Sunday, March 11, 2007

Does Anybody Here Really Know What Time It Is?

I guess it began a few weeks ago when my good friend ABF began complaining that her husband had to work all the time. All the time: like around the clock on his vacation week. He's a computer geek and his company was preparing to deal with the DST issue. For those of you still in the dark--that's this year's rearrangement of Day Light Savings time such that we sprung ahead today, three weeks earlier than the world here in the Eastern Time Zone of the USA usually springs. I'm assuming that psychiatrically this will be for those with Seasonal Affective Disorder prone to winter depressions, and time will tell--sooner rather than later--if spring time manics will be dancing earlier.

I thought about it again when a patient mentioned he was overwhelmed at work--another computer systems guy getting ready for the change.

I didn't think it was about me.

The first hint came yesterday morning when an e-mail arrived from Palm: I had to go their website and do something so my Palm Pilot would remake itself into a properly sync-ed sort of machine. Great.

8:50 AM, the phone rings (it's Saturday and I am not a morning person, please wait until 9, but okay, I was up and drinking coffee). It was my friend Camel (see previous posts), on the way to the office to update her Palm. Did I do this? Did I want to do this together (she lives an hour away, but hey, what are cell phones for). I was off to the hairdresser, then to watch videokid play baseball (like in real life, not on a screen), it would have to wait.

I visited Palm's website. I would have to visit Microsofts website and I might (might?) have to download two updates (no, I don't have the microsoft updates automatically downloaded). It didn't say Which two updates --would that be too much to ask? One was obvious--something to do with DST/2007. Oh, but first I needed to download ActiveX. My screen didn't do what it said to do. I went to the baseball game.

Fastforward: note first that videokid's team won both games of the all-day tournament. Okay, we now have ActiveX. I think the second update was for Outlook to update to 2007. But it wouldn't download and I don't use Outlook.

I returned to the Palm site. It warned me Don't Download This If You Haven't Downloaded the Microsoft Updates. It still wouldn't tell me Which updates. I hit Download. It downloaded. Mission complete?

So I opened my Palm software. Everything looked fine. Oh, except that Mrs. Jones always comes at noon on Friday, and for the next three weeks, it seems she's coming at 1. Huh? In four weeks, once the regular world resumes on the old DST, Mrs. Jones will be resuming her noon appointment. Hmmm, seems everyone shifted an hour later.

I called Camel (her husband is also a computer geek). No answer. No answer either on her emergency life-or-death-line (yes, I called it). I called my husband, which oddly enough through today's technology means that from the third floor of our house in Baltimore, I dialed a number in Philadelphia to reach his blackberry, to ask that he come upstairs to help me (he and the Philadelphia blackberry were on the second floor of the Baltimore house). He was clueless. I called my brother, yet another computer geek, who told me how he'd spent the last 16 hours working on his hard drive. He thought the problem might fix itself at 2 am with the official time change.

"So it will be fine in the morning."

"I give it 50-50."

Great. In the meantime, I didn't hot-sync (Clink will tell you how stressful an experience that is for me anyway).

I woke up this morning at whatever time it was in whatever time zone I live in. I went up to the computer, pleased to see it had set itself to the right time. I fixed the clock on the wall, which oddly enough has a battery and winder. I opened my Palm software on the computer, and you guessed it, Mrs. Jones it still set for 1 on the next three Fridays. In my unsynced Palm handheld, she remains scheduled at noon.

I can't be the only one.