Daylight Saving Time: It's Personal

Better double-check your appointment schedules this Sunday, March 11. That's when daylight saving time will start, three weeks earlier than usual, in most of the U.S. and Canada.

In an attempt to save electricity, the U.S. Congress introduced a provision in the Energy Policy Act of 2005 mandating that clocks "spring forward" three weeks earlier.

Some people are worried about a mini Y2K but CBS News Tech Correspondent Daniel Sieberg visited The Saturday Early Show to assure viewers that they don't have to worry about that.

Here are a few of his tips on what to do with your household items in order to stay on time and on top on your updates.

  • If you run a Windows program on your computer and you have Vista, there is nothing you need to do. Vista will automatically take care of the time change for you. If you have XP or a slightly older version of Windows, download a patch. From the Windows Update page, or it's done automatically if your settings are pre-set. With Windows 2000, a patch is also required.

  • If you're still using Mac OS X 10.2.8 or earlier, you can adjust your clock manually using Date and Time preferences. Deselect the option to set date and time automatically, then set the time for your local time zone as needed.

    As the daylight saving time change has caused an immense amount of inconvenience for consumers, Microsoft has issued a patch for updating your computer. At www.support.com, they are offering free expert assistance in installing this patch and navigating any additional issues.

    Also, if you call 1-800-PC-Support (800-727-8776), their solutions engineers can either walk you through download and install of the patch or they can take remote control of your computer and do it for you at no cost.

  • Cell phones should just adjust to the time based on the carrier and the signal from the cell tower, but it's always good to double-check with your provider.

  • For Blackberrys, a patch may be downloaded at http://www.blackberry.com/DST2007/patch/index2.shtml.

    And most of all, don't forget to synchronize.

    Appointments and their reminders might appear one hour late on your BlackBerry device if the appointments start in one of the following windows in any year:

  • Between the second Sunday in March and the first Sunday in April (for example, March 11 2007 to April 1 2007)

  • Between the last Sunday in October and the first Sunday in November (for example, October 28 2007 to November 4 2007)

    In addition to the display time on the BlackBerry device not transitioning correctly when the new Daylight Saving Time (DST) start and ends dates occur, there is an impact to the calendar features on the BlackBerry device.
    The way a calendar appointment is affected depends on whether it was created using an old DST table (i.e. no patch applied) with historical DST information or using a new DST table (i.e. after patch is applied) with the updated 2007 DST information.

  • TiVO has reported that their earlier series machines will show a slight off-time, but likely won't affect the recordings. Newer machines should be fine. Most DVRs (digital video recorders) should update automatically.
    Series3 TiVo DVRs, running 8.1.1 are fully compatible with the new DST schedule. All functions and displays will change as expected. If you are setting up a new Series3, it will not have 8.1.1 software immediately. While the DVR will update automatically within 2 days, you can speed up the download by making a manual connection to the TiVo Service.

    While Series2 TiVo DVRs, running 8.1a are fully compatible with the new DST schedule, they do have one minor display issue that will be visible for programs airing the evening of March 10. At the moment of the DST change at Greenwich Mean Time, the clock in the TiVo banner and guide will display an hour ahead, but all programmed recordings will be recorded at the correct time. Once your local time reaches DST, the issue will automatically correct itself and your TiVo DVR will display the correct time. This is a display issue only, and will not affect recording.

  • Anything without a network connection or a way to update them will need to be done manually. That includes digital cameras, cordless phones, VCRs, DVD players, clock radios and microwaves.

    The bottom line: It won't be catastrophic in any way. Worst-case scenario: you're off by an hour. That may affect some things like hotel wake-up calls, meeting times, financial payments and cell phone billing. But most companies have this situation well in hand.

    Here is some DST background:

    Starting in 2007, daylight time begins in the United States on the second Sunday in March and ends on the first Sunday in November.

    On the second Sunday in March, clocks are set ahead one hour at 2 a.m. local standard time, which becomes 3 a.m. local daylight time.

    On the first Sunday in November, clocks are set back one hour at 2 a.m. local daylight time, which becomes 1 a.m. local standard time.

    Not all places in the U.S. observe daylight time. In particular, Hawaii and most of Arizona do not use it. Indiana adopted its use beginning in 2006.

    In 2006, daylight time began on April 2 and ended on Oct. 29.
    In 2007, daylight time begins on March 11 and ends on Nov. 4.
    In 2008, daylight time begins on March 9 and ends on Nov. 2.

    Many other countries observe some form of "summer time," but they do not necessarily change their clocks on the same dates as the U.S.
    • Ellen Crean

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