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Time-Org

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The WWW Clock is a simple web page embedded with the current time that refreshes itself once every minute. There are no messy Java applets or open streams downloading continuous animated gifs. The time is inserted by the web server which is synchonized via the NTP time protocol to a master time server (which is why the clock on your computer may not show the exact same time). Once the WWW Clock web page has been loaded into a browser, it reloads itself every 60 seconds, pulling down a new page with the updated time. The time is inserted into the web page using something called PHP which, if it can ever be figured out by mere mortals, can do some really neat other stuff as well. The WWW Clock was first created in early 1995 after a private beta release of the Netscape Navigator web browser (v1.1b1). This launched a new feature called a Meta tag which included a page refresh function (http-equiv=”refresh”). This was paired with an experimental CGI from Maxum Development called NetCloak that we were already alpha testing, which, among other things, could insert the time and date into HTML on the fly. Literally, within a few hours of the web browser’s beta release, the first working clock was published on the Internet at http://www.higgs.com/x.acgi$Time and was announced to the world very shortly afterward on on Friday March 17th 1995. Soon afterwards, the WWW Clock became a fully embedded web page with randomized quotes and ads at http://www.higgs.com/cgi-bin/time.html (none of these URLs work anymore). Back then, these URLs ran on a sprightly 25MHz Macintosh Centris with 24MB memory running Mac OS 7.5.5 and MacHTTP/WebStar. Or it did, until it blew up, as it had the dubious honour of being the world’s most secure web server running on top of the world’s most unstable operating system. In late 1995, the domain name time.org was obtained and the WWW Clock has resided there ever since.

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