Analogue Bitmap Clock

Local time
Minute demo
Hour demo


Current version: 1.0d (2006/03/13)

abclock-1.0d.tar.gz - Unix gzip'ed tarfile - DOS zipfile

This package includes:

Why this clock

I needed a small clock for my desktop.

Digital clocks are nice for telling exactly what time it is, but, unlike an analogue clock, they don't give a spatial representation of time. They don't show where time is coming from or going to.

On the other hand, a bitmap representation of a mechanical clock doesn't tell time very accurately if the bitmap is very small. And curves and oblique lines don't look very nice in a small, low-resolution bitmap.

So, I decided to come up with something different, to come up with an analogue clock that isn't tied to the design of the mechanical clock, but instead uses the natural properties of bitmaps: straight lines and rectangles.

Design principles

The clock uses ordinary hours and minutes. I wanted to redesign how time is represented, not time itself.

Placement and movement of objects is analogous to mechanical clocks. This makes the representation of time not too counterintuitive.

Time has a symmetrical property that is retained in the way time changes in this clock.

The clock is clear and exact up to parts of minutes, even when the bitmap is very small.

The clock doesn't display seconds. When you need that kind of accuracy you are probably better off with a digital clock. Units larger than twelve hours are also excluded. If you want to know whether it's day or night, just look out of your window. For dates, check a calendar.

To do

Not much.

The X11 version is a bit of a hack, the source code looks very messy. I'm not that experienced in C programming for X11. It has been tested on Linux and HP-UX, it might not work correct on all other platforms.