Okay, it’s time for my semi-annual rant about consumer electronics that tell time. Just about everything seems to tell the time these days, from microwave ovens to electronic picture frames. Some of them make sense; a cell phone needs an internal clock, I believe, to help negotiate communications with cell towers, for example. I’m not entirely clear, however, why some personal media players need to know the time of day. I’d be much happier if mine had a simple “sleep” function that I could call on to shut itself off after 30 minutes.
But this Sunday, I’ll be running around with my cell phone, changing the time on all sorts of electronic devices around the house to adjust for the end of Daylight Savings Time. And thus my rant. Why do I have to do that? These are smart devices, many of which are more powerful than my first half dozen personal computers put together. Yet many have to be reset by me.
The correct time is all over the place, and these devices should be able to ask for themselves and make the change. Here’s my list; if it receives radio waves of any sort, if it is connected to the Internet, or if it is connected to any device that receives radio waves or is connected to the Internet, then by golly, it should know what time it is without relying on me. I actually think that anything that is plugged into an electrical outlet could reasonably be expected to know the time, if the electrical companies would only send a signal. How hard could that be?
I admit that things are a bit better now than in the past. My computer has known the correct time for years, and my cell phone makes the transition without help. But all the rest of these things with clocks? Helpless. And it doesn’t have to be this way.
So as you go through your home (and office) moving all the clocks back an hour, see if you don’t agree with me. Let me know how many items in your home entertainment system you had to adjust for the time change.
Hmmph! There’s one more good reason to move to Hawaii.
Posted by Alfred Poor, November 5, 2010 6:00 AM
About Alfred PoorAlfred Poor is a well-known display industry expert, who writes the daily HDTV Almanac. He wrote for PC Magazine for more than 20 years, and now is focusing on the home entertainment and home networking markets.