I have been looking for a binary clock for my Gnome desktop, but I did not find what I was looking for. I did find some examples for binary clocks, and there are a lot of different solutions for this, but none of them was what I wanted.

So here it is, my variant of a binary clock. Here it is shown in prism on my Ubuntu desktop. It reads HHMMSS, like 14:56:19. If your math needs a refresh, here we go:

In binary notation we have only two states, 0 and 1. So this means that when the number you notate exceeds 1, you will need a new digit, and the first one is reset to 0. This is exactly the same way our decimal system works: after 9, comes 10, only in binary 10 comes after 1 already.

In binary, you count 1, 10, 11, 100, 101 and so on..

In the decimal numeric system the value is given like this:

23

and it means

2*10+3

The same number can be represented in binary

10111

and you can read it as

1*16+0*8+1*4+1*2+1

Typed this way, the time 23:48:19 would be printed:

10111:110000:10011

Cool enough, but more used is a different way of printing the time. I guess it’s the 6-digits needed for minutes and seconds that made someone come up with this other way of typing it. In this case each decimal digit will get a corresponding binary number. Like this:

23 10 11

This is what we call binary-coded decimal. It is simpler to read, because it easily translates to decimal numeric system.

Funny thing, time itself is coded in a special way, where seconds and minutes are decimal-coded sexagesimal (it goes up to sixty), and the hours are decimal encoded quadvigecimal (the 24 hour clock, the 12-hour one is duadecimal).

Bottom line is that this clock is binary-coded decimal-coded sexagesimal/quadvigecimal. Lets just call it binary coded decimal clock to keep it simple.

Oh, I almost forgot: http://hitthebutton.org/bcdc

Update: That word.. quadvigecimal.. I might have just made that up.. If you know, please tell me 🙂