[ntp:questions] This is tougher than I thought?

Axonn axonnus at gmail.com
Sat Jan 21 10:28:18 UTC 2006

Hi everybody. My name is Axonn Echysttas and I'm a newbie to NTP. I'm
currently working at developing a replacement for the Windows OS
Systray clock. This program is free and I've been working on it for
the past year a lot. It will enter Beta 2 no later than 25 January this
year and Beta 3 (which will be public) probably during March this year.
However, for the time being, even though I built a lot of functionality
and it looks quite nice (very flexible and customizable), I didn't
yet start on NTP time synchronization. I got the RFC about NTP and it
scared me a little to see all those math formulae in it. On
http://tf.nist.gov/service/its.htm I read that "The NIST servers
listen for a NTP request on port 123, and respond by sending a udp/ip
data packet in the NTP format. The data packet includes a 64-bit
timestamp containing the time in UTC seconds since January 1, 1900 with
a resolution of 200 ps."

My question is this: could you help me for a good cause? I would like
to know how does the NTP format look like and how to take an accurate
time out of it. I suppose I can always start reading and searching by
myself, of course. But this thing doesn't look very easy at the first
glance. Also, the amount of documentation on NTP seems huge. I don't
know if the client-side NTP involves a lot of math but if it does,
I'm not that good at math yet. I didn't yet graduate University and
my school is on freeze for the last two years since I need to work to
sustain my family. However, this project of mine I did in my free time
and for the pleasure of doing something good and helping others, I will
never request money for it.

So how can I synchronize with a NTP server or more NTP servers? Is it
so hard as I imagine after going a little through the FAQs? I would
hope that the hard part is for servers, not for clients. I await your
answers with great anticipation.

Thank you very much for your time,
Axonn Echysttas,
ASD Clock creator.

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