Avoiding Outlook's twilight zone

Has this ever happened to you? You travel to another time zone ' say, from Washington, D.C., to San Francisco. Once in California, you reset the clock on your Microsoft Windows laptop PC for Pacific Standard Time. But when you scan your appointments in San Francisco, you find they've all been moved up by three hours. And any appointments you make while in San Francisco for after your return will be three hours off when you get back. Craziness!

Outlook is utterly dependent on the operating system for knowing what time it is. Microsoft Windows gets the Universal Coordinated Time from the Internet and offsets that time to the time zone the user sets, while also adjusting for any daylight saving time if necessary. (GCN GCN.com/1118).

This is helpful if you have to keep track of virtual meetings in other time zones. But if you don't watch it closely, appointments could be moved to incorrect times. And other kinds of scheduling hilarity might ensue, too, the page reports. The good news is that Microsoft has streamlined multi-time-zone scheduling.

In Outlook 2007, you can specify the time zone for appointments. Microsoft has also released a plug-in for Office for anyone permanently moving to another time zone (GCN GCN.com/1119). It moves all appointments on the calendar to the new times.

About the Author

Joab Jackson is the senior technology editor for Government Computer News.

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