WorldClock

 WorldClock Description
WorldClock is an attractive and easy to use desktop time utility that includes timezone, timesync, calendar, wallpaper and alarm features. Its primary purpose is to get the current local time for any area of the world simply by clicking on a world map. It will automatically determine whether Daylight Savings Time is in effect for the selected area and adjusts the time accordingly.

WorldClock can synchronize your PC's clock with one of the many 'Atomic Clocks' available on the Internet. You can also schedule TimeSyncs to occur at pre-defined intervals or at a set time. And by using the WorldClock AutoTimeSync Service, this scheduled TimeSync will occur even if WorldClock is not running.

WorldClock also gives you the ability to fully customize the Windows taskbar clock display. In addition to displaying regular time and date information, it also allows you to display current local weather conditions.

WorldClock also comes with several Windows wallpaper features that present a wide variety of very useful information. These include: A high resolution day/night world map with the local times of up to 20 selectable cities; an analog clock display with user configurable update ferquency; a one to three month calendar; and the current weather conditions for any selected city.

You can also set up to eight alarms active for any pattern of selected days. Alarms can be configured to sound a user selectable wave file or run an application.

WorldClock also has a very nice calendar that allows you to set important reminders (with notification) and includes all Canadian and US holidays.

And finally, WorldClock can display a series of multiple clock windows that easily allows you to keep track of a large number of cities simultaneously.

A screenshot of WorldClock's main window is shown below.


 WorldClock Preferences
WorldClock is highly customizable. There are many options that allow you to make WorldClock look and behave the way you want it to.

All of WolrdClock's configuration preferences are conveniently located together in a multi-page dialog box as shown in the screen shots below.


 WorldClock's TimeSync Utility
One extremely useful feature of WorldClock is its TimeSync capability. If you're connected to the Internet (pretty likely if you're reading this ), you can check your PC's time against an Internet time server for accuracy. It supports several time sync protocols (SNTP and Time) and allows you to select a preferred time server. You can also specify a maximum adjustment value -- if the time adjustment is larger than the specified value, you are prompted for confirmation before the clock is reset. This is very useful in case the time server returns invalid data. Also note that the TimeSync feature fully supports Socks 4, 4A, 5 proxies including Socks 5 proxy Authentication.

WorldClock will automatically reset your PC's clock if it finds a difference. Note that this does not apply to the Trial Version. The Trial Version will just display the adjustment value.


 WorldClock's Taskbar Clock Customization Features
WorldClock allows you to completely customize the taskbar clock display in almost any way you wish. You can set the date and time display format as well as the background colours/gradient. You can also adjust the position and size of the taskbar clock. Note too that you have the choice of displaying either the local time or the selected time zone's time in the taskbar clock. The options for the displayed date/time are extensive and are controlled by a user generated format string.

This Taskbar Clock Display Format String that you create in the Preferences screen is the heart of the date/time display control. You construct a string of 'elements' that tells WorldClock what to display. The following table lists some of these elements:

yyyyYear with century
yy Year without century
mm Month number (e.g. January -> 01)
m Month number, no leading zero (e.g. January -> 1, December -> 12)
mmmm Full month name (depends on control panel Region setting)
mmm Abbreviated month name (depends on control panel Region setting)
mme Abbreviated month name in English (useful in a non-English locale)
dd Day of month
d Day of month, no leading zero
dddd Full weekday name (depends on control panel Region setting)
ddd Abbreviated weekday name (depends on control panel Region setting)
dde Abbreviated weekday name in English (useful in a non-English locale)
hh Hour
h Hour, no leading zero
nn Minute
n Minute, no leading zero
ss Second
s Second, no leading zero
ww Week number (ISO 8601 standard)
w Week number, no leading zero (ISO 8601 standard)
tt AM/PM indicator, follows setting of "AM Symbol" or "PM Symbol"
/ Date separator (depends on control panel Region setting)
: Time separator (depends on control panel Region setting)
\n New line
LDATE Show long-formatted date (depends on control panel Region setting)
DATE Show short-formatted date (depends on control panel Region setting)
TIME Show time (depends on control panel Region setting)
TEMP Display current temperature (applied on next weather update)
COND Display current weather conditions (applied on next weather update)
WIND Display current wind conditions (applied on next weather update)
CITY Display weather info's selected city
"..." Display literal text surrounded by double quotation marks

For example, the format string for the taskbar time display in the image above would be:

TEMP  ddd mmm dd  hh:nn:ss tt
You also have control over the popup tooltip that is displayed when you hover your mouse over the taskbar clock display. The same elements as above are available for the construction of the tooltip format string.

When used in conjunction with the Weather feature, this can be a useful way of keeping track of the current weather as shown in the image above. (Note that you need not have the weather wallpaper feature active in order to have the taskbar clock display weather information. Worldclock will update the weather info even if the weather wallpaper is disabled.)

The format string for the tooltip in the image above would be:

"Current conditions are" TEMP "and" COND.\n"Winds are at" WIND.

Note that you can also control the length if time (in seconds) the tooltip is displayed.


 WorldClock's Alarms
You can also set up to eight alarms. These can be set for a given time and activated for the current day only or for selected days that you specify.

When an alarm triggers, you will receive a message such as the following:

You can also specify whether an audible alarm sounds when the alarm goes off. You can choose from either the built-in alarm sound or any Wav file of your choice.


 WorldClock's Calendar Features
WorldClock also includes a very nice calendar that has all of the major Canadian, US, UK, New Zealand, and Australian holidays already pre-programmed. In fact, it is even able to calculate the date of moving holidays such as Easter weekend as well as generic holidays such as Thanksgiving.

You can easily keep track of important dates by 'marking' the calendar for special days to remember such as birthdays, anniversaries, and celebrations. You can also choose to receive an alert when any of these dates arrive. The alert can be text-only, or text and sound (either WorldClock's built-in sound or a WAV file of your choice). You can also configure the time that the alert is delivered.


 WorldClock's Wallpaper Features
WorldClock has another calendar feature that is quite handy. It can imprint the calendar for the current month, as well as the previous and next months, onto your desktop's wallpaper. This will work for whatever wallpaper you choose and will automatically adjust to any new wallpaper you select. It will also automatically regenerate your wallpaper if WorldClock is running while your PC's clock goes to the next day.

The picture below is a crop of the top left-hand corner of a typical desktop with the calendar displayed.

You can configure the wallpaper calendar in several ways including size, font type, font colour, what side of the screen on which it is to be displayed, and whether to display the three months all in a line or 'tucked' into the corner of the screen. You also have the option to draw a circle around today's date as well as an option to draw a rectangle around statutory holidays.

WorldClock's calendar-on-wallpaper feature also supports BMP and JPG Active Desktop wallpaper. However, please note that Active Desktop GIF and HTML wallpaper are not supported.

WorldClock has a second wallpaper feature that will create a wallpaper image displaying a high resolution map of the world -- high enough in resolution that it will accommodate even the highest resolution displays (up to 2000 pixels across). The day and night areas of the world are clearly shown on the map (much the same as the Day/Night display in WorldClock but much bigger). You can also have the local time of up to 10 cities (20 in the registered version) displayed on transparent panels over the map as well as a clock displaying your current time.

The Day/Night World Map wallpaper can also be configured to display the night area using a satellite composite image of the Earth's surface at night. The day area uses the regular map while the night area uses a 'Night Lights' map. These 'Night Lights' are, of course, night illumination from our major metropolitan areas (street lighting, electric signs, etc.) which are clearly visible from space. (The screen shot above shows what this feature looks like.)

Your wallpaper will be re-generated according to your selected update frequency to reflect the current position of the shadow area and the current time on the time panels. If you have opted to display the clock as well, it too will be updated accordingly.

WorldClock also has a third wallpaper feature that will create a wallpaper image with a 'Sidebar' panel displaying the current weather conditions of your selected city along with a 3-day forecast. You have the additional options of displaying a 1-3 month calendar panel and an analog clock panel.

The picture below shows a typical desktop with all of the wallpaper features selected. Note also a fourth wallpaper option in the image below: The photo-realistic clock.

You can configure the Sidebar's calendar panel. This calendar is different from the 'Calendar on Desktop' feature as this calendar panel is drawn in the same display theme as the weather panel to produce a more pleasing aesthetic effect. You can display 1-3 months in various configurations of current, past, and coming months. You also have the option to display moon phase, moonrise, moonset, sunrise and sunset information.

You can also configure the analog clock panel by selecting from 18 different clock faces.

The final panel is the notes panel which is intended for you to place short reminder notes to yourself on your desktop.


 Using WorldClock & Other Miscellaneous Features
When you run WorldClock, the main window presents you with a map of the world. You can click anywhere on the map to select that area's time zone. You will see the selected zone time display (the right pane) update to reflect the UTC hour shift as well as the local time in your selected zone. Alternately, you can select an area/city in the listbox at the bottom of the screen. As stated previously, the program takes into account whether or not DST is in effect in the selected time zone. If so, you will see a little 'sun' icon appear just to the right of the time zone display. You will also notice that once you have select a time zone, the 'Select Place in Zone' popup menu item (the popup menu is shown on the right) is filled in with all of the places associated with that specific time zone.

Right-clicking anywhere on the WorldClock window will bring up the popup menu. Using the 'Preferences' item on this menu you can select various options such as whether or not to show the map and/or places segments of the WorldClock window. This can be handy when you want to park WorldClock in a small corner of your screen and take up as little space as possible. Note that there is also a 'Stay On Top' option in the Preferences menu. As the name implies, this option will force the WorldClock window to always remain above your other windows. Another nice option is the 'Show Time In Caption Bar' feature. With this set, the current time will be displayed in the caption bar of the currently active window (including other applications' windows).

The time display is broken down into two panes. The pane on the left shows you your local time, while the pane on the right shows you the current time in the zone you have selected. The time display has header bars to display the name of the selected areas. For your local time, I display what Windows reports as your local time zone. You can customize the typically bland nature of this information (i.e. 'Eastern Standard Time') with your own text. You do this by selecting the 'Set Local Name' option from the popup menu. This allows you to personalize the display to reflect something a little more meaningful (i.e. 'Montreal, Quebec').
If you don't like my choice of font or colour for the time display, you have the option of changing it. Simply select the 'Set Time Display' option from the popup menu and you can select from several different choices. If you only want to see the hours and minutes in the time display, simply turn off the 'Show Seconds' option in the Preferences menu.
If you minimize the WorldClock program, the program name on the Windows taskbar changes from 'WorldClock' to display the current location and time of your selected zone. You also have the option of minimizing WorldClock to the System Tray. Note that if you choose this option, you will lose the taskbar display of the selected area's current time. However, if you move the mouse over the WorldClock icon in the tray area, a hint window will popup to display this time. You can also choose to start your program already minimized.
You also have the ability to see where it is currently day and where it is night in the world. Simply select the 'Show Day/Night View' from the popup menu. This will bring up a display of the world with a shadow over the areas that are currently in night. If you keep this display open for an extended period of time, it will automatically update itself every minute. Note that there is a small yellow circle on this display. This is the point on the Earth where (at the current time) the sun would be directly above a viewer. As you can see from the image to the right, you can also get the Sunrise, Sunset, Moonrise and Moonset times for your local area. The current phase of the moon is also displayed in the graphic. Note that you must enter your location's latitude and longitude in the provided areas for this feature to operate correctly.
Selecting the 'Set Clock' option from the menu (or double clicking on either time display) will bring up the TimeSync screen. Press the 'Check Time' button on this screen to validate your PC's clock against your selected Internet Time Server. Note that you are not limited to my list of selected time servers. You can also enter your own server address if you so choose. You can also ask WorldClock to set your's PC's clock at pre-set intervals. Select the 'Set Clock Every' option from the menu and you can choose from every hour, 3 hours, 6 hours, or 12 hours. If you wish to run the program just to set the clock and then exit, there is a '/s' command line option to do this. Obviously, you must be connected to the Internet for all of these clock-set features to operate properly.
Another very handy feature is the multiple clock display. Select the 'New Multiple Clock Window' item in the popup menu to activate this display. Here, you have access to four independent clocks that display the times in four separately configurable areas of the world. Simply click on the little up-arrow button below any of the clocks to select a new area/zone. A list will popup above the button from which you can select aa area. Note that this list is identical to the area list in the main display.

Note also that there is a checkbox at the bottom of this window labelled: 'Show the time in these zones if the local time were:'. If you check this box, you then can do a 'what time would it be in X if the local time were Y' scenario. Specify the time in the edit window and the clocks will automatically update the times in the selected time zones. This is great for organizing on-line meetings or international teleconferences. (The specified time is always assumed to be for local today.)

Note that you have a 'digital clock' option for this display. If selected, the clocks will display in digital rather than analog form.

You will note that if you move your mouse over the date areas, the dates turn into buttons. Press either of these buttons and a calendar will popup on the side of the main screen. You can move the calendar display around by clicking and dragging while your mouse is over the month name. You can close the calendar display by clicking on the little 'x' at the lower right-hand corner of the calendar screen. (You can also bring up the calendar screen by selecting the 'Show Calendar' option from the popup menu.)
Once the calendar screen is up, you will note that there are two sets of buttons at the top of the calendar. The set on the left allows you to scroll the calendar through the months, while the set on the right allows you to scroll the calendar through the years. If you right click while your mouse is over the calendar area of the calendar screen, you will get a popup menu that allows you to select various options for the calendar. The main use for this menu is to set/reset your 'marked' days. Note that you can mark a day for the current year, or for all years. For instance, if you want to mark an upcoming event (concert, date, whatever) you would only mark for the current year. Birthday reminders, on the other hand, you would want to mark for all years.
You also have the ability to make all of the main WorldClock windows 'translucent'. This is very useful if you've set up WorldClock for 'Stay-on-Top' operation but find that it gets in the way of viewing your active application. With this translucency feature, you can still see your document (or whatever program is currently running) under the WorldClock window. You have full control over the level of translucency varying from almost fully translucent to fully opaque.

 
Well, that's pretty much it. I hope you find WorldClock a useful addition to your system.
 

Copyright 1998-2016 Fulvio Castelli. All rights reserved.