Wednesday, April 18, 2007

The Year 2007 Eastern Daylight Time Problem:

When we switched to Eastern Daylight Time earlier than usual this year, many computer systems weren’t ready for the change, right? A lot of systems had to be changed manually, but that didn’t cause any serious problems, right? And that proves that the immense effort to plan for the “Year 2000” problem was a waste of time, right?

Those are definitely not my sentiments. Although the money spent on finding Year-2000 problems meant that people had less to spend on developers like me, I still thought it was worth the effort to fix problems before they happened. I also believe that there WERE many problems with the time change this year, and that it would have been worth making more effort to avoid them. (The best way would have been not to change the date for starting daylight saving.) And I'll bet Cody Webb agrees with me.

Cody was arrested for making a bomb threat to his highschool, and served twelve days in jail, even though his voice sounded different from the recorded call. His principal pronounced him a criminal, and of course she didn't believe his protestations of innocence, they had to be lies, he was a criminal. The critical evidence: his phone was the only one to call the school at the time of the bomb threat. Until someone realized they hadn't corrected for the change to EDT, which (the news story is a little unclear) had apparently been made to the call-logging system but not the school clocks, or vice versa. All charges against poor Cody Webb have been dropped. Here's the news story. It's worth a lot of effort to keep computers from confusing people due to time changes.
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