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Do You Have The Time?

timothy posted more than 12 years ago | from the what's-the-time-mister-wolf dept.

News 451

RetroGeek writes: "This ZDNet article talks about the perils of the PC clock. And (something I did not know) that Windows XP and Mac OS X both automatically get a time stamp from MicroSoft and Apple respectively. At any rate, my home firewall gets the time every hour from the NIST servers, then each of the machines on my LAN query the time server daemon on the firewall. That way all my home network machines have the same time. And latency on the LAN is next to zero. Now if I can only get my VCR connected. Anyone else running a time server?" So how do you get the time?

Sorry! There are no comments related to the filter you selected.

It's 4:05 (-1, Offtopic)

Pr0n K1ng (160688) | more than 12 years ago | (#3823966)

Time of the FIRST POST!

Get it in you!

muslims can only murder women and children (-1, Flamebait)

ringbarer (545020) | more than 12 years ago | (#3824026)

The thought of actively shooting a man in the face terrifies them. That's the creatures we're dealing with here. They get sexually aroused when touching their own children. It says so in the koran.

Re:muslims can only murder women and children (-1)

handybundler (232934) | more than 12 years ago | (#3824073)

so Little time []
so much to do
what does it all mean

time? (-1)

Cryptopotamus (460702) | more than 12 years ago | (#3823967)

I get my time from the sun. dorks.

Moderation is like child abuse for the mind (-1, Offtopic)

ringbarer (545020) | more than 12 years ago | (#3824034)

Reposting again. Managed to get up to 50 Karma, posted ONE pro-Troll message, and got mod-bombed. This diatribe was truer than I thought. CLiT, I shall be honored if you accept me as a member!

Visitors to the website [] will by now have surely heard of the act of Moderation. This is where a contributor's post can be 'Moderated' either positively or negatively, depending on how the Moderator perceives the value of the post. There is a sliding scale of total moderation points, from -1 to 5, along with snappy summaries of the reason for moderation, such as "Funny", "Insightful", or the ever popular "Troll". An additional benefit offered to Moderators is the ability to ban a poster from contributing, by negatively moderating enough of his postings in a 24 hour period.

In order to retain some level of fairness for the Slashdot population, the Slashdot Editors (adopting the role of 'Benevolent Dictators') have implemented a scheme whereby regular users of Slashdot, chosen essentially at random, are given the ability to act as Moderators.

This underlines an inherent flaw in the system. Psychological studies have shown that in any community, no matter how small, should a random sampling of people be given the slightest grasp of power, they will immediately abuse it. There is a primal, evolutionary desire in Man to place himself higher than his peers by whatever measurement they can muster. Slashdot Moderation provides the ideal means for which a man can prove himself more equal than others.

At the risk of invoking Godwin's Law at such an early point in my thesis, I have no choice but to compare Slashdot Moderation to the systematic genocide of the Jewish community in 1930's Germany.

A bold statement, I admit, and deliberately designed to shock, but I feel the statement is necessary. I shall now offer a more rational explanation, as well as a comparison of the parallels between Slashdot Culture, and the National Socialist regime.

First, some history. National Socialism did not spring up overnight. It grew from a feeling of national bitterness and resentment at the war reparations Germany was forced to make after World War One. Germany was a broken country, populated by desperate starving people. And to the desperate, an extreme ideology begins to seem like a rational choice.

The advent of new technology forces a paradigm shift in the way the beholders of that technology think. The Christianity Meme was made wide spread by the invention of the Gutenberg press. And the rise of National Socialism was made popular because of the invention of Cinema. Here we had a new means to control the flow of information to the populace, that they are willing to unquestioningly listen to due to the 'novelty factor' of moving pictures. It is no coincidence that some of the best Cinematography of the early 20th Century came out of the National Socialist propaganda machine.

Why is this the case? It is yet another fault of man that a new means of distributing memes is perceived, due to the 'newness' of the medium, to have a greater 'validity' than older media. Those harnessing new inventions have the power to win control of the hearts and minds of others.

With the tools in place, who should the National Socialists target? Clearly, as a counterpoint to Man's desire to hold power over others, there is also a desire to resent the success of others. If someone is successful, they reduce the self-worth of their beholders. Although times were harsh in Germany in the prelude to World War II, there were still successful inhabitants of that country. Possessing shrewd business acumen as well as the contacts in other countries needed to maintain support in such a poverty stricken and broken land, who else should deserve the wrath of the populace more than the Jews?

Fast-forward to the latter quarter of the 20th Century. Computing technology is focused in niche markets, and limited to big successful companies like IBM and Microsoft. As the markets were limited, there were also limited opportunities for employment. This gave rise to a rising number of college dropouts, seething with resentment and unable to relate to society beyond the staccato clatter of keyboards and the pallid green glow of an 80x24 text display, and lacking the basic business skills (and a smart suit) needed to secure employment at one of these companies.

At this time, a new invention was beginning to take hold in College campuses throughout the world. The Internet. As with the Gutenberg press and Cinema beforehand, this new technology would grow to spread one of the most virulent memes of the modern age - Open Source Software, created as the antithesis of successful business practise.

So, the parallels between the birth of Anti-Semetic National Socialism and the birth of Open Source Software have been made. Of course, it is easy to claim that A=B without providing further logical evidence in support. So, the next task of my thesis is to provide further parallels, and bring this discourse back to the initial focus on Slashdot Moderation.

Slashdot was conceived, in it's original 'Chips 'n' Dips' incarnation, as a vehemently anti-corporate Open Source website. Roughly 10-15 years down the line from the birth of Open Source, it has become saturated with propaganda, and now forms the centrepiece of the Open Source Development Network. An authority in it's field, Slashdot's success is in no small part due to the ability of the editors to 'pick and choose' valid news articles submitted by users, and present the same old tired "Open Source Good / Closed Source Bad" rhetoric time and time again, dabbling with anti-copyright and the right of the 'common man' to remove an artist's ability to gain compensation for the work. In essence, this is similar to the 'paring down' of artistic worth in 1930's Germany. If no-one is willing to contribute valid and vibrant art to the community, then all art shall become harsh and functional, possessing a certain intimidating aesthetic.

Which leads onto Open Source's shining achievement - Linux. This diatribe is not aimed towards Linux in particular, as it is a well-oiled, well-tuned machine. A technically adept Operating System, it is worthy of admiration by any rational man. The point of this thesis is not to attack the art produced by Open Source coders, which in itself is worthy, but to enlighten all as to the political processes behind the OSS movement.

By the same scale, it is hard to fault Mercedes for the technical excellence of the vehicles which were used by the National Socialist party. But the politics behind the party are what taint the image of Mercedes' vehicles of the era. The Swastika itself is a benign symbol, found this day in such diverse locations as Pokemon cards, but is permanently tainted with the history of the acts made under its auspice. In the same way, companies switching to Open Source solutions will begin to regard the Penguin with the same trepidation as their profits fall.

It should be worth noting at this point that IBM, previously one of the world's greatest companies, has begun reporting servere financial losses, no doubt due to its adoption of Open Source practises. This epoch-making event was NOT reported on Slashdot, even though articles were submitted.

And what of the other great company mentioned above? Microsoft, aka Micro$oft, Mickeysoft, Microshaft, Kro$oft, and many other derogatory and undeserved names. Throughout the previous 25 years, Microsoft has grown from strength to strength, again possessing shrewd business acumen as well as providing products that people want. This makes them the number one target for the OSS movement. Incapable of standing by their own merits, the OSS zealot would rather attack Microsoft as a priority than produce anything of worth for their community.

Slashdot Moderators, crazed with their limited new-found power, exhibit this behavior. It is a sad state of affairs that the majority of article moderations are negative. Where is the positive feedback and sense of social contribution? Nowhere to be found. Moderators are too focused on putting their peers down to make themselves appear superior, rather than doing the hard work and becoming better on their own terms.

As the National Socialists required a scapegoat, Slashdot Moderators require a constant stream of Postings to label '-1, Inferior'. Once a posting is reduced to the score of -1, it becomes invisible to the casual user. Again, this is a parallel to the Ghettoization of Germany upon the election of Hitler.

In essence this would not be so bad, were postings to be evaluated on their own terms. However, alongside the moderation of their postings, each user has a 'Karma' value, namely the sum of their worth to the Slashdot community. As a user's posts are moderated up or down, so their Karma fluctuates. As Karma becomes negative, a user's default posting score is reduced, until they are posting at a default of -1. Again, ghettoizing PEOPLE, not just their opinions.

This ghettoization is reinforced with the often fake belief that a negatively moderated post, and therefore the poster, is a "Troll". (Is it any wonder that such a name has been chosen to describe these people, invoking mental imagery of facial disfigurement and hooked noses?) As the Jews were accused of fraud, dishonesty and being subhuman animals, so too are Trolls accused of FUD, Crapflooding, and obfuscated links. Quite often, these 'undesirables' are capable of providing a valid insightful comment on a topic, but because it is in opposition to the Political dogma of Slashdot they are moderated back into their ghetto. The person becomes moderated, not their opinion.

This is just the thin end of the wedge. Although, as memes are transient, it is difficult to silence an opinion, it is trivial to silence a person. Upon the rise of National Socialism in Germany, the populace were motivated by propaganda into entering the Jewish Ghettos en masse with the sole purpose of causing as much damage as possible to Jewish businesses and residences. The infamous Krystalnacht. This parallels far too accurately with the Slashdot Editor's non-discouragement of the act of IP-banning. As mentioned above, this occurs when an individual user's postings are repeatedly moderated down in a short period. They then become incapable of posting any contributions themselves. In essence, they have been silenced, regardless of the worth of their postings.

Of course, the editors claim that Meta-Moderation is the panacea to solve this clear abuse of moderating privledge. But if a Meta Moderator is presented with a list of moderations that they disagree with, such as this targetted 'silencing' mentioned above, they cannot note them as such without in turn becoming an 'Undesirable' themselves, as too many Disagreements with the Moderation groupthink also result in loss of Karma.

Throughout all of this, the Editors have claimed a false level of detachment from the acts of moderation. In a same way, as the National Socialists gathered their power and began working on their Elite Political wing, The SS, they too remained detached from the civilians working in their name. Why? Because after inspiring the populace to such acts of violence through their propaganda, they could then claim that they were only giving the people what they want.

And then began the next stage of the atrocities. The Gestapo, Germany's secret police, were recruited from the best and the brightest of Germany's elite. As is the case now, the best and the brightest of society were often shunned and ostracized in society. In essence, the Gestapo were a tightly controlled 'Geek Army' of intelligent young men with a burning, seething resentment of normal society. The perfect psychological profile for the cause.

After all, give a normal man (with an active sex life) a gun and he will use it responsibly in self defence. Give a geek a gun and he will behave according to his sociopathic logic and hatred of the world he arrogantly presumes to be distant from. Ask yourself why Slashdot flat-out justified the murder of innocents at Columbine. And then ask yourself why, even for a brief moment, you almost began to sympathize with the killers after Jon Katz' manipulative and pseudo-emotive Hellmouth articles.

How this relates to Slashdot is clear. The majority of Slashdot posters are Sociopathic OSS zealots, unable through lack of social finesse or personal hygiene to mate regularly. Sexually and emotionally frustrated and with grudges to bear, incapable in their blinkered sense of self-righteousness of accepting any dissenting opinion than the OSS cause. Now give these people the opportunity to Moderate these dissenting opinions. Of course they are going to want to silence them, by any means necessary.

Now, the Slashdot Editors have admitted taking this silence of opinion into the next stage, by moderating whole swathes of 'undesirable' posts negatively. And then permanently banning anyone who moderates said posts back up from moderating EVER again! The result of this new policy? The few Moderators with any sense of fairness and decency are removed from the moderation pool, leaving the power ENTIRELY in the hands of the zealots. Clearly, positive moderation is discouraged under this regime, which is a direct parallel with the way the National Socialists moved their own sympathisers into positions of power throughout Europe.

So how does this compare to the genocide performed in Auschwitz and their ilk? I would like at this point to explain that in NO way do I wish to belittle the horrors that were performed in the name of National Socialism. The six million innocents killed were a cry of anguish from which humanity may never recover. And a vast distance in time and scope from a few banned posters on some shitty "My Favourite Links - now with comments" website. But these stories need to be retold before the horror is lost forever.

For the only thing that we learn from history is that we never learn anything from history. Time and time again, the St. Vitus dance is played out, we make the same mistakes, and we perpetually fail to see the warning signs.

So, moderators, the next time you moderate a rational, insightful post down, maybe because you disagree with it or because it's posted by a 'Known Troll', just ask yourself this...

"Am I really contributing to the Slashdot Community, or selfishly destroying it?"

+5 Insightful (-1)

Bitter Old Man (572131) | more than 12 years ago | (#3824053)


What about (1)

wastedbrains (588579) | more than 12 years ago | (#3823969)

What about older windows machine when most people didn't have the net? I assume then that it didn't get a timestamp from microsoft. When did they change this over cause my old windows 98 machine always got the time wrong.

Re:What about (0)

bobtheprophet (587843) | more than 12 years ago | (#3824003)

Older machines had no way of synchronizing time with a more accurate clock. I have an old 486 with windows 3.1, and the only source for time is the computer's internal clock. This is a problem since when the battery dies, the clock stops working. Back in the day, if you wanted to change the time, you had to change it manually with some other clock as a reference.

[SC0RE: -1, Microserf] (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 12 years ago | (#3824084)

It was introduced in XP because the 95, 98, ME were too high in latency.

Demension 4 (2, Informative)

MrP- (45616) | more than 12 years ago | (#3824086)

Check out Dimension 4 for win9x, a free little utility that runs in the tray (or totally hidden) and updates the time at whatever interval you set, it has lots of options and lots of built in server. I like it better than the WinXP one. WindowsXP time update seems slow so I wonder if it's accurate, when I click "Update Now!", it usually takes 20 seconds before it says the time was synchronized. In D4 it's instant.

You can get it at []

Re:Demension 4 (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 12 years ago | (#3824126)

I've been using Dimension 4 for years. It works fine for me, athough the program is so old now that many of the atomic clocks listed in the program no longer work. There are still plenty of available ones in my state though, so it's no big deal.

I also recently made the so-called upgrade from win 95 to 98(since microshaft no longer gives phone support for win 95 and many programs no longer support it. I got the upgrade free with the computer, but never installed it until recently,) and Dimension 4 still works fine even though it says it is only for Win 95 and NT 4.0

VCRs and time (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 12 years ago | (#3823971)

There are VCRs on the market now (have been for the past few years) that will set their own time (either radio based, or based on signals from TV stations).

As for my PC, I use

getting the time (1, Informative)

dev_sda (533180) | more than 12 years ago | (#3823972)

I use cron scripts and rdate to distribute my time syncronization.

Now if there was just a way to get a cron script that could sync the time on my phone.

Re:getting the time (1, Informative)

Spacelord (27899) | more than 12 years ago | (#3824027)

Yup I do that too ... one server on the network gets the time through rdate from a public internet timeserver. All my other unix servers sync to this server every hour or so through cron.

I also run samba on this server so I can let Windows workstations and servers get the time with the "net time" command. To automate this I put "net time \\server /set /y" in the logon scripts of the Windows workstations.

This setup works just fine if you only require the accuracy to be in the order of a few seconds and it is much simpler to setup than NTP.

ntpdate [server] in crontab... (1)

swright (202401) | more than 12 years ago | (#3823974)

First thing I do with a box is stick that in crontab. Run it once every day or two and job done. No real need for a local time server and LAN boxes synching from that; bandwidth usage is negligible and there are enough time servers for load not to be a problem.

Re:ntpdate [server] in crontab... (5, Informative)

Dr. Ion (169741) | more than 12 years ago | (#3824008)

Consider running a proper NTP daemon instead.

It has the advantage of not jerking your clock around every time you sync. It makes calculated "smooth" adjustments to keep your clock accurate. It can also use multiple servers.

It's the difference between a perfectly-ticking clock, and one that gets manually reset twice a day to make it (temporarily) accurate.

The biggest impact this will have is if you do file access across the network or need your timestamps to be reliable. Depending on how much your clock drifts, that ntpdate adjustment could back up several seconds. This can wreck havok on timestamp-dependent things, like "make".

Most ntpd distributions make this easier to set up than a crontab entry anyway. :)

Re:ntpdate [server] in crontab... (2)

renehollan (138013) | more than 12 years ago | (#3824116)

I second this. I have a 24x7 DSL connection on a firewalled and NATted static IP address, and connect to a not-too-far NTP server (the owner of which is nice enough to let anyone connect for only the asking of permission).

That takes care of one PC, and therefore all PCs.

My VCR gets time from a broadcast stream, and my satellite receiver from the satellite. (I always thought satellite receivers should have built-in NTP servers and ethernet ports for, among other things, program guides, but I digress).

Now, the microwave and oven clocks, as well as my alarm clock, are dumb in this regard.

Re:ntpdate [server] in crontab... (2)

rodgerd (402) | more than 12 years ago | (#3824104)

Actually, that's not always too polite. The public servers are all pretty much heavily loaded (even down to strata 2), so I hope you're syncing off a time server on your ISP.

How do I get the time? (5, Funny)

Ethelred Unraed (32954) | more than 12 years ago | (#3823975)

I look at a clock. Or maybe my (wind-up) wristwatch.

Sheesh. Geeks. If it ain't digital, it ain't.


Ethelred []

Re:How do I get the time? (2)

Bagheera (71311) | more than 12 years ago | (#3824062)

I look at the display on my dash, wrist, cell, or whatever happens to be available in line of sight. For my organic needs, "accurate within a few minutes" is accurate enough.

For my LAN, I have two machines running ntpd, getting their sync from two different sets of time servers. The other machines on the LAN sync to the two local time servers.

My digital needs require better than "within a few minutes" accuracy.

Re:How do I get the time? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 12 years ago | (#3824066)

Not "time" but the time. Big difference, smart ass.

Microsecond accuracy for $25 (5, Interesting)

shoppa (464619) | more than 12 years ago | (#3823976)

  1. Roofmounted Trimble SVeeSix-CM3 GPS receiver with microsecond-accurate pulse-per-second output: $24.95 [] .
  2. Network Time Protocol synchronization software: Free []

Re:Microsecond accuracy for $25 (5, Funny)

ceejayoz (567949) | more than 12 years ago | (#3824038)

3. Having the correct time, always: Priceless [] .

Re:Microsecond accuracy for $25 (2)

mizhi (186984) | more than 12 years ago | (#3824095)

That's probably alot better than the roofmounted sun-dial and array of lightsensors that I have.

Watching someone trying to get it to work: (1)

new_breed (569862) | more than 12 years ago | (#3824107)


muslim sissies (-1, Offtopic)

Anonymous Coward | more than 12 years ago | (#3823977)

man all you could pull off was a little 3 death shooting?

come on that's crap...

LA and New York have more shootings than that before breakfast.

That's supposed to be scary? Come on that's pathetic.

What are you guys one hit wonders?

Pshhh, what a bunch of weeners.

Oh well i guess you can't expect much from a bunch of backwards religious zealots...

oh well.

And they could only kill women as well! (-1, Offtopic)

ringbarer (545020) | more than 12 years ago | (#3823985)

Persistance Of Time (1990)
Got The Time

Wake up, got another day to get,
Through now, got another man to see
Gotta call him on the telephone ay o
Gotta find a piece of paper
Sit down, got another letter to write,
Think hard, gotta get a letter just right
Little ringin' on the telephone oh no,
Gotta write another letter
No such thing as tomorrow
All we want
Two, three, go!
Time, got the time tick tick tickin' in my head
Time, got the time tick tick tickin' in my head
Time, got the time tick tick tickin' in my head
Tickin' in my head, tickin' in my head, tickin' in my head
If i, tell ya what i'm doing today
Will you, shut up and get out of my way
Someone ask me what the time is, i don't know
Only know i gotta go now
No time, tryin' ta get a watch repaired
No time, never got a thing to wear
Little ringin' on the telephone
Oh no, hear a ringin' in my head now
No such thing as tomorrow
All we want
Two, three, go!
Time, got the time tick tick tickin' in my head
Time, got the time tick tick tickin' in my head
Time, got the time tick tick tickin' in my head
Tickin' in my head, tickin' in my head, tickin' in my head
No such thing as tomorrow
All we want
Two, three, go!
Time, got the time tick tick tickin' in my head
Time, got the time tick tick tickin' in my head
Time, got the time tick tick tickin' in my head
Tickin' in my head, tickin' in my head
Tickin' in my head!

Ah, kids today... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 12 years ago | (#3824102)

FWIW, this was originally written and
recorded by Joe Jackson, from his
excellent album "Look Sharp."

Re:And they could only kill women as well! (0, Redundant)

ssklar (13970) | more than 12 years ago | (#3824118)

That song was written and performed by Joe Jackson; Anthrax covered it.

ntp/sntp (1, Interesting)

Anonymous Coward | more than 12 years ago | (#3823978)

Running ntpd on linux as an ntp server and automachron on windoze to keep their clock in sync.

IP spoofing target (4, Insightful)

RichMan (8097) | more than 12 years ago | (#3823981)

Ok, this is bad. A somewhat critical state of the OS is dependant on a blindly connected service. Please tell me the time server is authenticated fully and unbreakably. Hah.
Just wait for
1) MS to implement expirable licenses on all software
2) someone to break the authentication service
3) IP spoofing of the time server to a clock set 100 years in the future when everyones time based license has expired

The result is instant crippling of all MS licenses!

Re:IP spoofing target (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 12 years ago | (#3824051)

First, you can turn this service off. Second, there are a number of timeservers out there to choose from. Choose one you trust or set up your own.

Re:IP spoofing target (1)

Alanus (309106) | more than 12 years ago | (#3824065)

It's actually not that simple: XP doesn't sync the time if the date doesn't match.

Still the attack wouldn't be worth much: Just reset date & time in BIOS and disable the NTP update (or change the server)...

Re:IP spoofing target (5, Funny)

FearUncertaintyDoubt (578295) | more than 12 years ago | (#3824117)

You forgot:

4) ???
5) Profit

the benefits of accurate timekeeping (4, Informative)

lakeland (218447) | more than 12 years ago | (#3823982)

Personally I arbitarialy declare the firewall as having the same time and use cron to update everyone from that. Since latency between machines is almost equal, everybody is out by the same amount.

Before anybody thinks it is silly to keep clocks tightly synchronised, try running NFS without it and you'll run into no end of problems. Even as little as one second will cause errors with make. The key is that all clocks must read the same, not that they need to be correct.

Oh, and don't get fooled into thinking you can accurately synchronise against those atomic clocks. The algorithms they use to average results make a number of incorrect assumptions that will result in you being out by a small constant amount, about as much as if you'd synchronised off an ordinary clock.

Re:the benefits of accurate timekeeping (2, Informative)

swright (202401) | more than 12 years ago | (#3823998)

Since latency between machines is almost equal, everybody is out by the same amount.

NTP uses a nifty little algorithm to compensate for network latency. I forget the details but it makes little difference whether you sync from a LAN box or from one on the other side of the planet.

Re:the benefits of accurate timekeeping (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 12 years ago | (#3824009)

The network time protocol is not affected by high latency. Constant latency is all that is needed to synchronize the clocks.

School server time (2, Interesting)

agent oranje (169160) | more than 12 years ago | (#3823983)

At my school, a time server is set up to keep the computers on the network within a certain range of time. I believe the purpose of this is for security, as we can't renew our kerberos tickets if our time is more than X minutes from the server's specified time.

happy 4th of july to all my american friends (-1)

Anonymous Pancake (458864) | more than 12 years ago | (#3823984)

I'd like to wish a happy july 4th to the country that funds Israel's terrorism, created the DMCA, and generally wipes it's ass on the rest of the world.

Happy July 4th you filthy pig fuckers.

Re:happy 4th of july to all my american friends (-1, Offtopic)

ringbarer (545020) | more than 12 years ago | (#3823993)

Thank you very much! Everyone LOVES America.

Re:happy 4th of july to all my american friends (-1, Offtopic)

Anonymous Coward | more than 12 years ago | (#3824082)

"I'd like to wish a happy july 4th to the country that funds Israel's terrorism, created the DMCA, and generally wipes it's ass on the rest of the world.
Happy July 4th you filthy pig fuckers."

You mean terrorism? And its not the Israelis I'd call terrorist. Did you know that 1 in every 26,000 Israelis has been killed by a Pakistani suicide bomber?

around the clock (2, Insightful)

jean-guy69 (445459) | more than 12 years ago | (#3823988)

So how do you get the time?
using one of these [] ?

Time for my VCR (5, Interesting)

the eric conspiracy (20178) | more than 12 years ago | (#3823990)

Some VCRs including my JVC can get a time signal that is broadcasted by PBS stations via cable. It's wonderful to never have to set that puppy.Combined with ntp for my computers, and WWV for my stand alone clocks (so called 'atomic alarm clocks' I am down to one clock that I have to set - my wristwatch.

Re:Time for my VCR (5, Interesting)

Mr. Sketch (111112) | more than 12 years ago | (#3824017)

I am down to one clock that I have to set - my wristwatch.

Not if you had one of these [] .

In Windows? NetTime... (4, Informative)

krez (75916) | more than 12 years ago | (#3823991)

There's a nice open-source utility at Sourceforge ( that I use at work on my Windows machine.

I like it because it's simple, unobtrusive, and invisible once it's installed.

apple's time stamp (4, Informative)

Juanvaldes (544895) | more than 12 years ago | (#3823992)

Well, you can turn it off if you want...
System Pref's ->Date & Time -> Network Time

Win XP's time stamp (2, Informative)

NaDrew (561847) | more than 12 years ago | (#3824111)

You can turn off Win XP's time stamp easily too:

Control Panel -> Date and Time -> Internet Time -> [x] Automatically Synchronize With An Internet Time Server.

You can also have it use instead of the default (if you don't want your machine checking in with MS once a week).

Re:apple's time stamp (1, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 12 years ago | (#3824130)

Time sync in Mac OS X 10.1.5 is OFF by default. You can adjust how frequently it checks in the "Date & Time" preference pane. And, while it defaults to using, you can set it to use any server.

Simple (3, Informative)

Mr. Sketch (111112) | more than 12 years ago | (#3823995) [] .

I can even get the date too :)

Re:Simple (0)

bobtheprophet (587843) | more than 12 years ago | (#3824019)

Forget date and time, I want to know what year it is!

Re:Simple (2)

Mr. Sketch (111112) | more than 12 years ago | (#3824041)

Isn't that part of the date?

Actually from that site you can view calendars for various years. Only in the future though, no past calendars unfortunately.

Re:Simple (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 12 years ago | (#3824133)

No, but a kiss is.

Re:Simple (2, Funny)

thilmony (248711) | more than 12 years ago | (#3824025)

but can you get A date?

Re:Simple (1)

IgorMrBean (528387) | more than 12 years ago | (#3824059)

Maybe [] is better..... ;) check this out (4, Informative)

MavEtJu (241979) | more than 12 years ago | (#3824000)

Go to [] to get all your time-synchronisation questions answered.

Also for in- or near-Germany living people: [] . Wish I knew it was a german-specific service before I came to .au and found out that my DCF77 receiver didn't work here...

VCR Timers (2)

BlueFall (141123) | more than 12 years ago | (#3824005)

Some newer VCRs (and therefore probably DVD players) have this feature that allows them to set their time to a time signal on a certain channel, usually public television in the US. The station transmits the time via XDS (extended data services). Maybe you could set up something with a TV card on your time server...

oh dear... too... much... hacking... ;-)

NTP, ntpdate (1)

boa13 (548222) | more than 12 years ago | (#3824006)

I run ntpdate every odd hour to synchronize my system clock to five NTP servers in the Bay Area. Looking at the logs, it appears that my system clock usually gains 0.13 seconds between to updates.

Besides, once every month, I save the system clock to the hardware clock. Of course, this is because I don't reboot often. I would do it more often, even at every shutdown, if I was to reboot often.

And of course, I use my system time to update everything else, like my wristwatch, my alarmclock, etc. You can find a list of time servers in your area on this page [] . For more information about the Network Time Protocol, look there [] .

Me too (nothing in body) (0, Troll)

mborland (209597) | more than 12 years ago | (#3824056)

Me too.

ntp (1)

Malc (1751) | more than 12 years ago | (#3824007)

I run the ntpd on my Linux box behind my firewall. All my other machines and OS installations sychronise from there. E.g. under Win2K, check out the command "net help time" - I used "net time" to specify where Win2K sychronises.

Aint that just the way... (1)

DiscoBiscuit (585436) | more than 12 years ago | (#3824012)

I setup my first ntp server about three days ago... and am using Automachron to sync my PC's clock (which is needed, cos it loses a few minutes every day or so). People shouldn't automatically use though...the poor thing will get slashdotted. There are a ton of stratum-2 servers here. []

Re:Aint that just the way... (3, Informative)

rodgerd (402) | more than 12 years ago | (#3824110)

Even many of these are way too heavily loaded. Many ISPs run ntpd on some of their servers; point at them, instead.

Re:Aint that just the way... (3, Informative)

TeddyR (4176) | more than 12 years ago | (#3824127)

They dont even need to use srtatum 2 servers if they are on cable, or have a responsible isp.

Many isp's have an ntp server that they use for their own equipment. Ask them what they use.

Most Cisco routers with IOS 11.3 or higher (methinks...) can act as ntp servers for an end node.

Most cable providers "head end" equipment are also NTP servers. (Part of the DOCSIS standard requires that the cablemodems sync their clocks when they get their config files).

Most Linux/RH users can traceroute to somewhere... and then use ntptrace on each hop that traceroute shows to see if the device is an ntpserver.

Use the closest one that has the correct time.. [because unfortunately, some ISPs dont know how to properly/fully configure their equipment.]

The intelligent way (2, Redundant)

halftrack (454203) | more than 12 years ago | (#3824013)

Look at my left wrist, and see if it checks with my pc-clock. If not I set it - that is; the pc-clock.

Maintaining a medium-size net of clocks (5, Interesting)

angio (33504) | more than 12 years ago | (#3824014)

As part of the Resilient Overlay Networks [] project at MIT, I maintain a testbed of about 20 nodes, most of which have GPS-based time synchronization. We've started using a really fun little box from EndRun Technologies [] called the Praecis Ct. It gets GPS time that's being rebroadcast by cellular CDMA base stations. They provide accuracy to about 10 microseconds, and don't require a roof antenna -- anywhere you can get CDMA cellular service, you can use these things. They're kind of pricey (about $1k), but they're completely easy to use and set up. For more general information about NTP and things, see [] , which mtaintains a nice FAQ about things-ntp.

For a few of the european hosts, we use GPS time receivers, primarily the Motorolla Oncore UT+ kits. You can get eval units of these, google around. They're nearly as easy to use, but do require a kernel config change.

It's really kind of addictive playing with time. :-) And you get spoiled by never having any clock weirdness on any of your machines...

I found... (5, Interesting)

IanBevan (213109) | more than 12 years ago | (#3824016)

..that the Microsoft time server was 3 minutes slow ! This was about 2 weeks ago. I checked it against both another time server, and then the UK speaking clock (dial 123 in the UK) which is synchronised with Greenwich. As a result, I disabled the time synch (right click on the time in the system tray, Adjust Date Time, Internet tab, uncheck the box). I now use the time synchronisation feature that comes with the Dynip [] client.
Since the MS time synch is enabled by default, they really should make sure their server farm has the correct time :(

Is this an XP thing? (1)

the_skywise (189793) | more than 12 years ago | (#3824033)

I don't see an internet option on Win2K

Re:Is this an XP thing? (2)

ceejayoz (567949) | more than 12 years ago | (#3824055)

afaik it's only in XP... hasn't been in any Win2000 or WinME installations I've played with, but it's definitely in every WinXP installation I've seen.

I've no need for those damned atomic clocks! (1)

malen (200861) | more than 12 years ago | (#3824018)

"So how do you get the time?" Well, from my watch, which is calibrated to the sun dial out front.

Re:I've no need for those damned atomic clocks! (1)

Sloppy (14984) | more than 12 years ago | (#3824064)

Yeah, I used to do that, but then on cloudy days, make started giving me "clock skew detected" errors.

Stuff (1)

Reverend Raven (135361) | more than 12 years ago | (#3824024)

I have this nifty little sync program for Win9X boxes (2K doesn't work with it, and there's no plans for an update). It called into the USAC (Atomic Clock) hourly and synced my machines directly to time. It was a great little program, some from company with a name like "JediTech" or something similar. Now if I could only find a version (or similar program) that worked under 2K......

ntpd and k9 (2)

fava (513118) | more than 12 years ago | (#3824028)

I run ntpd on my firewall machine and set it to broadcast over the local network once a minute.

The local machines run a small (64k) utility called K9 which listens for the broadcast and sets the time accordingly. I found most time clients for windows were very large and much to bloated for what I wanted to do. K9 works perfectly. There is even source code available for your favorite flavour of *NIX

I have the time (2, Informative)

billsf (34378) | more than 12 years ago | (#3824032)

If you use UNIX, just set up ntpd. You are often
requested to inform the providers of stratum one
servers that you use them. Since most NTP
servers discriminate against end-user DSL and
cablemodem services, i offer a "stratum 2" service
for these people.

All told, all my friends have the time to a few
milli-seconds, a vast improvement over what the
local telco can offer.

As for Windoze, i know nothing, but believe
NTPD is somewhat functional.Time is very
important for UNIX and all secure services.

Coursey is a whinner... (4, Informative)

burnsy (563104) | more than 12 years ago | (#3824035)

UNFORTUNATELY, the clients in Windows and Mac OS aren't ideal. They share two problems: First, they may not synchronize often enough.

That Coursey sure is a whinner and clearly he does little research. I took me 15 seconnds to find this at Google.

To control the number of seconds to wait between attempts to synchronize the system clock to an time source on the Internet using the following Windows XP...

Key: SYSTEM\CurrentControlSet\Services\W32Time\TimeProv iders\NtpClient
Name: SpecialPollInterval
Value: #secondsdesired default

Re:Coursey is a whinner... (2)

ceejayoz (567949) | more than 12 years ago | (#3824061)

However, I suspect the time servers limit the number of requests from the same IP in a certain period of time, to avoid DoS attacks. So the point may still be valid...

Most cablemodem/DSL head-end routers have the time (5, Informative)

Dr. Ion (169741) | more than 12 years ago | (#3824039)

If you're on cable or DSL, most of the upstream routers run proper NTP servers, and they're just a hop away. The bandwidth for running an NTP client is minimal.

To find the nearest NTP server, to a traceroute to a few non-local hosts. Then start at your nearest router and ping each one for a time server using something like 'ntptrace'.

Near-perfect accuracy, just a trickle of data, and your provider will thank you for using nearby machinery.

getting the time? (1, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | more than 12 years ago | (#3824040)

a friend told me once that when you're outside sometimes you can ascertain the time of day just by looking up.

needless to say i laughed him off and went back to reading /.

Accurate timestamps (1)

rjamestaylor (117847) | more than 12 years ago | (#3824043)

I worked on a project related to medical data entry by care providers. Time was a crucial matter and for patient health and legal reasons the "date_written" field was paramount. So, of course the system architects decided that this critical timestamp would be based on the care provider's personal PDA. No central server as time keeper, no synch'ing with NIST computers, just the PDA's clock.

Lives and careers depended on the timestamp (indirectly, of course). As you might imagine the times and dates on these PDAs are all over the, er, calendar. Up until the time I joined the project this had not been an front-burner issue, but I was brought in with the team to create a live XML-RPC interface to other systems and vendors/partners.

First thing we did was insist that the date_written timestamp would be set not at the PDA level (*shudder*) but at the point where the record entered the central SQL server. Life was good.

That is, it was good until one of the servers in the cluster lost its synch with NIST computers. Yes, this was a Windows 2000 server. *Sigh*.

I use NTP like this..... (5, Informative)

Dr. Awktagon (233360) | more than 12 years ago | (#3824045)

On your Red Hat Linux server/firewall/whatever (easily adapted to any NTP setup, really):

# In case the network is down
fudge stratum 10

broadcastdelay 0.008
authenticate no

driftfile /etc/ntp/drift
pidfile /var/run/
logfile /var/log/ntpd

and /etc/ntp/step-tickers has the IP addresses for those hosts, all one line (the Red Hat startup script uses these to set the clock at boot, in case it's WAY out of sync.):

Then on your LAN, have all your other machines use this machine as the time server. That's it! Never set a clock again.

It's important to have accurate time for many protocols, including HTTP, and also to timestamp your logs accurately for forensics and evidence.

For even more accurate and secure local timeservers, run a GPS antenna to your roof and buy one of these products [] .

ntpdate (2)

Combuchan (123208) | more than 12 years ago | (#3824046)

nexus:~# ntpdate
4 Jul 15:17:34 ntpdate[26989]: adjust time server offset 0.000626 sec
nexus:~# date
Thu Jul 4 15:17:22 MST 2002

It's 3:17 PM right now. So yes, I know what time it is. Debian users can apt-get install ntp or ntpdate... it should be part of the base system in freebsd, and the NTP homepage is []


rdate (2)

BrookHarty (9119) | more than 12 years ago | (#3824049)

Ya, With multiple PC's in the house, my windows boxs always had the correct time( i think is the time server). On my unix boxes I just use rdate, "rdate -s" and everything is set. Was thinking about setting up a ntp server, but it would use also, might as well cut that step out.
Verizon uses thin copper on city streets... = no dsl.

My XP box doesn't connect to Microsoft. (1)

showboat (205494) | more than 12 years ago | (#3824052)

With tiny personal firewall (v2, the free one) my xp box doesn't "call home" every time I search my disk or synch my time. First of all, I don't ever ever let explorer.exe connect to the outside world. Second, I change the time server to under the "Internet Time" tab of the date/time cpl (check it out at [] ; yes, I know nist and time are switched, but that's how they have it). Now, if was an issue, there might be problems. But last I heard, it was degrees better than "calling home".

I don't know if one can add time servers (perhaps in the registry? never read anything about it), but it would be very nice to find out one could.

Re:My XP box doesn't connect to Microsoft. (3, Informative)

MrP- (45616) | more than 12 years ago | (#3824069)

yes you can add time servers using the registry

Just check out

HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE\SOFTWARE\Microsoft\Windows\Cu rr entVersion\DateTime\Servers

Great! (1)

JaredOfEuropa (526365) | more than 12 years ago | (#3824058)

Windows XP and Mac OS X both automatically get a time stamp from MicroSoft and Apple respectively.
Yay. So next time I am late for a meeting I'll just say "Sorry boss, the Microsoft clock is on the blink again".

Speaking of being on the blink... if someone would, say, drop a bomb on the MS headquarters and wipes out the master XP clock, would all our XP boxen show a blinking 12:00 in the taskbar?

clock setting (2)

frovingslosh (582462) | more than 12 years ago | (#3824060)

Pre-Internet I used a program that would make a quick long distance call to the naval observatory over the modem to set the clock. When I first got Internet access I started using a program called Atomic Clock, but over the years fewer and fewer time servers seemed to support the protocol it used, and eventually the very few I could find were obviously in need of some attention to their clocks themselves, they were drastically off. I'm currently using a little program for the PC called NTPC. I've had to occasionally track down a new time server when the predefined ones became unavailable, but otherwise it works fine.

Can the M$ time sync for XP be disabled, or is this just another way for them to impose Bill's vision on us all?

Re:clock setting (1, Informative)

Anonymous Coward | more than 12 years ago | (#3824098)

The time server for XP can be changed with a regedit. Edit - Find - "ntpServer" and change the URL.

Re: Do you have the time? (1)

hamisht (197412) | more than 12 years ago | (#3824063)

it depends on how cute you are ;)

Re: Do you have the time? (1, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | more than 12 years ago | (#3824076)

+1 Best Answer on a Holiday

If it's good enough for them... (2)

ThesQuid (86789) | more than 12 years ago | (#3824083) should be good enough for me!

US Naval Observatory Time Servers []

Lunch (2, Funny)

quantaman (517394) | more than 12 years ago | (#3824090)

I set my watch about 5 min fast so I won't be late and the clock of my work station is about 10-15 min slow. I leave for lunch when my work station reads 12 and we hang around and talk till about 1:15 by my watch. I feel like I get 15 min extra every day!

a potential problem (2)

CAIMLAS (41445) | more than 12 years ago | (#3824092)

I know several people that set their clocks ahead of time so as to make themselves think that they're running late, when in actuality, they're on time. If MS or Apple changes this time to the 'correct' time, this could cause people to actually -be- late. Imagine the dilema: you come in late, and lose your job. Is that MS's or Apple's fault for changing your time on you w/o your permission? Or your's for using their OS?

Re:a potential problem (3, Informative)

stripes (3681) | more than 12 years ago | (#3824119)

Is that MS's or Apple's fault for changing your time on you w/o your permission?

Well in Apple's case at least it might be your fault for not going to "Date and Time" panel and either unchecking "Use a network time server", or pointing at a NTP server that keeps your kinda time (yes OSX uses real NTP, and yes, they let you choose any NTP server you like).

Or much better...for not changing the timezone files so you live 7 hours and 50 minutes ahead of GMT not 8 hours...

Re:a potential problem (2)

CAIMLAS (41445) | more than 12 years ago | (#3824131)

For me, maybe. I'm talking about the type of people that's mentality requires the clock be set 10 minutes fast or such - they're also generally the type that don't know what their computer does, in my experience.

my setup (2, Informative)

deviator (92787) | more than 12 years ago | (#3824097)

Netware 5.1 server gets time from several NTP servers (i.e.,, etc.) and triangulates "correct" time from averaging out the sources. (Netware actually has the most intricate and cool time synchronization system built-in because NDS depends heavily on accurate timestamps)

Windows-based workstations automatically set clock to time on Netware server using Novell-supplied file client software (Client32) when they login.

Linux boxes get time from Netware server using NTP.

MacOSX laptop gets time from Apple using NTP (it's mobile & physically travels to many different networks. :)

btw, Microsoft has no concept of time synchronization. Throwing an NTP client into Win2K & WinXP isn't exactly what I'd call "enterprise-class time synchronization." I've struggled for years using a variety of techniques to keep clocks accurate on mid-sized Windows-based networks. Novell by _default_ synchronizes the local PC clock with the main login server. You actually have to override this feature if you want to do it yourself. It saves so much effort...

VCR (2)

AntiNorm (155641) | more than 12 years ago | (#3824106)

My VCR is able to auto-set its clock based on XDS data that is sent along with closed caption information.

clockspeed (1)

jamwt (220439) | more than 12 years ago | (#3824125)

djb's clockspeed []

By the author of qmail. Though it doesn't get at much attention as the author's bigger projects, it is written with the same attention to efficiency, simplicity, and correctness.

All pointless, and I'll tell you why (1)

Richard5mith (209559) | more than 12 years ago | (#3824129)

All these time servers are based on an atomic clock somewhere (there's a few of them, one in France I know of, or in all GPS satellites), but because time is not a constant, the time according to an atomic clock is not necessarily the current time at your location.

Due to this, don't be annoyed if your clock is a few seconds (or even minutes) out. The next time you're late for work, just politely explain to your boss that your watch isn't in the same location as his, and therefore don't share the same time.

...s XP and Mac OS X both automatica... (2)

MavEtJu (241979) | more than 12 years ago | (#3824132)

MacOS 8.6.x already had this feature.

I've known about this for awhile (for OSX) (1)

Bluetick (516014) | more than 12 years ago | (#3824134)

Interestingly, while I was waiting for my DSL installation to come through, I had my Airport set up to dial an ISP when I wanted to go online. I suppose OSX doesn't distiguinsh between always-on broadband and simple ethernet connection. Because if I didn't have the Airport connected to the internet (from some other computer) and booted my machine up, it would wait for the Airport to dial up and get the time. So that answers part of that writers question. A little annoying, but it's easy to turn off. OSX checks the time everytime you boot. Yeah, not very interesting, but whatever. Oh yeah, I think this was also in OS9.

I have my own atomic clock (0)

ResQuad (243184) | more than 12 years ago | (#3824135)

Ok, maybe I don't. But I would like to. My 3 linux machines/servers all syncranize once an hour from 14 different time servers across the US. My other machines also syncronize everyday. My cell phone automatically gets the time from the cell service. My alarm is set by the atomic clock in Boulder, CO. Finally my wrist watch is a Timex "Internet Messagner" (It has a built in pager), it also recives the exact time from the pager service 6 times a day via "FlexTime".

Oh and my car radio clock is set by the time sent by XM Radio.

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