Insider Tips: Network Time Protocol

ON THE DOT

Article from Issue 60/2005
Author(s):

Networks often require very accurate timekeeping. The Network Time Protocol provides the time with precision.

Any cheap watch will keep better time than the chips in modern computers. There are tricks to improve precision – for example, you can ascertain the deviation and calculate a correcting vector – but you’ll never find a real alternative to using the proper tools. Computers often learn the time from extremely accurate reference clocks. There are many options. A DCF77 receiver connected to the serial or USB port allows a computer to receive the time from a reference clock (Figure 1).

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