March 5, 2007

Springing forward three weeks early

Sorry I haven't posted for a bit. It's been kind of hectic this week. And the kids moved out this weekend. Wow. When did I start sounding like my parents referring to my grown daughter and son-in-law as "the kids?" It just sorted of happened.

Any hoo, just in case this one slipped below your radar...Daylight Savings begins THIS coming weekend. Yes, that is three weeks earlier. Those of us with Windows Vista or Windows XP with Service Pack 2 should be fine. But this article (NYT) seems to think this may be bit of a mini-Y2K for businesses.

The latest Windows operating system, Vista, is not affected, and for those running Windows XP Service Pack 2, online software updates have been pushed out automatically to correct the problem. Microsoft and Apple are also making software patches and instructions available on their Web sites.

“This is mainly an annoyance for consumers, but it’s a major headache for corporate technology departments,” said Jeffrey Hammond, an analyst at Forrester Research.

For the roughly 7,000 public companies in the United States, Mr. Hammond estimates the total cost of making computer fixes to deal with the daylight saving time shift at more than $350 million. “It’s causing a lot of corporate technology people sleepless nights,” he said.

The impact extends beyond computers themselves. For example, utilities have begun deploying sophisticated time-of-use meters that measure electricity consumption, often at 15- or 30-minute intervals. They charge different rates at different times of day — mainly for large commercial customers — as part of the utilities’ programs to manage peak loads on their grids.
On the other hand...if you have a meter that needs to be read, you might want to pay close attention to your utility bills over the next two months, just to be on the safe side.

Personally, I love Daylight Savings and wish we had it all year round. There can be some up sides. That first couple of weeks of adjusting to the time change gives us all an excuse for weird behavior. ("Must be the time change.") Parting shot from the article:
For most people in business, Mr. Bailar said, the main problem is going to be synching calendars and meeting schedules. “My advice to the common Luddite is to confirm, confirm and reconfirm your appointments in March and April,” he said.

Or perhaps not. Mr. Bailar suggested another option: “What better excuse to miss that boring budget meeting, at least for a month?”

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