Computer expert Flint - please explain : LUSENET : TB2K spinoff uncensored : One Thread

My computer automatically adjusted for the time change this morning, but in addition to the 1 hour, it actually fell behind by about 3 minutes, compared to my unchanged wall clock. I also checked official time on the net to verify. How could a computer, which is a perfectly accurate and logical machine, make such a mistake?

-- Mr. Spock (computer@not.logical), October 29, 2000


The real Spock wouldn't need a clock.

What's with the Flint baiting lately? Did Flint say something to piss people off that I missed?

-- Carlos (, October 29, 2000.


Hawk is being totally ignored by people on the board because he refuses to post using his old name [which wasn't real]. He is throwing a tantrum.


-- DB (, October 29, 2000.

DB = Z

How many names are you using Z?

Everyone knows why Hawk does not use the name Hawk anymore. Ancient history.

-- (very @astute. observer), October 29, 2000.


I do need a clock, I am half human. I am not "baiting" Flint, merely asking him a question, since he knows more about computers than anyone else on this forum.

-- Mr. Spock (computer@not.logical), October 29, 2000.


How are things in Snohomish County. Good to see you in Sept. I will be back in Jan. Maybe we can plan a ski day. I will email when the dates are firm.

DB = Z

How many names are you using Z?

Hawk, you caught me. It is hard to remember all of the names. I am Flint, Decker, CPR, Lady Logic [that one became non-useful and I dropped it], Diane J. Squire [it was fun arguing with myself in the great spam debates], Jim Cooke, Malcolm, Anita [it was hell wearing a dress to Vegas]; and the list goes on. Note, I am also Ed Yourdan. :^)

Best wishes,,,,


-- Z1X4Y7 (, October 29, 2000.


Did you happen to check your computer's time yesterday before the change? That way, you'd have a baseline for comparison. If it was 3 minutes off yesterday, you'd expect it to be about 3 minutes off today as well.

In fact, computer clocks are notoriously inaccurate, and gaining or losing a minute a day isn't uncommon. An accurate clock would cost more than people are willing to pay. If you want more accurate time than your wall clock, get a GPS card or the equivalent.

-- Flint (, October 29, 2000.

Yes Flint, in fact I had just reset it a few days ago to match the Naval Internet clock because it had been slowly lagging behind. I noticed it immediately this morning because it had changed so far relative to my wall clock. I was just curious if you might know of an explanation of how it could have made an error during the adjustment process for the DST change. I was very impressed with your knowledge of computer architecture on al-d's spiritual thread, even though it seemed somewhat unrelated. I am not "baiting" you as the "riff-raff" has suspected. Thanks anyway.

-- Mr. Spock (Pentium III not good enough @ for time travel. calculations), October 29, 2000.


-- Bingo1 (, October 29, 2000.


I'm not an expert on Windows. I know that the date and time ultimately come from a Real Time Clock chip in your computer (actually, this is now one function of a kitchen-sink chip that has many other functions). This RTC chip has a bit software (BIOS) can set to enable daylight savings, but no BIOS in the world ever sets this bit. And the RTC chip isn't very accurate.

I believe Windows logs the time and date on a cold boot, and maintains it internally based on a different timer while power is on. I don't know how Windows represents this value internally. Possibly as the number of seconds since 1/1/80, and possibly as seconds, minutes, hours, days, months, years, etc. So I don't know how Windows goes about adding or subtracting an hour, but it seems very unlikely that anyone would be so sloppy as to subtract 63 minutes by mistake.

But bear in mind that nearly any error a computer makes is a human error, in the programming. Hardware failures are both rare, and almost always totally fatal, turning your computer into a doorstop. I suggest you reset your time closer to the real time, and be glad the problem wasn't a lot worse.

-- Flint (, October 29, 2000.

Mr. Spock,

There is also a possibility that the battery in your computer is losing it's kick,maybe more so,sinse you noticed the "lag" before the time change.Not a pro,just a thought.

-- capnfun (, October 29, 2000.


Not an expert either, but my experience with my Mac's, they keep good time [relatively speaking] and then they die. Don't degrade over time. But as I say, I am no expert in this area. Now on the one PC we have where exact time is important, we have some kind of a card, which links to the signal from the atomic clock [or what ever]; I guess this is Flint's GPS card.

Best wishes,,,,


-- Z1X4Y7 (, October 29, 2000.

Doorstop, indeed. Thank you Lieutenant Flint and Ensign Bingo.

-- Mr. Spock (Vulcans build @ better. computers), October 29, 2000.

I'm a PC guru, if I might be so bold as to say so.

PC's are not Swiss timepieces. Far from it. They were never meant to be.

I use a program called SocketWatch, which will synchronize your PC with the atomic clock at the Naval Observatory at Annapolis, at whatever time interval you choose.

Many times, when doing CPU-intensive tasks, such as editing a large photo image, or burning a CD, the CPU will pretty much forget about the rest of what's going on; such as the need to maintain the correct clock time. The Windows clock is a small applet which can get "left out" pretty easily. It doesn't insist upon being up front all the time. So clock time can get knocked off kilter by 20, 30 seconds, even minutes, pretty easily.

Use a program like SocketWatch, or AtomTime. There are a bunch of free ones available for download at

-- Chicken Little (, October 29, 2000.

The battery... hmmmm, fascinating. That is quite possibly a very good possibility.

Thank you Commander Capnfun... er, uh, Captain Commanderfun, uh, ... oh screw it! Thank you Sir.

-- Mr. Spock (forgot @ capnfun's. rank), October 29, 2000.


I noticed about a three minute difference between my PC time and my watch time this morning, as well. However, I don't know whether my watch time was correct or incorrect. We have at least nine clocks around here, from the one on the VCR to the alarm clock in the bedroom. They ALL have different times. The clock in my car has another time, as well. I try to get to class 10 minutes before it starts in the morning, and I don't pay much attention to time after that.

-- Anita (, October 29, 2000.

Mister "Chicken Little", are you human? Your deductive abilities appear to be superior to the humans. Ultra-facinating. I do oftentimes perform CPU-intensive tasks, so that is likely what has occurred. I shall heed your advice. Thank you, "Sir"?

-- Mr. Spock (pushing my CPU @ where no CPU has. gone before), October 29, 2000.

I, too, use SocketWatch, which keeps my PC at least in the neighborhood of being as accurate as my 15-year-old Timex. It's a $10 shareware program from Locutus Codeware, if you're so interested.

-- I'm Here, I'm There (I'm Everywhere@so.beware), October 29, 2000.

I say time should only be suggestive and not obligatory. Why should I be at work at 6 am every morning? Wouldn't it be just as good to show up around 6ish?

-- Private Dingleberry (18@years.InServiceAndStillAPrivate), October 29, 2000.

DB & Z:

Hey, I know I could get kicked off of EZ board for this; they call it thread drift. We could get together and try Baker in Jan. Give me a time. Now back to the regular programming.


-- Gregor (, October 29, 2000.

Baker CA? Gassed there last weekend and the motel was empty. Sounds good.

Apologies Spock. Seems you wern't on a Flint flirt.

-- Carlos (, October 29, 2000.

Moderation questions? read the FAQ