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"appropriate" system time / timezone settings



(You can skip the preamble and just read the last sentence/question if you're 
short on time.)

I had thought that the standard way to set up a linux system was to set the 
system time to the UTC (or Greenwich mean time or whatever) and set the 
appropriate TZ variable.

I just realized that my system is not set like that. Or at least it does not 
appear to be.

I was setting up a GPG key on my girlfriend's computer (in the same house) and 
emailed a bit back and forth. She noted that my messages were coming through 
to her as being sent 4 hrs earlier than the current time. Then I couldn't 
import her GPG key because GPG said it was created about 4 hrs in the future 
(from my system's perspective).

Now, I realized that my system is in AST, which is -0400 from UTC or Greenwich 
(which is it anyway?) so that explained that. I set my time clock to be UTC, 
then selected the Show Timezone->America/Halifax setting from the clock 
applet in my KDE launchbar but...

As you'll see from this email, my emails are now being reported as having been 
sent at 5something am (currently). Indeed, viewing the headers of my emails 
to myself shows:

Date: Tue, 7 Dec 2004 05:31:25 +0000

This should be:

Date: Tue, 7 Dec 2004 05:31:25 -0400
or would that be:
Date: Tue, 7 Dec 2004 01:31:25 -0400
?

Anyway, KMail has no way to set the TZ variable that I can find, and I'm sure 
it's supposed to be system-wide anyway.

Any suggestions about where/what I'm missing? Where can I set the TZ variable 
(or whatever it's called)?

-- 
Trevor Smith | trevor haligonian com
public key   | http://www.haligonian.com/pgp/

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