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why can't i turn off fast_time?



greetings, all ---

as long as folks are paying attention to
  this whole time zone foolishness
  foisted on us by congress
  [ as if they don't have --real-- work to do; but, i digress ],
  it seems to be a good time to inquire about my pet peeve.

please note:
  this is the --one-- thing about freebsd
  that --really--, and i mean --really--, hacks me off.

i have yet to figure out
  how to turn off the warm_weather fast_time bug^h^h^hfeature.

i am outside chicago, so i am six hours earlier than london.

i choose to not observe fast_time any more than absolutely necessary.
twice a year,
  these nimrods in washington actually expect me to
  drop what i am doing and
  go around everywhere and
  change the clocks.
to put not too fine a point on it, i refuse.
[ quite by accident,
    i discovered that this eliminates what i call "solar_shock".
  now, when others grumble on monday
    about the sun not being where it was on friday,
    i laugh.
]

the first thing i did was to rtfm.
then, i selected a box on which to experiment.

the method that seems to work most successfully is
  to tell the box it's in arizona.
this would be great if i were in, say, laramie, but,
  i haven't moved there, yet.
so, it's a little irritating.

then, i thought i would be exceedingly clever
  by creating the missing file
  that would be logically found between arizona and indiana,
  using those files as templates.
surprise, surprise, they're in binary; just like --windoze--.
having read eric raymond's "art of unix programming",
  i agree completely that
  configuration files should be in human_readable form,
  not encoded in binary, mega_corp style.
i have put off playing with this approach.

last, i tried the environment variable trick,
  both for the local zone and for utc
  [ surely, i can make the box do everything in utc, i thought ].
sha_ZAM!!!
i thought i had struck the mother_lode.
everything was working just as i wanted.
i smiled smugly to myself.

euphoric,
  i arose from my throne [ no, silly, the other one ],
  outstretched my arm and commanded "shutdown -h now".

alas, logged messages were timestamped off by one hour.
i was crestfallen.

this suggests that the mobo clock is on utc [ or something ],
  fbsd is kloodging this into local fast_time and, then,
  the environment variable is re_kloodging the kloodge
  to display what i want to see,
  but shutdown doesn't honor the re_kloodge.
or some such.

this is the point where i gave up.

i recount the above from memory.
the last time i tried to get this right was about a year ago.

windoze gets this right
  [ this is one of the few times when i prefer windoze;
      think about this
  ].
i cam select a time_zone, then uncheck the "observe fast_time" box.
no problem.
but, my 'nix boxen have their own agenda.

i solved this by setting them to what displays as utc and
  what produces the right epoch_offset,
  then i calculate the correct timestamps myself in my apps.
i simply accept that my timestamps are right and
  some of the system generated timestamps are wrong.
c'est la guerre.

------------------------------------------

i wouldn't bother writing except that congress decided to meddle,
  so some really_smart_people are paying attention.

all i want is
  to be able to set my boxes to utc, with no fast_time, and
  to have my apps and all of the other apps agree on what the clock says,
  at --all-- times.

it would be a plus if
  there were binary files for the 4 contiguous us time_zones
  [ 2 of these already exist ],
  --if-- that's the trick to getting what i want.
[ i suspect that
    it would be considered a plus by others elsewhere on the planet if
    such files existed for all 25 hourly zones and
    the several whose offset is not a multiple of 60 minutes.
  unlike mowing the lawn,
    this job well done would not have to be done again.
]

it would be a really big plus if
  non_textual config files were eliminated, but
  i suspect that this is a bigger project than
  most folks have time for right now.
[ if there is interest,
    since, at least, --i-- care about this,
    perhaps i could take this on,
    but i'm full_up for the next several months.
  however,
    it strikes me that this might make a useful project for
    some one or more of my students.
  any thoughts?
]

-----------------------------------

thanks for letting me inquire.

if anyone thinks this sufficiently worthy of
  either positive or negative response,
  please cc me as i am not subscribed to -questions.



rob spellberg
woodstock, illinois

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