This is Montgomery County's shining hour.

While the other related Journal papers in Prince George's County and Virginia were turning back the hands of time on the traditional analog clock, The Montgomery County Journal chose to flash its front-page daylight saving time reminder in yesterday's editions in a digital display of high-tech electronics.

"We just thought it was more in line with the times," said Ed Miller, managing editor of the paper. "It's more progressive. It suits the style of the county."

"We haven't gotten any reaction yet," Miller said, chuckling, "but we'll be happy to offer our version to the others next spring," when the time changes again.

Despite the implicit technological challenge, few area politicians wanted to play Beat the Clock.

"We're keeping up as best we can," said Arthur (Bud) Marshall, Prince George's County prosecutor. A more truculent Montgomery observer muttered, off the record: "We have seen the future, and it ticks."

But in Fairfax County, where politicians spent years struggling to get funding for the cherished Center for Innovative Technology, the reaction was a little drier:

"Rumor has it," said County Executive J. Hamilton Lambert, "they bought the clock in Fairfax."