The Time Zone Problem

Time zones and the British perspective
San Francisco (Where Linden Labs are based) has Pacific Daylight Time (PDT) and the United Kingdom has Greenwich Mean Time (GMT). Normally, PDT is eight hours behind GMT. So, if it’s 6.00pm in the UK, then it’s 10.00am in San Francisco. Except when it isn’t, which is usually for two or three weeks each spring and one week each autumn.

Both places move forward an hour each spring and back an hour each autumn (spring forward, fall back). Even if both places did that on the same day each year you would still need to know about it, because the shift would take place at different times in each place. We would still be out of synch, but only for a maximum of eight hours instead of days or weeks.

If you want to know what time it is in Second Life at this moment

In Windows 11 go to Settings, then Time & Language and then Date & Time. Go to Related Settings and then Additional clocks for different time zones. Look for Pacific Time and call it something like “Second Life”.

Settings, Time & Language, Date & Time, Add clocks for different time zones.Thereafter, when you hover over the clock in the task bar, you will see local time and Pacific time.

If you need to plan ahead, read on

SPRING
In spring, the USA tends to adopt Daylight Saving Time (DST) a couple of weeks before the UK moves to British Summer Time (BST). So, during the interval, if you’re in the UK and you’re attending an event in Second Life, you have to show up an hour EARLIER, because, for a couple (or three) weeks the time zone difference between the two places is seven hours.

In the year 2024
Pacific Daylight Time goes to Daylight Saving Time on Sunday 10th March
Greenwich Mean Time goes to British Summer Time on Sunday 31st March

In the year 2025
Pacific Daylight Time goes to Daylight Saving Time on Sunday 9th March
Greenwich Mean Time goes to British Summer Time on Sunday 30th March

AUTUMN (FALL)
In autumn the UK reverts to GMT a week or so before San Francisco goes back to PDT. During that interval, if you’re in the UK and you attend an event in Second Life, once again, you have to show up an hour EARLIER, because for that short period the time zone difference is again seven hours.

In the year 2024
British Summer Time goes to Greenwich Mean Time on Sunday 27th October
Daylight Saving Time goes to Pacific Daylight Time on Sunday 3rd November

In the year 2025
British Summer Time goes to Greenwich Mean Time on Sunday 26th October
Daylight Saving Time goes to Pacific Daylight Time on Sunday 2nd November

If the event is on the date when the USA changes, tread carefully (or cancel your plans and have a day off), because both the USA and UK change in either direction at 2.00am local time. Basically, as far as the UK is concerned, the changes in SL take place at 10.00am PDT on Sunday.