[AG-TECH] UTC Time Change

Don Morton morton at cs.umt.edu
Sat Apr 6 11:54:08 CST 2002

It's that time of the year, folks;  time for me to promote the merits
of using UTC (Universal Time Coordinated) when coordinating AG
reservations and to remind you that UTC offsets change for many
of us in the States this weekend (I believe Europe has already gone
to Daylight time??).

Motivation - the Access Grid is a global movement.  Although a huge
number of nodes, and a great deal of leadership falls in the Yank
Central and Eastern time zones, the great majority of the world
does not live there, and does not go through the day converting
between their timezone and Central or Eastern (unless they're
TV addicts :) :)).  UTC (formerly Greenwich Mean Time - GMT) has
been a standard in global time synchronisation for years - the
military uses it extensively and, any of you who grew up 
listening to shortwave radio broadcasts around the world
have seen it used extensively.  If we all agree to use UTC
as our standard, then we insure that everybody needs to only
worry about THEIR relationship to the UTC standard.  For example,
if someone in Central time zone provides their event time in
UTC, then our friends around the world need only convert between
their time zone and UTC.  If the time is provided in Central time,
then we're forcing everybody else to understand how far they are
from Central time, having to factor in things like Daylight Savings
Time, which is not applied on a consistent basis :) :)

I suggest that by "speaking UTC" we become a more global-friendly
community :)

Reminder - for those of us in North America "springing ahead" with 
the clocks this weekend, our UTC offset is one less than it was.

Example:  IF you are going to Daylight Savings Time, to convert from your
time to UTC, add as follows:

Alaska Time - add 8 hours
Pacific/Yukon Time - add 7 hours
Mountain/Northwest Territories - add 6 hours
Central Time - add 5 hours
Eastern Time - add 4 hours
Atlantic Time - add 3 hours
Newfoundland Time - add 2.5 hours

And, of course, if you're initiating an event late in the day, it "might" be
that, in UTC, the event is actually the next day.  For example, suppose
Arctic Region Supercomputing Centre (Bob/Roger - you HAVE to do this this year - 
I just thought of it!!! :)) wants to show the start of the Midnight Sun Run,
starts on 22 June at 22:00 Alaska time.  Well, they would  advertise this as
on 23 June at 06:00 UTC  (and if I'm not up there running it, rest assured I'll
tune in! :)).


UTC Don :)

Don Morton                   http://MRoCCS.cs.umt.edu/~morton/
Department of Computer Science       The University of Montana
Missoula, MT 59812 | Voice (406) 243-4975 | Fax (406) 243-5139

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