There seems to be several ways to compare time. This is what I use 
to log out visitors if they do nothing in 1000 seconds. This would be 
easier to do with sessions, but when I made the site my ISP did not 
have PHP 4.x available. logtime column type is DATETIME, and it 
stores the date as mm-dd-yyyy.  UNIX_TIMESTAMP is seconds 
from some date in 1970(?), but you have to be prepared for the 
overflow problem in 2037. 
I have no idea about the performance issues of this setup, but it 
works fine for me. 

Jyrki Leppala 

$sql = "SELECT (UNIX_TIMESTAMP() - UNIX_TIMESTAMP(logtime)) AS timediff 
            FROM yourtable WHERE sessionid='$sessionid' "; 
$result = mysql_query( $sql ) or die ( 'Ei voi lukea' ); 
$row = mysql_fetch_array($result); 
if ($row[timediff]>1000) $userlevel=0; // or whatever you need to do here 
$sql = "UPDATE table SET logtime=SYSDATE(), 
           userlevel='$userlevel' WHERE sessionid='$sessionid' "; 
$result = mysql_query( $sql ) or die ( 'Ei voi päivittää' ); 

On 18 Oct 01, at 16:11, p.whiter wrote:

From:                   "p.whiter" <[EMAIL PROTECTED]>
To:                     <[EMAIL PROTECTED]>
Date sent:              Thu, 18 Oct 2001 16:11:23 +0100
Subject:                Re: [PHP-DB] newbie - problems with Select and timestamp(14) 

> Thanks for the reply, but the Timestamp(14) column (log_time) in my DB
> saves the time as '20011018134612' this is the same format as the
> NOW()+0 I think?
> I have tried various methods to get this to work. I've gone through
> the manual and various books I have here but am having no joy at all.
> I have spent far too much time on this, it really should be quite
> straightforward to compare against a Timestamp column!! If anyone else
> has any ideas......
> Thanks
> Paul

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