Daylight Saving Bug

Daylight saving time is coming early this year. This will have a similar impact like Y2K had on systems. The period of daylight has been extended by three weeks in spring and one in fall as decided by congress in 2005. The reasons supporting this decisions were given as the reduction in energy usage. However, this shift is likely to cause trouble as clocks would run an hour faster.

Microsoft’s Customer service team chief of staff reported in a public that this may have an impact of great deal. For him its that all his meetings and reminders will appear to be an hour late. However, Microsoft ill be downplaying the risk by releasing the patches required to set the system time on track once again and advices the other companies system engineers to get ready with the tools and patches to downsize the affect. Being prepared will help them to go through this change smoothly and hope it doesn’t turn out to be another Y2K.

The move will impact all time sensitive applications where the tracking is done based on timings. They are likely to be more careful as this could result in errors like late arrival and departure of stocks, errors in banking transactions, late payments etc. in addition, trading applications would execute purchase and sale at wrong times may also have a great impact. Other countries that are spell bound with this change are Canada and Bermuda to the US. mandated shift in time.

Organizations may face significant losses if they are not prepared. The Y2K bug itself cost the global economy billion of dollars with a tag of $21 billion in 2000 as quoted by a report from IDC firm. However, the daylight-savings problem may not be of the scale of Y2K as reported by a recent Gartner report, but it could generate business procedures and IT systems problems that can be very disruptive. Microsoft and other companies have released patches to make there product ready for the switch and have filled there official site with tips for consumers. You will be required to apply these patches to update your systems else they will off by an hour for three weeks starting March 11 and again a week in the fall season.. This may result you going back on November 4 instead of October 28.

Dealing with patches will be easy for everyone as Microsoft released its Service Pack 2 and is also pushing it out to everyone through automatic updates. However, the recently launched Windows Vista doesn’t require it. If your company is using Microsoft’s Exchange for email, then the patches needs to be applied in a specific order and in rapid succession as listed on the Microsoft’s website. Along with the patch challenge, Microsoft’s SharePoint and Live Meeting also has fixes available. This involves, a lot of work from the systems team of every company as every software that is time bound needs to handles separately, so its not just the OS but all the software too. Major hassles that these company’s engineers would face is if they are using an older version like Windows 2000 and Windows XP prior to SP2 are no longer supported by Microsoft. Other Vendors like Oracle and Sun Microsystems still provides fixes for most of its applications. Java update will also be most tedious as there are over 50 versions of Sun Java alone. IBM and Oracle have a custom version of Java in there applications, which also need to be updated for daylight-savings time compliance, this may require an additional software to be installed. Networks will not be far behind from being affected. Though Cisco and Juniper have provided online resources to assist its customers

Apple spokesperson was quoted saying that the daylight-saving bug is fixed for Mac OS X Tiger, the recent edition of OS. A fix for Mac OS X Panther an earlier version will be done this week.

Challenges still surrounds the mobile devices such as laptops and smart phones and at the moment manual updating the time is the only solution. Most people don’t have a clue of what is coming but its better to be prepared than being sorry.