When technology sucks

One of the things I love about computers is their ability to keep the most trivial details in order. I’m not a detail person by nature, so I’m grateful for technology that fills that gap.

So, when it doesn’t, life really sucks. Apparently, since my company is a hearty drinker of the Microsoft Kool-aid, life is gonna suck between March 11th and April 1 of this year. You see someone decided to change the dates that daylight savings time begin and end on, and it’s making a lot of Microsoft products go a little Kaflooey. Our calendars may show meeting times an hour off. There will be no indication that it’s an hour off, we get to find that out the old fashioned way.

Here is the advice that we got from our IT department:

Since this is the first year for the change, there are a few very important things you need to know about your Outlook Calendar:

  • Some of your meetings may appear an hour later during the three weeks between March 11th and April 1st. During those three weeks, you can either meet at the time shown in your calendar or change the meeting time.
  • If you plan to change the time, check the resource first. It may already be booked by someone else.
  • Only change the meeting time if you organized the meeting. If you were invited to the meeting, do not change anything on your calendar.
  • If you make no change to the time of a meeting, all attendees will see the meeting exactly as it shows up on your calendar.
  • If you have recurring meetings during those three weeks, the meetings may also appear an hour later. If you decide to reschedule the meeting, be sure to select only the individual occurrences, not the meeting series, when you make changes.
  • Confirm all your meetings with external customers or vendors since you don’t know if their e-mail system has adjusted to the new Daylight Saving Time.

At first I wanted to fire off an email to the IT folks asking why a patch (of course, there surely is a patch, right?) wasn’t installed. First I decided to look at the instructions. Jesus. It’s like John Cleese wrote them. There are several different sets of instructions for Exchange Server alone, depending on, among other things, whether users “Make lots of recurring appointments using Outlook Web Access”. No wonder we got the instructions from IT. They’re probably looking at the instructions and thinking they won’t be able to get them done by April 1st.

Does anyone know how the various Linux distributions and apps are fairing with this change? I did a brief search on Ubuntu, but all that came back was stuff for Western Australia. This article leads me to believe that Linux may not fair any better.

Can you imagine if all the crap that people thought was going to happen at the turn of the century, but didn’t, happened instead on March 11th? All because we decided to shift daylight savings by 3 weeks to save a little energy.

One thought on “When technology sucks

  1. The saving of energy is dubious, but that’s a different issue. What’s more amazing to me is that someone has not designated this the 3-11 problem and run seminars, written books, created a disaster movie, or been on the most obscure talk shows about it. We haven’t even had any meaty conspiracy theories yet (Halliburton MUST be involved somehow). I guess there wasn’t enough time for the Y2K folks to get back in the saddle again.


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