About The Human Clock
Ok, here we go...
Humanclock.com shows a photograph of the current time
, with the photo changing every minute of the day (all 1,440 occurring minutes on Earth!) Thus you end up with a rotating picture clock sorta deal.
How the time is actually displayed is a whole different matter. A lot of photos have the time written on a crummy cardboard sign
, while other photos might have the current time in a more edible format, such as olives
. There are photos below sea level
and ones over two miles above
sea level. There are even clock pictures with people who played
Many people viewing this website end up sending in their own clock pictures, be they in an airplane
, installing brakes
, or on a playground
in Missouri. There are clock pictures from all over the world ranging from Outback Australia
. Other people travel around the American Southwest and end up taking a clock photo on a corner in Winslow, Arizona
. Some people are so far north in latitude
that they still need a flash to take an outdoor photo at 9:22am in the morning, like in Greenland. There are even enough clock photos now to have pictures from Phoenix Arizona
, and Northern California
You might notice that a lot of the photographs are taken in Portland, Oregon USA or in Australia. This is because I live in Portland and spent 2002-2003 biking around the Australian
continent. I have nothing against the rest of world, but this is a one-man operation so I can only do so much. If you would like your geographic location represented, you can always submit a photo
I came up with this idea in March 2001 and it gradually evolved into what the site is now, the "third" version of the site. The first version of the site went online on July 16th, 2001. I decided to bike around Australia about 6 months after this, so this put any humanclock.com development on hold for the next 18 months. (which also explains why things remained a bit crusty-yet-usable for so long). This current version went online on December 8th, 2003.
Humanclock.com has both digital and analog clock formats. The digital clock consists of 21,810 photos, each representing a single minute of the day in some shape or fashion. The analog clock is a true "human clock" if there is such a definition. These photos don't change as much since there is a lot more preparation involved in creating analog clock photos.
Although I've done most of the work on this website, a whole "heap" of people helped me out by posing for a zillion photos and/or walking all over town with me pestering people for photos. There are so many at this point I can't begin to list everyone for fear of someone getting left out. As far as the website itself is concerned, I do have to thank Jeff Axup for some usablity suggestions and Myke Holling for suggesting I put actual Canyon Bomber graphics on my TPS reports. That was funny. Thanks to Joe for correcting my Freedom Rock quote down below too.
This website also exists due to the efforts created by the fine authors of the following "free" software packages which were used to create (and maintain) this website:
, GNU Project
, Redhat Linux
, and FreeBSD
Humanclock.com celebrates harmonious OS diversity! It was created using Linux, FreeBSD, Windows 98
MS-DOS 3.2, and Apple ][ DOS 3.3 (really!)
(frequently asked and made up questions)
Original drawings that were scanned for the 2001 site
How many people work for humanclock.com, who finances it?
Just one, me. There are no target markets, focus groups, or overpaid "visionary" CEOs who think they are the next Steve Jobs working here. There is no "shadow company" financing this website (well, a nice woman in California mailed me $5.00 once, and a guy in Florida offered to mail me his kids' allowance money).
Why do you have that old picture of yourself on the contact page, what is the point?
I've noticed that a lot of people/celebrities my age (~30) all say they "were the biggest dork/nerd in school", this is my way of proving that I earned the title. The photo is from Franklin Junior High in Yakima, WA. It is a group photo of all the kids in their extracurricular activity groups...yep, I was in the computers group.
When I typed in "humanclock.com", I mistyped it and left out a very significant letter. Is that site yours too?
Whatever happened to the original 11:11am girl's email address?
I removed her email address at her request, because she was getting more email than she could respond to, some of it creepy, some of it flattering. Check back soon and there might be a new 11:11 girl and/or boy.
That girl/guy at [1-12]:[00-59] am|pm timeslot is hot/cute/sexy/wanted in three states, can I meet them?
I don't know most of the people on the clock, if you see someone on the clock a lot I might know them though. Sometimes auctions are ran for the 11:11am "I need a date" timeslot.
My kid laughs every time the clock in our house turns to 4:20 am/pm, what is up with that?
Hints: Cheech and Chong, Nancy Reagan, D.A.R.E, the "War on Drugs" thingy, plant, Bob Marley, eating cookie dough, huh..what was the question?, what Willie Nelson did on the roof of the Whitehouse, Rainy Day Women #12 & 35, "I'm a joker...smoker...I'm a midnight toker"...you get the idea. How it actually came to be associated with 4:20, well, there are about 800 different theories
Last but not least, it probably has nothing to do the the closing time of the post office in Little America, Wyoming
(thanks to Fletcher for sending me this).
I'm from the Eastern United States, and some of your captions are wrong. Some clock pictures have pretty mountains and lakes in them and the caption reads "Washington". I've never seen anything like this in Washington, were they backdrops at the Smithsonian?
No, these were taken in a little known place in the Northwestern United States called "Washington". It is one of the 50 Often-United States, I kid you not. If your computer OS choice seems limited or your 80's Heavy Metal band became extinct, something in this state was probably the cause.
Did someone actually ask you the question above?
No, I made it up. I speak on behalf of everyone in Washington though. I listened to the radio a lot growing up. The national news would come on and I'd always hear the announcer say things like, "Thousands of attractive women are currently running naked
through the streets of Washington!" I'd sprint outside and not see anyone, then realize they meant Washington D.C.
Ok then, why do you violate English grammar rules and put a period outside of a quotation when it should be on the inside, like in the case above with "Washington"?
Maybe this is because I come from a computer science background where things are done logically and some sense of order is maintained with a solid yes/no answer, but if a period was part of the original quotation I would have quoted it.
What is your mission statement? In today's busy world you must have mission statement!
Uh, to serve time. I've had a variety of jobs over the years and have grown weary of such trite little sayings as "We have an unbridled desire to create happy guests". (this was from a restaurant, not a whorehouse)
Why don't have hardly any advertising on this site, how are you making any money? It is a website, you should be trying to make money on it!
Um, that's why it is humanclock.COM! (If you look up "losing money" in a thesuarus, you will see ".com" next to it.) Money wasn't my motivation for building this website, getting a photo of myself in USA Today that was five times the size of Madonna's, was. Being January 1st, 2003 on those page-a-day desk calendars was pretty cool
too. If my primary goal were to make money, this website would be be wearing more advertising than most schoolchildren.
Ha! The above is a lie, ads are now cluttering up the site everywhere!
When I started this site in 2001 it wasn't hugely popular for a few months, hence I could stash it on a friend's webserver for free. That was all nice and dandy until the website got mentioned on various talk shows and magazine articles. When this happened, the server (and any other sites/email on it) would get crushed with internet traffic.
In early 2002 I bought a new server, strapped it to the back of my bike
, and shipped on the train a few states to the east. This worked out fine until around 2004 until the website was on a national radio show and a lot of the Internet came to visit. I received an email from my friend who was hosting the server that, well, uh, it was time for me to move on
(language NSFW unless you work in a swearing factory
Since mid-2004 I've been shelling out a car payment's worth of money in hosting fees. Then of course we get into the whole time vs money thing. When I had to time to work on the site, I had extra money to keep the site online. Now that I am just freelancing, I have more time to work on the site, but I need the site to start paying its way a bit.
This looks like a blatant attempt to meet girls.
Nope, never done such a thing. My buddy Dave in Perth, Australia tried it once
Why are the website copyright dates in hexidecimal numbers?
Because everyone else uses decimal numbers. Once hexidecimal numbering becomes mainstream, I'll go octal, that or I'll pull a nostalgic retro move and go back to using decimal numbers.
Is that dodgy looking cardboard/numbers sign that shows up in a lot of the photos the same one?
Yup. It has been quite well-travelled too. top of Mt. Adams, giant new Zealand weatherwomen, parties, kayaking in new zealand, in a 66 corvette, a guy named Brad Pitt
, photographed though a moving car
, Richard Buckner
shows off 8:14pm. It has been to the potty in Los Angeles where George Michael got setup/busted
. It's hung out with Hendrix
. Last but not least it was carried 12,500 miles
around Australia on the back of my bicycle.
Mmmm, yeah, why did you go out of your way to call your statistics page
a "TPS Report"?
Go rent the movie "Office Space", that is where the"TPS Report" phrase came from. Heck, once you've seen the movie you might be able to chat up a cute boy/girl at a party with lines from the movie. (tip: quoting lines from Iron Eagle doesn't reel in the girls, trust me).
Atari 2600 Canyon Bomber
What is the"Canyon Bomber Format" as indicated on the TPS report
This is a homage to the 1978 Atari 2600 game"Canyon Bomber", programmed by David Crane
. Why anyone would drop bombs from a plane to blow up striated rock in a canyon is beyond me. Maybe this was a better name than"block hitter". For you nerdy trivia buffs, David later went on to produce the landmark game "Pitfall" for the Atari 2600.
I first built the TPS reports with the"Canyon Bomber" design in mind. My friend Myke* saw them and said it would be even cooler if I put the little helicopters on the actual graphs. Done!
* For 10 years this used to link to a very short domain name that served as his website. He sold the short domain name for a long amount of cash awhile back hence, no more link.
Where are those cute little dotty icons from? I have seen them before somewhere but can't remember where.
Apple ][e, Imagewriter II printer, and a program called Printshop. To make these two little icons, I had to fire up my old Apple computer. I was amazed at how that 17 year old 5.25 inch disc booted right up and I had my icons printed in about two minutes.
If you ever walked down a school hallway in the mid 80's, you probably some sign made with Printshop. I remember one time in junior high in 1985 a kid printed out a 20 foot long banner on the printer ("PARTY HEARTY DUDES!!!!! WOOOOHOOO!"), I'll never forget the look on the computer teacher's face. Oh yeah, did you know there is a driving game hidden in the PrintShop Companion? (boot side B, press Control-open apple-6)
Many of the photo caption fonts were printed on an old Panasonic dot-matrix printer using my Tandy 1000 SX. (on sale w/ CM-5 16 color CGA monitor for $899!)
The icons were a function part of the site from 2001-2004. I put them back here in 2011 even though they serve no functional purpose. I just hate to think of all that work I spent going to waste.
How come your first name is Daniel but you answer your emails as "Craig"?
My parents decided to call me by my middle name so I could be different. They weren't hippy parents with names like Stormy Willow and Radiant Moonflower, listening to Freedom Rock. (dude! Is that Freedom Rock? Yeah Man! Well turn it up! )
Wait my Mum (photo at right) actually has Freedom Rock on vinyl, uh oh. For those of you not in the know, Freedom Rock (circa 1988) was a specially priced 2-volume set ($19.95 LP/Tape, $24.95 CD) that had a pretty cheezy commercial.
Dude, is that actually you in that camaro picture on the submit photos page?
Yup. Had a mullet too. I don't own either anymore. If you ever see [my] Sister Teresa, ask her about it. Roughly quoting her: "all I can remember about that car was driving to school and......Warrant!"
Are those Atari 2600 and Tandy Model 100 "Webservers" for real?
Well, let's put it this way. PEEK and POKE are common BASIC commands, but the others???? I seriously didn't expect to hoax anyone with the Tandy Model 100 webserver. It caused quite a tizzy on slashdot.org in August 2001. I spent a few hundred hours collecting photos and building the original humanclock.com site. I spent about two of those hours making the webserver page. Yet most of the slashdot discussion was over the webserver.
Is that really a certified yoga instructor in those crazy pictures?
Those yoga poses that the webservers are doing are not yoga pose names!
You are correct, they are actually song titles from the band Guided by Voices
Sorta. Back in 2001 I wrote out several different "fonts" and scanned them in. I created a perl script which takes a text string and then builds an image containing the text string in whatever font I choose. In order to keep things a little more rough, several different instances of the same "font" are used, along with random spacing/positioning of each letter. The handwriting generator was used from 2001-2012 on the locations and captions but I had to stop using it due to the fact that I never bothered to create any förèîgñ characters.
Growing up I was told that I needed better handwriting, little did they know that my terrible penmanship would soon serve as functional art.
Why? This site is "gay". This site is stooooooooooooooooooooooooooooopid!
Dude, it's not my fault you are not old enough to drive and are are stuck in front of the computer on a Friday/Saturday night. Go play Quake or something and leave me alone. Take a shower too. (Please ignore the fact that I spent most of 1989-90 tying up my parents phone line with my 1200 baud modem.)
What is up with those pretentious quotes in the footer of each page?
Most of the adjectives and phrasings are lifted from various restuarant menus in Portland, Oregon. I thought it would be funny to apply (sorry, I mean, infuse
) them with computer-centric terms.
What is up with the lotto numbers on the montage clock?
It is so I can up the "potential revenue" of this website so I can seem more important than I actually am. My business plan is that at some point, someone will actually use some of the lottery numbers to play Powerball, win a 50 million dollar jackpot, and give me all the money. Easy.
You have too much time on your hands! Why did you waste your time on this?
The same could be said for someone sitting though a generic Hollywood action movie or someone mindlessly flipping though TV channels complaining that there is "nothing on". It is just how I choose to spend my free time.
That clock photo with the little boy is, like, so incredibly boring and uninteresting. Why do you put such lame photos into the site?
- or -
That clock photo with the little boy is wonderful! Everyone in our office loves all of the color and excitement within that photo!
A girl I know used to live in LA while growing up. Down the street were two blonde-haired twins who she was friends with. At the same time 1,159 miles away
, the first girl I ever kissed was totally in love with these two blonde-haired twins. Irony aside, the point of this paragraph is that the father of these two blonde-haired twins once wrote:
"You see, you can't please everyone,
so you got to please yourself."
Human Clock is several minutes/hours off!
The most likely cause of this is that the clock on your computer is (like...way) off (like, totally). Set the time on your computer correctly, then restart your web browser and go to humanclock.com. This site takes the time off of your computer and sets the Human Clock to the nearest timezone.
Since it is not even close
to being standard throughout the world, this website ignores the concept of Daylight Saving Time completely. If your computer does not automatically change for DST and is an hour off, the Human Clock website time will also be an hour off. Once you have corrected the time on your computer, restart your browser and everything should be ok.
Um, you have a spelling mistake. It is Daylight "Savings" Time!
No, it is not
Why did you put my photo in the AM timeslot instead of PM?
This usually happens because the photo doesn't have as much going or has a general blurriness that some people normally find in the AM hour.
Why doesn't my photo show up on the blog widget or mobile versions of the Human Clock?
Photos only show up in the blog widget clocks
if the photo can be cropped to fit the small photo size and have the time still be readable. Also, the widget clocks (will soon) only show photos that represent an actual "time" in some fashion. People who are not familiar with Humanclock.com right have a harder time grasping the concept of the site if the first photo they see is a house address or a price tag.
Some photos are just numbers, they aren't times, I just want to see people holding up a time!
Why do I have to look at photos of stupid knobs holding up blasted signs all day, I just want to see numbers as they exist in the world as if this site didn't exist!
I'm working on fixing it so you can hide types of photos you don't want to see. For now we'll all have to learn to just get along and a big virtual hug. (virtual crying optional
Why can't I change the overall website colors like on the previous version?
Uh, to advance my goal of achieving monocultured uniformity. I wanted to make the web interface a lot simpler, so a lot of things got the heave ho. The actual reason is though is that I took it off the "to-do" list so I could get the new version of the site out sooner....so it might be a feature again some day.
What happened to those funny urls the clock used to have?
I turned them off because people were posting them on the web and since they all pointed to the same spot, the humanclock site was dropping a lot in the search results.
Is there any way to make the pop-up window stay on top of all my windows? Why don't you use javscript to keep the window on top?
Pierre in Holland writes: "Isn't it possible to force the cute window to stay on top? In some strange way 'work' ends up on top of the cutest window in the world!"
If you are running Windows or Mac, there are widgets
available that you can download and run within the OS to essentially do this.
You can also download various software programs for the Mac and PC that will force a browser window to stay on top. Google is your friend on this one.
The optimal solution is to install a second monitor on your computer just for humanclock.com. If this was 1998 and I had piles of venture capital (aka other people's money) behind me, I would have mailed you an iMac blue colored humanclock.com branded monitor by now and you wouldn't even be asking this question.
I want to see the photo at a certain time, how do I do this? Where can I just browse all the clock photos.
You can't, that is the sheer fun of it! You get to sit there in front of the computer, growing older (literally) by the minute, waiting for the photo to come up. Fun huh?
Can I link to your website?
Feel free to link up the site using the address http://www.humanclock.com
Will you link to my website?
I usually don't link to other websites, in meeting-buzzword-speak, humanclock.com strives to be a One Way Portal
to a Virtual Dead End
Can I put a version of the clock on my own website?
Yes! Finally! You now can do this
Submitting a photo:
Why does the time have to be in the photo? I have this great photo from 1986 of my friends and I in a Maryland parking lot waiting for a Judas Priest concert, and I want it to be on the clock.
The whole concept of the clock revolves around photos deliberately taken with a time in them. You can't just take a photo and add in the time (via tape, ink, Photoshop) after the picture was taken. If this were the case then any photo could be a clock photo. Think of it this way....drawing on a mullet on a picture of your best friend and submitting it to one of those mullet websites wouldn't be that interesting. Anyone could do that.
I just sent you a clock photo, why doesn't it show up in the clock right away?
In a perfect world they would. But last time I checked this world was far from it. I review all submissions before they go into the website because:
- People make typing mistakes
- People send in photos with no time in them
- 12 year kids upload photos containing things they probably won't see in real life until they are in their 30's and have a job.
I sent you a clock photo with the time in it, but why didn't you put it in?
Photos that are really blurry, have too many numbers in them, or have a time that is hard to figure out are the biggest reasons for a photo being rejected. Also, try and take photos outside and show off where you live. Photos taken indoors get a bit old after awhile. More examples can be found on the submit photos
A daily calendar with a bunch of people all looking at the current date, Brady Bunch style.
Between February 2002 and July 2003, I biked around the continent of Australia and a quick tour of New Zealand. I updated this site every couple of weeks. It is a day by day journal with pictures (like over 12,000!)
My somewhat outdated homepage. Parts of it date back to 1995. I gotta get around to updating my age at the bottom...I was so much older then...I'm even older than that now. (12xu is a nod to the 1977 classic little ditty by Wire)
Online since December 1997. This is a program that people use to plan a hike on the Pacific Crest Trail, which runs 2,665 miles from Mexico to Canada. Now coded up in sexy php. The orignal version of this program was a 70k perl script written entriely MS Windows Notepad, ftping over a 28.8 modem, no shell access, and no way to view the server error logs.
If you have any question not answered here, feel free to send me a message