11:10 AM

Los Alamos Warns Employees About Daylight-Saving Impact On Coffee Makers

The weapons laboratory joins tech vendors like Microsoft, IBM, and Novell in preparations for the March 11 spring forward.

The weapons laboratory that developed the Manhattan Project issued an alert but is only mildly concerned about the impact of early daylight-saving time on the computers that control its sensitive nuclear technology.

Los Alamos National Laboratory's internal news bulletin is warning employees that the March 11 switch to daylight-savings -- three weeks earlier than usual, thanks to a new federal law -- could impact "some computer programs and applications" that rely on the correct time.

In issuing the caution, Los Alamos joins tech vendors like Microsoft, IBM, and Novell, all of which are warning customers that early daylight-saving time may have a Y2K-like impact on some IT systems.

But from the sound of it, New Mexico residents won't need to duck and cover two weeks from now. The bulletin indicates that Los Alamos Information Systems and Technology Division leader Mark Owens is chiefly concerned about the rollover's effect on office applications and everyday appliances.

"Lab employees who use computer-based calendars to schedule appointments should follow up with meeting attendees to ensure that meeting items show up properly on calendars," says the bulletin.

To deal with other computer complications arising from early daylight-saving time, the Feb. 20 issue of the Los Alamos Daily News Bulletin also offers this advice: "Employees should check appliances, such as coffee makers, microwave ovens, DVDs, and videocassette recorders that have clocks. These items may have to be reset manually." To be sure, overheated lasagna is preferable to a reactor meltdown.

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