From the Kenosha News on 2-18-07

Get your computer ready for the new daylight saving time

I’ve been getting e-mail lately offering pay services to get my network ready for the new daylight saving time.  It got me wondering what I have to do – if anything – to get my computer(s) ready.  The overview of the issue is that, beginning in 2007, Daylight Saving Time will start three weeks earlier (2:00 A.M. on the second Sunday in March) and will end one week later (2:00 A.M. on the first Sunday in November).  But your computer won’t know this automatically.

For access to date and time functions, follow these instructions, right-click on your computer’s time in the lower right hand corner of your screen.  Then click Adjust Date/Time.   First, make sure that the date and time are correct on the Date & Time tab.  Then, on the Time Zone tab, check that your time zone is correct and that the box next to “Automatically adjust clock for daylight saving changes.”  One way to insure your computer’s time will change properly this year is to set it to synchronize with a time service via the internet periodically.  (This will only work if your computer is connected to the internet.  To do that, click on the Internet Time tab and click the box next to “Automatically synchronize with an internet time server.”   There are several different time servers that you can specify; they include:  time.nist.gov, time.microsoft.com, and any of the Navy time services listed at http://tycho.usno.navy.mil/ntp.html.  Enter the server name and click the Update button.

Even though it might appear that the use of Network Time Protocol (NTP) will prevent any issues related to the new time change, NTP and Daylight Saving Time are mutually exclusive and one does not help or hinder the other. The Network Time Protocol is a utility used to synchronize clocks on different devices. Typically, NTP takes a reference clock from a source that is based on the Coordinated Universal Time (UTC), which does not change regardless of DST.  Your computer’s operating system then converts the network time into its local time based on time zone and time of year.  So another step is needed.

If you have a brand new computer with Vista, you’re set since Microsoft has programmed Vista for the new change.   For Windows XP users, there is a patch (update) for this.  If you are automatically downloading and installing updates, you may already have it.  If you’d like to manually download the update or read more about this, go to http://support.microsoft.com/kb/928388.  I did not find such an update for Windows 98, ME, or 2000 on Microsoft.com since are past end-of-life.  However, there are fixes available for these operating systems as http://www.intelliadmin.com/Downloads.htm.  There appear to be updates for the most recent versions of Mac OSX; Mac users should go to www.apple.com, click the Support tab, and search for “DST update.”

If ever your time resets itself to a date far in the past – 1980 or 1956, for example – it usually indicates that your CMOS battery is dead.  This is usually accompanied by other symptoms, such as losing changes that you make to your configuration.

By Carol Sabbar from the Kenosha News on 2-18-07