Daylight-saving time begins at 2 a.m. Sunday, a change made official on Aug. 8, 2005, when President George W. Bush signed the Energy Policy Act of 2005.
Beginning this year, daylight-saving time in most of the United States will begin on the second Sunday in March and extend all the way until the first Sunday in November in an effort to conserve even more energy.
The last time the daylight-saving time schedule was changed was by legislation enacted in 1986. The 1986 schedule, which went into effect in 1987 and stayed in effect until last year, started daylight-saving time on the first Sunday in April and ended it on the last Sunday in October.
There is the possibility that the old start and end dates for daylight-saving time may be reinstated by Congress if the change proves unpopular or if additional energy savings are not significant, according to the legislation.
Changing the start and end of daylight-saving time is more complicated today than it was in 1987 when for most people it was just a matter of resetting clocks, ironically because of advances intended to make springing clocks forward and falling them back easier.
Personal computers are usually set to automatically move their time forward or back for daylight-saving time changes but according to the 1986 schedule unless a software patch is installed.
"Obviously all the operating systems have to be updated to reflect the new time change," said Tim Hill of Hillco Computer Services.
If computers are not updated for the new daylight-saving time schedule, software such as accounting programs and personal calendars with contact dates and times will have the wrong time stamp on them, Hill said.
"If you have automatic updating on it will ask you to update," he said. "Some people do, some people don't -- some people are afraid to."
If automatic update feature is not on, "they'll have to manually run the update procedure," Hill said, with updates being available "either from Microsoft or Apple or from whoever their operating system is through."
Most cellular phones will update time changes automatically as well, according to Karen Jones, owner of Bootheel Wireless in Sikeston, and according to the new DST schedule "because they work off the towers -- the airwaves give you the correct time."
Those who never shut off their phones may not see their time updated, however.
"To get your phones to update automatically, sometimes you have to power them off and power them back on," Jones said.
She said it is a good idea to shut cell phones off once a week anyway to get "any type of updates that might be out there in the systems."
Additionally, Jones advised not all devices with cell phone features will update correctly.
"There are some data devices that this is going to effect," she said. "Some do not rely on the network time and are preprogrammed with the old daylight-
saving time change."
Customers using devices such as the Motorola MPX200 and MPX220; Nokia 9300; Cingular 2125, 3125, 8125 and 8525; Palm Treo 600, 650, 680, 750 and Tungsten W; and RIM Blackberry Handhelds will need to download a software update from the manufacturer's Web site for the new daylight-
saving time schedule.