Geeky DST Reflections

I hope all our American readers remembered to make the Great Leap Forward on their clocks this morn. If you'd like to read an amusing essay on the topic, Joel Achenbach is your man:

Daylight saving time is here already, weeks ahead of the normal schedule, rousting us from bed, speeding up an already accelerated existence. By government edict, the sun does not rise when it should, and you must emerge from your comfy bed in predawn darkness. The moment when the clocks move forward by an hour has been moved back by nearly a month. Forward: back. Confused? Temporally discombobulated? Can you honestly say what time it is "right now"?

I can, of course, because I am a Linux geek, and the patch that fixed our timezone settings to reflect the new date for the shift was issued last March. While there's been quite a bit of frustration among my peers stuck with less well-designed operating systems …

"This is INSANE. I buy a standard product for 2500 bucks and then I get a note telling me to update it for a problem known for a couple years. And the patch screws up my system. How long will my appointments be shifted? For three weeks now and two weeks at the end of "old" dst?," a post from customer on the Microsoft DST chat said.

(<schadenfreude>heh</schadenfreude>) I've been able to ignore the hassle. (I'd say "Thanks, Linus!" but in fact Linux inherited its sensible design in this area from old-school Unix.)

What really impressed me was my watch, a Casio with (what they call) "Waveceptor" technology. I was prepared to have to kick it into DST mode, a trick that involves multiple button presses, incantations, and (often) breaking out the reading glasses to peruse the 3-point type in the manual.

But no! This morning, the watch had done its usual early-AM listen to WWVB in Fort Collins, Colorado, and (apparently) WWVB told it to do the switchover. The watch seemed proud of itself, perhaps even veering into smugness. (I'd have probably known about this behavior if I'd read the entire 3-point type manual.)

(True geeks will really want to check out that WWVB link, by the way. Those NIST guys are really smart.)

Last Modified 2012-10-19 2:26 PM EDT