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iTimeSync - Internet Time Synchronisation

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24 Aug 13

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iTimeSync - Internet Time Synchronisation

iTimeSync
Version 1.5
11 Apr 09

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Website

Program Info

Keep the clock of your PC, or even your whole LAN, synchronized to the correct time with iTimeSync. This can be done manually, with no configuration needed, by simply running the program and pressing "Correct". Alternatively, iTimeSync can also be set to automatically synchronize any minute / hour / day period and/or can be run as a Windows Service so it runs automatically and transparently in the background. iTimeSync supports both the TIME (RFC-868) and the SNTP (RFC-2030) protocols. Additionally, iTimeSync can even sync from another copy of iTimeSync on different computer as it can be used as a TIME or SNTP server over a LAN.

While servers names are included, this list can be easily changed, for example, to servers that are closer to your locality or to a local server on your LAN. Other features include time zone data display, time zone lock, server scan, detailed logging, auto advance to another server if the selected one fails, auto start, minimize to tray, check without change, correct only minutes and seconds mode, variable time-out, max/min times, and a positive or negative time offset can be set if you are in a obscure time zone or if you like your clock to be fast or slow.

Contents

Installation
Use
Functions
Options
Menu
Time Zone
Windows Service Mode
Vista and Low Privilege Accounts
Command Line Options
Translation
System Impact Statement
Programmers Notes
History
Licence and Registration
Liability
Contact

Installation

Run "Setup.exe" and follow the instructions. To remove iTimeSync use the "Add/Remove Programs" option in the Control Panel. iTimeSync stores all its data files in the designated application data area, often "C:\Documents and Settings\USERNAME\Application Data\Sinner\iTimeSync". If you would prefer that it saves in the same directory as iTimeSync either run the program from a removable drive, such as a floppy of a USB drive, or delete the "DefSet.txt" file from the iTimeSync directory.

Use

iTimeSync comes completely ready to go, no configuration needed. Thus all you need to do is connect to the internet, press "Change" and your time should be updated. However, for those that want more, more detailed instructions follow.

Functions

In the box in the left is the current time of the computer, with the computer name, if any, above it. To the right is the same for the last synchronized server. Below both is a status window showing what iTimeSync is currently doing.

CheckChecks the time using current settings
CorrectSynchronizes the time using current settings (This function requires system privileges. Please see the Vista section for further details.)
OptionsShows the Options window
Time ZoneShows the Time Zone window
AboutShows info on iTimeSync
AbortShown only while syncing and allows early termination of the current sync

Options

These windows show the advanced settings. Their functions are explained below.

Servers
 
Use ListEnables the use of the time server name list in the combo box to the right. The names in this list can be altered by modifying the "ServFile.txt" file in the iTimeSync directory, but it is not required to do so. If you do modify the file, it is recommended that you save the modified file in the data directory, not the program directory, and iTimeSync will use this one in preference to the default. If you do not do this then the customized file will be overwritten when upgrading iTimeSync. (If iTimeSync cannot find the "ServFile.txt" file it has an internal list of servers and it will make a new one.) This is the default setting.
Default Server OnlyDisables the cycling of IP addresses on failure to connect. This option only applies to "Use List:" mode.
Manual A / BSelecting either one of these options sets the time server to the IP address in the window to the right
ProtocolSelects either RFC-868 or the RFC-2030 protocol. The RFC-2030 is more accurate over longer distances in most cases. (When syncing from another copy of iTimeSync either protocol is usable.) The Auto setting will try RFC-2030 first and if that fails it will try RFC-868.
Edit ListShows the current "ServFile.txt" file in your text editor
ScanOpens a new window that tests in turn the response time of each server in the "ServFile.txt" file. It is recommended that if you want maximum accuracy you should choose a faster server. (Faster servers are generally physically closer to your location.)
 
Auto
 
AutoSyncThis enables the internal timer for automatic iTimeSyncing. The Reset button starts the count again.
AutoCheckThis enables the internal timer for automatic updating of the server time. The Reset button starts the count again.
 
System
 
Date Ranges These are the upper and lower limits that iTimeSync will accept as valid returns. On installation it sets the time to be one month before and after the current. Thus you can leave it the same and change it each year or simply change it to way in the future. (Sometimes servers will return completely incorrect values, such as 1950. This function eliminates this problem). The Reset button will reset the Date Ranges to one month before and one year after the current date. In Auto Reset mode this happens each successful sync.
Sync Time-OutThe maximum time that iTimeSync will wait for a return from a time server. (Above 10 seconds is recommended.)
Offset iTimeSync can set the time with a positive or negative time offset. This can be of use if for example there is no time zone for your area, or if you like your clock to be slightly fast or slow. The time can be set up to 99 hours plus or minus the normal.
On Windows StartThis allows you to make iTimeSync start with Windows and either keep running or quit after a sync. (The default setting is to do nothing.) Please note that this feature uses the Windows Registry.
On iTimeSync StartSets if iTimeSync will check time or auto-sync on start up. (The default setting is to do nothing.)
Install / RemoveAdd or remove iTimeSync to the Service list and set it to autostart. For more details on the iTimeSync service function please see here.
Run / StopStops or starts the iTimeSync time service.
 
Misc
 
Log Options To help you know if iTimeSync is doing it's job, logging is supported. The log file is "dLog.txt" and it is saved in the iTimeSync folder. If the log file becomes larger than 1000kb then it is backed up and replaced. (Only one back-up is kept. This is done so there is always a decent sized log to look at.)
View LogOpens up the log file
MinorThis setting will make iTimeSync change the minute and seconds only.
TrayFor the screen space conscious, this option makes iTimeSync "move" to the System Tray when Minimized. The time-till-AutoSync displayed as the ToolTip, as well as the Server status.
ResidentIf set this prevents iTimeSync exiting when the window is closed. Instead, iTimeSync treats window closing the same as a minimization. When this option is used the only way to exit iTimeSync is via the Tray menu.
MinimizeSets iTimeSync to minimize on start up. If Tray is also selected then iTimeSync will start in the system tray.
On TopSets the iTimeSync window as the topmost window, allowing easy viewing of the time while using other programs.
ServerActivates iTimeSyncs internal RFC-868 TIME and RFC-2030 SNTP servers. (For firewall purposes iTimeSync needs server access to Port 37 and 123 when this feature is used.) Please note that for no site-license holders these servers have a load limit. (It's a quite generous limit; users who have 10 or so computers/devices syncing once every five minutes will not be affected.)
Average Checks four servers and calculates the average of them all. This setting is good if you trust none of the servers, but it is more accurate to simply use one close trusted server. (This was to be an important feature of v1.1, but it was found that accuracy of around 0.2 seconds is common using RFC-2030 so it seems redundant. It will probably be removed.)
ResetRestores all iTimeSync options to the default settings. This will also replace all text with the default text if you have translated iTimeSync.
HelpShows this file.

Menu

If you right click the main window or the tray icon a menu is shown.

Windows Service Mode

For the ultimate in set and forget iTimeSync can be run as a Windows Service. In this mode iTimeSync will auto-start with Windows prior to any user logging on and correct time and/or act as a server as set. (In Vista iTimeSync is set to be a Delayed Auto Start to reduce system load.) Additionally, a restricted user cannot close iTimeSync running as a service without permission so this ability is especially useful for business networks. Normally it will use the current settings, but if there are no auto checks set and the server is disabled it will automatically correct the time every four hours.

Please note that when upgrading you will need to stop the service running prior to installing the new version or the upgrade will fail. Additionally, while iTimeSync will automatically remove the Service settings when un-installing, it takes up to 20 seconds, so please be patient!

Vista and Low Privilege Accounts

Many of iTimeSyncs core functions require what are known as privileges, in particular the privilege to change the computers clock. If a user runs as an administrator, as many do on pre-Vista computers, then there is no problem, and everything will run normally. However, if the user is running as a Standard User, or is using Vista with UAC enabled, then by default iTimeSync can only check the time. If a user presses any button that requires higher privileges then iTimeSync will attempt to re-run itself under a Administrator account. (This feature works on Windows Vista, as well as Windows XP and 2000.) If you are running Vista using an Administrator account you will simply need to approve this, otherwise you will need to enter a password. (This password is used only by Windows, and iTimeSync doesn't store or even see it.) If the attempt to re-run is successful then the original copy will close.

Time Zone

In this window is shown the details of the currently selected time zone, including names, bias and the next transition time/date. In addition there is a setting for iTimeSync to check and correct the time zone each time the time is synchronised. Any correction will be logged if logging on error is enabled. This feature is more for network administration synchronised; it is un-necessary to use this function on home computers.

Command Line Options

qSets iTimeSync to load in "Quiet Mode" with no window or icon displayed, synchronize, and then exit.
sSets iTimeSync to load in "Stealth Mode" with no window or icon displayed.
xRuns iTimeSync as a service.
zUsed while un-installing iTimeSync. It stops and deletes the iTimeSync service settings.

E.g. "c:\Program Files\iTimeSync\iTimeSync.exe" /q

Translation

iTimeSync supports the modification of almost all of the text used within the program as it is stored in an external text file. Thus if you want to translate iTimeSync, or simply feel that the wording is incorrect, then you can change it. To do this you modify each line in "Strings.txt" with what you want it to be. You can modify all the buttons, menus and tool tips. Some text (like the registration details and certain errors) cannot be modified. If you feel that we have missed something please tell us. If you want to spread around your work send us the Strings.txt file and if it is suitable we will add it to the site. Furthermore, if you also translate the ReadMe, and it is a language that we want and it is done to a good standard (don't just use translation software - we can do that ourselves) we will give you a single user license to all of our current version 1.x programs. To be sure that it is a language that we want contact us first prior to starting the work! (If we don't like your work then we will not put it on the site.) Further points to be aware of are;

  • Don't remove any lines or iTimeSync will reject the file.
  • We will try to keep the file compatible in future versions.
  • Most lines are under 50 characters but some of the lines are more. You cannot make your changed line longer than the original, but you can make it shorter. If you shorten it you will need to add an extra line below the shortened one so iTimeSync knows where to look to find the correct line.
  • If you do modify the file, it is recommended that you save it in the designated application data area. (iTimeSync can find this for you if you go to the "About" box, select "Prog Dirs" from the selection box at the bottom and press "Open Dirs".) Place your Strings.txt file here and iTimeSync will use this one in preference to the default.
  • Due to additions to iTimeSync future versions will probably erase any previous "Strings.txt". Thus you should back up any work that you do prior to installing iTimeSync over a previous installation.
  • If you want to go back to the original setting press the "Reset" button on the "Misc" tab in the "Options" window. All the original text is stored inside iTimeSync and the file will be recreated.

System Impact Statement

We go to great lengths to reduce system impact, but we feel that it is still important to explain here what our programs do to your system. If you feel we are missing something, or you need further clarification, please contact us.

RegistryiTimeSync uses the registry if you enable one of the "On Windows Start" options, if you enable the "Lock this Time Zone" function, and/or if you use iTimeSync as a service. The installer that comes with iTimeSync uses the registry only for the required un-installation data, and not at all if you use the "Extract Only" mode.
System SettingsIf you enable the "Lock this Time Zone" function iTimeSync will modify system settings (which are stored in the registry) if the Time Zone is changed. iTimeSync can also be set to run as a service. iTimeSync also requires admin access rights to modify the system clock.
FilesAll of its program files are stored in the installation directory, and all of its data files are stored in the designated application data area, often "C:\Documents and Settings\USERNAME\Application Data\Sinner\iTimeSync". If you would prefer that it saves in the same directory as iTimeSync either run the program from a removable drive, such as a floppy of a USB drive, or delete the "DefSet.txt" file from the iTimeSync directory. These directories can be opened via the About box.
NetworkiTimeSync requires an internet connection for its primary functions, using port 37 for RFC-868 and port 123 for RFC-2030. iTimeSync requires server access to the same ports if "Server" mode is enabled. The installer does not access the internet in any way, but the ReadMe does have three graphic files that are stored on the internet. (They are not used as web-beacons, merely spacers and images for the payment processors.)
CPUiTimeSync does not have any CPU demanding functions.
MemoryiTimeSync has no major memory requirement.

Programmers Notes

At long last the SNTP (RFC-2030) server has been added! This marks the last major feature that we wanted to add to iTimeSync... but we still have plenty of minor features that we want to add! This would have been a good point for a change to 2.0, but due to some surprising objections we have decided to delay this. Long term though we will have implement upgrade fees or similar. Please note that old registration codes will not work with this version. Previously registered users please contact us and we will send out new codes at no charge. iTimeSync has been tested on Window 2000, Windows XP and Windows Vista.

If you want to find different time servers, a good place to start is here, but please do remember that these servers are generously provided for free use so try to use the lower priority ones, or if you have multiple computers, use iTimeSync as a server on one and synchronize the other computers off it. If you do add to the list, please note that when upgrading the old list is overwritten unless it is in the data dir.

History

1.00Initial Version
1.10New protocol, more servers with modifiable external list, Internal time server, auto-sync, average mode, tray mode and interface improvements
1.2xTime Zone display, Time Zone lock, Multi User Support, Auto protocol, Enhanced log, Server Scan
1.3Run as a service, new options window, Vista tweaks
1.4Converted to make most text translatable, enhanced offset
1.5RFC-2030 server, Smarter Date Ranges

Licence and Registration

Permission is given to evaluate iTimeSync for a period of 30 days. After this time you are required to either register or remove iTimeSync. Permission is given for all forms of distribution, including CD compilations and Websites, providing the ZIP file is unaltered and it is made clear that iTimeSync is a Shareware program and that registration is required for continued usage. iTimeSync can be registered using PayPal, Reg.Net or Mail. For details on the terms of our licences and of our Buy-Three-Get-All policy please refer to the payment page.

iTimeSync is a copyrighted work and thus permission is not given for you to decompile, disassemble, modify, translate, enhance or create derivative works from this program. If you feel that you need to do any of those actions, and that those rules do not apply to you, contact us first.

Single User
 
PayPal $10.00 USD
 
Reg.Net $10.50 USD Bulk deals are also available here. Buy Now at Reg.Net
  
Mail, Cash $10.00 USD or $10 AUDPostal details in About box
Mail, Australian Cheque $10 AUD
Mail, Non-Australian Cheque $15 USD
 
Site
 
PayPal $120 USD
 
Reg.Net $120 USD Buy Now at Reg.Net
 
Mail, Cash or Cheque $120 USD or $120 AUDPostal details in About box

Liability

ACAPsoft accepts no liability for this software to the maximum extent allowable by law. Installing this software is the decision of the installer, and signifies that you agree with this liability statement. Thus, any damage/loss caused by the use of this software is not in any way the responsibility of ACAPsoft. This includes, but is not limited to, physical damage and loss of income/time. In no event shall the maximum liability of ACAPsoft exceed the registration fee paid by the user, if any. Because some jurisdictions do not allow the exclusion or limitation of liability for consequential or incidental damages, in such jurisdictions the liability of ACAPsoft shall be limited to the extent permitted by law. If at any time you do not find these conditions agreeable you are required to remove this software.

Contact

Advice/insults (on the subject of the program, not the programmer) are always welcome. To help users keep up to date we send out newsletters whenever there is a major new version of iTimeSync. To join this list simply send an EMail with "TimeADD" in the subject. To be removed from this list, write an EMail with "TimeREMOVE" in the subject. (ACAPsoft does not sell your EMail address or any other personal information to anyone.) In addition, we have a RSS feed that is updated whenever there is a new version of any program.

Support Forumhttp://acapsoft.com/forum/
Websitehttp://ACAPsoft.com
RSS Feedhttp://ACAPsoft.com/xml/acap.xml

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