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Time Closing in to Upgrade Computers

By Joyce Kryszak

Buffalo, NY – Technology experts warn about the silent clock that is ticking on a possible technology meltdown. Because of a new energy policy, Daylight Savings Time comes three weeks earlier this year on March 11.

There is not a lot to worry about - except perhaps a missed appointment or a little embarrassment. But the earlier time change has been a bit of a hassle for tech departments.

Every computerized device with a time stamp has to be reset to recognize the earlier switch to Daylight Savings Time.

Doug Hartmeyer is public affairs director for the Niagara Frontier Transportation Authority. He said they spent six months - and counting - getting their ground transportation systems in sync.

Hartmeyer said every bus and fare box had to be individually programmed. The total job cost about $2,500 for labor and hardware, with patches and upgrades.

The NFTA also had the monumental responsibility of reconfiguring the airport computer systems. Time conflicts there could potentially cause far more than embarrassment.

But Hartmeyer said the job was also a little bit easier to accomplish because the NFTA computers are connected to one central server.

He said their Management Information Systems department has also been in communication with each airline.

He says the airlines individually upgrade their own systems.

Erie County is also prepared. Joseph Gervase is Director of information Services for the county. He said everything from payroll to email won't miss a beat.

Still, computer experts say these organizations are probably in the minority.

It is estimated by some that only 20 percent have been proactive. The rest will likely be trying to beat the clock before March 11.

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