FAQ: The time is wrong on the forums ?

Sim

Administrator
There are several issues with time that you need to understand.

Even though we are mostly Australian based, there are a significant number of people in other time zones (WA is 2 hours behind the eastern states after all !). We must implement a system of representing the time which works for everyone.

The internationally accepted mechanism for dealing with time and time zones is to allocate each time zone an "offset" from Greenwich Mean Time (GMT). GMT is defined at the Royal Observatory Greenwich in the UK, where there is an atomic clock which keeps the "official" time of the world.

To work out what time it is in your local time zone, you simply apply the offset to GMT. In the eastern states of Australia we are "GMT+10", which means "10 hours ahead of Greenwich Mean Time". So if it is 11am in Greenwich (11am GMT), then it is 9pm in Sydney. Adelaide and Darwin are GMT+9.5 and Perth is GMT+8

Now there are two things the forum does to work with time. The first is set by us the administrators and is the "local" time zone of the server. We have this set to GMT+10. For all unregistered users, they will see times for things such as posts as Australian "Eastern Standard Time", or GMT+10.

Now, if you are in a different time zone, it would be nice to have the time shown correctly for you, so you know exactly when things happen on the fourm.

We can do this by letting you choose your local time in your user options if you are registered. Go to the user control panel ("user cp" button at the top of the page), go to the "Edit Options" page, scroll down almost to the bottom to the "Date & Time Options" section and look for the "Time offset:" option.

You can select from the list which time zone you are in. Even if you are in the Eastern States of Australia, you need to set your time offset (to GMT+10), otherwise the system will think you are elsewhere and give you the wrong time.

Now, the only complication comes with daylight savings time (DST). Unfortunately, this version of the software we are using does not implement any type of support for daylight savings. You will need to make an adjustment yourself.

Basically, during daylight savings time, you put your clocks forward an hour. This has the effect of making all the times on the forum an hour slow !

If we changed things on the forum to reflect DST where we are locally, then it would mess things up for everyone else in other timezones where DST is either not used, or is not currently in effect.

So we will always leave the server running at GMT+10, and users will be required to make their own adjustments. I know it's not a nice way of dealing with this, but it's the only sensible way that works for everyone. The only catch to this will be if the server we are running on automatically adjusts its own time when local DST comes into effect. I will need to investigate this and let you know what will happen.

Anyway, if you are currently in a location where daylight savings time is in effect and you find it annoying to see the time on the forum incorrect, you should adjust your time offset forward by one hour. As an example, DST in the eastern states of Australia is equivalent to GMT+11. People living here should set your offset to this when DST is in effect.

Note that of course, if you adjust your local offset for DST, then you must remember to change it back when DST ends !

I hope this has answered a few questions. Please ask if you are still having problems !
 
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