tungwaiyip.info

home

about me

links

Blog

< September 2016 >
SuMoTuWeThFrSa
     1 2 3
4 5 6 7 8 910
11121314151617
18192021222324
252627282930 

past articles »

Click for San Francisco, California Forecast

San Francisco, USA

 

Let's meet at 1am

My work needs me to setup computer system to work across the globe. A key issue is to have a common time reference. This gets tricky because of time zone. Just saying 12pm is imprecise. Which time zone is 12pm reference to? Is it 12pm in San Francisco? Or 12pm in London? Another complication is day light saving adjustment, which make time measure more irregular.

The standard practice is to use Coordinated Universal Time (UTC), i.e. Greenwich Mean Time. So everyone across the globe has a reference to the same standard time. Having a standard reference is great for computer system. But for us software engineers it is another quantity to juggle with. I often have to track time across systems. If the system responses something like 14:22, it is still hard to make sense of. Is it this afternoon? This morning? Or sometime in the future? Translating between local time and UTC is often necessity for me. But it is much harder to do mentally compares to, say translating between metrics and imperial unit.

One tip is I added a clock of Reykjavik, Iceland time on my cellphone. Iceland time happens to match UTC and Icelanders do not mess with daylight saving time. This gives me a easy read of current UTC time (8pm now, which is 1pm San Francisco time.)

I have a colleague who argues strongly that the entire world should adopt UTC time in actual daily use and do away with time zone. Standardization is probably very important for him. How practical is this for regular people? To this I said, let's have a meeting at 1am, UTC time (it is 6pm for your reference).

2016.09.08 comments

 

 

blog comments powered by Disqus

past articles »

 

BBC News

 

Poland's President Duda vetoes judicial reforms after protests (24 Jul 2017)

 

South African child 'virtually cured' of HIV (24 Jul 2017)

 

US-Russia probe: Trump son-in-law Kushner to face Senate (24 Jul 2017)

 

Israel and Jordan in diplomatic standoff after embassy deaths (24 Jul 2017)

 

Yazidi survivor: 'I was raped every day for six months' (23 Jul 2017)

 

Michael Phelps loses 'race' to Great White shark (24 Jul 2017)

 

Kabul suicide car bomb: 30 killed in Afghan capital (24 Jul 2017)

 

IMF downgrades UK and US growth forecasts (24 Jul 2017)

 

Turkey's Cumhuriyet journalists in terrorism trial (24 Jul 2017)

 

UK and US to start talks on post-Brexit trade deal (23 Jul 2017)

more »

 

SF Gate

 

Bay Area News (7 Jan 2012)

 

City Insider (11 Feb 2012)

 

Crime Scene (13 Feb 2012)

 

C.W Newius Column (10 Jan 2012)

 

C.W. Nevius Blog (11 Feb 2012)

 

Education News (10 Jan 2012)

 

KALW (11 Feb 2012)

 

Matier and Ross Blog (11 Feb 2012)

 

Eclipse plea from regulators: Stay in the dark (23 Jul 2017)

 

Shkreli has days to decide whether to take stand at fraud trial (23 Jul 2017)

 

China clamps down on holes in ‘Great Firewall’ (23 Jul 2017)

 

How loaning doctors, patients iPads may help Apple (23 Jul 2017)

 

These phones can make (and take) a splash (23 Jul 2017)

 

SF seeks court orders to force Uber, Lyft to share data (22 Jul 2017)

more »

 


Site feed Updated: 2017-Jul-24 03:00