Tuesday, August 29, 2006

At the time...

At the time the tone will be exactly 261.625565 Hz.  I really have no idea what the tone really is.  I do know what time it is.  Now the question arises, which time?

I finally broke down and bought clocks.  Oh I know the old saw about a man with two clocks doesn't know what time it is... true enough.  I bought three clocks.  Like the command center I have the clocks lined up across one wall.

All of this so I can begin to answer for myself "Which time is it?"   Here in the Central Timezone (USA) during the month of August we enjoy Daylight Savings Time (CDT = GMT -5).  During the winter months we revert back to CST = GMT -6.  This is only moderately confusing if you focus only on one timezone.  But our corporate headquarters is in EDT now (EST during the winter).  Because we have settled on coordinated standard time changes ( April and October ) we are always 1 hour different from the HQ.

This may be all well and good for systems that programmatically understand the vagaries of Daylight Savings Time (Kudos to Microsoft on that) but what of systems that do not or don't care to?  In a manufacturing environment the trending for our process, graphs of data over time, don't fare will when DST kicks in.  Either data points cover each other for 1 hour (fall back) or there is a blank spot in the graph when time is advanced 1 hour (spring forward).

And then there is the matter of trying to coordinate meetings with individuals that are half (or more?) the world away.  Not only is there the difficulty of dealing with the hours common decency but there is the confusion of "what time is displayed on the clock where you are?"

So in an attempt to resolve this matter for myself I now have three clocks.  One set to local time, Central Dalight Time.  One set to HQ time; Eastern Daylight Time.  The last is the most important.  It is set to the Universal Time Coordinate.




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