REBOL Technologies

Was I too harsh on time?

Carl Sassenrath, CTO
REBOL Technologies
10-Apr-2008 18:05 GMT

Article #0360
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I've read the various comments to my What's up with Time? article. Some of you felt I was too harsh. One person felt I was not being professional about it.

Was I too harsh?

Let's back up just a bit, and let me restate some basic points:

  1. Advances in computing are supposed to make computers easier, not more difficult.
  2. If I have problems doing something fairly basic on a computer, considering my background, I would think many other users could have problems as well.
  3. If I Google around, I see others have the same basic problem. So, I'm not alone on this.
  4. Most individuals and small companies do not have an IT team to fix their time/clock problems.
  5. It should not be necessary to hire a consultant to fix your clock.
  6. If fetching the time from the network fails, it would sure be nice to know why it failed. DNS? Missing host? IP problem? Bad stratum? (That's my guess.) Note, the Time control panel nor the Event Viewer tell me anything useful about the failure.
  7. All of my Apple OS X machines work fine and in fact were trivial to setup. (Yes, I know, many of you don't want to hear that.)
  8. Network time (NTP) has been around a long time. Other than time servers going off-line, it has been reliable for me.

So, am I being too harsh? I really don't know. My blog seemed like a fair critique. It's difficult to judge, reflectively speaking. Also, I suppose the more fundamental my complaint (time is pretty fundamental) the more I may come across as harsh.

The bottom line was that it did not work, and it is a pretty simple thing that I consider essential these days.

I have no doubt that large managed enterprises with thousands of clients have it working nicely. And, yes, I could take the time to set up my own local time server... but somehow, that's not a good response to my basic complaint.

PS: Finally, today, I got it working, at least on this particular XP laptop. It appeared to be a combination of factors and using some of the notes found on Google, typing some commands in the shell, rebooting, etc. I got it working. But, I'm reluctant to believe that my parents, or for that matter most people in my hometown, would go through all that trouble, or even know where to start. And, after all, that's my main point.

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