Monday, December 10, 2012

Portability: World Clocks

I keep tabs on what time it is in Tbilisi, Addis Ababa, Barcelona, and until recently, Tokyo.

It's surprising there's no app out there that I can:
  • Put onto my desktop
  • Shows both 12-hour and 24-hour times, simultaneously
  • Shows days or dates

Credit. Target

Microsoft has a now-unsupported schoolhouse clock icon that I can put on my desktop - one for each city - that only shows 12-hour times. This is minimally adequate for times that aren't too far from my time zone, but for example, if my Tokyo clock shows 2:30 when it's now 10:30 a.m. in Alamogordo, I've got to think, OK, I know it's not 2:30 this afternoon, so it's 2:30 tomorrow morning, placing it in Tuesday. This lengthy thought process is no big deal when I'm just in curious mode, but when I've got to schedule my calendar for an appointment in Tokyo time, it's a little stress-inducing. offers a personal world clock that is quite nice, with bells and whistles that go beyond just time and date. Unfortunately, it's not on my desktop and I have to log in to get my settings. Also, I can't view both 12-hour and 24-hour times simultaneously. For my default, I prefer what's familiar to me - 12-hour mode - but for scheduling appointments, I then need to change my settings for GMT or 24-hour.

I've now found an app that is almost perfect: Google Calendar Labs' World Clock by Dave M. As soon as I pull up Google Calendar, there are my cities in the right sidebar, showing the time and if it's day or night time. (Night times have a black background and there's a quarter moon showing.) The beauty of this little app is that when I schedule an appointment in my Google Calendar, it shows the corresponding time in one of "my" cities over in the right sidebar, so I can feel reassured I chose the correct time on my end. 

Although still not perfect, it's my most useful world clock program thus far. (Apparently, there's a problem with Moscow's time zone, so it's good to hang on to at least one of my other world clocks for double-checking.)

But I'm still looking .... 

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