Network News

X My Profile
View More Activity
Posted at 9:04 AM ET, 01/10/2011

PostPoints tip: Have your Mac pick your time zone

By Rob Pegoraro

If, like me, you'll be starting the new year with some travel, you don't have to change your computer's time zone at each stop if it's running the current release of Mac OS X. In Snow Leopard, the relatively minor upgrade Apple shipped in 2009, you can have the system shift time zones for you, based on nearby WiFi signals. Open the System Preferences app, click its Date & Time icon, click the Time Zone heading and then click the checkbox next to "Set time zone automatically using current location."

This little option will tell Mac OS X to consult a database of wireless access points to pin down your location--in most cases, correctly identifying not just my time zone but my city. (Then again, when I tried this in Denver International Airport it thought I was in Tokyo.) With this enabled--remember, it's off by default--you should never have to worry about confusing recipients by sending e-mails with a Pacific Standard Time stamp while you're sitting two time zones to the east. Now if only my digital camera could acquire a feature like this...

(About the "PostPoints tip" title: I archive each tip-of-the-week e-mail we send to PostPoints members under this blog's "Tips" category. An earlier version of today's item went out on Jan. 4; that overstated how much information OS X's time-zone interface displays about your location. I also revised the tip to reflect an unsatisfactory experience I had with this software on the way to CES.)

Speaking of CES, that yielded not one but two columns this weekend:

* On Saturday, I predicted much higher attendance at CES, judging from the crowds--and have since been proved right, as the Consumer Electronics Show now estimates that 140,000 people attended the show--and looked at a few trends on display on the floor.

* Sunday's column explored how CES has been both a showcase for what wireless technology can do and demonstrated how badly it can fail in a worst-case situation.

* In Help File, meanwhile, I evaluated some possible upgrade options for an older laptop and noted a source of confusion for beginners trying to uninstall a program in Windows.

By Rob Pegoraro  | January 10, 2011; 9:04 AM ET
Categories:  Tips  
Save & Share:  Send E-mail   Facebook   Twitter   Digg   Yahoo Buzz   StumbleUpon   Technorati   Google Buzz   Previous: CES 2011 wrap-up: What I didn't see
Next: Don't Panic: Facebook is not shutting down

No comments have been posted to this entry.

Post a Comment

We encourage users to analyze, comment on and even challenge's articles, blogs, reviews and multimedia features.

User reviews and comments that include profanity or personal attacks or other inappropriate comments or material will be removed from the site. Additionally, entries that are unsigned or contain "signatures" by someone other than the actual author will be removed. Finally, we will take steps to block users who violate any of our posting standards, terms of use or privacy policies or any other policies governing this site. Please review the full rules governing commentaries and discussions.

characters remaining

RSS Feed
Subscribe to The Post

© 2011 The Washington Post Company