wwhy are we asked to set the time zone(gmt) during installation of any os??

Reply Thu 18 Feb, 2010 10:07 am
I want to know the basic reason for setting the time zone for any os.
I know that we require it for OS encoding, for timestamps on applications and also for synchronizing with the internet for various purposes such aas video conferecing, etc.
But even the oldest versions windows os(windows 1.0)required us to set the time zone. tht was in 1985 n internet was not tht popular..so why set the time zone...??
pls help with this as my teacher will kill me if i dont get this answer by the next class.
thank you,
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Reply Thu 18 Feb, 2010 12:11 pm
On booting up, the operating system gets its time from the computers Basic Input-Output System (BIOS). The BIOS's time may refer to a time zone other than that of the operating system and its user. (In 1985, for example, the BIOSs in virtually all Unix machines would have internally run on Greenwitch Mean Time (GMT)). To guarantee that computers present the right time to their users, the operating system will need the time zone they're in.
Reply Thu 18 Feb, 2010 12:17 pm
that's true....but if my computer showed the wrong time then i could correct it manually...so could there be any other reason other than this....
this question was actually asked by my computer teacher and he said there was a specific reason and we are supposed to find that out...
pls help me out
Reply Thu 18 Feb, 2010 12:23 pm
I believe that computers have a built-in "clock" which operates on isotope degradation, and which is therefore independent of the power supply. That would mean that it would need to be "set" to your time so that it will operate properly even in the event of a power failure.
Reply Thu 18 Feb, 2010 01:29 pm
My first computer was a Tandy TX-1000. After installing my own 32 meg hard disk, I added a clock chip. It had it's own internal (and non replaceable) battery. This was in 1989. No further upgrades were possible, and nothing was compatible with the TX.

It was durable, though. It would probably be going today if only there were programs that would work with 640K memory.
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Reply Thu 18 Feb, 2010 01:51 pm
hozefa wrote:
that's true....but if my computer showed the wrong time then i could correct it manually

Yes -- but it wouldn't stay corrected beyond the next reboot.

hozefa wrote:
so could there be any other reason other than this

I'm sure there could, but I can't think of any.
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Reply Thu 18 Feb, 2010 02:14 pm

most time bits use a linear time scale like seconds (instead of dealing with seconds, minutes, hours, days, etc.). Only if a human is in need of the current time, the time stamp is read and converted.

Computers simply conform to the human convention of reporting time. Computers don't really care what time it is; humans care what time it is.

Since a computer has no way of knowing what timezone it's sitting in, it asks.

If you don't care about your computer reporting the correct time, then you have no need to tell the computer the timezone, or even the correct time.
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