binary-clock: Welcome to the geek club

I’ve been spending a lot of time in some core Linux packages lately, and I would do well to step outside those for a short while. Here’s one or two that are newer than BSD4.25.013a. … 🙄

Most of the geeks I know personally — the ones who venture out of their dens willingly, to make contact with the outside world — are for some reason fascinated by binary clocks.

I think it’s an intellectual superiority thing, where the ability to recognize and appreciate a binary clock is a clue to another geek. From there they can have discussions at a level deeper than fried foods, pictures of offspring and American-style football.

Instead, they can jump to more esoteric topics, such as the incongruencies between particular variations on the Star Trek universe. Or why a light saber is still superior to a portal gun. 😕

So an office clock that counts out in binary via flickering blue LEDs or a screensaver that keeps time by flashing colored boxes is a subtle-yet-pointed invitation to commiserate at geek level. Kind of like a club tie, or a special handshake.

In the absence of the US$25 that will get you an actual, physical binary clock, there are quite a few options for the terminal. One is John Anthony’s binary-clock, which makes good on its name.


It is exactly what it promises: No numbers, just flickering digits counting out hours, minutes and seconds, from top to bottom.

And binary-clock (which installs as binclock, just so you know) gives you no crutches to lean on. Some other binary clocks might make concessions to those who don’t get the old joke about 10 types of people, and show conventional numbering at the same time. With binary-clock you either read the display, or you’re late for your bus.

Two frills worth mention: themes and color sets. Pressing “t” will cycle through character sets for the display — all of which, I would like to mention, are base ASCII sets. So no complaints about oddball output at the framebuffer this time.

Pressing “c” will cycle through color schemes, changing the indicator colors to follow preset styles. You can’t actually adjust the colors (or display characters) directly. Unless you edit the code, of course.

Which is probably a possibility, if binary-clock is something that appeals to you. After all, if you see binary-clock and think, “Heck yeah, I’m putting that on the 300Mhz CTX EzBook 800 running Crux Linux in my office” … well, hand-editing code is probably a no-brainer for you.

Congratulations, and welcome to the geek club. 😈

P.S.: Post 1024. :mrgreen:

1 thought on “binary-clock: Welcome to the geek club

  1. Pingback: Links 27/9/2014: Linux (Almost) Everywhere, Features Of Linux 3.17 | Techrights

Comments are closed.