begins this Sunday
Daylight-saving time begins three weeks early this year, starting this Sunday.
This Sunday, daylight-saving time begins at 2 a.m. As mandated by the Energy Policy Act of 2005, the United States' one-hour "spring forward" will now come three weeks earlier than in previous years. In addition, clocks will be turned back in the fall on the first Sunday in November, one week later than usual. These changes will extend the darkness in the mornings, but will provide more light in the evenings, which lawmakers say could save energy and reduce crime.
Whereas some potential problems with this change may be a mere annoyance (like your TiVo missing your favorite shows), others could have more severe consequences. At Fermilab, the Computing Division has been rushing to update both servers and computers before the new time goes into effect. If computers aren't updated, users won't be able to log in to their system accounts: if the time on the local computer doesn't match that of the server to within five minutes, the system won't authenticate the user.
"Every year this happens to a few people. Some people will be surprised," said CD's Troy Dawson, who works on updates for Linux operating systems. "But it won't be on the level of Y2K."
Whereas users with administrator privileges could change their computers' settings manually, this would have to be done a total of four times per year on most operating systems to make up for the previous time change settings. Most software vendors have developed user-friendly software patches that members of CD have remotely uploaded to on-site computers, said CD's Cele Bruce. But some software that relies heavily on timing, such as the personal scheduling program Meeting Maker, does not have such patches. Bruce and her team worked with the vendors to develop an appropriate patch and finalized updates to the software on Thursday. "We tried to pinpoint everything that has a calendar, so we'll be ready when that magic March 11 comes around," she said.
If you have any issues on Monday, please contact your local desktop support or the Help Desk.