On 8 Jan 2006 at 15:04, Tom Van Baak wrote: > You cannot divide timekeeping, time dissemination, > into neat stages. In the 1960s if ten labs were told > to offset their phase or frequency it affected only a > handful of people or systems. Today when IERS > announces a leap second, millions of machines, > systems, and people are affected. Thankfully, most > of them handle it OK.
Although, even now, the majority of consumer and business equipment is not directly affected in any noticeable way; such machines usually run on a local clock considerably less accurate than an atomic clock, periodically re-synced (perhaps manually, perhaps automatically) to an external time standard. At each such re-syncing, the time may need to be adjusted by a few seconds, or even a few minutes, due to inaccuraccies in the local timepiece, so any leap second that may have occurred since the last syncing will merely result in a 1-second difference in the magnitude of this adjustment, not particularly noticeable to the end users. If some application (e.g., a database) requires a timescale without discontinuities, the application might need to be shut down for a few seconds to perform the time adjustment (whether or not there is a leap second in the mix) in order to prevent data corruption at the moment of the change. -- == Dan == Dan's Mail Format Site: http://mailformat.dan.info/ Dan's Web Tips: http://webtips.dan.info/ Dan's Domain Site: http://domains.dan.info/