The looming switch over to Daylight Savings, which comes three weeks earlier than usual this year, isn't expected to create the same level of headaches that preceded the Y2K deadline. However, corporate IT departments are still sweating the details and racing the clock to apply necessary patches for various operating systems and devices. Businesses aren't the only ones that may be affected. A variety of gadgets also require an update to make the time transition run smoothly.
Congress decided in 2005 to move up the start of DST this year, while extending it an additional week in the fall. The benefits include more daylight hours in the early evening and an anticipated reduction in energy use. But many devices are still programmed to adjust their clocks on the first Sunday in April, rather than the second Sunday in March.
An advisory published by the Information Technology Association of America (ITAA) warns members not to underestimate the impact of the transition on IT resources. In a statement issued 30 days before the March 11 deadline, the organization warned, "The change means that any applications and systems not updated will operate an hour behind from March 11 to April 1. The resulting disruptions could affect information security, financial services and day-to-day scheduling among other functions."
Forrester Research offered the following rundown of affected operating systems:Windows XP (SP1), Windows 2000, and NT require manual updates; Solaris 8, 9, & 10, Aix 5.3, z/OS, HP-UX, Suse 8.9 and Red Hat EL require installation of a patch; Windows XP (SP2), Server 2003, Windows 2003 (SP1) and Apple OS X will update automatically with an Internet connection; Windows Vista and Suse 10 do not require a patch.
PCs aren't the only devices that may require attention to avoid a DST hangover. Many smart phones and PDAs could also be affected. For example, an update is also available for Windows-based cell phones and PDAs <http://www.microsoft.com/windowsmobile/daylightsaving/default.mspx>. Blackberries and Palm OS devices also require attention to avoid complications.
Anyone who is unsure whether their system require updating can consult resources provided by their hardware or software manufacturer. Many of these are listed below: