[R] system time is 5 hours off in Windows

Setzer.Woodrow@epamail.epa.gov Setzer.Woodrow at epamail.epa.gov
Wed Jan 24 15:03:19 CET 2001

Look, your time is valuable (to yourself and the rest of the R community).
It is not difficult to set TZ in the environment to a POSIX acceptable
value, and it should not be so difficult to add some documentation to the
effect that, if date() gives wrong answers, TZ needs to be set on Windows.
It looks like this problem will not effect very many people.
By the way, no I do not have Win98SE.  Our IT people offered to upgrade me,
but so far, this is the only problem I've encountered (other than the usual
rebooting once a day or so, which I expect to always have to do when
running Windows 9x and descendents), and, "if it ain't broke, don't fix
it".  Thanks for your efforts.

R. Woodrow Setzer, Jr.                                            Phone:
(919) 541-0128
Experimental Toxicology Division                       Fax:  (919) 541-5394
Pharmacokinetics Branch

                    Prof Brian                                                                                  
                    Ripley               To:     Woodrow Setzer/RTP/USEPA/US at EPA                                
                    <ripley at stats        cc:     r-help at hypatia.math.ethz.ch                                    
                    .ox.ac.uk>           Subject:     Re: [R] system time is 5 hours off in Windows             
                    07:34 AM                                                                                    

On Tue, 23 Jan 2001 Setzer.Woodrow at epamail.epa.gov wrote:

> I think I understand what is happening with my system time problem
> not why, exactly).  The problem is not in R, but, apparently, in an
> interaction between my version of msvcrt.dll (version 6.10.8637.0) and
> implementations of the POSIX time functions in mingw32.  At the end of
> message is a little c program and batch file that demonstrate the

No problem on my NT4 laptop (no surprise) nor on my Win98 Vaio
mini-notebook (which has msvcrt.dll version 6.00.8397.0).  Do you have

I am looking for a workaround ....

Writing the original datetime code on Solaris was easy.  I read the docs,
programmed it up, it worked.  Then I tried Linux, and spent longer wroking
arounds its bugs.  Then I tried Windows, and spent as long again
working around its bugs ....   Since release several more bugs have
emerged under various OSes.

I now wish I had ignored the OS altogether, but writing time-zone
handling is a *very* messy task.


Brian D. Ripley,                  ripley at stats.ox.ac.uk
Professor of Applied Statistics,  http://www.stats.ox.ac.uk/~ripley/
University of Oxford,             Tel:  +44 1865 272861 (self)
1 South Parks Road,                     +44 1865 272860 (secr)
Oxford OX1 3TG, UK                Fax:  +44 1865 272595

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