Prepare for clock changes

* New Daylight Savings schedule may affect date and time processing functions of computers

There is some legislation kicking in this quarter that could affect your network. Under the U.S. Energy Policy Act of 2005, Daylight Savings Time has been moved up from the first Sunday in April to the second Sunday in March. Likewise, Daylight Savings Time will be extended a week from the last Sunday in October to the first Sunday in November.

This change has the potential to affect date and time processing functions of computers and electronic devices all over the world, according to the Information Technology Association of America (ITAA). Canada and Bermuda are changing their DST dates to conform to the U.S. change but in fact, computers and applications anywhere around the globe could be affected if they support users, transactions or applications originating in countries that are changing DST. For example, scheduling or synchronization problems may arise.

Servers, network hardware, desktops, laptops, PDAs, VoIP phones and an array of consumer electronics such as digital video recorders are likely to be affected. All major operating system vendors have released patches to update their systems, though some devices not connected to the Internet will require administrators to install a software update.

"Daylight Savings time will take effect in just two months, so it's not too soon for consumers and businesses to check computers and electronic devices to make sure they are updated to accommodate the earlier start and later end dates," says John Venator, president and CEO, CompTIA.

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