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Adjust Australian timezones for Commonwealth Games System
Because of the Commonwealth Games (like the Olympics, but only for Commonwealth countries) being held in Melbourne in March of this year, all of the states in Australia that have Daylight Savings (or Summer Time as we call it down under) have changed their rules for this year only -- the switch back to normal time has been moved back one week from normal.

I have submitted a bug report to Apple (#4410596), but thought I would pass on my own fix to anyone to use, as this change will affect any iCal appointments you might schedule in advance of that week. Also of course during that week your system clock will be an hour out! The files that need to be updated are in the /usr/share/zoneinfo directory, and are in a common format that almost all unix boxes use these days.

The central source of this information is this website. From there, you can download the latest version of the data files (145KB download).

To update the Mac OS X zoneinfo files to the latest release (incidentally, this procedure will also work fine on a modern Linux box), you need to extract the contents of this file. The easiest way to do that is to double click it in the Finder. This will give you a directory called tzdata2005r which contains a bunch of files named for regions. The file we are interested in is named australasia. To update the zoneinfo files for australasia, we open up Terminal (in the Utilities folder inside the Applications folder). Type the following command in:
cd[press space bar]
Then drag and drop the tzdata2005r directory into Terminal, and the line should look something like this:
cd /Users/jtrott/Incoming/tzdata2005r/
Then press Return on the keyboard. The prompt should change to something like this:
dwarf17:~/Incoming/tzdata2005r jtrott$
Then run the following command to update the zoneinfo database (enter your login password at the Password prompt):
sudo zic australasia
Then it should return to the normal prompt with no error messages or output. To check that the update has worked, run the following command:
zdump -v /etc/localtime | grep 2006
If you are in NSW or Victoria you should get the following output:
/etc/localtime  Sat Apr  1 15:59:59 2006 UTC = Sun Apr  2 02:59:59 2006 EST isdst=1
/etc/localtime  Sat Apr  1 16:00:00 2006 UTC = Sun Apr  2 02:00:00 2006 EST isdst=0
/etc/localtime  Sat Oct 28 15:59:59 2006 UTC = Sun Oct 29 01:59:59 2006 EST isdst=0
/etc/localtime  Sat Oct 28 16:00:00 2006 UTC = Sun Oct 29 03:00:00 2006 EST isdst=1
Notice that the first two lines show a return from summer time in April, rather than March. Before you run this procedure, you should, of course, back up the following directories:
/usr/share/zoneinfo/Australia
/usr/share/zoneinfo/Pacific
This will give you a point to go back to, just in case Apple's official update (if they release one) doesn't work after this procedure.
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Adjust Australian timezones for Commonwealth Games | 10 comments | Create New Account
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It's Daylight "Saving" not "Savings"
Authored by: interlard on Jan 24, '06 09:00:50AM

Americans get confused between their bank's savings account and Daylight Saving time.

Nobody says "a life-savings operation". At least not yet. And when they do, I'll be there to correct them.

With interest.



[ Reply to This | # ]
Adjust Australian timezones for Commonwealth Games
Authored by: whytoi on Jan 24, '06 11:20:34AM

49 days to go. I wonder if there'll be an OS update to fix this issue before then?



[ Reply to This | # ]
Adjust Australian timezones for Commonwealth Games
Authored by: jtrott on Jan 25, '06 04:16:37AM

I got a reply from apple regarding my bug report to say that it was a duplicate. Hopefully enough people have submitted bug reports that it will be fixed.
Even Microsoft have issued a patch, although their patch introduces all these additional timezones, Sydney (Commonwealth Games), being an example.



[ Reply to This | # ]
Adjust Australian timezones for Commonwealth Games
Authored by: blgrace on Jan 24, '06 04:04:32PM

Time zone hasn't been updated for A.C.T



[ Reply to This | # ]
Adjust Australian timezones for Commonwealth Games
Authored by: jtrott on Jan 25, '06 04:12:48AM
There isn't actually any information in the official zoneinfo files relating to Canberra, or the ACT. You could add it in if you like, search for
# New South Wales
in the australasia file. Scroll down until you see the following lines:
Zone Australia/Sydney	10:04:52 -	LMT	1895 Feb
			10:00	Aus	EST	1971
			10:00	AN	EST
Duplicate those lines so it looks like this:
Zone Australia/Sydney	10:04:52 -	LMT	1895 Feb
			10:00	Aus	EST	1971
			10:00	AN	EST
Zone Australia/Sydney	10:04:52 -	LMT	1895 Feb
			10:00	Aus	EST	1971
			10:00	AN	EST
Then edit the lines so it looks like this:
Zone Australia/Sydney	10:04:52 -	LMT	1895 Feb
			10:00	Aus	EST	1971
			10:00	AN	EST
Zone Australia/Canberra	10:04:52 -	LMT	1895 Feb
			10:00	Aus	EST	1971
			10:00	AN	EST
Then when you compile the australasia file it will update the timezone for Canberra. The same procedure can be used to update the ACT timezone as well.

[ Reply to This | # ]
Adjust Australian timezones for Commonwealth Games
Authored by: blgrace on Jan 27, '06 03:56:47PM

file updated and now properly sets ACT



[ Reply to This | # ]
Fixed in 10.4.5
Authored by: jtrott on Feb 15, '06 03:43:10AM

This fix is no longer required as 10.4.5 includes updates for the timezone files.



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fixed in 10.4.5
Authored by: moritzh on Feb 18, '06 02:23:39PM

From http://docs.info.apple.com/article.html?artnum=303179:
"Updated the rules for time zones and Daylight Savings Time to conform to changes in the law for the United States, Australia, and other locations, for 2006 and later."



[ Reply to This | # ]
Adjust Australian timezones for Commonwealth Games
Authored by: oddsocks on Mar 26, '06 04:42:43AM

I used your method to update my /etc/localtime and now (Sunday 29 April) BSD-only stuff such as "date" is correctly in summer time, but Cocoa programs like the Finder and Apple Mail have incorrectly transitioned to summer. Weirdly, the analogue clock in System Preferences is correct. Obviously Cocoa has the old /etc/localtime cached somewhere.

BTW, you forgot the leap seconds database, but that's not important now.



[ Reply to This | # ]
Adjust Australian timezones for Commonwealth Games
Authored by: oddsocks on Mar 26, '06 04:55:35AM

I meant "incorrectly transitioned to winter".



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