Yet Another Cycling Forum

Random Musings => Miscellany => Kidstuff => Topic started by: hellymedic on April 24, 2018, 06:07:37 pm

Title: I think we knew this...
Post by: hellymedic on April 24, 2018, 06:07:37 pm
Young people can't easily read analogue clocks.
http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/education-43882847 (http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/education-43882847)

I've been reading analogue clocks since I was four and both kinds of clock are within sight of where I sit.

I *think* I read analogue clocks faster because I recognise shape, rather than having to read and process four digits.

What think others?
Title: Re: I think we knew this...
Post by: pcolbeck on April 24, 2018, 06:13:59 pm
I'm with you Helly. I don't think I "read" analogue clocks I take it in with a glance its pattern recognition rather than going big hand pointing at 8 little at 4 etc. I find it much faster to read an analogue clock than a digital one. You cant glance at a digital clock and think its "about quater past five".
I like and use both though. 
Title: Re: I think we knew this...
Post by: Kim on April 24, 2018, 06:16:35 pm
I grew up surrounded by digital clocks.  The only analogue ones were my parents' watches, random public ones, and the one on the kitchen window sill that wasn't small-child visible.  To me they were an interesting novelty, rather than a tool.

Reading analogue clocks was a random skill I learned in school, like songs about Jesus, or long division.  I can do it, obviously, but decoding them never became fluent.  Digital clocks are much quicker, as they just have the time written on them.

It stands to reason that I was ahead of the curve - as ex-pats who missed the 70s and returned to the UK in time for me to go to school, most of my parents' household items (clock radios and such) were bought new in the mid-80s, just as digital clocks had become cheap and ubiquitous.  I'm completely unsurprised that the children of the 1990s and 2000s are in a similar situation - it makes perfect sense.
Title: Re: I think we knew this...
Post by: Kim on April 24, 2018, 06:20:35 pm
You cant glance at a digital clock and think its "about quater past five".

Yeah, but you can glance at a digital clock and know it's 5:13.  That 5:13 is a little before 5:15 may or may not be relevant, depending on the context.  If you're you running for the 5:15 train, all you care about is that 13<15.  If you want to get to the post office before it shuts at 5:00, all you care about is that 5>=5.  If you need to get home by 6:00 then you've got 60-13=47 minutes.  I just think in terms of simple numerical comparisons and/or arithmetic.  No geometric approximations necessary, and I'd have to convert them into numbers to really mean something anyway.

I don't think it's better or worse, just different.  Like which way round you have your brake levers.
Title: Re: I think we knew this...
Post by: Jurek on April 24, 2018, 06:24:40 pm
Totally this^^^.
From a design perspective, if you glance at an analog  dial, you clock (did you see what I did there?) segments.
The segment which has passed, and the segment that's still to come.
It is very quick and reliable.

In other news...
Car dashboard and aircraft instrument panel design.
In the days when this was analog, if it had been well executed, the needles of all the dials, if everything was running tickety-boo, would line up at a common angle.
Sweeping across an instrument panel, with multiple dials, it'd be easy to spot if a particular function was running out of kilter.
I seem to remember that all the dials on the dashboard of my 80s 3 litre Ford Granada would line up at ~ 10 o'clock when it was on song.

ETA - Like PCO, I like both, depending on application.
Title: Re: I think we knew this...
Post by: Kim on April 24, 2018, 06:34:31 pm
Car dashboard and aircraft instrument panel design.
In the days when this was analog, if it had been well executed, the needles of all the dials, if everything was running tickety-boo, would line up at a common angle.

This seems like a very good feature.  The digital equivalent would be to make things change colour or flash obnoxiously when they exceed some limits.

I remember reading that in the early days of digital cockpit instruments, a problem was that pilots would obsess about making, say, the engine RPM the ideal round number (eg. trying to hit 5000 rather than seeing 4973 or 5062 as 'close enough'), to the detriment of more important tasks.

I'd like to know if that's a problem with digital natives.  My gut says it might still be, but probably to a lesser extent than those used to analogue gauges with their implicit smoothing effect.  The digital watch generation are used to discarding unneeded precision.

Going even further off-topic, while I appreciate the aesthetic and robustness of a classic AVO, an only moderately decent digital multimeter wipes the floor with them performance-wise in almost every respect.
Title: Re: I think we knew this...
Post by: Jurek on April 24, 2018, 06:50:39 pm
Car dashboard and aircraft instrument panel design.
In the days when this was analog, if it had been well executed, the needles of all the dials, if everything was running tickety-boo, would line up at a common angle.

This seems like a very good feature.  The digital equivalent would be to make things change colour or flash obnoxiously when they exceed some limits.

I remember reading that in the early days of digital cockpit instruments, a problem was that pilots would obsess about making, say, the engine RPM the ideal round number (eg. trying to hit 5000 rather than seeing 4973 or 5062 as 'close enough'), to the detriment of more important tasks.

I'd like to know if that's a problem with digital natives.  My gut says it might still be, but probably to a lesser extent than those used to analogue gauges with their implicit smoothing effect.  The digital watch generation are used to discarding unneeded precision.

Going even further off-topic, while I appreciate the aesthetic and robustness of a classic AVO, an only moderately decent digital multimeter wipes the floor with them performance-wise in almost every respect.

My bold.
Yep.
And when you have enough buzzers going off and lights flashing, your attention is being pulled between pillar and post, just when it is, possibly, most needed elsewhere.
Title: Re: I think we knew this...
Post by: Ashaman42 on April 24, 2018, 06:58:25 pm
I can read either roughly equally well. Though on a snowboard trip when I was 18 or so I 'forgot' how to read an analogue clock. I'm sure I took about five minutes to work out the time.

Sent from my SM-G930F using Tapatalk

Title: Re: I think we knew this...
Post by: hellymedic on April 24, 2018, 07:05:00 pm
I don't think I would be able to check a pulse with a digital watch.

I don't know what younger medics do.

Wall clocks with sweep second hands were good...
Title: Re: I think we knew this...
Post by: Jurek on April 24, 2018, 07:10:38 pm
I don't think I would be able to check a pulse with a digital watch.

I don't know what younger medics do.

Wall clocks with sweep second hands were good...
I can see why that might be.
Title: Re: I think we knew this...
Post by: Cudzoziemiec on April 24, 2018, 07:14:50 pm
In other news...
Car dashboard and aircraft instrument panel design.
In the days when this was analog, if it had been well executed, the needles of all the dials, if everything was running tickety-boo, would line up at a common angle.
Sweeping across an instrument panel, with multiple dials, it'd be easy to spot if a particular function was running out of kilter.
I seem to remember that all the dials on the dashboard of my 80s 3 litre Ford Granada would line up at ~ 10 o'clock when it was on song.
Then there was the Suzuki Katana, whose dials appeared to be contrarotating.

(https://www.theflyingbanana.com/dials.jpg)
Title: Re: I think we knew this...
Post by: Kim on April 24, 2018, 08:07:44 pm
I don't think I would be able to check a pulse with a digital watch.

Not done that sort of thing often enough to get good at it, but I'd watch for the rollover rather than 'reading' the numbers.  Or use a timer mode on your digital watch to offload the keeping track of time, I suppose.

Quote
I don't know what younger medics do.

Pulse-ox.  With a digital display.  Or one of those automatic blood pressure cuffs with all the consistency of an nPower estimated bill.  </cynic>


Quote
Wall clocks with sweep second hands were good...

I remember my mum going to some lengths to find a wristwatch with one (for when she wasn't wearing a dangly nurse's one).  She couldn't get on with the ticky kind.
Title: Re: I think we knew this...
Post by: hellymedic on April 24, 2018, 08:39:17 pm

Quote
Wall clocks with sweep second hands were good...

I remember my mum going to some lengths to find a wristwatch with one (for when she wasn't wearing a dangly nurse's one).  She couldn't get on with the ticky kind.

David can't do ticking clocks in the bedroom. We bought an 'Electrique' wall clock from John Lewis.
Title: Re: I think we knew this...
Post by: Kim on April 24, 2018, 10:26:23 pm
Ah yes, barakta gets wound-up (pun intended) by ticking clocks.  It's the kind of high frequency noise that her hearing (and hearing aids) are particularly good at.  We obtained a digital clock (with a 12-hour mode, to avoid confusing the dyslexics), on which I performed a beeperectomy, for her office and she condemned the ticky one to the Niceday cupboard of shame.
Title: Re: I think we knew this...
Post by: Mr Larrington on April 25, 2018, 03:54:17 pm
In other news...
Car dashboard and aircraft instrument panel design.
In the days when this was analog, if it had been well executed, the needles of all the dials, if everything was running tickety-boo, would line up at a common angle.
Sweeping across an instrument panel, with multiple dials, it'd be easy to spot if a particular function was running out of kilter.
I seem to remember that all the dials on the dashboard of my 80s 3 litre Ford Granada would line up at ~ 10 o'clock when it was on song.
Then there was the Suzuki Katana, whose dials appeared to be contrarotating.

(https://www.theflyingbanana.com/dials.jpg)

I think there was an Aston Martin on which the speedo and rev counter actually were contra-rotating, although that might have just been for pose value during the startup phase.  I shall ask the stable lad when he gets back from Tora Bora next month.
Title: Re: I think we knew this...
Post by: Cudzoziemiec on April 25, 2018, 07:02:40 pm
It's nice to think of the Katana as a two-wheeled Aston Martin.
Title: Re: I think we knew this...
Post by: Jurek on April 25, 2018, 07:17:26 pm
I'm guessing (aka: I'd like to think) that the intention on the Katana was that the needles remain parallel as you gunned it through the gears and the speed increased.

ETA - Leastways, that's how I would've done it....
Title: Re: I think we knew this...
Post by: Cudzoziemiec on April 25, 2018, 07:39:12 pm
Could've been. I don't know what's happened to the tacho needle on that example. But I want a Katana now! (Hmm, should be in Vroom... )
Title: Re: I think we knew this...
Post by: Eccentrica Gallumbits on April 25, 2018, 08:03:27 pm


I *think* I read analogue clocks faster because I recognise shape, rather than having to read and process four digits.

What think others?
I think everyone who learnt to tell time on an analogue clock does that.

I much prefer analogue clocks. When I look at a digital one, my brain has to convert the numbers to the shape.

I read somewhere a while ago that many youngsters these days don't understand phrases like "quarter to" or "half past" because they've only used digital clocks. Do they not teach telling the time in primary school anymore? I remember learning it.
Title: Re: I think we knew this...
Post by: Greenbank on April 25, 2018, 08:54:22 pm
I'm guessing (aka: I'd like to think) that the intention on the Katana was that the needles remain parallel as you gunned it through the gears and the speed increased.

Um, they may match in one gear, but they can't match in more than one gear as that's the entire point of gears.
Title: Re: I think we knew this...
Post by: Kim on April 25, 2018, 10:36:34 pm
I read somewhere a while ago that many youngsters these days don't understand phrases like "quarter to" or "half past" because they've only used digital clocks. Do they not teach telling the time in primary school anymore? I remember learning it.

That's silly.  I think in digital, but "quarter" just means "quarter of an hour", and is a fancy way of saying 15 minutes.  "Quarter to" is just another way of saying "thing forty five", no drama.

(Related, I think and write in 24 hour, but convert automatically to 12 hour in speech (unless deliberately being precise).  To me it's just the way you pronounce it.)

I occasionally fall foul of the "half to" convention that some FOREIGNS use, and take an extra moment to parse leftpondianisms like "bottom of the hour", but that's normal, Shirley?
Title: Re: I think we knew this...
Post by: Greenbank on April 26, 2018, 08:05:17 am
I occasionally fall foul of the "half to" convention that some FOREIGNS use, and take an extra moment to parse leftpondianisms like "bottom of the hour", but that's normal, Shirley?

And the ambiguous "half of" and "quarter of" that is in use in various parts of the US (for some "half of three" means 2.30 and to others 3.30). [ They plan on fixing the ambiguity by 5/10/18* ].

"bottom of the hour" makes me think of The Hunt For Red October...

Quote
Because he goes to starboard in the bottom half of the hour.

My brane parses "top of the hour" as something akin to the Irish "top o'the morning to you" and it takes a short while for the parser to work out they mean "o'clock".

* This joke worked better before 2013.
Title: Re: I think we knew this...
Post by: T42 on April 26, 2018, 10:02:40 am
I occasionally fall foul of the "half to" convention that some FOREIGNS use, and take an extra moment to parse leftpondianisms like "bottom of the hour", but that's normal, Shirley?

And the ambiguous "half of" and "quarter of" that is in use in various parts of the US (for some "half of three" means 2.30 and to others 3.30). [ They plan on fixing the ambiguity by 5/10/18* ].

The "half of" & "quarter of" areas are probably where German immigrants ended up post-1848 - and also where adverbs first began to die out.

Having lived in Germany and worked mostly for German clients since leaving, I still register "half ten" as 09:30.

In re analogue vs digital, I'm finding digital increasingly faster to read, probably because every electronic device that has a display feels obliged to tell you the time when it's plugged in but otherwise idle.
Title: Re: I think we knew this...
Post by: Cudzoziemiec on April 26, 2018, 11:22:13 am
Does bottom of the hour mean x:59 or half past x? Possibly in thinking it might mean the latter, I'm displaying "shape thinking," but then the phrase "bottom of" or "top of" does imply shape.
Title: Re: I think we knew this...
Post by: TheLurker on April 26, 2018, 11:55:33 am
Quote from: kim
...5:13 is a little before 5:15 may or may not be relevant, depending on the context.  If you're you running for the 5:15 train, all you care about is that 13<15.

Hmmmm.  I think you could probably get away with a mediaeval tower clock showing only the hours when it comes to deciding whether or not to run for a train.  :)


Quote from: hellymedic
I don't think I would be able to check a pulse with a digital watch.

Spent more time in hospitals lately than I would like and pulse, BP and 02 is all done by a clever little computer on a wheeled stand.  Suspect that most young medics (Why aren't the boys wearing short trousers?  Shouldn't they still be in school and not pretending to be medics?) can't do, "monitor for 15s and multiply by 4" in their heads these days.
Title: Re: I think we knew this...
Post by: Basil on April 26, 2018, 12:14:35 pm
Kids tell me the time much more accurately than I am used to.  In this house we still use the "Nearly ten to" "just gone 5 past" convention.

I'm sure I remember my parents saying "5 and 20 to".  Which would sound very odd today.
Title: Re: I think we knew this...
Post by: matthew on April 26, 2018, 12:45:35 pm
I run a dual display watch, if I want to know the approximate time I glance at the analogue face and know which quarter of the hour it is. If I need to know if I have enough time to get to the station for the train then I will read the digital display.
Title: Re: I think we knew this...
Post by: Kim on April 26, 2018, 12:56:12 pm
At some point in my fairly long history of using Linux on the desktop, I had a toolbar clock app with configurable precision.  You could do normal things like "12:54:23" or "12:54pm", or as you turned the precision down it would go through "five to one" "one o'clock" "lunchtime" "afternoon" and "Thursday".  Silly but fun.
Title: Re: I think we knew this...
Post by: pcolbeck on April 26, 2018, 12:57:16 pm
These days the main advantage of analogue clocks to me is that I can read them without my glasses on.
Title: Re: I think we knew this...
Post by: T42 on April 26, 2018, 01:10:48 pm
And you can read someone else's watch upside down from halfway cross the room.
Title: Re: I think we knew this...
Post by: hellymedic on April 26, 2018, 02:19:56 pm
These days the main advantage of analogue clocks to me is that I can read them without my glasses on.

Certainly true for the bedroom wall clock, which is  the only thing at which I glance without my spex.
Title: Re: I think we knew this...
Post by: Butterfly on April 27, 2018, 09:38:03 am

I'm sure I remember my parents saying "5 and 20 to".  Which would sound very odd today.

My late mother was Welsh and she told the time in that manner.
[/quote]

My Grandma did, and I've been known to without thinking (she lived with us so I learned her habits). I once said it to my American boss who nearly fell over laughing at something so antiquated. I hadn't thought about it until then.
Title: Re: I think we knew this...
Post by: Mr Larrington on April 27, 2018, 12:57:31 pm
Spare a thought for BRITONS in Germany, where "half two" is half past one.
Title: Re: I think we knew this...
Post by: Feline on April 27, 2018, 01:31:12 pm
I don't think I would be able to check a pulse with a digital watch.

I don't know what younger medics do.

Wall clocks with sweep second hands were good...

I swipe across the screen on my apple watch to temporarily turn it into an analogue clock face  ;D
Also sometimes use a nurses fob watch that I only ever look at the second hand on, not for telling the time. Its not even set to the right time.
Title: Re: I think we knew this...
Post by: T42 on April 27, 2018, 03:19:02 pm
I hope it doesn't become elitist or politically incorrect for public buildings to have analogue clocks. Nor yet:

PM to PPS: What's the time, Rodney?

PPS: Well, sir, the big hand's on the 4 and the small one's nearly on the 3.

PM: Thank-You, Rodney. Quarter past four, then?
Title: Re: I think we knew this...
Post by: Kim on April 27, 2018, 05:42:33 pm
I hope it doesn't become elitist or politically incorrect for public buildings to have analogue clocks.

They'll just become what they've been for me all my life:  Decorative items, possibly of historical interest, that you can tell the time from with a bit of effort.

What I'd actually like to see the death of are digital clocks that aren't backed up by an accurate time source.  If you see a random analogue clock (that isn't somewhere like a clocktower or railway station, where you expect effort will be put into making it show the right time) you can reasonably assume that it's either some antique mechanical thing that's drifted up to a few minutes since it was last given some loving attention, or it's a cheap shitty quartz oscillator that nobody's touched since the last daylight savings change, and therefore not to be trusted.

Digital clocks, on the other hand, have no excuse.  Unless you've got a very good reason to have a free-running clock (eg. a wristwatch or bike computer), either sync them to a time source (GPS, radio time signal, NTP, GSM, the grid frequency, whatever) or don't bother.  My microwave doesn't need a clock, and it needs one that's perpetually 5 minutes out even less.
Title: Re: I think we knew this...
Post by: SteveC on April 27, 2018, 06:28:33 pm
Digital clocks, on the other hand, have no excuse.  Unless you've got a very good reason to have a free-running clock (eg. a wristwatch or bike computer), either sync them to a time source (GPS, radio time signal, NTP, GSM, the grid frequency, whatever) or don't bother.  My microwave doesn't need a clock, and it needs one that's perpetually 5 minutes out even less.
Which is why our kitchen has three clocks, one analogue and two digital, all different and all wrong.
Title: Re: I think we knew this...
Post by: Kim on April 27, 2018, 06:40:46 pm
Digital clocks, on the other hand, have no excuse.  Unless you've got a very good reason to have a free-running clock (eg. a wristwatch or bike computer), either sync them to a time source (GPS, radio time signal, NTP, GSM, the grid frequency, whatever) or don't bother.  My microwave doesn't need a clock, and it needs one that's perpetually 5 minutes out even less.
Which is why our kitchen has three clocks, one analogue and two digital, all different and all wrong.

Our kitchen has three digital:  One free-running and usually few minutes fast (microwave), one synced to the electricity grid (oven), and the one on the kitchen computer screen that we sometimes use for telling the time, which is NTP synced to something with a GPS receiver.  Oh and a rotary mechanical timer on the boiler which we don't use, but is grid-synchronised and if I didn't need glasses to see that high, could be used to tell the time the power has been off for to within about 5 minutes.

But mostly when cooking we don't care about the absolute time, we just care about "come back and turn it over in n minutes".  The key feature is that the timing device can reliably get your attention from elsewhere in the house.  Hence a complicated computer program integrated with stuff, rather than a simple noise-making timer.  (Most people would just set an alarm on their phone.)  It also reminds us when and which bins to put out, which is surprisingly useful.
Title: Re: I think we knew this...
Post by: Cudzoziemiec on April 27, 2018, 07:13:36 pm
The clock on the oven, which I'm pretty sure isn't synched to anything, is the only "public" time telling device in our whole house. It's digital and if it wasn't there, the boy would be either late or early for school (or rather, to meet his friends on the way in to school). It's digital. Every so often he complains it's out by a few minutes and someone (me) presses various buttons until remembering how to set it. Mostly, it's a timer. For actual time we have watches and phones and stuff.