Keeping Your PC in Tune With Daylight Saving

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The sun will be rising a bit later next week, which is a blessing for some of us and a hassle for all. A hassle because your PC may need updating to understand that daylight saving time starts this Sunday, March 11, which is three weeks earlier than in the past. It also lasts a week longer into autumn.

And don't think it's an issue just for Windows. I did until I got a note this week from the authors of Act! which is software I've long used to track meetings and phone numbers. Seems I have to apply an extra patch to Act! or my calendar will be off for three weeks. There are plenty of other issues, including with hand-held devices, some smart phones, and other date-sensitive software. No easy answers here–you largely have to check with a vendor website or tech support.

If you don't keep a calendar on the PC, you might be OK with just updating Windows, which is smart enough to have fixed itself, if you have a recent version (at least WinXP "Service Pack 2") and you get automatic updates. Microsoft has a site for double-checking your Windows, but that doesn't help with other software.

Another option is www.support.com, which won't charge for helping consumers fix Windows for the time switch. You need a broadband connection to let support.com techs take control of your PC, which they do remotely over the Internet. That can be a bit unnerving the first time. But it's a reputable outfit and one of a number now offering remote support–a potential lifesaver for consumers without an corporate help desk. They'll also estimate what they'd charge to update other software.

Mac users, by the way, can click on Software Update to fix their machines.

The whole thing is a bother, yes. But it's gloriously worth it for me–I've two young boys who rise soon after the sun does. Daylight saving can't come soon enough.