View Full Version : Big Ugly Analog Clock

Bungo Pony
July 13th, 2009, 09:06 PM
Ever since Vista was released, I keep seeing numerous screenshots that have big ugly analog clocks on them. I really, really tried having the analog clock on my desktop, but I completely hated it. Maybe it's from me using computers for the last 20 years and trying to get as much info on the screen as I can. But I just can't tolerate that big thing sitting on my screen constantly. I'm much happier with the little digital one sitting in the corner.

The person who authored the Interface Hall of Shame (http://homepage.mac.com/bradster/iarchitect/) repeatedly says that implementing real objects onto a computer screen just doesn't work, and I have to agree with him.

For those who have the analog clocks on your screens, may I ask why you like them?

July 13th, 2009, 09:18 PM
I don't like the sidebar at all.

I have a widescreen laptop, but I hate having something always there.

When I say I want something maximised (which is 90% of the time, with how I use my computer) then I want it covering the screen.

July 13th, 2009, 09:26 PM
+1 to the OP and Mehall's response!

I've never understood the attraction to desktop widgets. They make for nice eye candy in screen shots, but seem impractical for everyday use.

July 13th, 2009, 09:28 PM
Analog clocks can be one of two things:

Plug ugly-a la Vista or Win7. The clock just looks like it doesn't belong-on ANY aesthetic level.

Elegant-a la say Enlightenment, or the up coming new default plasma theme on KDE4.3. The key is that the clock and the environment have to visually integrated...not disparate elements that have the appearance of just happening to be on the same screen.

Of course-on Windows, an analog clock is COMPLETELY pointless, as you already have a digital one stuck on the taskbar anyway-so it wastes space.

July 13th, 2009, 09:31 PM

Especially with what badmedic said. I show people conky and widgets sometimes, but I don't like having them up all the time.

I've been trying to go minimalistic, even removing icons from the screen, except for the essentials. I haven't always been like that, but that's how I prefer things now.

July 13th, 2009, 09:36 PM
I remember when gDesklets first came out. Since this was something new, I loaded up applets (--er gadgets, --er widgets, --er desklets, --er whatever) for everything available, particularly the Big Analog Clock. After taking the obligatory screenshots to show off my new eye candy, I didn't find much use for them, and finally concluded that they just got in the way.

At least OS X is getting it somewhat right with the dashboard app: click 'this' button to show flashy junk momentarily, then go back to your normal desktop when the novelty wears off. Although, it begs the question: why even have this junk in the first place? I think it has to do with the "me too" mentality. Since everyone has some version of the shiny desktop applet, then we need to have them too--quick, get busy on this! We can't afford not to have this modern feature!!

I too prefer to see the time (and day, and date) at the top right panel in digital format. When my wife asks me what time it is, I don't have to minimize windows or use hot-cornered compiz-fuzion 'show desktop' to find the answer. In the end, a minimalistic approach is best. And although I think OS X is largely rubbish in terms of usability (for me anyway), hopefully everyone else will take notice of the minimalistic interface and say, "me too!" Now if only the Linux distros that ship with Clearlooks (or some other "puffy" GTK theme) would take notice and get rid of application buttons that are the size of my fist. -Ahem.

(Black macbook 4,1. 1 ext3 partition, 1 swap. Running Ubuntu Linux only, and damn glad).

July 13th, 2009, 09:44 PM
I use cairo clock in Ubuntu, I keep it rather large. My moms vision is not the best so sometimes she pops into my room to take a look at the desktop for a quick check of the time. everything has it's purpose, if you don't need it don't use it.

Bungo Pony
July 13th, 2009, 10:35 PM
I love my Conky. It's so useful. If there's a misbehaving app gobbling RAM or CPU space, I'll see it almost immediately.

July 13th, 2009, 11:53 PM
Similar to most compiz desktop effects, analog clocks look cool and novel in screen shots and videos, but kind of lose their appeal when you find out how unpractical and unnecessary they are.

July 13th, 2009, 11:55 PM
What? You mean you don't like this (http://i234.photobucket.com/albums/ee205/yogajuan/desk.png)? :p

July 14th, 2009, 12:15 AM
What? You mean you don't like this (http://i234.photobucket.com/albums/ee205/yogajuan/desk.png)? :p

I love the clock-it is everything else that is the problem. ;)