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Y2K7 - Y2K Lite

Daylight Saving Time comes early and stays with us longer in 2007. At first blush, moving the groggy transition from standard time to saving time doesn't seem like much of an event. That is, until you stop to consider that computers are programmed to keep track of changes in time keeping. Y2K7 refers to computer errors that could be caused by the time change.

In 2005, the U.S. Congress passed a law extending DST by one month beginning in 2007. Daylight saving time is moved forward three weeks in 2007, beginning on March 11, and ends a week later, on November 4. Generally, computers produced prior to the enactment of the new law will require software updates to accommodate the change.

In the absence of software updates, problem causing anomalies can crop up in unexpected places during those weeks where DST has been extended. For instance,

  1. VCR and DVR programming may be inaccurate
  2. Email time stamps will be off
  3. Calendar software will be out of synch
  4. Authentication software will log erroneous information

Many simple devices such as clock radios are programmed to track time changes. On March 12, 2007 we could expect an unusual number of employees late for work, missed delivery schedules and appointments as many of us will be caught unaware. The period of flux will last several weeks, until the previously scheduled change to daylight saving time rolls by. And the same issues will crop up again in November, during the week DST is extended.

The only way around Y2K7 problems is to make sure that all software updates have been downloaded for software and systems that you use. For those devices that don't permit software updates you just need to go back to the old fashioned method of manual reset (i.e., change the time on your clocks). You also have to assume that at least some business associates, friends and family will be tripped up. Share this information with them and you can help minimize unpleasant surprises.

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