NEW ZEALAND AND AUSTRALIA TIME RESOURCES

If you can help us with additions, corrections, new links, please contact us.
The address is on the NZ&A Time home page.


See below: 
1.  Using the Internet (accessed by cable, phone line, Wi-Fi or whatever)
2.  Using a direct Telephone link to a time server without the Internet


THE 'INTERNET' IS VERY CONVENIENT TO SET COMPUTER CLOCKS
TO WITHIN ABOUT A SECOND OF UTC  -  WITH THE RIGHT HARDWARE AND
 OPERATING SYSTEM YOU MAY DO BETTER THAN THAT

Could Apple MAC users perhaps advise us on their situation?

It is very attractive to use the world-wide Internet links for time sourcing.  Indeed, many simple programs are freely available that will set computer clocks to standard time, but for most users the end result may only be accurate to about one seconds.  This is caused by a number of problems:

Some real life experiences:

Please read the information at the web site of NIST (the US National Institute of Science and Technology, formerly the NBS, National Bureau of Standards) NIST summary on "Set Your Computer Clock Via the Internet.  It is also strongly recommended to download and run the public domain NIST - TIME software, available at that page, and read the Help files and the excellent  21 page PDF file associated with this.  The Help files provide information on the limitations of setting computer clocks and read in part:

"On most Win 3x, 9x, 2000 and ME systems, the time cannot be set more accurately than to the nearest second.  It is therefore possible that the time of your system can be wrong by up to +/- 0.5 seconds even immediately after you adjust your clock based on data received from one of the NIST servers.  In addition, the clocks on many computers can gain or lose several seconds per day, so that even a clock that is set correctly will not stay that way for very long.

Windows NT  (and XP)  have more sophisticated software support for the clock, but the hardware is usually not any better.  If your application requires that the time on your system must be correct to within +/- 1 second at all times then you will probably only be able to achieve that level of performance using Windows NT and a continuous connection to the Internet......"

THERE ARE A NUMBER OF OTHER, EXCELLENT WEB SITES:

QUESTION:  does anyone know of reliably good methods?
 Please contact us.


SETTING COMPUTER CLOCKS BY TELEPHONE
WITHOUT USING THE INTERNET

There are services available in most countries to set computer system clocks through Internet links to standards laboratories.  For professional computer users (e.g. banks, mainframes), this is a normal part of life.  It is worth reading the  NIST summary on "Set Your Computer Clock Via the Internet.  For example, there is a   TimeServ program included in the Windows NT Resource Kit.   For individual home users this is in principle also possible, but the result depends very much on the particular computer configuration and the operating system being used.  Even then, achieving an accuracy better than 0.1 second is far from easy.  These are issues that need to be worked out with specialists.

NEW ZEALAND:
The New Zealand Measurement Standards Laboratory  advises the following about the 'MSL Time Set Service':   "A computer readable time code is available through the telephone network.  The service is available on 0900 45222. Programs are available (free) from MSL to access this service from Window 3.1 and Dos computers. For Windows NT computers we recommend using the TimeServ.Exe program which is available as a part of the Windows NT 4.0 Server Resource Kit. This program supports the MSL dial up system.  For other operating systems, you are on your own."

AUSTRALIA:
Telstra operated (until about 2005??) a "Computime" service to set computer clocks.  An archived article in  Windows and Net Magazine (Dial Up)  gives some references on this and many other dial up services all over the world.   Not sure if this is still active.  The CSIRO National Measurement Laboratory may also still provide this service.

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