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Daylight savings trouble

Daylight Savings time is upon us again this weekend (*). Whether you like it or not (I do, in cases anyone is curious), just be glad you’re not in Indiana, where they will start observing DST for the first time since the 1970s. Well, sort of.

But the shift, coupled with a U.S. Transportation Department decision allowing eight of the state’s 92 counties to change to the Central time zone, has left many confused and uneasy.

Under state law, most of Indiana has ignored daylight-saving time since the early 1970s. The result has been a patchwork of time zones, with 77 counties observing Eastern time but not changing clocks; five on Eastern time unofficially observing daylight-saving time; and 10 on Central time that observed daylight-saving time.

The clock confusion made the state the butt of jokes and even provided a plotline for television’s The West Wing.

Gov. Mitch Daniels pushed daylight time last year, saying it would end the confusion and promote commerce. Lawmakers passed it by a single vote. Instead of resolving the matter, the vote created a new debate about which time zone Indiana should observe.

The only sure thing about Indiana’s time debate is that it will continue long after the state springs forward.

Pulaski and Martin Counties already want to move back to Eastern time, contending many businesses will be hurt.

Or Australia.

A simple daylight saving shift to improve the viewing experience of the Commonwealth Games has sent a ripple through the industry with time-conscious IT managers busy updating systems. And many could be caught napping due to a widespread, mistaken belief the extension applies only to Victoria.

Whereas daylight saving usually finishes on the last weekend in March it has been extended this year, in the eastern states that observe the time change, until Sunday April 2 (at 3am clocks go back one hour.)

Microsoft Windows users were issued a patch from the software giant to cope with the extension of daylight savings for a week until April 2, while mid-range and Linux systems require manual configuration to maintain the correct time.

However, keeping an organization’s network temporal during this year’s sporting spectacle may vary from simple to overly complex, according to Tweed Shire Council’s systems supervisor Marcus Armour.

As someone once said, does anybody really know what time it is?

(*) Europe has been on DST since last weekend – they always go a week before we do in the States. This impacted me personally when Tiffany and I took an Easter Week vacation in Switzerland a few years ago. We were there when the Continent sprung forward, and we came home in time for the US to follow suit. Which means that I lost two hours’ sleep that year, and only gained one back in the fall. Some days I feel like I’m still catching up from that.

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4 Comments

  1. Charles Hixon says:

    Gosh if it’s a savings it’s gotta be a good thing!

  2. Indiana Moves to Daylight-Saving Time

    Seven months a year, Deano’s Tavern cashes in on Indiana’s refusal to observe daylight-saving time.

  3. Linkmeister says:

    I got a new bedside clock-radio a couple of years ago. It had a feature which supposedly allowed you to hard-wire your time zone into it and have it automatically shift. Since Hawai’i doesn’t go, it ought to remain the same, right? Nope. It changes every year, causing me some sleep and the hassle of manually correcting it.

    New technology, feh.

  4. Mathwiz says:

    The real problem with Indiana is that the state is too far west to be comfortable on Eastern time. The ideal solution would’ve been to put the whole state on Central Time. Then DST wouldn’t have been such a problem.

    The exception would’ve been a handful of eastern counties, which are actually suburbs of Columbus, Ohio. Probably the same five counties that “unofficially” observed DST before. Commuters won’t want to cross into a different time zone every time they go to and from work.

    Linkmeister: I have a watch that automatically goes on and off DST if you’re in any of the “continental” time zones. It’s smart enough to deal with Hawaii, but if I lived in Arizona, it’d have the same problem your clock does.

    Microsoft Windows users were issued a patch from the software giant to cope with the extension of daylight savings for a week until April 2, while mid-range and Linux systems require manual configuration to maintain the correct time.

    One problem with us computer programmers is we always think we can get away with programming in the “DST rules,” and we forget that politicians sometimes change those rules. The energy bill changed the DST rules again; so next year we Americans will have to deal with the same issues.