Monday, March 12, 2007

If I Could Turn Back Time

Last weekend saw much of Wall Street's technology function hunched over their keyboards, peering at screens, and fiddling with their mice to ensure that the computer systems they operate knew what time of day it was. To the nearest hour, that is.

Two years ago the United States decided to change when Daylight Savings Time would begin. They moved it three weeks forward in an effort to "save energy".

It actuality all it seems to have done is create a lot of unnecessary work for the software industry; and alternately frustrate and confuse people who want to get on with their jobs without the threat of impending computer meltdown looming over them.

It actually passed without much of a fanfare. There were a few minor glitches where I work, but nothing leading to aeroplanes falling out the sky, lifts plummeting down their shafts, or even the failure of a coffee machine.

It was summed up pretty well when I walked onto the trading floor this morning and noticed the patch that had been applied to the big global clocks dotted around the place. The patch was literally that: a folded piece of paper to cover up the local (incorrect) time.

I guess they'll be "uninstalling" it again in three weeks' time.

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