I've already voiced my displeasure about Sunday's Daylight Savings Time change in my previous rant on DST 2007. Last Thursday, before Spring Break, I updated a machine a work. Today I updated my Windows XP Professional SP2 laptop at home, then wrestled with getting my Windows Mobile 2003 Second Edition PDA updated. It wasn't so much that the latter took all that much time, as the update wanted me to upgrade from ActiveSync 3.7.1 to 4.5.0, plus run the DST 2007 update on the host machine, which I had just done.
Michigan's 6th Congressional District Representative Fred Upton (R) is pretty much still saying the sames things as his self-aggrandizing press releases of 2005. He practically claims today that by now everyone has updated all the computers, so that this should be as successful a non-news-event as Y2K. Oh yeah? Right... I predict that (a) the Congressional switchboards and email servers are going to hear about it on Monday and (b) again on the "old" Spring Forward DST date in the beginning of April, when some machines cheerfully change the clocks again.
Upton's bipartisan amendment, co-sponsored by Ed Markey (D-MA) would extend daylight saving by four weeks, starting the second Sunday of March and lasting through the first Sunday of November. The extension of daylight saving would become effective one year after the enactment of the Energy bill, likely March of 2007. The bill also calls for a study on the impact of daylight saving on energy consumption to be conducted no later than nine months after the enactment of the bill.
"Extending daylight saving time makes sense, especially with skyrocketing energy costs. My daylight saving amendment is one small piece of the overall energy package, and with oil at $60 a barrel and gas at $2.50 a gallon, every bit of conservation helps," concluded Upton.
Extending daylight in the 1970's saved the equivalent of 100,000 barrels of oil a day, or one percent of the nation's energy consumption. Taking the savings figure from the mid 1970s - 100,000 barrels of oil a day - and multiplying that by $60 a barrel for 30 days, the savings amounts to at least $180 million for the extended weeks.
There is a problem comparing DST 2007 to Y2K nigh onto eight years ago. People knew about the problem a long time before -- this time the time frame was a little over a year. There was real risk associated with NOT fixing the Y2K bugs, which motivated a lot of overtime and thorough checking. Also purchases of new hardware and software. Do you know anyone who bought a new computer just because of DST 2007? And the range of computer operating systems getting Y2K patches was actually larger. This time around, Microsoft can't be bothered to offer a patch or update to "legacy operating systems."
The fact is, the problem isn't just an American problem. Other countries have been forced to go with or against the U.S. DST dates. Wanna do it manually? Sure... on a Windows machine you can go into your Registry and start editing dozens of for each country's time zones' TZkeys that look like:
Worse, it's not just a clock issue. Check out the long list of things Microsoft suggests that need to be done for computer centers. Mrs. Dr. Phil's workplace had a huge long procedure for those who already had appointments scheduled over the magic weekends, and I just got an e-mail from Western saying that if you use the online quiz system, all the quiz times will be wrong by an hour because the times were set before the time change...
I'll see you on the other side of Daylight Savings Time 2007 Changes (1 of 4). (grin)