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Dealing with Expanded Daylight Saving Time
October 23, 2007, Volume 54, No. 9

Be on the alert for possible time-related problems beginning on October 28.

Beginning this year, Daylight Saving Time (DST) is in effect for an extra four weeks, as mandated in the 2005 Energy Policy Act. DST started on the second Sunday in March, three weeks earlier than previously, and will end on the first Sunday in November—November 4—one week later than previously.

Most organizations and end users at Penn prepared for this change in March, before the onset of DST.  However, older devices and software programmed to gain or lose an hour according to the traditional DST schedule will need to be “patched” or have the time adjusted manually on November 4 if they weren’t patched in the spring. Devices and software patched in the spring do not need to be patched again unless they were reset or reinstalled to a “pre-patched” version. Most newer electronic devices (computers, PDAs, cell phones, etc.) and recent versions of software handle the change automatically.

The early arrival of Daylight Saving Time in March proved to cause little if any disruption to work at Penn. Most organizations patched critical systems in advance of the March onset of DST.  In addition, older, more vulnerable applications and operating systems such as Windows 2000 have been retired from Penn’s list of supported products.

With that in mind, very few problems are likely to occur between October 28, the date on which Daylight Saving Time would traditionally have ended, and November 4, the date on which DST ends this year.

Nonetheless, it’s wise to be on the alert for time-related problems beginning on October 28, especially if you use an electronic calendar. To be safe, all repeat meetings and appointments as well as those scheduled between October 28 and November 4 should be considered suspect until confirmed via e-mail with all meeting participants. It’s also a good idea to print out before October 28 your calendar for the affected week. 

 If you have questions or need assistance related to the time change, please contact your Local Support Provider. If you don’t know who your LSP is, please see www.upenn.edu/computing/view/support/. Information Systems & Computing has also compiled information about the impact of DST changes on products supported at Penn at www.upenn.edu/computing/product/dst2007.html.

—Mark Aseltine,
Executive Director,
ISC Technology Support Services

Almanac - October 23, 2007, Volume 54, No. 9