Published in


The Largely Untold Story Of How One Guy In California Keeps The World’s Computers Running On The Right Time Zone. (Well, Sort Of)

Down the rabbit hole: my brief odyssey into the esoteric world of the tight-knit time zone data maintenance community who quietly keep the world’s computers from avoiding DST-related-meltdowns

The next time your Linux or MacOS-based computer boots into the perfect time zone, say a mental thank you to Paul Eggert and the team responsible for maintaining the world time zone computer database. Photo by Pixabay from Pexels
If you ever want to know what time zone your computer is configured to in Ubuntu Linux, you can run the ‘timedatectl’ command form the terminal. Screenshot: author.

Meet Paul Eggert. The Incumbent Time Zone Coordinator. (TZC). And Where The Buck Totally Stops When Nations Pull Surprise DST Changes. Oh, And Whose Database May Very Well Be Sitting Somewhere On Your Hard Drive.

Paul Eggert, a computer scientist who has led efforts to coordinate time zones on computers for a number of years. Screenshot: UCLA CS department website.



Get the Medium app

A button that says 'Download on the App Store', and if clicked it will lead you to the iOS App store
A button that says 'Get it on, Google Play', and if clicked it will lead you to the Google Play store
Daniel Rosehill

Daytime: writing for other people. Nighttime: writing for me. Or the other way round. Enjoys: Linux, tech, beer, random things.