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The (occasionally) moving target of Daylight Saving Time

Hey, it’s Rich Dale.  So last night was the night — the bad one.  The one where your night of sleep is an hour less than it should be.  And to top it off, I flew in from Oregon yesterday, so two hours evaporated into thin air on my way home, then another hour disappeared during the night!

Do you remember when DST didn’t start until the first Sunday of April and ended the last Sunday in October?  It was that way from 1987 to 2006.  That was long enough for it to feel nice and stable.  Then in 2007, it changed to what it is now — the second Sunday in March to the first Sunday in November.

If that happened now, it wouldn’t be much of a problem.  Most of our clocks are “connected”, like cell phones, and get the time from the powers on high and are always right.  But 12 years ago, a lot of people still had regular clocks that had to be set.  Furthermore, a lot of manufacturers had started making digital clocks that “knew” when DST started and ended.  Then, how annoying was it that all these clocks that were supposed to know when to change were all made wrong in 2007!  I had at least a couple of those!

The thing is, the makers of these clocks were so convinced that DST would never change (after all, it was the same for almost 20 years) that they didn’t make DST a customer setting.  They just hard-coded it into the clock!  Even though you could basically set everything on the clock, right down to what year it was, so it would know when to do a leap year.  But starting in 2007, these clocks have been wrong for 3 weeks out of the year!

So now, I guess most of those clocks are only available in thrift stores.

I have to find more important things to rant about.


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