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Re: Analog and Digital Clocks, Part 2
Posted By: gremlinn, on host 24.25.220.173
Date: Wednesday, October 10, 2001, at 01:00:05
In Reply To: Analog and Digital Clocks, Part 2 posted by codeman38 on Tuesday, October 9, 2001, at 20:34:20:

> (I'm posting this thread to Forum 2 although it's somewhat of a continuation of a Forum 1 thread, because it's really more of an unrelated tangential rant. Anyway...)
>
> How many people here find it more difficult to read an analog clock than a digital one? I know I can't be alone out there.
>

I know exactly what you mean. Say, for example, it's 10:43. If I read it on a digital clock, I know virtually instantaneously that it's 10:43 (of course, I need a small bit of time to process the information, but I'm saying that it's as quick as you could expect). If I look at an analog clock, I first have to look at which two numbers the hour hand is pointing between. Then I have to shift my eyes over to the minute hand and see which numbers it's pointing between AND estimate what percentage of the distance it has covered if the minutes aren't marked off. Then I have to do a quick mental conversion (the 8 denotes 40 minutes past the hour, and the minute hand is 3/5 of the way between the 8 and the 9)before converting back to "10:43", which is how represent a time in my head (yes, a mental image of two numbers separated by a colon).

Now gee, isn't it easier to just imprint the "10:43" visual image directly than go through this whole roundabout procedure with analog clocks? It's not *that* bad, I guess -- maybe 1 to 2 seconds at the worst.

I wonder if some people envision times by a mental image of a clock with an hour hand and a minute hand. To me, that would just be freaky, but maybe that's how it is with some people who didn't grow up with digital clocks around them.

> It's odd, too; I've always been this way, as far as I can remember. It's not that I *can't* tell time using an analog clock-- it's just that it takes me several seconds to figure out what time it actually is, while most people I know can just glance at the clock and read it immediately. And don't even get me started on those clocks without numbers and/or tick marks for the hours...I can't see how anyone could read those without at least some bit of trouble.
>
> Similarly, I've always preferred wearing digital watches, even though I've several times been offered more "elegant"--occasionally even more expensive--analog ones. I guess I *could* wear a nice fancy analog watch along with a digital watch to actually tell the time, or something along those lines...I dunno, I'm rambling again.
>

Ugh. I'd never wear an analog watch. Okay, I probably would if my life depended on it.

> Who knows, maybe it has something to do with the fact that I spent a good amount of my childhood staring at computer monitors. *g*
>
> -- codeman"um...it's about a few little ticks past that thick line"38