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  • Patch Lady – sounds great until we think about the updates

    Posted on March 8th, 2018 at 02:22 Susan Bradley Comment on the AskWoody Lounge

    Susan here, getting ready for that time of year that makes me for a sleepy Susan… aka Daylight savings.  I just spotted in the news tonight that Florida is considering opting to stay in daylight savings.  So what has that got to do with computers?  Plenty.  Computers are creatures of time.  They have to be on the right time or near it otherwise all sorts of bad things occur.  Like for example.. updating.  You have to be no more than a few minutes off of the real time otherwise Windows update will totally fail.  Because your machine depends on computer certificates, which have date/time stamps and if your computer comes back with the message that the certificate chain is invalid because the date and time is off…well you get the idea.

    In a network a workstation cannot be more than 2 to 5 minutes off of the time set by the domain controller otherwise it will cause Kerberos log in problems.

    On standalone computers your computer is typically sync’d up to time.windows.com.  This is a time server provided by Microsoft.  But you can use an alternative time server.

    NIST.gov provided the definitive list of all of the time servers.  NTP or Network Time protocol is one of those old foundational protocols used in computers.  So foundational that attackers have even found ways to do denial of service attacks on NTP servers.  But on workstations, your machine only goes outbound to get it’s time information and isn’t open to attack.

    Time is so foundational to how our computers talk to one another that it’s one of the reasons the DST updates are pushed out on a regular basis because time is sooo important.  The DST blog showcases how often countries mess with time.  It always amazes me how much countries mess with time.

    By the way, trivia here…. do you know why we have time zones in the first place?  As I understand it you can thank the English and the introduction of trains for the introduction of “Railway time” which was needed to standardize when it was expected that the train would arrive.  Prior to travel everyone just set their own clock.

    With the use of cloud technology I’m seeing some organizations go to a Universal time or UTC and not depend on the local time zone.  One of the key things to establish in computer forensics is what time was set for all devices – that is – was the time set correctly in the firewall/modem/router that is logging events, in the computer event log and so on so the forensic investigator can prepare a timeline of events and correlate activity.

    So many times (get it — a pun on time) we’d skip over that time zone update as being optional because we didn’t live in the area of the time zone change. But we’d often end up with computers that couldn’t handle when we DID have a time zone change.  Everyone here remember when the USA moved the time zone change dates and how much we were running around trying to get things updated?  It’s one of the reasons Windows 10’s updates are all inclusive and those time change updates come automatically.

    So, if Florida opts out of changing it’s clock, a ton of developers in Redmond will be working around the clock to roll out updates.

    Fun to look forward to if the bill goes through.

    And now it’s my bedTIME.

     

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    Home Forums Patch Lady – sounds great until we think about the updates

    This topic contains 40 replies, has 11 voices, and was last updated by  Cascadian 6 months, 2 weeks ago.

    • Author
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    • #173373 Reply

      Susan Bradley
      AskWoody MVP

      Susan here, getting ready for that time of year that makes me for a sleepy Susan… aka Daylight savings.  I just spotted in the news tonight that Flo
      [See the full post at: Patch Lady – sounds great until we think about the updates]

      Susan Bradley Patch Lady

      9 users thanked author for this post.
    • #173386 Reply

      jescott418
      AskWoody Lounger

      I just want the time change stuff to stop. Seems to be a overwhelming agreement its not needed anymore. Yet we cannot seem to get to a point to repeal it. Is it so entrenched in technology and devices it makes it impossible to do? Am I wrong to think this twice a year ritual is sometime that makes technology less unstable?

      2 users thanked author for this post.
      • #173563 Reply

        anonymous

        I wish that the U.S. would either go totally on or totally off the DST and stop the flip-flop every year. Many old devices and PCs use the old change dates which are now different. We need to pick one, On or OFF and leave it there.

    • #173380 Reply

      anonymous

      Well, from OS point of view, this is a non-issue for everyone but the Redmond guys. There is no problem whatsoever once you store UTC time in hardware clock and design the OS to use that.

      1 user thanked author for this post.
      • #173412 Reply

        Ascaris
        AskWoody MVP

        Took the words right out of my fingers, Anon!

        There is a registry setting that was supposed to do this in Windows, but there were glitches associated by various other bits of the OS that blithely assumed that the RTC was set to local time and ignored the registry setting before popping the time from the RTC directly.  These things, according to people who were in communication with MS back during the Windows 7 era, it was supposed to be fixed at some point soon, but whether this actually happened or not is an open question.   If you wish to experiment with it, here it is, as a .reg excerpt.  I’m not recommending it for general use, as I cannot yet verify that it works well.

        [HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE\SYSTEM\CurrentControlSet\Control\TimeZoneInformation]
        "RealTimeIsUniversal"=dword:00000001

        Given that Linux by default uses UTC and Windows uses local time, this is bound to cause issues with dual boot systems (like mine), with one or the other having the wrong time.  The most commonly recommended fix was to have Linux do it the Windows way (it often ends up like that– Windows is just a bad neighbor in general, stomping all around, assuming its way is the only way, while Linux quietly accommodates it).  I assume that’s how I fixed it way back when I first set up the dual boot… but in a strange coincidence, whatever I did quit working just recently, and I just now got around to trying to re-correct it.

        I just set the registry key above in Windows 8.1… so far, so good.  I’ve confirmed that the RTC is set to UTC by checking in the BIOS setup, and both Windows and Linux report the correct local time.

        I have often bristled at the difficulties with time zones and daylight savings time.  It’s all very arbitrary; there’s nothing inherently morningish about 7 o’clock am; we’ve just come to associate them.  If we all used UTC all the time, we’d get used to 9 PM (or 21:00) being the time when we leave for work or whatever the case may be.  Then I realize that this would mean the change of day would occur in the middle of the work day, and that would make it rather difficult at times.  It could be March 8 now, but a document that is marked March 7 may only be a few hours old.  It would introduce error and confusion that would be worse than the problem it was trying to solve, I think.  Meh.

        Looks like we’re stuck with time zones.  We could still get rid of DST, though. It won’t work if we just do it here and there… it has to go everywhere, or else it just gets more confusing as half the places keep setting their clocks differently as if that is going to magically accomplish something, and the other half just sit there and don’t notice the lack of whatever benefit they’re claiming for it.

        2 users thanked author for this post.
        • #173418 Reply

          anonymous

          When i first set up my soon to be EOL Vista system to dual boot with Linux Mint I considered changing Windows time handling as discussed above.  But after reading the thread at

          https://social.msdn.microsoft.com/Forums/windowsdesktop/en-US/0b872d8a-69e9-40a6-a71f-45de90c6e243/realtimeisuniversal-bug-in-vista?forum=tabletandtouch

          I decided it was easier just to use the bios setup to adjust the system time for those rare instances when I had to run Windows and then reset the rtc before the next boot of Linux.  This small inconvenience seemed reasonable, even though my experience was that after a Windows session Linux Mint’s next session would reset the system clock by itself after it connected to ntp server and determined that the clock was not set to the correct UTC time.

        • #173434 Reply

          anonymous

          There’s this crazy guy who’d been nagging MS for 15+ years to get it fixed… Probably still not fully ready (not to mention making it the default), but I guess he finally gave up (no updates beyond W7/2008 state of things from 2014)

          http://www.cl.cam.ac.uk/~mgk25/mswish/ut-rtc.html

          • #173820 Reply

            anonymous

            I would think that moving the real time clock setting to an experts only section, or completely remove the ability to set the clock from the setup utility allegedly “cause it’s scary” to non-technical folks is big ‘ole mountain of stupidity.

        • #173856 Reply

          anonymous

          Time zones are perfectly acceptable. It is the Daylight Savings Time that can be ended as this was apparently absolutely useless. (Still have not found any sort of energy savings study data related to that act, real or fake.)

          If we decide to erase Daylight Savings Time, will people have to buy new self-setting smart clocks?

        • #173867 Reply

          anonymous

          I’m retracting my previous accusation of the 2005 Energy Policy Act being ‘absolutely useless’.

          There are indeed from some good & excellent policy things contained therein, The Great Lakes ecosystem would likely come to great harm if oil exploration was done there.

          The daylight savings time related stuff did not seem to accomplish any good thing which is my real beef with it. I’m sorry.

      • #174715 Reply

        anonymous

        You misunderstood. It is not “from the OS point of view” I am talking about, UNLESS the device has the OLD time change dates like mine do programmed into them. I ….  me  …. I am the one that has to go to these clocks and devices to set the correct time twice a year. I do have devices that were (past tense) setting themselves to the correct DST until we in the US changed the date of DST on/off.

        I just want the ON/OFF to stop. I prefer DST, but I would be happy to have DST either be permanently on, or permanently off.

         

    • #173402 Reply

      WildBill
      AskWoody Lounger

      Thanks for the overview on how time affects computers & Windows updates, Patch Lady. I’m on Central Time, which is 2 hours ahead of Pacific Time (if you’re still in California). My Win 8.1 machine is set for CT & to automatically “spring forward” to DST, as well as “fall back” to Standard Time. You’re not the only 1 who can be punny. My machine & my Android phone are like Ronco Rotisseries: “Set it & Forget it!”

      Windows 8.1, 64-bit, Group A.
      Wild Bill Rides Again...

    • #173513 Reply

      AJNorth
      AskWoody Lounger

      Solomon said to divide the child.

      What’s wrong with a Burger King approach: if every computer and server were synced to UTC, with an option provided to allow the user to choose the machine to display the local time based upon geography instead of (or in addition to) UTC, then would this not become a non-issue?  Everyone would be able to have their computer’s time displayed their way.

      The-Persistence-of-Memory-Salvador-Dali-1931

      • This reply was modified 6 months, 2 weeks ago by  AJNorth.
      • This reply was modified 6 months, 2 weeks ago by  AJNorth.
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      • #173701 Reply

        anonymous

        Yes exactly and that new files are created with that displayed time and date.

      • #173895 Reply

        Ascaris
        AskWoody MVP

        That’s what those of us who like the “everyone except Windows” way (RTC set to UTC) are advocating.  We’re not suggesting that the clock in the system tray, or the timestamps that indicate when a file was modified, be shown in UTC time.  Those would still be in your local time.  From the user’s standpoint, it would be exactly the same, just with a reduced chance for errors.  The only time you’d really see the UTC would be if you went into your system’s BIOS/UEFI setup and looked at the time in there.

         

        • #174308 Reply

          anonymous

          We’re not suggesting that the clock in the system tray, or the timestamps that indicate when a file was modified, be shown in UTC time.

          I do understand the whole concept, but did not seem to communicate it well enough. I’m not changing my GNU/Linux time to accommodate Windows. So I’ll the that registry key mentioned above…

    • #173522 Reply

      anonymous

      With Microsoft’s really bad update scheme… good luck updating your computers to keep Daylight Saving Time schemes from around the world updated on your box if you’re resisting updates.

    • #173572 Reply

      Latka
      AskWoody Lounger

      It isn’t just Florida this time (pun alert).

      The Redmond crew’s legislature is considering eliminating Daylight Savings in Washington state and permanently jumping ahead to Mountain Standard time.

      https://www.google.com/amp/amp.kiro7.com/news/local/end-day-light-saving-time-in-washington-new-bill-aims-for-year-round-pst/490003728

      And half of Idaho wants to join them, too.

      http://www.cdapress.com/local_news/20180305/vick_keep_north_idaho_washington_in_sync

      Washington state and North Idaho would be on the same time as Arizona year round, and an hour ahead of California all winter.

       

      • This reply was modified 6 months, 2 weeks ago by  Latka.
      • #174187 Reply

        Jan K.
        AskWoody Lounger

        EU considers cancelling too. Waste of countless man-hours…

        And that Windows Time service calling a time server has never worked here. Decided to kill the service as a consequence of this. Maybe a matter of where one is located?

    • #173617 Reply

      anonymous

      So Miss.Susan, so can we assume that timezone can determine wheter you get a certain Update early or later?

    • #173690 Reply

      anonymous

      Susan,

      Those DST updates are irrelevant and just show the local time to users. That’s why it doesn’t matter what time zone your computer has set. Computers’ internal clock, however, is based on UTC, and that’s what matters.

      1 user thanked author for this post.
      • #173897 Reply

        Ascaris
        AskWoody MVP

        That’s the problem, Anonymous.  For Windows users, that’s not the case… the time in the RTC is in fact the local time if the user has not set the registry key I cited above.

        • #174207 Reply

          anonymous

          Well, if you take a closer look at those Kernel-General events logged to the System event log, you’ll notice the Z at the end of those date/time strings…

          Example:

          The system time has changed to ‎2018‎-‎01-‎01T00:00:00.000000000Z from ‎2018‎-‎01-‎01T00:00:00.000000000Z.

          Of course, Z stands for ZULU (or UTC or GMT)… and if you take a closer look at the timestamps of the events, you’ll notice those are local times.

          Agreed, if the hardware clock is not properly set in the BIOS, you’ll face the issues you mentioned.

    • #173694 Reply

      anonymous

      Umm…no S..it is daylight saving time.

    • #173793 Reply

      OscarCP
      AskWoody Lounger

      If you wanted to use, as I do, not MS’ time for Windows that is the MS default in PCs, but get your PC in sync with one of the several time servers of the National Institutes of Standards and Technology (NIST), that — by the way — has some of the most precise clocks in the world, and the Patch Lady is mentioning here, then you might check this out:

      https://www.nist.gov/pml/time-and-frequency-division/services/internet-time-service-its

      with a link to the site where you can download their application software: nistime-32bit.exe and a full explanation on how to install and use it in Windows machines.

      I have had no problems, so far, using this service, that provides good time synchronization (+/1 second) needed to download and use data streaming in real time from various places around the US and the rest of the world.

       

       

       

       

    • #173823 Reply

      Cascadian
      AskWoody Lounger

      Well I’ll continue the slightly off topic. Agree with many above, and a couple come close. But that darn UTC is soooo Anglocentric. If the new day starts when the sun rises over the international date line, then let’s all set our clocks to UTC+12h, timezone M. We can call it ‘Mundi’ time and the greatest portion of all the world’s population will have to adapt together. In a week it will be over and we’ll never change again.

      Salute to my Kiwi friends, you guys are great.

      • #173853 Reply

        OscarCP
        AskWoody Lounger

        Even better: we could chose the meridian of 123 degrees 23.6 minutes West that runs through the Oceanic Pole of Inaccessibility, the farthest point in any ocean from anywhere on land. And call it the NIP (Nowhere In Particular) hour origin.

        Any other choice based on an identifiable landmark would have some unavoidable chauvinistic connotation. After all, the International Date Line is the (twisty) rear of the Greenwich meridian…

        • This reply was modified 6 months, 2 weeks ago by  OscarCP.
        1 user thanked author for this post.
        • #174245 Reply

          Cascadian
          AskWoody Lounger

          That Inaccessible point is far from all populations. But the meridian named runs WAY too close to Redmond, WA. Or did I miss a very subtle gibe? 🙂

          • #174256 Reply

            OscarCP
            AskWoody Lounger

            Cascadian, nothing escapes you!

            1 user thanked author for this post.
            • #174273 Reply

              Cascadian
              AskWoody Lounger

              Oh, a lot more than I care to admit, actually. Now I’m really off topic. I caught this one because of fun times had as a younger man in and around the forests of the Cascade Range. That was why I grabbed that word for my handle when I changed from ‘Paul’ a bit ago.

              I remembered the topo maps were in the low 120°W range. A moments thought gave me the clue that this makes sense for a UTC-8h timezone. The surprising part for my mental geography is how empty the South Pacific is down that line. You just happened to hit a number I recognized.

              1 user thanked author for this post.
            • #174288 Reply

              OscarCP
              AskWoody Lounger

              Oh my!

              So you were Paul in a previous Woodian existence? So there really is such a thing as metempsychosis, at least in Woody’s! Looking forward to mine, then.

              I had always thought that you, given your handle, were somewhere in the coastal Northwest, looking out the window, maybe watching the grey sky grow darker and noticing the rain starting to come down a bit harder. Maybe somewhere near Mt. Rainier…

               

              1 user thanked author for this post.
      • #175035 Reply

        Cascadian
        AskWoody Lounger

        circled back to give attribution to a source much older than I remembered. Read more about Sandford Fleming, a Canadian engineer of such acclaim that country has named an award in his honor. He presented this idea to the International Meridian Conference of 1884, a gathering of interested parties in Washington D.C. where standardization was discussed.

        He called it Cosmic Time though. We may or may not be alone, but I don’t think we are the standard for time in the cosmos. I chose Mundi as a word for world that starts with ‘M’. I’ve harped on it for a few years now, but only to a small audience with no influence.

    • #174258 Reply

      OscarCP
      AskWoody Lounger

      In any case, Florida stays the same at least until November, because they are still following the law, that makes no exceptions to any state, so they will be fiddling with their watches there, this coming Sunday, like anybody else. And Congress will have to change the law before they can do any different. And Congress moves always with such alacrity…

      For my part, I invariably check the Optional updates that have opaque names with things like “Quality” in them, to see what they are all about. If Florida ever gets to make its horological move, there will be an update for that and I’ll install it. Still not installing the one for Azerbaijan’s time zone, though. Or for the Hittite Cuneiform font. Some other day, maybe. But not right now.

      • This reply was modified 6 months, 2 weeks ago by  OscarCP.
      • #174302 Reply

        Latka
        AskWoody Lounger

        Actually, the states of Arizona, Hawaii, and parts of Indiana are exceptions to the daylight saving rules.  I think the law grants authority to the U.S. Department of Transportation to approve time zone requests made by states.

        • #174608 Reply

          OscarCP
          AskWoody Lounger

          Good point!

          For Hawaii it really does not make much sense to have daylight saving, as there is little difference in the Sun’s rising and setting times throughout the year at those latitudes.

          As to Arizona and Indiana, well… maybe they are just a little slow there, so allowances must be made?

          Oh Dear, now a whole lot of people are not going to like me just for writing that!

           

    • #174266 Reply

      OscarCP
      AskWoody Lounger

      Patch Lady, you wrote:

      “Everyone here remember when the USA moved the time zone change dates and how much we were running around trying to get things updated?”

      Quite frankly, I don’t remember ever having had any such problems: the hour in my computer has always moved one hour plus or minus at the correct time, in sync with the official change.

      Maybe you were talking about some special cases? Business computer networks spanning the whole continent?

      • #174295 Reply

        Susan Bradley
        AskWoody MVP

        https://support.office.com/en-us/article/How-daylight-saving-time-DST-changes-in-2007-affect-time-stamps-in-Office-files-75DCD7E3-9842-4518-A5B2-F8DF1B2A2CB4  No I’m talking about the change made in 2007 to move the daylight savings from October to November

        n August 2005, the United States Congress passed the Energy Policy Act, which changes the start date and end date of DST as observed in the United States. Some additional countries/regions are following the U.S. change. As such, in 2007, DST starts on March 11, 2007, and ends on November 4, 2007 — resulting in a new DST period that is four weeks longer than previously observed. These dates are referred to in this article as the extended DST period.”

        We had to patch EVERYTHING to make sure it would make the adjustment.  Showcasing I’m an old geek that can remember this.  I also remember the Y2k freak out.

        Susan Bradley Patch Lady

        2 users thanked author for this post.
        • #174597 Reply

          OscarCP
          AskWoody Lounger

          Patch Lady, now that you mentioned being “and old geek”, which of the two people in the photo is really you?

          For my part, I am probably at least as old as the smaller one, and was on Windows XP in those years, waiting for Vista to go away and hoping for something better to come along afterwards, much as XP came after 98 and ME, both of painful memory. Then Windows 7 happened! And now, once more, am hanging tough with Windows 7, waiting for a repeat of that old virtuous cycle. But without really expecting it to happen this time.

          Maybe that is why am writing this on my new Mac? The old Windows 7 PC is having its rest for today.

          It must be my failing memory  the reason why I cannot remember any issues bothering me, computerwise, related to the move of the beginning and end dates of daylight saving to earlier and later than before, respectively. And am positive that I was not patching anything. Or maybe I just didn’t care? Hmm…

          But I still remember Y2K!!!

    • #174352 Reply

      MrJimPhelps
      AskWoody MVP

      I like daylight savings time in the summer – gives me time to cut the grass when I get home from work!

      Group "L" (Linux Mint)
      with Windows 8.1 running in a VM
      • #174577 Reply

        anonymous

        That is the DST illusion, giving you time. It does not give a human more time.

        • #174594 Reply

          anonymous

          Maybe no more time, but how about a nicer time?

          Just a passing thought…

    Please follow the -Lounge Rules- no personal attacks, no swearing, and politics/religion are relegated to the Rants forum.

    Reply To: Patch Lady – sounds great until we think about the updates

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