East of the Sun, West of the Moon



Filed under: Family,Software,Technology — Erwin @ 1:59 am

Last weekend, after I had already moved most of the clocks forward, there was a fun thunderstorm and a (1.5 hour or so) power-outage in this neighbourhood. This made me sit down and think about how many clocks we have around the house:

  • Kitchen [2]: Stove (mechanical, no battery), microwave (no battery).
  • Diningroom [1]: Digital alarm-clock (no battery).
  • Livingroom [2]: VCR (with battery).
  • Master bedroom [2]: Alarm clock (no battery), DVD/radio alarm (with short-term battery).
  • A‘s bedroom [1]: Alarm clock (no battery).
  • N‘s bedroom [1]: Alarm clock (no battery).
  • Bathroom [1]: Alarm clock (no battery).
  • Home office [5]: Coffee machine (no battery), mini-microwave (no battery), a 3-in-1 set of clocks (with battery).
  • Wrist watches [2]: Two for the boys, us adults have started to rely on our cellphones for this.
  • Cell phones [2]: Right. These have the option to sync with the cell-tower but those towers don’t always sync very nicely themselves, there can be several minutes from one tower to another. As a result I typically turn that feature off in mine.
  • PDAs [2]: These sync with the PCs, see below.


  • Modern technology comes with a lot of fun, but it’s also a pain to adjust 19-20 clocks for daylightsaving twice a year.
  • One word: Power-outage (ok, maybe 2-ish words)
  • The kids have the nerve to complain that not all clocks are showing the same time at the same time!

Of course all of the (Linux and OS X running) servers and workstations are set up to sync using NTP and of course automatically do The Right Thing ™ every spring and fall so I can always rely on them.

I’m looking forward to the day that all these clocks automatically sync with a time-server. It doesn’t have to be some atomic clock in Colorado, since that doesn’t scale very well if you take your clocks to another continent, but I suppose it’s cheaper to implement than putting 802.11-something in them. 😉

What’s the damage in your house if the power goes out?


  1. Hehe… for me it’s simple. Alarm clock in bedroom. Also need to reset the time on the DVD/VCR…. but I usually don’t fool with that unless I’m actively recording TV shows. For Daylight Savings, I of course have to rest my watch. Computers and cell phone are good at updating themselves.

    Comment by Annie — 2006/4/5 @ 2:34 pm

  2. *looks jealous* 😉

    Comment by Erwin — 2006/4/5 @ 6:43 pm

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