The distortion unit reaches its target destination by using very sensitive gravity sensors and atomic clocks. The basic unit of calculation is the second. So yes, in a sense you do “dial in” in a date and the computer system controls the distortion field. At maximum power, the unit I have is capable of traveling about 10 years an hour.

Unfortunately, time travel is not an exact science. There is inherent error and chaos in the computers ability to make accurate calculations. Based on the current technology of the clocks and sensors, distortion units are only accurate to about 60 years or so. So no, in 2036, we are unable to travel back 1000 years due to the error rate in the system. The divergence between the worldline of origin and the target worldline would be too great. If one were to try and travel back that far, history would look nothing like what you would expect.

The unit has mass limits but the 204 is capable of transporting about three people and equipment. I don’t think you would like 2036 very much.