Special Edition Whyday Clock

Screenshot: Disk Whyday (2.6)

On August 19, 2009, Why the Lucky Stiff withdrew from the online community. We set aside that day, Whyday, to remember Why’s contributions to our community and culture by hacking just for the fun and joy of it.

Somewhere between August 20 and 22, 2012, Pair Networks FTP started working well enough to upload Disk Whyday – an annual countdown to Whyday, plus a 24-hour disk to track those hours which are so fleeting – like _why himself.

Disk Whyday is available as a Dashboard Widget, or a live Web App directly from this site.

Web App of the Century

Web App

Disk Clock has always been built on web technologies, although the canvas tag was specific to Safari until recent years. It is now available as a set of Web Apps here on diskclock.com The web apps support “cache manifests”, allowing them to be used offline by supported browsers – included smartphones with intermittent coverage.

The latest version (2.6.2) also cuts out the opening scale-up animation, which was more troublesome in the open-close applications available by the web format.

Disk Century

Screenshot: Disk Century (2.6)

Disk Century is available as a Dashboard Widget, or a live Web App directly from this site. (Chrome has introduced breaking changes and isn’t allowing new apps into the webstore.)

Disk Clock takes the idea of clock and turns it inside-out by moving the faces instead of the hand. Solar year broadens the horizon to encompass a full year. Disk Century takes it even further, to a span longer than a typical human life. The units of measure are years and decades rather than minutes and hours. To even see the outer disks move takes great patience. And yet, when you do, it becomes possible to truly appreciated the passage of time.

Pebble E-Paper Watch

Pebble

The Pebble watch has a lower-power e-paper screen, and communicates with an iPhone or Android for heavy duty processing and extra features. The Pebble Kickstarter project has become one of the most notable of all time, completely selling the ‘hacker special’ – apparently a lot of people want hack time. A number of custom faces are shown, but the Pebble is from the same people as the InPulse Programmable watch, so it remains to be seen whether the display system would be any more friendly for Disk Clock.

Solar Year Disk is now available.

Solar Year Disk is available as a Chrome Web App from the Chrome Web Store, or Dashboard Widget directly from Computer Generated Dreams.

Disk Clock takes the idea of clock and turns it inside-out by moving the faces instead of the hand. The Solar Year Disk beautifully presents the turn of the seasons.

Note that because this is a solar year, it turns at an even rate, and months are approximate. Solstices and Equinoxes are positioned at calculated positions (not simple quadrants), but are approximate. Light and dark show rough proportion of daylight throughout the year.

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Version 2.6 improves the solstice/equinox dates for Disk Calendar as well, and limits the scaling of the options pages, which behaved poorly at large sizes.

Disk Tzolk’in now available

Disk Tzolk’in is available as a Chrome Web App from the Chrome Web Store, or Dashboard Widget directly from Computer Generated Dreams.

The mesoamerican cultures had a fascinating calendar system based on interlocking cycles of 13 and 20. (Tzolk’in to the Maya, Tonalpohualli to the Aztec, and probably other names to other cultures.) Unfortunately, this only accounts for 260 days, so it was usually combined with a solar year counting system based on similar principles, but using a more traditional month/day arrangement. (The Haab) The combination of dates between the two systems repeated every 52 years, which became a time of major celebration.

Disk Clock takes the idea of clock and turns it inside-out by moving the faces instead of the hand. Disk Tzolk’in shows the 13/20 interlocking cycle together with an entire 260 day disk. Outer disk relates the two cycles by alternating, overlapping colors.

Count Down to December 21, 2012 in Style

Disk Apocalypse is available as a Chrome Web App from the Chrome Web Store, or Dashboard Widget directly from Computer Generated Dreams.

Disk Clock takes the idea of clock and turns it inside-out by moving the faces instead of the hand. Disk Apocalypse reinterprets “end of the world” 13-baktun mesoamerican long count calendar with shown as interlocking faces moving against a steady hand.

Six interlocking disks show off the cyclical nature of the long count, and how the all the cycles are lining up for December 21, 2012.

1. Pictun (13 baktuns)
2. Baktun (20 katuns)
3. Katun (20 tuns)
4. Tun (18 uinals)
5. Uinal (20 kins)
6. Kin (a day)

Note: compare this to the Disk Long Count version, with 20 baktuns in the longest cycle.

Mesoamerican Long Count Clock Now Available

Disk Long Count is available as a Chrome Web App from the Chrome Web Store, or Dashboard Widget directly from Computer Generated Dreams.

Disk Clock takes the idea of clock and turns it inside-out by moving the faces instead of the hand. Disk Long Count reinterprets the mesoamerican long count calendar (20 baktuns), shown as interlocking faces moving against a steady hand.

Six interlocking disks show off the cyclical nature of the long count.

1. Pictun (20 baktuns)
2. Baktun (20 katuns)
3. Katun (20 tuns)
4. Tun (18 uinals)
5. Uinal (20 kins)
6. Kin (a day)

Note: compare this to the “2012-12-21″ version, with 13 baktuns in the last cycle.

Disk Clock <3 The Present

For context, see: The Present

Music by Scrap Heap:

Greetings, Scott Thrift.
Good full moon to you.

I have always been confused by by time.
Digital is precise, but leaves you feeling lost.
You have to think about what the numbers mean.
Still, I always used digital because the analog clocks confused me even more.
Is the hour the long hand or the short?
I can reason it out, but it still makes me think.
Don’t even get me started on twelve hours.
When ‘seven’ could mean either breakfast or dinner,
it seems like a tool for confusion rather than clarity.

But that’s one of the things about creation.
Building your own clock allows you understand the ways that clocks are designed at a much deeper level than most people ever experience.

A few years ago I set out to try and solve the problem.
Instead of a hand hanging in space, what if the whole face moved?
Could we go beyond days – to weeks, months, and years?
Are color and image enough to make to it intuitive?

Certainly there have been a lot of false starts.
But working with software gives incredible freedom.
Instead of a fixed clock face, it becomes possible
to reimagine time in myriad ways,
show accurate daylight throughout the year,
or adjust to whatever size is required.

Disk Clock started out as a short project,
just for the sake of building something.
I figured that a Dashboard widget would be easy.
In fact it’s turned into a rabbit hole.
I’ve learned about JavaScript, modularity,
and a wonderous array of unusual clocks and calendars.

Rather than a short project, it’s turned into a multi-year adventure,
making the leap to Chrome and eventually other browsers.

The adventure hasn’t been without gaps.
It’s easy to get discouraged when nobody seems to notice your work.
Sometimes I wonder if I’m just some crazy guy, alone in the world.
Is there anybody out there thinking the same things?

So, Scott Thrift, I have two questions for you.
Do you like anything you’ve seen here? And,
Would you be at all interested in a digital Present?

The Sasa Clock

Ring Clock

The Sasa Clock by Thórunn Árnadóttir. This innovative clock tells time by way of five-minute beads. Though not in every variation, it can bought from Destes online with a full twenty-four hour string, color coded for night and day. It even doubles as a necklace, if you don’t mind looking up the time to replace it afterwards.

Disk Clock returns to the OS X Dashboard

Disk Clock version 2 is now available for the OS X Dashboard.

Disk Clock returns to the platform of it’s birth. While Apple seems to have lost interest in providing a marketplace for Dashboard widgets, Macs are more popular then ever, and Dashboard still comes with every one. Throw away that crummy, confusing 12-hour clock, and use a revolutionary, beautiful timepiece.

Version 2 split “Disk Clock” into multiple different widgets. Rather than having to flip to the back and configure multiple intersecting disk sets, each widget has only one set of disks. If you want multiple levels of detail, simply install multiple widgets. The freed up space on the backside allows certain clocks to expose settings that weren’t available previously, such as configuring the bedtime overlay.

Take a look at the available Dashboard Widgets. (If you don’t see a favorite face, be patient. And let us know what you miss.)

For Chrome, version 2.5 has some internal restructuring, smaller code, and less visible seams between color wedges.