Changing Clocks

I was in an elementary school in Brooklyn the other day and the clocks in the halls were an hour off. It was really bothersome to me. Maybe that school does not observe daylight savings time, but more likely the janitor or whomever is responsible for changing the clocks could not be bothered. Of course, the clocks in that school are now set correctly.

I’m a bit OCD about changing the clocks in our house and our cars. I hate it when a clock is set to the wrong time. And, each and every clock has its own system for changing the time. The clock in our double hung oven in our kitchen has a particularly complicated system. I had to find the manual on the Internet and look up the technique this morning after The Gotham Gal and I spent a few minutes hitting all sorts of combinations of buttons and got nowhere.

And then there are the cars. Whomever teaches people how to design user interfaces for car dashboards must have a perverse sense of humor. Each and every car has a different system for changing the clock time and each one is more clunky than the next.

But I go through all these machinations every six months because I can’t stand having clocks with the wrong times on them. Thankfully more and more of the clocks in my life are connected to the Internet and update automatically. I wish the clocks in our cars, on our ovens, and in our elementary schools would do the same.


Comments (Archived):

  1. William Mougayar

    LOL…. Our microwave and car are the ones that give me the most trouble too. Wait, I need to go check the new water softener system too- that’s going to be fun figuring that one out.

  2. pointsnfigures

    I am the same. Changed them this morning. We are renting a place that had two clocks that were easy to switch. Now, whatever engineering team designed the interface at BMW ought to be strung up by their you know what’s and left to hang in a cold field for awhile.I think that there should be a network standard among manufacturers. They ought to Bluetooth the clocks to an app. You go on your phone, or computer, adjust the clock on the app and all the clocks switch simultaneously….

    1. William Mougayar

      If the Swiss made a car, its clock would always be correct, no matter what.

  3. Seth Godin

    From nine (!) years ago:…Daylight Savings Time explains everything about fear and about tech.

    1. fredwilson

      are you in favor of getting rid of daylight savings time Seth?

      1. Seth Godin

        The reasons for it have clearly changed (it was to cut farmers some slack and to increase exercise opportunities for workers with little access to lights/or indoor alternatives).But even though the reasons have faded away, I’m all for messing with time whenever it benefits us. Cory Doctorow has written a mind-blowing book about tribes, about time zones and the future. Highly recommend it:

        1. Paul Graham

          Wear Sunglasses at all times

    2. mikenolan99

      Imagine living in China, which since 1949 has had only one time zone….(Though there are unofficial time zones…)…

      1. Paul Graham

        2018 in Shanghai, 600 BC in Mongolia

    3. James Ferguson @kWIQly…Explains the tech nightmare that is time At some stage we learn that Palestine shares two time zones that are culturally dependent, and later that Google “Smears” time to make sequencing work.Its also quite funny

  4. kskobac

    Seems like Nest should build an awesome smart clock that dons tons of things we never thought a clock could do. Maybe the numbers on the clock would glow different colors to reflect the weather and temperature outside. Or pulsate when you have a message on your phone from someone in your important contacts.

  5. JimHirshfield

    Why do we still do this archaic practice? We’re not farmers. We have electric lights.

    1. Kirsten Lambertsen

      My parents always told me it was so kids didn’t have to wait in the dark for their school buses.

      1. JimHirshfield

        Sounds like a parental sales pitch if I ever heard one.

        1. pointsnfigures

          I want to be a farmer.

          1. JimHirshfield

            Pick up your hoe and put your back into it.

          2. pointsnfigures

            My hoe is busy and the ground is frozen.

          3. Salt Shaker

            Sounds like an Elliot Spitzer quote.

        2. Kirsten Lambertsen

          “It’s for the good of the children.”

      2. Heather

        That doesn’t work either since now it’s not light until an hour “later”. My kids gets on the bus in the dark after barely squeaking in a week of daylight boarding. He’s the last bus of the morning by more than an hour so I guess it doesn’t even matter to those other kids!

    2. ShanaC

      Because it is healthier for people like me (probably mild case of SAD)I’d actually prefer if we always were on DST. It would make my life so much easier

      1. JimHirshfield

        So you’re always up at sunrise?

        1. ShanaC

          no, sometimes before, sometimes after. but I do find that in the winter I will suddenly need naps and that I tend to cry more/get snappish more unless I expose myself to one of those lamps. I also seem to gain more weight without it. If I don’t I tend to get exposed to less than 20 minutes worth of light at the height of winter, my quality of life tends to be worse. I also find I sleep better in the summer for similar reasons.Part of it is quality of the light – the blue wavelengths keep me up.

  6. Jan Schultink

    The really stupid thing about DST is why the switching dates are different by country…

  7. andyswan

    [Jerry and Kramer are walking down the street at dusk.]KRAMER: Look how dark it’s gettin’ already.JERRY: Well, it’s not Daylight Savings Time yet.KRAMER: When does it start?JERRY: (pause) I don’t know, they just tell you the night before.KRAMER: Uh. Well, I’m sick o’ waiting. (pulls out his pocket-watch (it has a chain, too)) I am springin’ ahead riiight now.JERRY: (under breath) Oh, I’m sure that won’t cause any problems..

    1. fredwilson


    2. Salt Shaker

      Kramer (allegedly) also had a biological alarm clock in his head, and any Seinfeld fanatic knows how well that system worked.

      1. ShanaC


  8. Nate Kidwell

    Most importantly Fred, remember that this is the day you change the batteries in your smoke detectors.

    1. pointsnfigures

      I think they need hurricane detectors there.

  9. Tom Labus

    Cars are the worst offenders. I have to start from scratch every time and finally stumble on it..

    1. JimHirshfield

      Please pull off to the side of the road first.

  10. David Schatsky

    I have a Timex digital watch with five buttons and dozens of functions. I have figured out how to change the time, thankfully, but I cannot figure out how to disable the alarm, which has been set to 6:30am for the past several years. I’ve searched for the product manual online a few times and gave up before I got the task done. So now I make sure that, if I’ve planning to sleep past 6:30am, the watch is in another room.

    1. pointsnfigures

      1962 Rolex. No date. Keeps perfect time as long as I wear it.

      1. JamesHRH


        1. pointsnfigures

          Not the most expensive, not the most features. But, I love it.

          1. JamesHRH

            My Pops gave me a GMT master for my 18th. Love it.

          2. Cam MacRae

            The face is in amazing condition. Do you get it serviced regularly?

          3. pointsnfigures

            No, not really. My wife bought it from Howard Frum Jewelers in Chicago back in 2002. Original everything. I take it in every so often to get polished, and shoot the bull with Howard. Once I thought seriously about getting a sportier watch but thought better of it. Although I do like Panerai’s….Howard has an amazing one he won’t part with.

          4. Cam MacRae

            Amazing. I prefer classic lines too. And I if I’m actually participating in sports I wear a Garmin!

    2. JimHirshfield

      Take the battery out. 😉

  11. Matt A. Myers

    Yesterday was an hour ahead or an hour behind? Because it’s Daylight Savings Time today! Spring forward everybody!!Happy Spring! The sun is shining bright here in Toronto. 🙂

  12. bogorad

    Oh, and what about abandoned systems (e.g. android 2.x) that just refuse to update the DST tables (google itself is the worst offender here)! All in all, isn’t it time to abandon DST altogether? All this energy-saving drive just about nullified any benefits left.P.S. Abandoning DST was about the only non-stupid thing Putin did for Russia.

  13. awaldstein

    Opens the bigger issue of startups that are trying to control home devices through the web–all which have tanked I believe.Disclosure (with a huge smile)–ten+ years ago a bunch of buddies and I tried to build, basically a connection between supplies, ordering and inventory through a smart fridge.What a mishigas! An intersection of bad timing, questionable idea and more.Was a side project but makes me smile.

    1. fredwilson

      do you still own

      1. awaldstein

        Nope–one of the other founders I think may.Hadn’t thought of this in a long while

        1. LE

          History files show essentially (with minor changes) the same ownership and control since 2001. I would consider that a valuable domain.

          1. awaldstein

            no matter as it is not mine.

  14. John Revay

    In our home….my wife for some reason likes to set the time in her car (family minivan) 5 mins ahead, So I always need to reprocess every time I am driving the minivan…and I am trying to arrive at one place by a certain time.

  15. vruz

    Hehehe I was looking for an excuse to add an Arduino board to a new AC design I am doing as a hobby. This made me realise that making an aircon aware of the clock time and the weather would make sense.

  16. Peter Mullen

    Yes, centralized control over all the clocks. How about the Federal Department of Time? Be careful what you wish for.

  17. sigmaalgebra

    Yes, in part the frustration is trying to remembernearly meaningless, tricky stuff used only occasionally.My solution: (1) In part, it’s a problem in ‘information’.(2) I like simple English language text; for a hugefraction of information such text is sufficient;otherwise usually that text can have a link ofsome kind, maybe a file system tree name,maybe an Internet URL, maybe a book, with more. (3) In a kitchen, I find the best two toolsto be a cutting board and a good French chef’sknife. For working with English language text,my favorite tool is my favorite text editor.The one I use is KEdit, a PC version of IBM’sbest editor, XEDIT, designed by a guy in Paris.These editors are nicely programmable via’macros’ using the elegant language Rexx designed by Mike Cowlishaw in England.Mostly when I look at a computer screen,I’m looking at KEdit or Firefox, and the contentof the KEdit screens is by far the more important.For nearly everything important I do in computingKEdit is crucial,. (4) One use I have of KEditis a little system I call FACTS that really isjust a simple text file with a few simple KEditmacros I use with KEdit. FACTS is dirtsimple but one of my most important tools.The file consists of ‘entries’ where each entrystarts with a delimiter of a line of ‘=’ characters,a time-date stamp, and a list of key words.The rest is just text in no fixed format. (5)FACTS is one of my most important toolsfor everything. It’s my ‘memory crutch’and has a lot of important information.E.g., how the heck to get the furnace goingagain once the heating oil tank goes dry?Sure: FACTS has the file system treename of my little file of instructions.So, once each year or two, I look upthe instructions. How to do a full backupof my PC and make copies to DVD? Sure,FACTS points me to my notes. I doincremental backups nearly everyday,but a full backup is much more work,and for all the details I use FACTS.The electric motor in my computer’sprocessor cooling fan was made inthe Far East and as electric motortechnology is right up to date with UStechnology as of maybe 1925 or so.So each few months I have to add oil.Just how to do that that? Use FACTSto point me to a file of my notes. Somekeeper from JLM at AVC? Sure: FACTSpoints me to the file. Phone numbers,user IDs, passwords? Sure: FACTSagain. Where the heck is that converterfrom a mogul lamp base to a standard lamp base? Sure: FACTS. How to do something tricky in D.Knuth’s mathematicalword whacking system TeX? Yup, FACTS.It works great! In the last nine years, I’veput 2523 entries in FACTS, and the wholefile is just under 1.5 million bytes — trivialto handle. Did I mention it works great?

    1. LE

      FACTS is one of my most important tools for everything. It’s my ‘memory crutch’ and has a lot of important information.I used to do a version of the same thing with awk. Essentially a file that was time stamped and I could add notes to (I think I even called it le-notes) and then grep for anything I needed.My solution though to that for the past 8 years is to use a self hosted wiki (on equipment I have and under my control). I put everything I figure out in the wiki and then I can find it. Plus you can use wiki words as links to other wiki pages. And I also have a shell script that greps particular pages on the wiki so I can find something from the command line if I want.I just checked and have over 2100 pages in the wiki as of today.I also have a mysql db (with a php front end) that I wrote that keeps track of similar information but is more related to syntax for a particular command. (As in “what was the rsync syntax that I used on the last thing that I did).

      1. sigmaalgebra

        Okay, we’ve got some good solutions.Now what about all the 6+ billion people outthere for whom solutions like ours are toodifficult?Ah, yes!! Now I remember!! There should be”an app for that”!!! Find a way to make it’social’ where ‘own both ends of the wire’with a big ‘network effect’!! Demo it on Oprah (I never watched her; don’t watch TV;is she still on?). Host on AWS and get a million downloads a day!! Get a Series A of $50million at a pre-money $2 billion!! Right awaysell out to Google at $5 billion!! Don’t letanyone say that could do a much better jobwith just a text editor!It’s like selling kitchen appliances!! Say, hotdog cookers!! I mean, want to eat a hot dograw? Of COURSE you don’t!! So, you needto cook it so that you also need a hot dog cooker!! You’ve seen them at at state fairs,with their rolling tubes rolling and cookinghot dogs!! Never let anyone suspect thatcould cook a hot dog by boiling it in waterin a pot, rolling it around in a skillet, orrolling it on a grill over a charcoal fire(my favorite way). And with the e-mailaddress of the owners of the hot dog cookers, after two months send theman offer for another appliance, a hotdog cooker cleaning appliance!!Progress! The economy moves ahead!!Sand Hill Road is writing checks as I type!

  18. JLM

    .What an odd comment. I have these automatic time alarm clocks linked to some central time source — have no idea what — which change automatically.I bet you own foreign clocks and cars. The clock in The Big Red Car changes with a twist of a knob.Be well.BTW — anybody in Austin for SXSW who needs a hand with anything give me a buzz — [email protected] or 512-656-1383. Hell, I’ll even buy you some BBQ.JLM.

    1. LE

      How do you set the clock in E-3424 ? (Really nice site by the way…)

      1. JLM

        .GPS changes the navigational clocks automatically.Clock on yoke is set +/- UTC automatically but can also be changed manually.Often when you check in with ATC on the day of time change, they will give you the time in addition to the current altimeter reading.JLM.

    2. ShanaC

      Nuclear clock, run by the navy I believe?

      1. JLM

        .US Navy over 400 nuke power plants since Adm Rickover and not a single fatality.JLM.

    3. Paul Graham

      Very generous of you though I’m sure you know there is no such thing as a domestic car

      1. JLM

        .Please do not tell that to my 1966 Chevy Impala convertible. He will get very pissed with you.Or my Chevy pickup.JLMwww/

        1. Paul Graham

          I’m a Brit . He looks foreign to me. Seriously a beautiful car, though lacking the leadership qualities of the Morris Minor that was his contemporary. You would never see your Impala at the front of a traffic jam but the Morris Minor was often at the head of the queue !

          1. JLM

            .Fresh back from overseas in the early 1970s, I owned a TR-6 and I loved it. Bought from a guy going where I had been. Paid about $2K for it.Not as good a babe magnet as a Shih Tzu but it was pretty close. I was a young paratrooper, Ranger and I loved that car.Way over powered and I wrecked it — rolled it over on the Pennsylvania Turnpike going 75mph. Hit a huge hole in the road and lost control. Almost lost my life.But the stories that car could tell.JLM.

          2. Paul Graham

            Glad you made it ! Currently staying in Truro Nova Scotia, the pothole capital of Canada. Only place I hope for 2 feet of accumulated snow to make the driving conditions better. Certainly admire the paratroopers. Once took a sky-diving course to overcome a fear of heights. Paid for 20 jumps up front as I knew I was too cheap not to use them. Just as petrified on the last as on the first. If the plane wasn’t a rust bucket where I felt slightly safer landing on my size elevens they would still be pushing me out now. Cant imagine night-time, unfamiliar terrain and incoming !

  19. JamesHRH

    Normal behaviours drive normal returns!

  20. kenberger

    Waking up in Austin now, planning a drive to a BBQ joint and then a flight and thought my phone was wrongly showing NY time, till I saw this post’s title! So thanks.

    1. kenberger

      And yes, I am here for South by Shitshow.

  21. Richard

    We could always go to a continuous method (vs discrete) where the clock speeds up one hour in the fall and winter and slows down one hour in the spring and summer.

  22. LE

    but more likely the janitor or whomever is responsible for changing the clocks could not be bothered.But what about the general malaise and “go with the flow” of other people working at the school? After all they also allowed the clock to be off (and didn’t push the principle or the janitor). For a long time. What’s up with that?I find that many times when you get with groups of people it’s amazing the type of things that individual members of group put up with for fear of opening their mouth and saying something. Or thinking it’s someone else’s business. Or thinking that someone else has already called for help (famous tradgedy happened in NYC in the 60’s where nobody called the police while watching some terrible event happen).

    1. fredwilson

      Yeah. That too

    2. Anne Libby

      My guess is that work rules/insurance have something to do with this. This job role can change a clock. This one can’t. A teacher falls off a chair changing a clock…(Planned a conference in the conf. space at Wharton’s Hunstman Hall, and we were requested to complete a different one-page form — and pay a separate fee — If we wanted to have flip charts. If I recall correctly, two different unions set up the tables/chairs and flip charts.)

      1. LE

        I’ve run into the union thing before. As early as the 70’s at the New York Coliseum (before Javits) and union electricians with my dad’s booth at the show.Good union story:I went to the shop of a new vendor, in the 80’s, and it was run by these two guys. My appointment was at, say, 1pm. I arrived maybe a bit early, say 5 minutes?So I walk in and the two owners are sitting on the floor eating their lunch.And they literally sat there until the clock struck 1pm at which point they got up and we had our meeting or whatever I was there for.After some probing I found out they were former union guys. And they looked at working the same way as when they were in the union. We eat lunch from 12 to 1 and that’s that. Mr. Customer or appointment, please wait. (I mean it’s not like they were back in an office and I didn’t know I was right there in front of them..)This is similar to the mentality that I noticed as a kid with bank tellers. The teller takes all the time in the world and doesn’t care if an important lawyer or businessman is waiting in line.And you know something? That’s why they are at the station in life.Fwiw when I was at Wharton and invited people in to speak to the class I immediately thought “why should they have to pay for parking – they should have parking passes?”. And I raised the issue and whoever I asked agreed. And I got them parking passes. Just like that. It surprised me that nobody every thought of that courtesy before.Anyway back to school. My point is not that the teacher should do it. It’s that the teachers or anyone else (principle) doesn’t apparently complain (enough) so that the right person does it which I presume is either the janitor or the district maintenance staff.At the building I am in I’m on the board and I’m always bringing up all these issues that the others seem content to ignore. Because like the clock and Fred it bothers me and I don’t like to take lazy shit from anyone unless there is some super important reason to do so ($$ usually).

        1. Anne Libby

          I’m guessing that resource constraints enter into it. X janitors, a couple hundred clocks in a school, Z other things to do (my main memory of school janitors was when they swept in to clean up after some poor kid threw up in class), appetite to pay overtime for people to stay late Friday changing clocks…

          1. LE

            Funny, exactly what I think of, specifically I ever remember “saw dust”:memory of school janitors was when they swept in to clean upI just had to drop off Ibuprofen for my step’s daughter’s nurse at school this morning. Not only don’t they keep it at the school [1] but they won’t administer w/o an order from a doctor (luckily my wife is so it’s not an issue).[1] (obv. for legal reasons)

          2. Anne Libby

            Yes! I can almost call up the memory of what that sawdust smelled like… Hope your step-daughter is on the mend!

  23. Clay Hebert

    I don’t know if it’s full-on “broken window theory”, but I worry about the quality of education in a school where the clocks in the halls are an hour off. (I assume the clocks in the classroom were correct?)It’s the janitor’s job to change the actual clocks. If it’s “nobody’s job” to notice or tell the janitor to fix them (or nobody cares to) there are probably other underlying issues as well.This reminds me of something Anthony Bourdain said in his book, Kitchen Confidential. He gauges the cleanliness of a restaurant’s kitchen by the cleanliness of their bathroom. His words (I’m paraphrasing from memory – I’m sure Anthony was more funny…..and profane)….”Cleaning a kitchen is hard. Cleaning a bathroom is really easy. If their bathroom is dirty, you can bet the kitchen is filthy.”

    1. Donna Brewington White

      That clock thing really bothers me because of the lesson it is teaching those kids.If a child grows up with a warped view of time it will be a lifelong battle. I know.

      1. ShanaC

        not really. As someone with a slightly warped view of time, i find that light exposure is what helps the most. Problematic with artificial lighting, but is doable

    2. Anne Libby

      I’m guessing they start early, because there are how many clocks at the school, how many people to change them on “straight time”? They’ll presumably all be right be the time the kids come in on Monday. I’m guessing it’s less sloppy than it looks, and more a response to resource constraints.I live near a beautiful old clock tower on a city building, it has been off all week, equally vexing.Of course the whole DST thing is one big head game that has all kinds of impacts. We shouldn’t be doing this at all.#cranky

    3. Paul Graham

      The wrong clock reflects a consistent theory among many establishments. Give it six months and the problem will correct itself ! Sadly its harder to change schools than just go to a clean restaurant

  24. laurie kalmanson

    word. twice a year, i look at the owner’s manual for the car to change the time on the clock, even in a mini

  25. LE

    Each and every car has a different system for changing the clock timeWhat you are saying is it might be helpful if some standards board got together and came up with a practice that all car makers use to set clock times. (Of course with GPS this really isn’t needed anymore. My car has GPS but for some reason they haven’t integrated it into the clock … which makes no sense).So first this really isn’t an issue anymore because the clock should set itself automatically and it can.The next issue is “why haven’t they done this or made it easier”?That one is easy. The answer is because it won’t help them sell any more cars. [1] Nobody buys a car based on whether the clocks sets itself or for a feature similar to that (it’s generally an emotional purchase just ask JLM). [2] They might of course buy a particular car if it had an entire bundle of helpful features. But that would assume salesman are trained to sell that and/or the marketing was able to explain that. That’s not likely. Since people buy on different factors. (Looks, mileage, 4wd and so on).[1] Just like having better coffee in the USV waiting room won’t help you do more deals. A bundle of things of course might (the way the receptionist treats people, the coffee, the atmosphere etc.)[2] Or an oven, right? Did you care about that when you bought the double hung? Of course not. You bought it for other reasons. So they didn’t wasted time on that. The “a” team isn’t working on the clock. The “c” team is.

    1. Seth Godin

      The fascinating thing about coffee is that it has become a cultural touchstone, and in fact, better coffee in his waiting room could very well help him do more deals.When you overinvest in undervalued symbols, the payoff is huge. Hence the Stumptown Coffee Bar at the Ace Hotel. Even if they’re paying no rent, worth it.

      1. LE

        Sure, if it’s simple enough to do then just do it. [1] What I have always found is that you have to kiss many frogs to find the prince. 15 things like this, 1 will work. As such Fred could implement better coffee very easily with little or no thought. And the money isn’t really a factor. Of course how do you know it has worked? Which of the 15 things? The “thing” that leads to the “thing” isn’t always obvious. Meg Whitman would have a field day with this, right?Stumptown. But let’s say USV had a full blown coffee bar and barista in the lobby. That of course would take more money and much more effort. But that would have an impact and it’s very likely that that impact would send a message and help close some deals.Even if they’re paying no rent, worth it.For sure one of the most annoying things about financial or money trained people is the inability to see value in anything that can’t be measured and is intangible. When to others, some of those things are truly obvious. Like a good location for a retail business isn’t extra rent, it’s less money spent on advertising and if done right a clear win.[1] Getting a clock that works in an automobile is not simple because nothing in manufacturing at that level is simple the way those organizations are structured.

        1. pointsnfigures

          Watch it, Apple and Google are going to compete heavily for the electronic stack inside cars. Things will change rapidly in the next five years. Automakers know they have clunky user interfaces. They are going to outsource it. Coase at work.

          1. LE

            Automakers know they have clunky user interfaces. They are going to outsource it.To me that falls under “nobody got fired for choosing IBM”.Once Apple or Google lands a top tier automaker (either by volume or prestige) the rest will fall in line. My guess is that the sell job on this will be what I will call “shooting the gap” whereby you make target automaker think you already have the others on board in order to hype them and get your target to go along (and then you use that on board example to get the rest). No doubt Jobs used a similar technique to get itunes off the ground.

          2. Maureen Scott

            so will one of them acquire TomTom?

          3. Timothy Meade

            And BlackBerry when they figure out that’s the business they should be in.A QNX system powers the car portion of Apple’s new offering.The problem is BB doesn’t have have the capital to acquire the leading leading voice recognition and AI firms and join the battle.

      2. pointsnfigures

        It even works at home if I want my kids to hang out with me!

      3. Donna Brewington White

        20 or so years ago I was being recruited by a search firm and freshly ground coffee and real cream was a clue to their culture. Call me shallow but…

        1. PhilipSugar

          No I agree. We have good coffee and drinks because we like them, but we also offer to guests.I don’t think you need to go overboard, people can do their own laundry and get their own food.But why not have a bit of niceness for people in the office, and you can also tell when it is only reserved for the guests, why not for employees as well.I have railed before where business has become so impersonal? cutthroat? That people can’t provide a bit of decency. Vendors are literally shocked when I say, here is the bathroom, you can freshen up (and they are clean with the best soaps and paper supplies) and her is a soda, or coffee, or Perrier or whatever. They almost don’t want to take, and I take one and point out they are for the office.

  26. LE

    When they do a feature article in the NYT or similar on you this will no doubt be one of the endpoints to describe your blog. As in:On any given day he gets up and writes what comes to his mind, what bothers him, or what inspires him. One day it could be “The pro rata participation Rights” (if you don’t know what that is just read the comments) and the next what annoys him about having to change clock settings two times per year.

    1. fredwilson

      Yeah. That’s coming

  27. angoodkind

    I was aggravated in an opposite fashion this morning: I couldn’t believe my microwave had a separate button just for “AM/PM.” There are so many other things they could do with an extra button, rather than dedicate it to something used twice a year.

  28. charlieok

    How about just two “zones” — global and local.Global: UTC. Same for everybody.Local: Solar time at an individual’s exact location. Your gps phone can easily tell you this nowadays. At solar noon, you get to have the sun at its higest point in the sky.

    1. Dave Pinsen

      Interesting idea, but then every time piece would have to know when solar noon was. Might be a big boon for the fancy watch industry, if some geniuses in Switzerland figure out an analog way to do that.

      1. charlieok

        “Local” is just a nice extra, understood as “local and personalized for me” (but shared with people at the same place as me). The thing you need, for coordinating with others, is Global/UTC.

  29. panterosa,

    Fred, does your annoyance at this lack of standardization extend to the holdouts who don’t embrace metric? I hold DST and non metric in equal disdain.

    1. pointsnfigures

      Someone remarked to me-“hey it’s cold in africa in December….oh, it’s Celsius”

    2. fredwilson

      For some reason metric and non metric don’t upset me

      1. ShanaC

        i wish we would move to metric…

  30. Donna Brewington White

    I sort of hate the illusion of losing an hour but this year I thought of it as time travel which made it more palatable. I have to keep my mind happy.

  31. John Revay

    ” Thankfully more and more of the clocks in my life are connected to the Internet and update automatically. “Internet of Things – “According to Gartner there will be nearly 26 billion devices on the Internet of Things by 2020.[10] According to ABI Research more than 30 billion devices will be wirelessly connected to the Internet of Things (Internet of Everything) by 2020.[11]”…

  32. jason wright

    my wrist watch is broken, but is still on time twice a day.

  33. Maureen Scott

    I’d be happy if the UK and US synched the date. Here in the UK the clocks don’t change until 30 March. Confusing or what???

    1. William Mougayar

      Canada too is with the US. We like to stay way ahead 🙂

  34. jason wright

    since being diagnosed with temporal lobe epilepsy i’ve become ever more interested in the subject of brain function, naturally. everywhere i go i see human behaviour that i now assign to their brain function rather than to their personality or character. maybe i’m wrong to do this, but i see people as having their very own brain code, and there’s not too much they can do to defy it…in general terms.ocd, where does it come from? who knows, but when i was a toddler/ young boy i was never happy with the cuffs on my jumpers (sweaters) unless they were both exactly the same length.

  35. ShanaC

    You’d hate my desk clock – has to be subtely changed every day when I wind it

  36. Hutchy

    Force people to get up early so they get more daylight during a day most spend indoors.I wonder if the cost outweighs the benefit get

  37. Farhan Lalji

    My grandfather was a mechanic and every weekend the clocks changed I would spend at his house so I could change his car clocks. Not so OCD about it, but your story brought back this memory.



    1. James Ferguson @kWIQly

      FAKE GRIMLOCKTime is an abstraction based on objectively agreed external processes(not necessarily people processes or people observers )So for example an badly-timed egg with your bacon can be a disaster.

      1. Paul Graham

        Not much fun for the pig either

        1. James Ferguson @kWIQly

          As far as I know @FakeGrimlock:disqus has rejected vegetarianism pretty extensively. Some friday’s he avoids some meat though 😉

          1. Paul Graham

            Me too. If you are what you eat I’d rather be a pig than a vegetable

    2. Paul Graham

      I have Google for the same purpose

    3. Scott Yates

      DST kills hundreds every year.…Also, there’s bad traffic everywhere on the morning of the change.

  39. Khoi

    None of the clocks in my daughter’s public school in Brooklyn are correct. Many of them are not working, in fact, much less not in compliance with daylight savings time.And yet I’m consistently amazed by how dedicated the teaching staff and the community of parents are to providing the best possible education to these young kids despite the clocks being wrong. It’s a miracle what they do.Personally, I’m very time conscious. I wear a watch religiously and am always thinking about the time. And when I’m in her school, it drives me crazy that the clocks are not working properly.But one thing I’ve learned is that people love to be judgmental about education, particularly public education, A post like this, while I’m sure it was not intended to be inflammatory, unfortunately becomes an opportunity for lots of people to express simplistic views on very complex situations. Assuming the worst about a school based on as limited an indicator as the clocks doesn’t help anyone.

  40. John

    We’re down to 5 clocks we had to change total. Not bad since all the rest are internet connected. Luckily, I think the interfaces have gotten much easier. My Toyota Sequoia is the easiest. Just push the hour button and I was done. I didn’t have to even get a pencil or something to make it happen.

  41. RulZ

    I have 2008 Honda Odyssey the clock is automatically adjusted. I’m not quite sure where it gets its time, my guess would be from GPS. It doesn’t fancy apps or even a bluetooth that would connect to my phone then internet.

  42. Chimpwithcans

    Growing up on the equator in Nairobi, this whole “daylight savings” thing caused havoc with my time management skills when I moved overseas for university!

  43. Ian Smith

    In the UK we have had a system for nearly 50 years that provides a time signal on longwave radio (at 60kHz), so a battery-powered clock can set itself. It seems to work reasonably well and not need an Internet connection. It’s also very low power to receive and covers much of N and W Europe. Germany also has one.…There’s also a time signal on FM radio as part of RDS in Europe too.

  44. James Ferguson @kWIQly

    A pet peeve – as you may know we work on energy efficiency.Consider the UK North Sea – Norwegian gas pipeline (its a big one).It opens and closed with demand seasonally (plus some reserves).And so you might expect the daily patterns of total gas and electricity consumption to jump forward once a year and later to jump backwards. Reasonably this would apply to all Grid energy systems supplying DST subject consumers (most of them !)Clearly this would happen if users systematically managed supply to meet demandDo they ?I will leave you all to speculate !

  45. bsoist

    As some of you know, I teach a couple of high school CS classes part time. I am sitting in a classroom right now and the principal just came on over the PA and said “Teachers please set your clocks right now to 8:01″I kid you not! Of course, I had already fixed the one in this room. 🙂

    1. fredwilson

      the elementary school i visited last week needed that notice six months ago

  46. POOL-POG

    All these smart people and no one here has heard of a master clock system? Google it, please.I don’t know how they manage time on hundreds of clocks in schools these days, but when I was a kid, no “janitor” went around to change each and every clock. There was a master that was adjusted, and the slaves caught up eventually. I don’t know the details.

  47. Michael B. Aronson

    I have two cars that I use. One is a now retro 1999 Landcruiser that I keep around for west philly and winter driving and hauling my bikes around. It’s clock is just like that old windup alarm, pull out the nob and turn the clock hands, works great! The other is a “hi tech” 2013 Porsche with an incomprehensible UI and non touch display. Even with emailed instructions every year (guess they know it is rather difficult), I usually give up in frustration. My clock is now on the correct time after being off all winter! Pretty soon we should see a world where everything has standards and is connected to the internet or they wont be. We are doing lots of thinking about what devices make sense to be connected and what ones shouldnt be.

  48. Asif Mj

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  49. Paul Graham

    Not sure about internet sync . Used to have a Rogers cellphone, a Rogers internet host, a Rogers pager, Rogers Cable and listen to a Rogers radio station. None of them could agree on the time. Maybe they just didn’t want to send all 5 bills at the same time and crash the global currency system. Love the Newfoundlanders who have a 1/2 hour time difference from Atlantic time zone. Gives them a chance to take their boots off. China is officially on one time zone but in practice its 2017 in Shanghai and 600 BC in Mongolia. Greenwich Mean Time still allows us Brits to think we’re the centre of the universe even though everyone else knows its really Crimea. Should probably take turns. Everywhere but Switzerland.

  50. rosalea

    But it’s *not* every six months. Standard time only lasts from early November thru early March, which is four months by the reckoning of the fingers on my hand.Call me crazy, but I never “fall back”. Remembering to deduct an hour in my head from Nov-Mar is part of my Alzheimers Onset Early Warning System. Hehe.

    1. Paul Graham

      Hey, where did you get that extra finger

  51. Paul Graham

    Maybe the whole thing was a misunderstanding. If the clock said 5 minutes to 11 you were probably at Pooh Corner. Winnie keeps the clock stopped there so its always time for a snack, or a scotch as the case might be.

  52. John Risner

    I am guessing Gaggenau double ovens. Strangest clock reset sequence ever. At least with our cars I can hack around and figure it out. For the ovens I have to refer to pdf every six months.

    1. fredwilson

      Yup. You hit the nail on the head