Sunday is the day we set back our clocks forward, and many Iowans will do it before they go to bed. The date of the Daylight Savings Time change is always the same, except for this year when an act of Congress moved it up. Computer instructor Jeff Gullion is not among the programmers who worry much about it, though he says trouble can crop up when computers that are linked together don’t agree on what time it is, and they’re working on tasks that are linked to deadlines and certain exact times.
When you get those types of conflicts things can happen — especially in workflow or processes that are time-dependent. When a workstation says it’s ten and the server says it’s nine or eleven, "you get a difference of opinion," he says. The differences are more a matter of timing and inconvenience than actually "breaking the system" and having things not work.
Most companies and users have gotten programs to fix the problems, and their Information Technology departments are on top of it. If you truly are time-sensitive, he says, you (as a user or company) were aware of the bill when it was signed in 2005 and you’ve already taken into account the changes.
The nation’s automatic teller machine networks, for example, are very time-sensitive. Daylight Savings Time isn’t new to them, he says, so they’re taking care of it and just making a point to do the task on the right day, instead of the old day. When some administrators realized the problems that could create, some predicted a Y-2-K meltdown could result. Gullion says nothing that bad will happen after the clocks are set forward at two this Sunday morning.
If it’s going to not work right, he says, it’ll be just an inconvenience, like your cellphone’s time being wrong because you crossed a time zone and now it’s not nine, it’s ten o’clock. He says to fix it, turn off any device like that, and turn it back on so it re-sets itself.