Y2K7 bug causes isolated glitches

Windows and Google AdWords among the temporally confused

clock teaser

Clockwatch We may have been little premature yesterday in declaring that America survived Sunday's Daylight Saving Time (DST) switch unscathed.

Reports from Reg readers and elsewhere reveal the so-called "Y2k7 bug" threw up a variety of problems, mostly transitory and largely on the scale of minor irritation.

Among the systems exhibiting temporary glitches was Google's AdWords system, which found the changes hard to stomach. AdWords users logging on on Sunday found some screens, such as the campaign summary screen, displaying zeros in all statistics columns. The issue has now been sorted, reports our informant Damon.

Elsewhere, Windows users experienced trouble synchronising their machines to the correct time using internet time servers, grist to the mill for conspiracy theorists who reckon fears about the Y2k7 bug are the reason why Redmond decided to issue no security patches from Microsoft on Tuesday.

Meanwhile, Reg reader Alex reports that his Cingular phone has been repeatedly set to the wrong time since the weekend while Dunc, who's based in the UK, has also been left confounded by the problem. "It [the Y2K7 bug} may have failed to bite properly, but I can't help but notice that the wonderful world of Facebook is working an hour ahead of itself here in England. I keep thinking I'm late for things," he reports.

A number of our readers report had an effect on enterprise systems across the globe, such as Reg reader Chris.

Even though the majority of systems went unaffected, there were some issues, not to do with software bugs, but the typical cause, human error.

I develop and manage the systems for a large transport company in the UK & US and when the time switch came about all servers were updated with the new timezone patches, but suddenly a whole load of administrator level accounts in the US were blocked out.. turns out that instead of getting the IT guys to update Windows to work on the new DST, they just altered their clocks, which of course led cookie based security on various admin sites to just kick them out all the time!

It wasn't until I pointed out that there were timezones for a reason and they got their IT guys to do the right thing that they were able to get back in!.. and of course wasting my time in the process.. typical!

Meanwhile Dave takes issue for our failure in previous stories to recognise the sterling work of sys admins in averting clock-related catastrophe, an omission we're happy to put right.

You seem to be glossing over the hard work carried out by techies all over the world. Personally it has consumed all my time for the past three weeks! The problem was in no way restricted to US organisations - all multinationals were effected. And with MS only releasing the patch for SP2 clients our company alone had to update thousands of clients to SP2 prior to rolling out the patch.

As for errors - have talked to anybody with a BlackBerry? we patched ours but most didn't and they paid the price on Monday morning.

DST was moved to the second Sunday in March this year, up to three weeks earlier than usual, under the Energy Policy Act mandated by Congress in August 2005. Computers have be re-configured to recognise the new start date, otherwise any application relying on time stamping was apt to go awry. ®

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