Timely coverage

The Feds weren’t thinking about IT when they moved daylight-saving time

Usually daylight-saving time is no big deal. We “spring ahead,” grumble briefly about an hour of lost sleep, and get on with life. This year could be different. The Energy Policy Act of 2005 advanced DST by three weeks, forcing IT managers into a feverish patch-fest, as they scramble to make sure their systems can handle the March 11 transition.

I’d like to be able to tell you that everyone’s efforts were effective. Unfortunately, I can’t be sure. Despite the dateline next to my smiling mug, I’m writing this a few days before DST-Day, so I don’t know what sort of chaos it will bring. Most experts believe the disruption will be minimal, even though time-keeping issues can throw a monkey wrench into Net-connected systems. (To see how things worked out, check out our ongoing coverage.)

I suspect that no one in government gave a thought to IT when they passed the bill. The idea was simply to lessen energy consumption by extending waking daylight hours. Then again, as Ted Samson notes in his Sustainable IT blog, the power savings are likely to be minimal. There’s even a chance that power usage could increase. Again, only time will tell.

On a personal level, though, I applaud the change. You see, my cat — who refuses to consult a clock — rises with the sun, generally about 6:15 a.m. Seeking company, she promptly starts meowing at my door. That starts a process reminiscent of the old game Mousetrap: The cat’s vocalization wakes my baby daughter, who lets out a succession of yelps; that rouses my 9-year-old son, which propels my wife and me out of bed by 6:20 a.m., even on weekends. Not fun.

But starting this week, my fully organic, caterwauling alarm won’t go off until 7:15 a.m. I’ll appreciate that.

Of course, if I’m late for work today, I’m going to blame the Feds.