Earlier Daylight Saving Time Causes Computer Headaches

By: Zac Schultz Email
By: Zac Schultz Email

Madison: We'll be springing ahead a little earlier this year thanks to a change by the federal government. Daylight saving time is coming three weeks early and nearly every digital device with a clock needs to be re-programmed so you won't be an hour late.

Steve Soliman has been pretty busy lately. As President of Direct Networks, Inc. he's been sending his computer engineers out to prepare for the daylight saving switch. "We're only a few weeks away from the big changeover and now people are just starting to realize this really is a big thing."

None of the computer systems or servers out there know the new daylight saving time is March 11th. Without an update and a patch computers will be off by an hour. The world won't come to a halt, but it will be a major inconvenience. "People could be missing appointments or going to appointments late," says Soliman.

This won't be an easy fix. "It's not a small thing. You don't just apply one update on one work station. It's work stations, it's servers, you email system, it's all your phones, your PDA's," says Soliman.

Direct Networks has two teams working full time on daylight saving updates for their clients.

"We've been aware of this since October of last year." Meg McCall says the University of Wisconsin took care of the problem last fall, but that doesn't mean all the students or staff are aware. "Some people are kind of scrambling. This will impact clocks in a variety of ways that you might not think of, like fax machines and photo copiers too."

The daylight savings change is not only impacting computers it's changing state law. A senate committee passed a bill today that would allow the bars to stay open an extra hour for daylight saving.

Current law allows taverns to stay open until 3:30 am when we lose an hour in the spring but when the Federal government moved daylight saving up three weeks, state law did not automatically change with it.

"There was confusion amongst the Tavern League and this bill simply helps clarify so that everyone understands when in fact closing time is," says Rep. Frank Boyle (D-Superior).

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