Too early? Check your palmtop

If you find yourself turning up an hour early for meetings, check your palmtop's clock - it might be misleading you. Users of Windows CE 2.0-based palm-tops are running into trouble in New Zealand and Australia because the operating system is unable to compensate for daylight saving. Microsoft says the problem is known and a fix is 'on the way'.

If you find yourself turning up an hour early for meetings, check your palmtop’s clock — it might be misleading you.

Users of Windows CE 2.0-based palmtops are running into trouble in New Zealand and Australia because the operating system is unable to compensate for daylight saving.

Matthew Dredge, a software developer for automated systems company CSE, first noticed the problem on the four Hewlett-Packard 320LX palmtops used by the company directors. Appointments made on desktop PCs and later transferred to the palmtops have been shifted forward an hour.

“The calendar application doesn’t know anything about daylight saving. Imagine the embarrassment that our directors could have had turning up to meetings an hour early.”

HP’s palmtop specialist, Mike Cornwell, says the problem is known, and a solution is on the way from Microsoft. But Dredge is unhappy that the Microsoft Web site has only the smallest amount of information on the problem “buried” in one of its articles.

Monaco Corporation has received a handful of queries from users about the Cassiopeia palmtop, but technical and development manager Edward Armstrong says there’s a simple solution.

“Suva is in the same time zone as New Zealand but doesn’t have daylight saving.” He suggests telling the palmtop that it is in Suva and the problem should go away.

Armstrong says the problem lies not with CE 2.0 itself but with the software that synchronises the palmtop with a desktop. Microsoft marketing manager Guy Haycock says he is aware of the problem.

“This is a known problem with daylight- saving time in the southern hemisphere, and Windows CE 2.0. A permanent fix is on the way.”

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