Frequently Asked Questions





Why the name 'TClockEx'?

If you've ever done Win32 API programming, you'll understand. Otherwise just think of it as "Tray Clock Extended".

How can I know when a new version is released?

Check back on this website periodically. I am no longer operating a mailing list or sending out announcements.

How can you give TClockEx away free?

This is one of those fun little projects that programmers indulge in to take their minds off of their real work. I also offer this back to the computer community at large in appreciation for the many free programs and resources that I have benefitted from over the years. I hope there will be more, both from me and from others.

Please bear in mind that this is an "after-hours" development project, which means that it gets my attention only in my free time. My first commitment is to my employer; he is the one who enables me to pay the bills so that I can afford to give TClockEx away free.

Is TClockEx Y2k compliant?

Basically, yes. TClockEx gets date information from the operating system (Windows), so it is as Y2k compliant as the operating system is. The only date manipulation that TClockEx does itself is in the calendar, and that is also Y2k compliant. (Give it a try and see for yourself!) In fact, someone pointed out that TClockEx is also Y3k compliant, in case that is important to you.

What language is TClockEx written in? How did you do it? Can I see the source code?

TClockEx is written in a combination of C and C++, but mostly C, using standard Win32 APIs. If you're curious to know how I did it, read the section of the help file titled, "Technical Information". I prefer not to hand out the source code, mainly because I put a fair amount of effort into poking around Windows, suffering numerous glitches, crashes and outright BSODs, so it's nice to have something to show for it all.

If you really want to write your own TClockEx, the help file will give you a pretty good start. If you're really really curious, I will try to answer specific questions and I may be able to provide parts of the source code that are relevant. Please understand that my time for answering questions related to TClockEx is limited, so don't expect an answer right away. (Unless of course you're paying me vast sums of money :-) )

Is there a French/German/etc. language version?

TClockEx gets all of its date and time information from the operating system, including day and month names, timezones and so on. If you have chosen a non-English language in the Control Panel, you'll get your chosen language in the clock. I have been told by several users that TClockEx also copes well with non-English language versions of Windows, such as Japanese and Hebrew, however there are some display issues that need fixing. At this stage the user interface side of things, including the Properties window and context menu, are only available in English. I have had offers to translate, but right now the maintenance that would be involved makes this a task I'm not willing to take up.

Does TClockEx work with x operating system?

Look here. If your operating system appears in the list then you will know whether or not it works. If your operating system is not shown then I haven't tested it yet, so why don't you try it and see whether it works. If not, you can uninstall, then tell me so that I can update the list and save everyone else the hassle.

Does TClockEx permanently change the clock? Can I go back to the old clock?

There are no permanent changes to any part of the operating system. TClockEx is a normal Windows program that can be started or shut down like any other or even uninstalled if necessary.

How can I permanently replace my clock with TClockEx?

Since TClockEx is a program, it needs to be started in order to work. Since version 1.3.2, it configures itself to start automatically when Windows boots up. You can control this with the "Load Automatically" checkbox on the advanced properties page. You can alternatively put a shortcut to the executable TCLOCKEX.EXE in your Startup folder, but then you must switch OFF the "Load Automatically" option, otherwise TClockEx will load twice.

Upgrading to a newer version.

You can install newer versions of TClockEx over older versions to preserve (most of) your settings. It is not necessary to uninstall the older version first, and doing so will also reset any settings and customisations you have made. Remember to shut TClockEx down before installing a newer version.

Using the right-click context menu is tedious. Is there a shortcut?

Beginning with version 1.3.2, you can click anywhere on the clock panel to bring up the calendar, or double-click to activate the "Copy to clipboard" feature. This can be redefined if necessary, or switched off if you prefer the usual Windows actions. There is a short delay after clicking before the calendar appears. This is necessary to determine whether or not you are actually double-clicking.

How can I make the calendar window remain visible when I switch to another window?

Go into the properties (right-click menu, TClockEx Properties), click on the "Calendar" tab, and uncheck the option, "Close when not active".

Since installing TClockEx, I can no longer double-click to change the time.

This is because TClockEx uses the double-click for a different purpose. Instead, right-click to get the context menu, and choose "Adjust Date/Time". (That option has always been there.)

How can I change "AM/PM" to "am/pm"?

TClockEx does not have this option because it already exists in Windows. Go to the Control Panel Regional Settings applet (Start - Settings - Control Panel - Regional Settings), then click on the "Time" tab and change the "AM symbol" and "PM symbol" to whatever you like.

Support for time zones.

TClockEx currently does not do anything special to support time zones and daylight saving. It simply displays whatever the operating system (Windows) says is the correct local time, and assumes that the OS knows what it is doing. If TClockEx shows the wrong time, chances are it's because Windows is not set up correctly for your time zone or daylight saving time.

Can TClockEx update the clock from an Internet time server?

No. There are other freeware programs available that can do this, such as "AboutTime" and Dimension 4; Windows XP has built-in support. There is no need to duplicate functionality that you can get in other free programs, and they would probably do a better job than I could do anyway.

Why does the properties window appear every time I start my computer?

If you put a shortcut into your Startup folder, make sure the "Load Automatically" option on the advanced properties page is not checked. Otherwise, TClockEx tries to load twice, and the second attempt makes the properties window appear.

I installed TClockEx and configured it, but I still can't see the date.

Make sure the normal Windows taskbar clock is switched on. TClockEx works by enhancing it, not replacing it. On Windows 9x click the "Start" button, then "Settings", "Taskbar & Start Menu", and finally make sure the checkbox labelled "Show Clock" is checked.

The CPU meter does not work, or shows 100% all the time.

The CPU meter does not work with Windows NT/2000/XP, so if you're running one of those operating systems there's nothing that can be done about it at this time.

If you're on Windows 95/98, the Windows System Monitor is probably not installed. System Monitor is an applet that is included on the Windows CD-ROM, but is not always installed on new computers. TClockEx needs this installed (though not necessarily running) in order for the CPU meter to work. See the topic, Installing Additional Windows Components in the help file for instructions.

If the CPU meter is working but is pegged at 100% all the time, it is unfortunately a side-effect of ACPI or some other hardware or software configuration on your computer, over which I have little control.

The resource elements do not work.

The resource elements do not work with Windows NT/2000/XP because those operating systems do not have the same limitations on resources that Windows 95/98 do.

If you're on Windows 95/98, the Windows Resource Meter is probably not installed. Resource Meter is an applet that is included on the Windows CD-ROM, but is not always installed on new computers. TClockEx needs this installed (though not necessarily running) in order for the resource elements to work. See the topic, Installing Additional Windows Components in the help file for instructions.

Since installing TClockEx, my cursor started flickering.

This is a problem with your display card and/or driver. It mostly affects display cards that are based on S3 chipsets, but some others are also affected. Unfortunately at this time there is no known solution, except to try a different display card or keep bugging the manufacturer of your card for an updated driver.

Why am I getting a "Divide Error"?

One of the system files that shipped with early versions of Windows 95 contained a bug that caused this behaviour. Microsoft has issued an updated COMCTL32.DLL that fixes the problem (and others). For more information about this, look at article Q165487 in the Microsoft Knowledgebase.

The memory load shows 50% even with no applications running.

This is usually nothing to be concerned about. There are at least three things at play here. First remember that even though you haven't started any applications this doesn't mean nothing is running. Some programs install themselves into your computer's startup sequence and may be running without you knowing.

Second, the memory load is a system-defined indicator of overall memory usage. That means that the operating system is directly responsible for determining the memory load value (TClockEx merely reports it). Also bear in mind that the memory load includes both physical RAM and virtual memory on your hard disk.

Third, Windows likes to grab unused physical RAM to speed up program loading and internal operations by a process called "cacheing". If your memory remained unused all the time there would be no point in having it. When you start loading applications, Windows surrenders cache memory to your application.

Why do the week numbers not seem to be correct?

Actually they are correct, according to the International Standards Organisation (ISO). TClockEx follows ISO8601, which puts week #1 of any year at the first week that contains January 4, with weeks beginning on Mondays. Some people don't like this and have their own ideas for week numbering. This is why we have standards. If you don't like it, take it up with the ISO.

What is a "timeout" error?

When TClockEx loads, it expects the loading process to complete within a certain amount of time. If something causes the loading process to be delayed, TClockEx will show a "timeout" error.

Timeout errors are most likely to occur when Windows is booting because there is so much disk activity from all the other programs that are attempting to load simultaneously. If you are troubled by the timeout error, it may help if you clear the "load automatically" option in the advanced properties, and then create a shortcut to TClockEx in your Startup folder. This often helps because the Startup folder is processed later in the boot sequence, after many of the programs have finished loading.

My computer seems to be losing time.

This is a common complaint, but it is unlikely to be directly attributable to TClockEx. Remember that TClockEx only reports the time, it doesn't create it! Furthermore, it reports exactly what the operating system thinks is the correct time, so if what it reports is incorrect, it is because the operating system's clock is incorrect. Usually the easiest solution is to find a program that can keep your clock accurate by periodically connecting to an atomic clock on the Internet. There are many fine shareware and freeware programs available that can do this.

It is well established that computer clocks are notoriously inaccurate, some gain or lose minutes per day! This is often caused by the the onboard battery, which maintains the clock while the power is off, going flat. In some cases, overclocking the CPU can also cause timing problems.

Another reason for computers losing large amounts of time at random intervals may be the power saving settings. When the computer goes into Standby mode, this very often prevents the clock built into Windows from being updated.

I can't get into the Properties.

When you click on "TClockEx Properties" in the menu, you can see the button for the Properties window on the taskbar, but you can't see the window itself. The window is being created, but you can't see it because it is outside the viewable part of the screen. This might happen if you recently changed the display resolution.

You can normally resolve this by using the keyboard to move the window back into the viewable part of the screen. Right click on the taskbar button that appeared, and choose "Move" from the menu. Then use the keyboard arrow keys to move the window until it reappears on your screen. After that you can go back to using the mouse to drag it into the position you like.

If this does not help, then download this file and double-click on it in Explorer. It will reset the window position settings for you. Make sure you exit TClockEx before doing this!

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