On Computers


Gail Allinson, gail@oncomputers.info

12 October 2003

Your browser doen't suport Java so you can't see this nifty clock :-) This week we are covering a very broad subject and admittedly not going into very great depth with it.  But we are providing lots of links and resources to enable you to explore those areas of this subject that interest you most.

We are not even going into the great questions of what time is.  We will leave that to to the philosophers to debate and the physicists to define. We will give some great tools for your computer as well as some fun clocks for your Web pages.

A special thanks goes out to Gari (JavaBeanz) for e-mailing with some of his favorite time links when he found out that we were covering this subject.

Measuring Time

The measure of time is part of the Metric System which is also known as the SI. The basic unit of time is the second. The second is defined as:

"The second is the duration of 9 192 631 770 periods of the radiation corresponding to the transition between the two hyperfine levels of the ground state of the caesium 133 atom."

You can learn more about it here: BIPM - second

Time Keepers

There are many time keepers around the world.  Here are just a few:

Network Time

Time Synchronization Software and/or Methods

Time Synchronization in Windows XP

You probably already know that Windows XP has built in Time synchronization.  The built in synchronization interval is a week, but that can be changed. MS-MVP Doug Knox provides a nifty little utility that will allow you to change the time sync interval in Windows XP.

Change Internet Time Sync Interval

Did you know that you can add time servers to the drop down "Server:" listing?  Just type it in.  In this case I added an NIST server in Cupertino, CA.  Be sure when you choose a time server that it is open.  It is best to choose a server that is geographically close to you if possible. Unless you are having problems, there is no reason not to use the Windows default (time.windows.com -- at least that's the US default). 

Windows XP Date and Time Properties

PCWorld.com - Is Microsoft's Time Warped (this is an older article about a problem that no longer exists, but it gives some insights into Windows XP time keeping.)

Clocks and more Clocks

My all-time favorite computer clock program, GeoClock, provides no synchronization but is a beautiful DOS or Windows based geochron display. It gets its time information from your computer clock and takes it from there.  This is shareware, but I invested in GeoClock in 1995 and have never regretted spending the money. I have tried it using Wine and Linux and it did work the last time I checked. Of course there are clock programs available for Linux, but I've never found one quite like GeoClock.

Horology links:

Want to spice up your Web site?  Try one of these:

And now we are out of time...



© 2003 Gail Allinson

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