It’s about time

Digital watches. I’ve never really got on with them. I mean, it’s all well and good telling me that the time is ’13:03′ or whatever, but before I can make any sense of that I first have to parse it into something more human, like ‘just turned one.’ This is why I’ve always got on better with analogue watches – I just don’t need to know the time that accurately.

It’s a source of mild irritation, then, that my various computers all dutifully scurry off to talk to an atomic clock in Germany on a (presumably) regular basis, and smugly present little digital clocks that are accurate to tiny divisions of time than I personally consider to be entirely decent only within the confines of a physics laboratory. While such profligate accuracy may not be, strictly, wasteful, I do consider it… impolite.

For years, what I’ve wanted is a clock that can know the time as accurately as it likes – to the femtosecond if it wishes, I really don’t care – so long as it tells me the time on my terms. That is: vaguely. I want a digital clock that says ‘About noon.’ Or ‘just on quarter-to-three.’ Or ‘Time for elevenses.’

Imagine my joy, then, when I stumbled over FuzzyClock, which offers precisely this for the menu bar of my Mac. Hurrah!

Also of significance: the Talus Watch project, which is aiming to do essentially the same thing, but in a genuine wrist watch. Fantastic!

Tip of the hat to Martin and Gizmodo for the spot.

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