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

 

Harvey Weinstein found guilty of rape in watershed case (25 Feb 2020)

 

Harvey Weinstein guilty: How the Hollywood giant faced his reckoning (24 Feb 2020)

 

Coronavirus: World must prepare for pandemic, says WHO (24 Feb 2020)

 

Global stock markets plunge on coronavirus fears (24 Feb 2020)

 

Brazil: Murder rate spikes in Ceará state as police strike (25 Feb 2020)

 

Tearful tributes at Kobe and Gianna Bryant service (24 Feb 2020)

 

Australia intelligence chief warns of neo-Nazi threat (24 Feb 2020)

 

France rock riddle contest gives meaning to mysterious inscription (24 Feb 2020)

 

Car drives into carnival crowd in German town Volkmarsen (24 Feb 2020)

 

Belgian city of Aalst says anti-Semitic parade 'just fun' (24 Feb 2020)

more »

 

SF Gate

 

Ship traffic, February 25 (24 Feb 2020)

 

Can AI flag disease outbreaks faster than humans? Not quite (23 Feb 2020)

 

Ship traffic, February 23 (22 Feb 2020)

 

Firms encouraged to shift strategy after startup stage (22 Feb 2020)

 

In a Chinese city under lockdown, hope arrives by motorbike (21 Feb 2020)

 

Wells Fargo settles fake account scandal for billion (21 Feb 2020)

more »


Site feed Updated: 2020-Feb-24 18:00