My phones, watch, mp3 player, wall clocks and bedside alarm clock all keep near perfect time (+-1 minute a month) with little or no brain.
Computers, with their comparatively limitless power seem unable to maintain anything even vaguely resembling accurate time without connecting to an atomic clock on a daily basis (It's not uncommon for my desktop PC to lose 10 minutes when left switched on overnight).
Why are computers so bad at keeping time, and why does no-one improve them?
posted by twine42
on Aug 6, 2008 -
I'd like to build a clock that makes shifting to daylight savings time unnecessary by instead gaining or losing a bit of time each day as appropriate for the season so that when the second Sunday in March and first Sunday in November roll around it's already in sync. Setting aside the logistics of making this work from a societial point of view, how would you do it technically? Something like leap seconds or leap minutes? Or smaller changes on a more constant interval? [more inside]
posted by Jeff Howard
on Aug 31, 2007 -
On the Budapest Metro there are signs hanging from the ceiling that show train times - they have analogue clocks at one end and, at the other end, a digital display counting upwards, apparently in minutes. They're not minutes past the hour and they're not minutes since the last train arrived, so what the devil are they for?
posted by jack_mo
on Apr 20, 2005 -
Why are computer clocks so BAD? I know about time sync programs, but why should I need one? Why can I get a watch in a Happy Meal that's only off by a second a year, but the clock in my fancy Pentium IV desktop loses a minute a week?
posted by bradhill
on Dec 14, 2004 -
Somewhat related to grumblebee's question below but not really: I have an uncanny sense of time. I never wake up to an alarm because I spontaneously wake up a minute or two before it goes off and reach out and shut it off. Also, If asked to guess the time after not having looked at a clock for a day, I am usually within 10 minutes or so. Firstly, what exactly is the "internal clock" and how does it differ among people? Secondly, is my behavior typical or is it at an extreme?
posted by vacapinta
on Nov 24, 2004 -
World clocks. I am trying to put together a clock application and can't work out how to discern the actual time is in each city. The time zone part is easy, but a great many countries (most?) use seasonal time adjustments. I have an online world clock on my screen and a physical one hanging above my head. How do they work?
posted by elliot100
on Feb 10, 2004 -