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External clock to the system

Posted on 2003-11-22
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Last Modified: 2010-04-26
A system I am building needs a clock to be dependant from the BIOS's clock.

I can think of a PCI card that update the system's clock let say every second OR an outside clock that connected to the serial port and so on.

Atomic clocks and LAN clocks are not capable for that task.

We are talking about standard PC
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Question by:zolpo
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by:AlbertaBeef
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I don't think I'm understanding...  do you want the computer to get it's time from an external source, other than through the network/internet or it's internal clock or o/s clock??
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by:zolpo
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yes.

Sorry "independent" NOT "dependent"

Please read my qustion in the programming sec.

http://oldlook.experts-exchange.com/Programming/Q_20806006.html

I feel that a hardware solution is the best for my needs.
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dbrunton earned 95 total points
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by:AlbertaBeef
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Yeah, I saw that too when I googled, the problem I see is it is user configurable, meaning people at the computer could set the time, which isn't what is wanted here.

I'm not sure there's an easy way to do this, it's a tough one.
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by:dbrunton
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Well, if the user software for the card is hidden and locked away from the casual user then it should do the job.
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by:AlbertaBeef
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yeah, it might at that.  wonder how often it updates the clock and how configurable it is...  if it only updates say once a minute or so, the user can still change the o/s clock and 'punch in' with modified settings.   If it updates every second or less, it will probably work for what zolpo wants.
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by:AlbertaBeef
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Did some research on the pci clockcard, and found this:

"A separate ClockCard process keeps the operating system maintained at the ClockCard time, refreshing it every 10 seconds."

the user has more than enough time to change the clock and punch in/out before it refreshes the system if it's 10 seconds.

That taken from http://www.beaglesoft.com/clcahowworks.htm BTW
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by:dbrunton
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So you restrict access to the data/time applet and restrict access to DOS.

But that's probably defeatable as well if the user is good enough.  And if the user is good enough you'd employ him/her on more interesting projects.

Might be better to hook the time/date interrupts and prevent users trying to change them.
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by:AlbertaBeef
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Best would be to install NT, Win2K Pro or WinXP Pro on any/all systems running this and restrict user abilities to adjust the system clock.  That's the simplest way.  Make it so only admins can adjust the clock.
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by:jhance
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Please see:

http://www.wclark.com/ntpclocks.shtml

These are NBS/NIST radio broadcast receivers with computer interfaces.  They receive the NBS/NIST transmissions for time, can be calibrated to account for radio transit-time delays (if you need that sort of thing), and have a computer interface so your software can read the correct time when it needs it or you can use that to sync your internal clock at desired intervals.
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by:chicagoan
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NTP doesn't have to connect to NIST. You can run your own NTP server (though it ought to sync to something once in a while and can do this vis GPS or nist's radio broadcasts)

Your application doesn't have to have anything to do with the system clock or hardware clock, can read the time from NTP and start clocking with periodic time correction, run as a protected service...





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by:zolpo
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I have to say that all of the solutions here looks good. But has one or two drawbacks;

1. Cost - this specific project cannot bear expense of 200$ +
2. The user still can cheat with ease.

I will wait more 24 H. for more comments. If no one will solve it, I will reward you all for your good will.

Thanks
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by:chicagoan
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>The user still can cheat with ease.
is this a prison labor call center or something?
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by:dbrunton
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Look at Alberta Beefs suggestion of NT, 2000 or XP.
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by:zolpo
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chicagoan

:)

Nop .... that app will not be used in a prison .... hhhh

But when one sells an app to the pub, I think he should give a solusion to most if not all situations.

Thanks to your interest

dbrunton
As you know, 9x is THE headace. BTW what do you think about what  cookre sujested in http://oldlook.experts-exchange.com/Programming/Q_20806006.html

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by:dbrunton
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Policies will do much of what you want under Windows 9x

You can lock the machine down fairly well.  But again its not fool proof and a really determined user could possibly find a way through it.

Depends on the type of users you expect you are going to have.
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by:Luc Franken
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Just my 2 cents:

An easy way to disable Time and Date is to rename or delete  the file TIMEDATE.CPL, located in the Windows\System folder.
Then you can use another program to synchronize the clock whenever you want.

LucF
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by:dbrunton
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But that doesn't stop someone going to DOS prompt and changing it there.

You need a policy to stop DOS being available.
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by:zolpo
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Thank you all
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