Determining actual elapsed (wall-clock) time

Roy Smith roy at
Mon Jul 4 16:13:33 CEST 2005

Peter Hansen <peter at> wrote:
> As it turns out, Windows XP already has support (via NTP 
> I presume, though of course since this is Microsoft they try to keep the 
> user base ignorant by making no mention of that even in the help page) 
> for keeping the clock accurate, right on the last tab (labelled 
> "Internet Time") of the Date and Time Properties dialog.

Sigh.  Unfortunately, it's not just MS.  Apple does the same thing.  In the 
Date & Time control panel, there's an option to "Set Date & Time 
Automatically".  What it's doing is turning on NTP, but it doesn't say that 
(even in the help text).

In this case, it was pretty easy to guess (and verify with tcpdump), but 
sometimes it's really infuriating when software providers eschew the use of 
technical terms for "easy to understand plain english" to the point of 
making it impossible to figure out what's really going on.

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