New Brunswick

Time change presents challenges

Daylight savings time could prove to be a challenging time for electronic equipment and computers in the region this year, because it's kicking in three weeks earlier than it used to. But some institutions are already prepared.

Daylight saving time could prove to be a challenging time for electronic equipment and computers this year, because it's kicking in three weeks earlier than it used to. But some institutions are already prepared.

In 2005, mostof Canada began to commit to adoptinga new daylight saving time plan tosynchronize with a U.S. plan to extend daylight time to save energy, cutting the need for artificial light in the evenings. Daylight saving time is to kick in the second Sunday in March and conclude on the first Sunday in November. The new schedule comes into effect in the U.S. and Canada for the first time this year.

Many electronic devices are programmed to make the change in April, as usual, and that could cause problems for delivery schedules, financial trading and e-mail.

Jacques Lirette, spokesman for the Southeast Regional Health Authority, says clinical engineers at the Moncton Hospital are looking after medical equipment.

"We needed to make changes to our operating systems and our computer systems in order for that change to happen automatically, and not happen again in April as computers are programmed to do," Lirette said.

He said the health authority doesn't foresee any problems at this point, but there are some challenges. "The biggest piece of work for us is really our e-mail system."

Lirette said the authority has carried out a major upgrade of its e-mail system.

He saidif changes are made properly now, companies won't have to face another challenge in the fall, when daylight saving time ends one week later than it did in the past.