computers and keeping time

Discussion in 'OT Technology' started by Corp, Dec 6, 2006.

  1. Corp

    Corp OT Supporter

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    I have never had a computer that could keep time accurately, and my desktop that i have right now is HORRIBLE at keeping time. Normally I wouldn't really care, but it's set up as a media center on my tv, and I use it as a tivo. This causes problems because my tv program gets it's time from the system clock, so it always starts and ends recordings around 10 minutes early. I have the windows automatic time update checked off, but it doesn't do it often enough to fix the problem.I will fix the time, and within 2 hours it will already be off by 5-10 minutes.

    Is there anything I can do hardware wise to fix this? or does anyone know of any good program that will update the time every 30 minutes or so?

    Thanks
     
  2. crontab

    crontab (uid = 0)

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    Last edited: Dec 6, 2006
  3. Jkuao

    Jkuao New Member

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    Right click on your clock and select Adjust Date/Time. Click on the 3rd tab Internet Time. Select automatically synchronize with an Internet time server. The default is time.windows.com. You can probably find another one if you want.
     
  4. Corp

    Corp OT Supporter

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  5. Corp

    Corp OT Supporter

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    i already have that checked, it doesn't update it often enough for my pc. it will literally be out of time within an hour :hsugh:
     
  6. Corp

    Corp OT Supporter

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    well, that first link confused the hell out of me. i was hoping someone would know a program that would sync the time for you.
     
  7. deusexaethera

    deusexaethera OT Supporter

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    Are you sure it's not your wristwatch that's out of whack? I haven't seen a computer have trouble keeping time since the mid-90's.
     
  8. Corp

    Corp OT Supporter

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    yes, i have never seen one as bad as the computer i have now, but i have also never really seen a computer that keeps time very well. my laptop is actually pretty good though :o
     
  9. Doc Brown

    Doc Brown Don't make me make you my hobby

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    Before I read that, I was going to suggest that maybe your motherboard battery is dying.

    But that makes me wonder something. Do you or somebody else by chance tweak your services?

    If the windows time service is disabled, your computer might not keep good time.

    Start > run > type services.msc and hit ok > scroll down and click on "windows time" >
    In the middle where it says "startup type", make sure it says automatic.

    If it doesn't, then just click on the drop down arrow, select automatic,
    and click apply and ok.
     
  10. Corp

    Corp OT Supporter

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    it's enabled, that was a little bit of an exaggeration, i just remember most of my computers being off by a couple minutes. this computer is ridiculous with time though.

    should i try changing the battery on my motherboard?
     
  11. Doc Brown

    Doc Brown Don't make me make you my hobby

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    It's an easy swap and it might make a difference.
     
  12. Corp

    Corp OT Supporter

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    yea, only problem is getting to the store without a car :o
     
  13. Wolf68k

    Wolf68k OT Supporter

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    Download this http://econ.lse.ac.uk/soft/win95/netlab/netlab95.zip
    You can set it to check the time, every minute to every 24hours
    Add this as the time server rolex.peachnet.edu


    It's also good for other things like; ping, DNS lookup, trace route and others

    You can minimize it, have it run in the system tray and run on startup (well you'll have to make a shortcut and put in the StartUp folder).


    //edit
    How far out of sync does your clock get?
    That's usually a sign of some other problem.
    Does it lose sync when you shut down and start up again or just while using the OS even if it's on 24/7?
     
  14. Corp

    Corp OT Supporter

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    that's exactly what i was looking for, thanks :bowdown:

    i'm still gonna try changing the battery though ;)
     
  15. Corp

    Corp OT Supporter

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    it usually gets around 10 minutes behind but then i fix it. this computer is hooked up to my tv, so it is on for months at a time.

    edit: it also wasn't good at keeping time when i used it for a regular desktop. it wasn't as bad as it is now, but it never kept time right
     
  16. deusexaethera

    deusexaethera OT Supporter

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    My computers always kept good time, even the one from 1982 that I had in eighth grade because my parents wouldn't buy me a good one. It sure as hell didn't have any "Windows Time Service".
     
  17. Doc Brown

    Doc Brown Don't make me make you my hobby

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    Funny thing about time keeping. There's a small company near Cleveland that at one time made the majority of the worlds quartz crystal chips.

    The tiny quartz piece that they made for watches was replaced by a micro tuning fork that the Japanese came up with.

    Virtually overnight the place lost over a quarter of their business.

    Well I've owned nothing but Casio (Japanese) sports watches for over 20 years, and years ago I could expect my watch to stay accurate to seconds a month.

    But the newest one I just bought is losing more than that a week.

    So I wonder if motherboards ever depended on quartz for timing, and has that changed?

    Because I do keep my windows time service disabled, and I find myself adjusting the time now and then.
     
  18. urbanlegend

    urbanlegend One Love

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    I've seen Windows do some really weird things with the clock... such as going from being accurate, to a few minutes ahead, to jumping ahead hours, and then the next couple of days working fine.
     
  19. mondaynightmike

    mondaynightmike New Member

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    My computer's always kept good time :dunno:
     
  20. Create

    Create :free at last:

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    Motherboard battery, definitely. If it's really bad, it could be a faulty cap on the MB.

    Oddly enough, the most accurate time I have is from my Skagen auto-winding fully mechanical watch.
     
  21. Sexual Vanilla

    Sexual Vanilla New Member

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    I remember back during the Y2K scare, when January 1st, 2000 rolled around, my Windows computer displayed the date as January 1st, 1980. Cool stuff.
     
  22. deusexaethera

    deusexaethera OT Supporter

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    Huh. Go figure.

    I believe that computers do use, and have always used, quartz oscillators. It's the only thing accurate enough at that price level.

    You need to buy yourself a nice Skagen watch. I have one that I got as a high school graduation present back in 2000. I set the time twice a year (Daylight Savings Time), and it's been accurate within one minute compared to my computer every time that I can remember. (I do use the Windows Time Service.)

    Did I mention I've dropped the thing on the ground on average once every two months since I've gotten it? I had to send it away for service this past time because I knocked two hour markers off the face and broke the sapphire crystal lense. I paid them $25 for a new lense, and they replaced the case and chain for free. (I know it's still my watch because of the scuffs on the backing plate.)
     
  23. Slid.

    Slid. I'm a guy.

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    It's already been said but whenever I've seen a computer losing time it's been because of the motherboard battery. Sometimes BIOS settings keep getting reset too.
     
  24. Doc Brown

    Doc Brown Don't make me make you my hobby

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    The problem is that the place I was talking about made the quartz piece for most of the worlds watches. They were replaced virtually overnight with the tuning fork.
    So, I can't help but wonder how many brands are still accurate across the entire production line.


    Funny thing about the story though. I used to work with a guy who had been layed off from there. That was how I learned about the way they grew the quartz.
    Well I recently saw a bit on pbs on the rise (and almost fall) of the company.
    Amazing stuff. They take quartz powder and grow crystals in extremely hot, very accurate autoclaves.

    My friend told me a story, legend perhaps, of where a "mother crystal" was found by the Nazi's, and was taken by the Brittish at the end of the war.
    My friend says that virtually all modern electronics quartz has been grown/seeded from that original "mother crystal".
     
  25. deusexaethera

    deusexaethera OT Supporter

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    That's even cooler than the first part of the story.
     

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