry Association (CompTIA) has served as the voice of the world’s information technology industry. Today, the association represents the business interests of more than 20,000 member companies worldwide.