ClockWatch Frequently Asked Questions
Questions About ClockWatch Features:
Questions About ClockWatch Trial Download and Installation:
Questions about PC Clocks and Timekeeping:
anyone need ClockWatch?
Scenario 1 - Casual User, Manual Mode
Profile: For this user, accurate time is important when needed.
Scenario 2 - Power User, Daily Mode
Profile: For this user, accurate time is important daily and ClockWatch makes the setting daily.Scenario 3 - Mission Critical, Periodic Mode
ClockWatch is installed and running in the System Tray (or as an NT Service) in the Periodic mode. The user has selected an interval that in practice has proven to keep the clock within a comfortable level of accuracy.
Profile: For this user, accurate time is needed several times a day. Since the system utilization varies over the day, the ClockWatch software checks that the clock is correct several times each day.Scenario 4 - File Server, Auto Mode
ClockWatch is installed and running in the System tray (or as an NT Service) in the Auto Mode. ClockWatch calculates when to make the next setting based on the accuracy required by the user and the traditional Clock Drift experienced on that system.
Profile: For this user, accurate time is critical and system load and utilization is fairly consistent.Scenario 5 - Scientific, Once Mode br> ClockWatch is installed and running in the Once mode. The time is scheduled to make a setting before the user begins a particularly critical program or test when time must be correct, or when coordination with outside machines or processes is critical.
Profile: For this user, accurate time at a certain point in time is critical.Scenario 6 - Dial-up Desktop user, Manual Mode
This user uses ClockWatch whenever they're logged onto the net, which might be once a day or a few times a week.
Profile: For this user, convenience and ease of use are keyScenario 7 - Direct-connect Laptop user, Manual Mode
This Laptop user uses the direct connect feature of ClockWatch. They use the internal laptop modem to dial into the NIST for a quick time fix.
Profile: For this user, setting the clock can be done anywhere, any time.Scenario 8 - Embedded Application, Batch Mode
ClockWatch is configured in the Windows 98 Task Scheduler or the user's System Assistant in Microsoft Plus+ profile, which is part of their regular maintenance routine. This task is set to run every night at 3 AM when Internet access is first available.
Profile: For this user, accurate time is as simple as 'set it and forget it'.
ClockWatch offers an excellent strategy for OATS compliance. ClockWatch Server maintains correct time by accessing external timeservers over the Internet or through a directly dialed connection. The ClockWatch host server's job is to keep the time accurate on the host and to process requests and send appropriate responses. The ClockWatch Client's job is to send requests to the ClockWatch server to maintain the correct time. All interaction with external timeservers is done by the host server. The communication link with the clients must be a network (e.g., Ethernet) connection.
Beagle Software's optional DocuClock time stamper provides a printed record of the exact time. This product is especially useful for business applications that require documented time, such as equity traders.
Beagle Software's systems offer you an easy way to implement OATS compliance to every Windows PC on your LAN
Yes. ClockWatch will work with all dial-up Internet Service providers that allow access to the Internet.
ClockWatch Pro and Server editions offer a direct modem connection, allowing you to synchronize your clock dialing the NIST with a directly connected modem. Instead of connecting to a timeserver over the Internet, the NIST is dialed directly with a modem, the time signal is synchronized, and the time reading is made. It provides a handy alternative when an Internet connection is unavailable or impractical.
Steps to use the direct modem connection:
ClockWatch features a rich array of setting modes that give you lots of flexibility in how it does its work.
The three graphs on the main screen are useful for displaying the accuracy of the computer clock from readings over a time period.
All editions except ClockWatch Basic offer enhanced usability and analysis features. These include:
ClockWatch can store all the settings made on the system to a file. This can be useful in a variety of ways:
Does ClockWatch work with the NIST, NTP and Daytime protocols?
Yes. All versions of ClockWatch work with NIST protocols, and ClockWatch Pro and Enterprise editions work with NIST, NTP, Daytime timeservers.
You can verify that you can establishing a connection to a timeserver using telnet. Telnet, included as a utility with Windows, allows user to specify an address and port to test. To test a connection:
A typical Telnet session:
Yes. There are several hundred timeservers around the globe, many of them public. Refer to the list from David Mills at http://www.eecis.udel.edu/~mills/ntp/servers.html We are currently preparing a list of timeservers that we have verified will work with ClockWatch and are publicly available.
Yes. The time standard that ClockWatch uses is Universal Time, the descendant of Greenwich Standard time. Universal Time is the world time standard. If you find your time zone on the map in the time settings tab of the Windows Date/Time Control Panel, then ClockWatch will work for you. ClockWatch shows date and time is the format selected in the Windows Regional Settings control applet.
Yes. ClockWatch Pro and Enterprise editions have the ability to learn about the behavior of your system's clock and determine when it needs to make the next time setting to keep your clock accurately set.
ClockWatch determines when to make the next setting based on the system's history and the accuracy level desired. ClockWatch determines when the next setting needs to occur to keep your clock synchronized.
The Pro version allows for you to start up ClockWatch when the computer is started. ClockWatch will appear as an icon in the system tray and configured to make its settings automatically or can be called up for setting manually.
Yes. ClockWatch can be operated in an unattended mode from the Windows 95/NT or MS-DOS command line. This allows unattended or batch operation which allows for:
Yes. The Pro version of ClockWatch can be operated in the background mode from the Windows system tray. ClockWatch automatically loads, operates and runs in the background. The ClockWatch Pro icon will be available in the System Tray after ClockWatch Pro is loaded.
Yes. ClockWatch has undergone a rigorous review of Year 2000 (Y2K) related processes and methods. Beagle Software meets the industry's best practices for addressing the century date change.
Yes. The current version of ClockWatch can be configured to work behind corporate firewalls or proxy servers.
Yes. ClockWatch can run as a service in Windows. A Service is a Windows-specific system function that runs in a special area under Windows NT, Windows 2000 or Windows XP/2003. ClockWatch contains an additional module, ClockWatch Service, which can be installed as a Service under Windows NT/2k/XP/2003. This allows ClockWatch Service to run in the special service area of the operating system.
In ClockWatch Server, the program maintains a copy of the run-time options for use by the service module. When running as a service, ClockWatch does all the clock-synchronization activities without intervention running from the parameters specified by the user using the normal ClockWatch application.
To install ClockWatch as a service:
Note: ClockWatch Service must be run in the System context.
Yes. ClockWatch can be installed in a multi-platform environment supporting Windows, Novell, IBM, Macintosh or Linux. ClockWatch Server supports all of the major time sync protocols available, and acts as a time server for the network. Clients running ClockWatch Client or a variety of standard time sync applications, call on ClockWatch Server for their time.
The trial version of ClockWatch is fully functional software. Registered users get some additional features found in the Pro version of the software.
Yes. ClockWatch has been compliance-tested with AOL versions 3 and 4. See the AOL usage bulletin.
Link here for a list of common installation problems. If, after reviewing this, you still experience problems, please contact Beagle Software support with the exact text of the error message you are seeing.
The National Institute of Standards and Technology -- the keeper of the atomic clock -- has found that computer clocks are inaccurate due to the design limitations of the first PCs. The problem arises from the use of two time keeping systems in every computer. One resides in the computer's hardware, the other is maintained by the operating system's software. The hardware clock runs continuously, but is often inaccurate because of design limitations, temperatures changes, and diminished battery voltage. The software clock starts as the computer is booted and is set from the hardware clock. While the software clock is more accurate, it relies on the hardware clock (which can be off several minutes each day) for its initial and periodic settings.
The time loss varies by computer and depends on the configuration of your hardware and software. Some computers lose very little time, some lose many seconds per day.
What actually keeps time in my computer, is it the BIOS or the O/S?
Both. Two time-of-day clocks reside in every IBM-compatible computer. These clocks go by several different names, but for simplicity, we'll call them the software and hardware clocks. The software clock runs only when the computer is turned on. It stops when the computer is turned off. The hardware clock uses a battery and runs even while the computer is turned off.
Every computer that runs DOS or Windows has a built-in software clock within the operating system. The timer-counter is programmed by the BIOS to generate an interrupt every 54.936 milliseconds, or about 18.206 times per second. Another BIOS routine counts the interrupt requests and generates a time-of-day clock that can be read or set by other software programs. For example, Windows uses the information from the software clock when it date and time stamps files.
The software clock is useful, but it has several limitations. First, the software clock is a poor timekeeper. Its accuracy is limited by the stability of the interrupt requests, and any change in the interrupt request rate causes the clock to gain or lose time. Another problem with the software clock is that it cannot display all possible time-of-day values. The resolution of the clock is limited to the interval between interrupts, or about 55 milliseconds as stated earlier. Only times that are even multiples of this interval can be displayed.
The hardware clock is supported by the BIOS, and BIOS services are available that let software programs read and set the clock. It is a CMOS device that consumes very little power. When the computer is turned off, it runs on batteries. When the computer is turned back on, the software clock starts running again and sets itself (within 1 second) to the hardware clock. Although the two clocks are synchronized at start-up, they may run at very different rates and will probably gain or lose time relative to each other while the computer is running.
GMT (Greenwich Mean Time) is a 24 hour astronomical time system based on the local time at Greenwich, England. GMT can be considered equivalent to Coordinated Universal Time (UTC) when fractions of a second are not important. However, by international agreement, the term UTC is recommended for all general timekeeping applications, and use of the term GMT is discouraged.
You cannot run ClockWatch on a Mac, unless the Mac is a client to a Windows server.