By contributor
updated 3/9/2007 3:29:00 PM ET 2007-03-09T20:29:00

If you were looking forward to an extra hour of daylight Sunday, you may wind up spending some of it making sure your phones, computers and other tech gear reflect the time change.

With the earlier start and end later this year — Nov. 4 — of daylight saving time, some, but not all, digital systems and software are ready for the shift.

A federal law, approved in 2005, changed daylight saving time to start three weeks earlier and end one week later than normal starting this year.

Many devices now in use rely on software programs that were created before the law passed, and will need updating.

It will be up to you to make the time change in some cases:

Cell phones, BlackBerries and PDAs: If you’ve got a cell phone that is basically just, well, a cell phone, the time change will automatically kick in, as it does when you travel to different time zones.

But, says Verizon Wireless, when it comes to BlackBerries and “most” PDAs or “smart phones” that run Palm or Windows Mobile operating systems, customers will be “required to update or patch their devices,” by going to the company’s Web site.

The same is true for Cingular and other services. Cingular says on its Web site that two very new devices, the Samsung BlackJack and Nokia E62, do not need any software updates.

Wireless e-mail programs, though, such as Good Mobile Messaging and Xpress Mail, do.

If you use your Palm or another PDA strictly as a calendar or information source, and it’s not connected to a network, you’ll still need to update it by doing a download from the manufacturer’s Web site and syncing to your PDA.

TiVo and DVRs:  Customers will be ready for prime time with no fears that a favorite program will be usurped by a recording of Jerry Springer.

“We’re not anticipating any problems,” said Jeff Weir, TiVo spokesman.

“We did a software update about a month ago to deal with daylight saving time, so no user intervention is needed.”

Similarly, cable companies that rent digital video recorders to customers have also prepared for the time shift.

“The time change will automatically update, and there is no action required on our customers’ part to make sure their programs are set to record on schedule, or as scheduled,” said David Grabert of Cox Communications.

That’s also the case for Comcast customers,

But here’s the asterisk on digital video recorders: if you bought your own DVR, you’ll need to check the manufacturer’s manual or Web site for information, said Jenni Moyer, Comcast spokeswoman.

iPods: You may not use your iPod as your clock, but it does have one. 

“Users will need to sync up with their computers to get that update to daylight savings time, and it will be automatically updated,” said Tom Neumayr, Apple’s senior manager for iPod.

That brings us to:

Computers: If you bought a PC with Microsoft’s new Windows Vista operating system on it, or have upgraded to Vista, you’re in luck. You don’t have to do a thing.

That leaves the rest of us, which is most of us. If you use Windows, and have had Microsoft’s Automatic Updates feature enabled, you should be fine.

If you’re not sure, go to Microsoft's support Web site for an update.

Mac users also need to check to see if they have the latest operating system updates on their computers to reflect the time change.

Daylight saving time updates for OS X were posted on Apple’s support Web site Feb. 15.

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