Effects of Y2K + 7 - Embedded.com

Effects of Y2K + 7


Eight or nine years ago, the potential effects of Y2K were definitely top of mind. The amount of time and money spent to ensure that there were no adverse effects was staggering. Fortunately, as far as I can remember, it was a job well done.

Now, as we hit Daylight Savings Time (DST) in 2007, we find ourselves in a similar, albeit less documented, situation. By moving DST up by three weeks, some of our embedded systems were thrown for a loop. As far as I've seen, the hype for this potential negative event didn't start until a few weeks before the fact.

Unfortunately, I've fallen prey to a system that was not updated in time to reflect the time change. I employ one of the popular wireless streaming audio systems in my house. Each of the two boxes prominently displays the time of day. In fact, the one in my kitchen is one that the family depends on to get us out the door on time.

I've had these systems for a few years, and until now, have never given a thought to setting the time. It always “magically” adjusted itself to the proper time, whether it was after a power outage, or during a change from DST to standard time, or vice-versa.

Now however, it's become a problem. When we changed the clocks this past weekend, the clocks on these two systems didn't budge. Hence, I set out to manually change the time. After going through a plethora of menus, it became obvious to me that I wasn't going to change the time without consulting the user manual. Not able to locate the manual (what a surprise), I went to company's Web site to read the instructions on-line. This where I discovered the real problem. Here's what it said (paraphrased):

“This weekend, clocks in North America will update for DST. This change comes a few weeks earlier this year due to a change in the law governing DST. The currently-released version of our software does not have the updated DST dates programmed. A new version of our software in final testing does include the new DST. We had hoped that this release would be ready in time for the weekend, but final testing is not yet complete.”

That was followed by instructions to “trick” the clock into thinking it was in a different time zone, thereby displaying the correct time. I couldn't figure it out. So until the new software is available, I may be an hour late.

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