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

Danny Mayer mayer at ntp.isc.org
Sun Jan 22 21:23:47 UTC 2006

Axonn wrote:
> 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.

I'm not sure what it is that you are trying to accomplish, but if you
install the Windows version of NTP, the local clock will be as accurate
as it can be and you need to do nothing else. Calls to GetLocalTime() at
that point will get you the time accurate to the millisecond if you want
to display in local time. I don't think you really need to duplicate the
functionality of NTP that's already available on Windows.


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