Simon’s Backup Weblog


Repent Harlequin said the Tick Tock Man

Posted in Uncategorized by Simon Bisson on November 23, 2005

I saw this clock at the Design Museum a while back.


Solstice in South Kensington

An interesting idea, it’s a piece of software linked to a web cam. Every second it stores an image, and displays them in a ring of 60 image slots. Every 60th image is stored in a 60 slot minute ring. Every 360th image goes to a 12 slot hour ring. The three rings add up to a view of the changes that take place over a day…

Now if only they’d make the software available, and take the hour ring up to 24 hours…

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4 Responses to 'Repent Harlequin said the Tick Tock Man'

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  1. ciphergoth said,

    How come the second ring looks like one long smeared image, rather than lots of identical images side-by-side? Does it use just one 1D “slice” of the webcam image?

    Shouldn’t be had to write one of these if you want one…

  2. nalsa said,

    If the hour ring was 24hrs, then either the hour ring would have to have double the number of slots (ie, 120, which is probably too many unless you have a huge version of it) or they’d have to take every 720th image for the hour ring. Either way is possible, of course…

    And yes, I want one too.

  3. marypcb said,

    that particular clock was poinitng at the sky so it’s a record of blue sky and clouds from dawn to dusk – hence the black bit in the middle ring. The second slots in the outer ring are quite small – 360/60 gives you 6 degrees per second and within a minute the sky doesn’t change that much. Think of the second hand as a pretty filter applied to the current minute – complete with the feeling of tiem going fast – and the whole clock as a frozen selection of moments in time from the whole day. The live clock at the Design Museum was pointing at the fairly dark gallery and I had huge fun spreading the skirt of a black leather coat in front of it, then flashing a bright lavendar scarf and watching the movement and colour percolate through the seconds and minutes. They had the solstic clock as a big beautiful printout on the wall – it’s about a foot square.

    I’d love to see a photoshop filter of this so I could feed in photos from a day out or a week’s holiday and see the aggregate colours of the place…

  4. ciphergoth said,

    It seems weird that the seconds ring is the outermost ring: the slower rings are the ones with the busiest images, and thus the ones that you want the most detail on. I guess it’s because the hour hand is the short hand. Still, I’d want to put the 60-second ring on the inside, and the 24-hr ring on the outside.


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