The Commonwealth Games are looming, as is the week’s extension of summer time in Eastern Australia.
Microsoft have issued a patch for most (but not all) versions of Windows. What they haven’t done is made it an automatic update for affected users, nor made it easy to find — it’s not shown on the Microsoft Australia home page, for instance, you have to search for it. They also haven’t provided a smooth way of reverting to “normal” summer time for next year: users have to remove the patch and manually set the timezone.
Meanwhile Apple have done… nothing. Charles Wright has tracked down how to fix it on Macs, which involves going an finding a timezone update file on an ftp server, untarring and ungzipping, running an obscure (if you’re not a Unix god) command… jeez.
Ask yourself: is the typical non-geek computer user going to seek out these solutions, and even if they find them, are they going to bother to figure it out and do it? I’m betting not. I’m betting a lot of computers will be an hour out during the week of the summer time extension.
This is very sloppy behaviour from both sides of the OS fence, and something the millions of Australian computer users won’t be too happy about in March. (Though most will have forgotten about it by late-April, no doubt.)
PS. 29/3/2006. Still getting a lot of comments here, but there is a later post on this topic here.