iburst - NTP

This is a discussion on iburst - NTP ; Added "iburst" to the server line in /etc/ntp.conf as: server 0.north-america.pool.ntp.org iburst server 1.north-america.pool.ntp.org iburst server 2.north-america.pool.ntp.org iburst I understood that adding the 'iburst' would spee synch on boot. Unfortunately, it hasn't. It still takes anywhere from 3 to 5 ...

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Thread: iburst

  1. iburst

    Added "iburst" to the server line in /etc/ntp.conf as:

    server 0.north-america.pool.ntp.org iburst
    server 1.north-america.pool.ntp.org iburst
    server 2.north-america.pool.ntp.org iburst

    I understood that adding the 'iburst' would spee synch on boot.

    Unfortunately, it hasn't. It still takes anywhere from 3 to 5 minutes to
    synch.

    Is there a way to reduce the synch time to seconds instead of minutes??

    Thanks,
    Terry
    --
    ++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++ ++++
    ================================================== ====
    ************************************************** ****
    If you are always rushing towards the future,
    Then you never have any past.

    Terry Boldt
    ************************************************** ****
    Paraphrasing Ben Franklin:

    Those who sacrifice freedom for safety, have neither.

    The exact quote:

    They that can give up essential liberty to obtain a little
    temporary safety deserve neither liberty nor safety.
    Benjamin Franklin (1706 - 1790),
    US author, diplomat, inventor, physicist, politician, & printer
    Historical Review of Pennsylvania, 1759

    ************************************************** ****

  2. Re: iburst

    Do you have a "good" value in your drift file?

    H

  3. Re: iburst

    terrypearl wrote:

    > Added "iburst" to the server line in /etc/ntp.conf as:
    >
    > server 0.north-america.pool.ntp.org iburst
    > server 1.north-america.pool.ntp.org iburst
    > server 2.north-america.pool.ntp.org iburst
    >
    > I understood that adding the 'iburst' would spee synch on boot.
    >
    > Unfortunately, it hasn't. It still takes anywhere from 3 to 5 minutes to
    > synch.
    >
    > Is there a way to reduce the synch time to seconds instead of minutes??
    >


    Not really. Even with iburst it takes something like twenty seconds to
    collect the information necessaray to START synchronizing the clock.
    The maximum slew rate of 500 parts per million means that it takes a
    while to correct any error. I think that your "3 to 5 minutes" applies
    to a "warm start"; e.g. starting with a good drift file. A cold start
    takes something like thirty minutes to get tight synchronization.

    This is all relative. If you start ntpd with -q and use iburst you will
    probably not be off by more than 100 milliseconds.

    If you need to be in tight synchronization at all times, don't ever shut
    down!!! If your O/S requires frequent reboots, change to a better one.


  4. Re: iburst

    Harlan Stenn wrote:
    > Do you have a "good" value in your drift file?
    >
    > H


    driftfile: -21.719

    good? bad ? indifferent ?

    Terry


    --
    ++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++ ++++
    ================================================== ====
    ************************************************** ****
    If you are always rushing towards the future,
    Then you never have any past.

    Terry Boldt
    ************************************************** ****
    Paraphrasing Ben Franklin:

    Those who sacrifice freedom for safety, have neither.

    The exact quote:

    They that can give up essential liberty to obtain a little
    temporary safety deserve neither liberty nor safety.
    Benjamin Franklin (1706 - 1790),
    US author, diplomat, inventor, physicist, politician, & printer
    Historical Review of Pennsylvania, 1759

    ************************************************** ****

  5. Re: iburst

    Richard B. Gilbert wrote:
    > terrypearl wrote:
    >
    >> Added "iburst" to the server line in /etc/ntp.conf as:
    >>
    >> server 0.north-america.pool.ntp.org iburst
    >> server 1.north-america.pool.ntp.org iburst
    >> server 2.north-america.pool.ntp.org iburst
    >>
    >> I understood that adding the 'iburst' would spee synch on boot.
    >>
    >> Unfortunately, it hasn't. It still takes anywhere from 3 to 5 minutes
    >> to synch.
    >>
    >> Is there a way to reduce the synch time to seconds instead of minutes??
    >>

    >
    > Not really. Even with iburst it takes something like twenty seconds to
    > collect the information necessaray to START synchronizing the clock. The
    > maximum slew rate of 500 parts per million means that it takes a while
    > to correct any error. I think that your "3 to 5 minutes" applies to a
    > "warm start"; e.g. starting with a good drift file. A cold start takes
    > something like thirty minutes to get tight synchronization.
    >
    > This is all relative. If you start ntpd with -q and use iburst you will
    > probably not be off by more than 100 milliseconds.
    >
    > If you need to be in tight synchronization at all times, don't ever shut
    > down!!! If your O/S requires frequent reboots, change to a better one.


    Not shutting down uses more electricity - since I am paying the bill on
    that instead of my employer, of which I have none being on disability
    and a fixed income which gets relatively smaller every year, I prefer to
    keep my costs as low as possible. Do you have any more wise-ass remarks
    on how to spend my money????

    Running Linux Fedora Core 5. Do you prefer Windows???

    It doesn't require reboots - just shutting down daily when I am not
    using the machine.

    Terry

    >



    --
    ++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++ ++++
    ================================================== ====
    ************************************************** ****
    If you are always rushing towards the future,
    Then you never have any past.

    Terry Boldt
    ************************************************** ****
    Paraphrasing Ben Franklin:

    Those who sacrifice freedom for safety, have neither.

    The exact quote:

    They that can give up essential liberty to obtain a little
    temporary safety deserve neither liberty nor safety.
    Benjamin Franklin (1706 - 1790),
    US author, diplomat, inventor, physicist, politician, & printer
    Historical Review of Pennsylvania, 1759

    ************************************************** ****

  6. Re: iburst

    Richard B. Gilbert wrote:
    > terrypearl wrote:
    >
    >> Added "iburst" to the server line in /etc/ntp.conf as:
    >>
    >> server 0.north-america.pool.ntp.org iburst
    >> server 1.north-america.pool.ntp.org iburst
    >> server 2.north-america.pool.ntp.org iburst
    >>
    >> I understood that adding the 'iburst' would spee synch on boot.
    >>
    >> Unfortunately, it hasn't. It still takes anywhere from 3 to 5 minutes
    >> to synch.
    >>
    >> Is there a way to reduce the synch time to seconds instead of minutes??
    >>

    >
    > Not really. Even with iburst it takes something like twenty seconds to
    > collect the information necessaray to START synchronizing the clock. The
    > maximum slew rate of 500 parts per million means that it takes a while
    > to correct any error. I think that your "3 to 5 minutes" applies to a
    > "warm start"; e.g. starting with a good drift file. A cold start takes
    > something like thirty minutes to get tight synchronization.
    >
    > This is all relative. If you start ntpd with -q and use iburst you will
    > probably not be off by more than 100 milliseconds.
    >
    > If you need to be in tight synchronization at all times, don't ever shut
    > down!!! If your O/S requires frequent reboots, change to a better one.


    Not shutting down uses more electricity - since I am paying the bill on
    that instead of my employer, of which I have none being on disability
    and a fixed income which gets relatively smaller every year, I prefer to
    keep my costs as low as possible. Do you have any more wise-ass remarks
    on how to spend my money????

    Running Linux Fedora Core 5. Do you prefer Windows???

    It doesn't require reboots - just shutting down daily when I am not
    using the machine.

    Terry

    >



    --
    ++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++ ++++
    ================================================== ====
    ************************************************** ****
    If you are always rushing towards the future,
    Then you never have any past.

    Terry Boldt
    ************************************************** ****
    Paraphrasing Ben Franklin:

    Those who sacrifice freedom for safety, have neither.

    The exact quote:

    They that can give up essential liberty to obtain a little
    temporary safety deserve neither liberty nor safety.
    Benjamin Franklin (1706 - 1790),
    US author, diplomat, inventor, physicist, politician, & printer
    Historical Review of Pennsylvania, 1759

    ************************************************** ****

  7. Re: iburst

    >It doesn't require reboots - just shutting down daily when I am not
    >using the machine.


    That's a slightly(?) ugly case for keeping time.

    The problem is that the frequency of the crystal is strongly(?)
    temperature dependent. If you run the machine for a while
    it warms up and gets the drift file setup for that temperture.
    When you turn it off, it cools down. When you reboot it, the drift
    file is slightly(?) misleading.

    How much do you care about how accurate your clock is?
    Are you a geek trying to push the envelope, or just a
    normal user trying to keep a reasonable clock? (I'd
    call within 1 second reasonable for email and log files.)

    --
    These are my opinions, not necessarily my employer's. I hate spam.


  8. Re: iburst

    In article <%crah.14971$Uz.9028@trnddc05>,
    terrypearl wrote:

    > driftfile: -21.719


    > good? bad ? indifferent ?


    Without knowing the frequency error of the timing crystal in the PC, it's
    impossible to say.

    What was meant by the question was: does the value in your driftfile
    accurately reflect the correction needed to maintain the steady state?

    Because you are not keeping the machine up for very long at any one time,
    it is possible that the drift value never properly converges, so the
    value is not particularly accurate. If you didn't have a drift file at
    all, or if it is unreadable to ntpd, ntpd would have spent about 15
    minutes trying to calculate the frequency error, before setting the
    time. However, I'm not really sure how you define "achieve synch".

    (Also, as you say you use Linux, Linux shares, with Windows, a tendendency
    to lose clock interrrupts, which can severely disrupt the ability to maintain
    accurate time.)

    Incidentally, although I haven't tried it in anger, I believe that a system
    with a good driftfile value will achieve low offsets faster if it is
    started with an offset of more than 128ms. Below that, gentle corrections
    are applied, but, above it, a step correction is applied.

    As to leaving the machine on, that is very good advice for precision time
    synchronisation protocols, like NTP. We cannot know when people are
    under severe financial constraints if they don't tell us.

  9. Re: iburst

    terrypearl writes:

    > Added "iburst" to the server line in /etc/ntp.conf as:
    >
    > server 0.north-america.pool.ntp.org iburst
    > server 1.north-america.pool.ntp.org iburst
    > server 2.north-america.pool.ntp.org iburst
    >
    > I understood that adding the 'iburst' would spee synch on boot.
    >
    > Unfortunately, it hasn't. It still takes anywhere from 3 to 5 minutes to
    > synch.


    I guess "iburst" for "initial sync": What's the "state" of your ntpd then? I
    guess it's "2", meaning (initial sync AFAIK). Final sync would be "state=4".

    >
    > Is there a way to reduce the synch time to seconds instead of minutes??


    Ulrich

  10. Re: iburst

    Hal Murray wrote:
    >> It doesn't require reboots - just shutting down daily when I am not
    >> using the machine.

    >
    > That's a slightly(?) ugly case for keeping time.
    >
    > The problem is that the frequency of the crystal is strongly(?)
    > temperature dependent. If you run the machine for a while
    > it warms up and gets the drift file setup for that temperture.
    > When you turn it off, it cools down. When you reboot it, the drift
    > file is slightly(?) misleading.
    >
    > How much do you care about how accurate your clock is?


    Just a normal user trying to keep a somewhat accurate clock. If left
    alone, the h/w clock can drift as much as 5 minutes in 6 months. I'm
    just trying to keep it a little more accurate than the wall clock
    running off the frequency of the local power grid.

    I finally learned about ntpd about a week ago. It had been set to run by
    the FC 5 installation. But the firewall prevented synch. When I finally
    got that worked out, my boot time went from about 1 minute to many
    minutes. In watching the boot messages, I discovered that ntpd was the
    culprit. It takes ntpd several minutes to synch during boot. Was simply
    trying to get that synch time down to something under 1 minute. During
    the time I was trying to get ntpd through the firewall, someone on this
    newsgroup mentioned using iburst to get the synch time from minutes to
    seconds. Guess they had that wrong or we used different definitions of
    synch.

    So I guess if I want to use ntpd, I will have to live with the mnay
    minute boot time??

    Terry

    > Are you a geek trying to push the envelope, or just a
    > normal user trying to keep a reasonable clock? (I'd
    > call within 1 second reasonable for email and log files.)
    >



    --
    ++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++ ++++
    ================================================== ====
    ************************************************** ****
    If you are always rushing towards the future,
    Then you never have any past.

    Terry Boldt
    ************************************************** ****
    Paraphrasing Ben Franklin:

    Those who sacrifice freedom for safety, have neither.

    The exact quote:

    They that can give up essential liberty to obtain a little
    temporary safety deserve neither liberty nor safety.
    Benjamin Franklin (1706 - 1790),
    US author, diplomat, inventor, physicist, politician, & printer
    Historical Review of Pennsylvania, 1759

    ************************************************** ****

  11. Re: iburst

    terrypearl wrote:
    > Hal Murray wrote:


    > I finally learned about ntpd about a week ago. It had been set to run by
    > the FC 5 installation. But the firewall prevented synch. When I finally
    > got that worked out, my boot time went from about 1 minute to many
    > minutes. In watching the boot messages, I discovered that ntpd was the
    > culprit. It takes ntpd several minutes to synch during boot. Was simply
    > trying to get that synch time down to something under 1 minute. During

    ntpd runs as daemon.
    The usual rc scripts do not wait for the daemon to be in sync.
    What you may run into is the startup script trying to set the initial date
    by way of ntpdate with an unresolvable ( per DNS ) or unreachable server hostname.

    ( On my SuSE Systems this timeout may eat upto 30 seconds of boot time. )

    If you start/run your System in an "occasional user" manner
    ( i.e. switch it on, use for an hour, switch off ... ) you may well be better of
    by just setting the time and leaving it at that. ( I have an old Win3.1 System
    running that has gained 2 hours since i last adjusted its RTC 3/4 years ago.)

    uwe


  12. Re: iburst


    >I finally learned about ntpd about a week ago. It had been set to run by
    >the FC 5 installation. But the firewall prevented synch. When I finally
    >got that worked out, my boot time went from about 1 minute to many
    >minutes. In watching the boot messages, I discovered that ntpd was the
    >culprit. It takes ntpd several minutes to synch during boot. Was simply
    >trying to get that synch time down to something under 1 minute. During
    >the time I was trying to get ntpd through the firewall, someone on this
    >newsgroup mentioned using iburst to get the synch time from minutes to
    >seconds. Guess they had that wrong or we used different definitions of
    >synch.


    There are two parts to getting ntpd started. One is the startup
    scripts that run automagically at boot time. That shouldn't take
    long as it forks off a deamon to do the real work. I'd expect
    a few seconds.

    The other is for ntpd to get the clock in "sync". With iburst,
    that shouldn't take long, but I don't think you are waiting for
    that.

    I could easily be confused. The details probably depend upon
    your distribution. Somebody might have tweaked things to wait
    until ntp is in sync to make sure the log files are super accurate.

    If I was annoyed with the startup times, I'd look carefully at the
    startup scripts to see what it's doing. Mine is in:
    /etc/rc.d/init.d/ntpd
    If I couldn't see anything obvious, I'd make a copy and then
    edit it to include printfs (aka things like: echo "step 1")
    so I could figure out what it was doing.

    You can probably experiment without rebooting with something like:
    service ntpd stop
    service ntpd start
    (as root, obviously)

    As somebody else suggested, there may be a ntpdate step in the
    startup scripts. That's a good candidate for taking a long
    time, especially if you were having firewall troubles.

    --
    These are my opinions, not necessarily my employer's. I hate spam.


  13. Re: iburst

    In our tests, with a good drift file we usually hit state 4 in 11 seconds.

    H

  14. Re: iburst


    terrypearl writes:
    > It takes ntpd several minutes to synch during
    > boot. Was simply trying to get that synch time down to something under
    > 1 minute.


    I used to run fc5 on two computers here (before upgrading to fc6) and
    ntpd didn't hang for more than a few seconds.

    I suspect you have a named(1) problem, probably caused by your
    external firewall also. As an experiment why not run iptables and
    plug your computer directly into the dsl/cable modem and see if the
    problems go away?

    -wolfgang
    --
    Wolfgang S. Rupprecht http://www.wsrcc.com/wolfgang/

  15. Re: iburst

    terrypearl wrote:

    > Hal Murray wrote:
    >
    >>> It doesn't require reboots - just shutting down daily when I am not
    >>> using the machine.

    >>
    >>
    >> That's a slightly(?) ugly case for keeping time.
    >>
    >> The problem is that the frequency of the crystal is strongly(?)
    >> temperature dependent. If you run the machine for a while
    >> it warms up and gets the drift file setup for that temperture.
    >> When you turn it off, it cools down. When you reboot it, the drift
    >> file is slightly(?) misleading.
    >>
    >> How much do you care about how accurate your clock is?

    >
    >
    > Just a normal user trying to keep a somewhat accurate clock. If left
    > alone, the h/w clock can drift as much as 5 minutes in 6 months. I'm
    > just trying to keep it a little more accurate than the wall clock
    > running off the frequency of the local power grid.
    >
    > I finally learned about ntpd about a week ago. It had been set to run by
    > the FC 5 installation. But the firewall prevented synch. When I finally
    > got that worked out, my boot time went from about 1 minute to many
    > minutes. In watching the boot messages, I discovered that ntpd was the
    > culprit. It takes ntpd several minutes to synch during boot. Was simply
    > trying to get that synch time down to something under 1 minute. During
    > the time I was trying to get ntpd through the firewall, someone on this
    > newsgroup mentioned using iburst to get the synch time from minutes to
    > seconds. Guess they had that wrong or we used different definitions of
    > synch.
    >
    > So I guess if I want to use ntpd, I will have to live with the mnay
    > minute boot time??


    Please don't top post.

    It's not clear if you are talking about the time required to boot your
    system or the time required to bring your clock into reasonably tight
    synchronization. Does your system wait for synchronization before
    before allowing you to run applications? If so, that's something built
    into your system startup and you may be able to modify the startup
    scripts to avoid it.

    Normally, ntpd should have little effect on the boot time.

    As you are using it, it will take some time, perhaps as much as thirty
    minutes, to achieve good (within +/- 20 milliseconds) synchronization.
    Both the protocol and the software were intended for full time use and
    work best when so used.

  16. Re: iburst

    David,

    The units recorded in the frequency file are in precise
    parts-per-million (PPM) maintained to a precision of parts-per-billion
    (PPB). Properly calibrated, it makes an excellent room thermometer, fire
    alarm and fan tattletale.

    Dave

    David Woolley wrote:
    > In article <%crah.14971$Uz.9028@trnddc05>,
    > terrypearl wrote:
    >
    >
    >>driftfile: -21.719

    >
    >
    >>good? bad ? indifferent ?

    >
    >
    > Without knowing the frequency error of the timing crystal in the PC, it's
    > impossible to say.
    >
    > What was meant by the question was: does the value in your driftfile
    > accurately reflect the correction needed to maintain the steady state?
    >
    > Because you are not keeping the machine up for very long at any one time,
    > it is possible that the drift value never properly converges, so the
    > value is not particularly accurate. If you didn't have a drift file at
    > all, or if it is unreadable to ntpd, ntpd would have spent about 15
    > minutes trying to calculate the frequency error, before setting the
    > time. However, I'm not really sure how you define "achieve synch".
    >
    > (Also, as you say you use Linux, Linux shares, with Windows, a tendendency
    > to lose clock interrrupts, which can severely disrupt the ability to maintain
    > accurate time.)
    >
    > Incidentally, although I haven't tried it in anger, I believe that a system
    > with a good driftfile value will achieve low offsets faster if it is
    > started with an offset of more than 128ms. Below that, gentle corrections
    > are applied, but, above it, a step correction is applied.
    >
    > As to leaving the machine on, that is very good advice for precision time
    > synchronisation protocols, like NTP. We cannot know when people are
    > under severe financial constraints if they don't tell us.


  17. Re: iburst

    Wolfgang S. Rupprecht wrote:
    > terrypearl writes:
    >> It takes ntpd several minutes to synch during
    >> boot. Was simply trying to get that synch time down to something under
    >> 1 minute.

    >
    > I used to run fc5 on two computers here (before upgrading to fc6) and
    > ntpd didn't hang for more than a few seconds.
    >
    > I suspect you have a named(1) problem, probably caused by your
    > external firewall also. As an experiment why not run iptables and
    > plug your computer directly into the dsl/cable modem and see if the
    > problems go away?


    Cannot plug directly into the DSL modem. The modem is part of the DSL
    modem/ethernet hub. It is one box.



    >
    > -wolfgang



    --
    ++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++ ++++
    ================================================== ====
    ************************************************** ****
    If you are always rushing towards the future,
    Then you never have any past.

    Terry Boldt
    ************************************************** ****
    Paraphrasing Ben Franklin:

    Those who sacrifice freedom for safety, have neither.

    The exact quote:

    They that can give up essential liberty to obtain a little
    temporary safety deserve neither liberty nor safety.
    Benjamin Franklin (1706 - 1790),
    US author, diplomat, inventor, physicist, politician, & printer
    Historical Review of Pennsylvania, 1759

    ************************************************** ****

  18. Re: iburst

    Richard B. Gilbert wrote:
    > terrypearl wrote:
    >
    >> Hal Murray wrote:
    >>
    >>>> It doesn't require reboots - just shutting down daily when I am not
    >>>> using the machine.
    >>>
    >>>
    >>> That's a slightly(?) ugly case for keeping time.
    >>>
    >>> The problem is that the frequency of the crystal is strongly(?)
    >>> temperature dependent. If you run the machine for a while
    >>> it warms up and gets the drift file setup for that temperture.
    >>> When you turn it off, it cools down. When you reboot it, the drift
    >>> file is slightly(?) misleading.
    >>>
    >>> How much do you care about how accurate your clock is?

    >>
    >>
    >> Just a normal user trying to keep a somewhat accurate clock. If left
    >> alone, the h/w clock can drift as much as 5 minutes in 6 months. I'm
    >> just trying to keep it a little more accurate than the wall clock
    >> running off the frequency of the local power grid.
    >>
    >> I finally learned about ntpd about a week ago. It had been set to run
    >> by the FC 5 installation. But the firewall prevented synch. When I
    >> finally got that worked out, my boot time went from about 1 minute to
    >> many minutes. In watching the boot messages, I discovered that ntpd
    >> was the culprit. It takes ntpd several minutes to synch during boot.
    >> Was simply trying to get that synch time down to something under 1
    >> minute. During the time I was trying to get ntpd through the firewall,
    >> someone on this newsgroup mentioned using iburst to get the synch time
    >> from minutes to seconds. Guess they had that wrong or we used
    >> different definitions of synch.
    >>
    >> So I guess if I want to use ntpd, I will have to live with the mnay
    >> minute boot time??

    >
    > Please don't top post.


    What do you mean "top post"? Never heard this term before.

    >
    > It's not clear if you are talking about the time required to boot your
    > system or the time required to bring your clock into reasonably tight



    > synchronization. Does your system wait for synchronization before
    > before allowing you to run applications? If so, that's something built
    > into your system startup and you may be able to modify the startup
    > scripts to avoid it.
    >
    > Normally, ntpd should have little effect on the boot time.
    >
    > As you are using it, it will take some time, perhaps as much as thirty
    > minutes, to achieve good (within +/- 20 milliseconds) synchronization.
    > Both the protocol and the software were intended for full time use and
    > work best when so used.



    --
    ++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++ ++++
    ================================================== ====
    ************************************************** ****
    If you are always rushing towards the future,
    Then you never have any past.

    Terry Boldt
    ************************************************** ****
    Paraphrasing Ben Franklin:

    Those who sacrifice freedom for safety, have neither.

    The exact quote:

    They that can give up essential liberty to obtain a little
    temporary safety deserve neither liberty nor safety.
    Benjamin Franklin (1706 - 1790),
    US author, diplomat, inventor, physicist, politician, & printer
    Historical Review of Pennsylvania, 1759

    ************************************************** ****

  19. Re: iburst

    >> Please don't top post.
    >
    >What do you mean "top post"? Never heard this term before.


    GIYF (google is your friend)

    Since I just fished this out for somebody else...
    The usual joke goes like this:
    A: Because it messes up the order in which people normally read text.
    Q: Why is top-posting such a bad thing?
    A: Top-posting.
    Q: What is the most annoying thing on usenet?

    Not top-posting is only half the battle. The other half is to trim
    the portion of the message/posting that you are not responding to.

    --
    These are my opinions, not necessarily my employer's. I hate spam.


  20. Re: iburst

    terrypearl wrote:

    > Richard B. Gilbert wrote:
    >
    >> terrypearl wrote:
    >>
    >>> Hal Murray wrote:
    >>>
    >>>>> It doesn't require reboots - just shutting down daily when I am not
    >>>>> using the machine.
    >>>>
    >>>>
    >>>>
    >>>> That's a slightly(?) ugly case for keeping time.


    >>
    >> Please don't top post.

    >
    >
    > What do you mean "top post"? Never heard this term before.
    >


    "Top posting" refers to adding your comments to the top of the text you
    are replying to! Net custom is to add your comments below the text or
    segment thereof. It allows readers to read things in a "logical" order.

    Some people get extremely upset about top posting; sufficiently so that
    they will add your name to their "killfile" which means that they will
    never have to see messages sent by you.


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