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

 

Hurricane Maria 'devastates' Dominica: PM (19 Sep 2017)

 

Hurricane Maria threatens British Virgin Islands (18 Sep 2017)

 

Rohingya crisis: Suu Kyi does not fear global 'scrutiny' (19 Sep 2017)

 

Yemen war: What happened to Saleem? (18 Sep 2017)

 

German WW1 U-boat found off Belgian coast (19 Sep 2017)

 

Donald Trump to call for more pressure on N Korea in first UN speech (19 Sep 2017)

 

Toys 'R' Us files for bankruptcy protection in US (19 Sep 2017)

 

Some Auckland petrol stations run out of fuel after burst pipe (19 Sep 2017)

 

Daca: Nancy Pelosi heckled as 'liar' in Dreamers protest (19 Sep 2017)

 

Paris climate aim 'still achievable' (19 Sep 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)

 

Premium processing for H-1B visas to resume (18 Sep 2017)

 

Roku expects IPO to raise million (18 Sep 2017)

 

Daily business briefing, Sept. 19: Hulu, Google, Slack (18 Sep 2017)

 

Rolling Stone, once a counterculture bible, put up for sale (18 Sep 2017)

 

Equifax insider trading said to be focus of U.S. criminal probe (18 Sep 2017)

 

Is rising rent a myth? For many, incomes seem to be keeping up (17 Sep 2017)

more »

 


Site feed Updated: 2017-Sep-19 06:00