Posted by : Deepak Vasudevan Saturday, December 20, 2008

An experience with Windows Time Applet

Recently my PC developed a small technical snag and the CMOS battery which is required to preserve the settings was dying out. As a result of which, the date and time was unable to be preserved. And since the date and time was getting back to weird dates like 11/2/2002 and crazy times like 01:00 hours, most of the Internet websites which are SSL enabled started to throw off warning messages like security certificate is expired.

When I chose to synchronize the time using Windows Time Applet 'Internet Time', at the first instance it was giving too technical messages like 'RPC Server is unavailable'. I just felt that this error message is little bad and curtly harsh on little less tech savvy users. Since we are web developers and exposed to programming for a while, we can understand and troubleshoot these error messages. But I really wonder, what would a poor user with relatively less technical exposure do for such messages. At least in regions like India, they would approach service centers down the line who would make most of the opportunity to charge sky and the moon for nothing. Furthermore, there is also a risk of unscrupulous service centers damaging the systems as I discussed in my other 'Product and Services Review'

A quick Internet Search brought me a very good tool called 'Neutron 1.0' from SnapFiles which is just about 6K download and sets/synchronizes system time like a breeze. I have attached the screenshots of both the tools (Windows Time Server and Neutron) for anyone's ready reference and assistance.

Windows XP Time Applet:

Neutron Time Applet:

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