Time Retrieval
 Volume Number: 5 Issue Number: 1 Column Tag: Basic School

Related Info: Time Manager

# Time Retrieval and Storage Techniques

By Dave Kelly, MacTutor Editorial Board

Note: Source code files accompanying article are located on MacTech CD-ROM or source code disks.

## Time Retrieval and Storage Techniques

It’s only a matter of time. Anybody see the ad for the MacTutor of the future in the November, 1988 MacTutor? The ad may sound like a joke about the 100th anniversary of MacTutor, but some of the “future” has already been invented. I did some thought on the subject of the Basic School column described in the ad, which is also the title of this column. There are two basic subjects implied by the title, time retrieval and time storage.

From a philosophical point of view you may ask, how can time be saved or retrieved? Looking at the answer from that perspective would lead us to a discussion of Einstein and his theory of relativity which is beyond the scope and intent of this column. Instead let’s look at some ways which we can use time to our advantage and see how storage and retrieval fits into the scheme of things.

From a user level on the Macintosh there is one time retrieval/storage mechanism that is accessible to all “the rest of us”. The example I refer to is the Alarm mechanism built into the clock chip. The date and time setting is copied (“retrieved”) at system startup from the clock chip into its own low-memory location. It’s stored there as the number of seconds since midnight, January 1, 1904, and is updated every second. The range of the clock chip is from January 1, 1904 through February 6, 2040 (does that mean that 51 years from now I’ll need to replace my clock chip?). The low-memory location can be access by your program. BASIC (every brand) includes its own time retrieval command. In True Basic the TIME and TIME\$ functions are provided. TIME returns the number of seconds since midnight in tenths of seconds. The TIME\$ function returns a string that contains the time as measured by the 24-hour clock with resolution in seconds. ZBasic and MS QuickBASIC uses the TIMER function which returns the seconds since midnight (similar to the True Basic TIME function) and TIME\$ which works the same as in True Basic. The problem is that the TIMER function does not provide enough resolution. At least the True Basic TIME function provided tenths of seconds or better resolution. Since we know that other languages are able to access the time in greater resolution, we may use the same function (ROM) to retrieve the time in greater resolution. This is especially important for benchmark tests where two compiled programs are being timed and the difference is tenths of seconds or better. In benchmarks that have been done in the past, sometimes the TIME function was used and there was rounding off to either 0 or 1 second. A program running in 0 seconds is absurd, but that was the best we could do with MS Basic at the time. QuickBASIC and ZBasic both allow access to the TickCount call (Macintosh ROM). In QuickBASIC a typical benchmark might be implemented such as:

Figure 1. The Time Machine

First initialize the ToolBox routine:

```TOOLBOX “I”
```

This must be used before any other ToolBox statement in the program. Now define a sub program or routine that can be called to replace the other time functions usually used in the benchmark.

```SUB Tick (Count&) STATIC
TrapNo% = &HA975
Count& = 0&  : ‘Define the variable
ToolBox “L”, TrapNo%, Count&
END SUB
```

Now call Tick(Count&) whenever you need the time. A tick is one-sixtieth of a second, enough for the tenth of a second accuracy provided by True BASIC’s function. In ZBasic it is even easier to call TickCount. In ZBasic just use the function directly:

```Count&=FN TICKCOUNT
```

As you can see, accessing real time is really the simple part of the job. Accessing stored time is another aspect. I’ll leave the subject of how the stored time became stored for later except to say that the Parameter RAM also stores the alarm setting. You can set the alarm with the Alarm Clock DA (included with your system software).

The Analog Alarm Clock program included here demonstrates how you can retrieve the stored alarm time from the low-memory area. The Alarm time is stored at \$200. The getAlarm routine retrieves the time by peeking at memory directly. The result is then converted to date information via the secs2date toolbox routine. The Analog Clock program reveals some problems. The date conversion library routines are used to convert seconds to dates and dates to seconds. Secs2Date works fine, but there is a problem with the Date2Secs routine. This means that the Date2Secs routine must be called a different way. Fortunately, QuickBASIC provides the ToolBox call which allows you to make ROM calls yourself. The following lines replace the Date2Secs library routine:

```ToolBox “I”

...   (Don’t forget to initialize the toolbox)

TrapNo%=&HA9C7
ToolBox “R”, TrapNo%, ReturnArray&(0),VARPTR(DtRec%(0))
Al&=ReturnArray&(2)
```

It’s unfortunate that we have to go through that trouble, but that’s just the way it goes. I confess it took awhile before I realized that I wasn’t going to be able to get it to work without the ToolBox library call.

In the program, alarm time is taken from parameter RAM and then it’s updated when changed when the alarm is turned on. Be careful when poking around the parameter RAM. If the wrong parameter gets changed you may have to Zap the parameter RAM to get started. You can do this by removing your MacPlus battery for a few minutes when your power is off or by holding down command-option when opening the control panel on newer Mac systems.

Flashing the menu bar like the Alarm Clock DA does will be left for another day. Anybody know how to do that from Basic? What I’m not sure of is where the alarm status is stored. Happy New Year!

```‘Analog Alarm Clock Program
‘by Dave Kelly

DIM DtRec%(6),CenterRect%(3),pattern%(3)
ToolBox “I”
DIM ReturnArray&(5)
GOSUB getAlarm
false=0:true=NOT false
PI=3.14159

CmdKey 1,3,”Q”

‘ Get Screen size
sheight=SYSTEM(6)
swidth=SYSTEM(5)
WINDOW 1,”Analog Alarm Clock”,(4,44)-(swidth-4,sheight-4),6

‘Find the center of the window, centerx%,centery%
‘ This should work with any size of screen
wheight%=WINDOW(3)
wwidth%=WINDOW(2)
centerx%=wwidth%/2
centery%=wheight%/2
circledia=centery%-25
GOSUB SetupClock
ON DIALOG GOSUB DialogEvent

Loop:
forecolor 33:’ change color to black
t\$=TIME\$:’ Get the current time and separate into variables
hour\$=LEFT\$(t\$,2)
Min\$=MID\$(t\$,4,2)
Sec\$=RIGHT\$(t\$,2)
H=VAL(hour\$):M=VAL(Min\$):S=VAL(Sec\$)
IF H>12 THEN H=H-12
H=H+M/60

‘ Compute the angles for each hand of the clock
SecAngle=(360-S*6)*PI/180
MinAngle=(360-M*6)*PI/180
HAngle=(360-H*30)*PI/180

‘Draw the second hand
CALL MOVETO (centerx%,centery%)
ypoint=(circledia*COS(SecAngle))*.98
xpoint=(circledia*SIN(SecAngle))*.98
CALL LINE (-xpoint,-ypoint)
IF SecAngle<>OldSec THEN
CALL MOVETO (centerx%,centery%)
CALL PENMODE (11)
ypoint=(circledia*COS(OldSec))*.98
xpoint=(circledia*SIN(OldSec))*.98
CALL LINE (-xpoint,-ypoint)
CALL PENMODE(8)
END IF

‘Draw the minute hand
CALL PENSIZE(2,2)
CALL MOVETO (centerx%,centery%)
ypoint=(circledia*COS(MinAngle))*.9
xpoint=(circledia*SIN(MinAngle))*.9
CALL LINE (-xpoint,-ypoint)
IF MinAngle<>OldMin THEN
CALL MOVETO (centerx%,centery%)
CALL PENMODE (11)
ypoint=(circledia*COS(OldMin))*.9
xpoint=(circledia*SIN(OldMin))*.9
CALL LINE (-xpoint,-ypoint)
CALL PENMODE(8)
END IF

‘Draw the hour hand
CALL PENSIZE(4,4)
CALL MOVETO (centerx%,centery%)
ypoint=(circledia/2*COS(HAngle))
xpoint=(circledia/2*SIN(HAngle))
CALL LINE (-xpoint,-ypoint)
IF MinAngle<>OldMin THEN
CALL MOVETO (centerx%,centery%)
CALL PENMODE (11)
ypoint=(circledia/2*COS(OldH))
xpoint=(circledia/2*SIN(OldH))
CALL LINE (-xpoint,-ypoint)
CALL PENMODE(8)
END IF
CALL PENSIZE(1,1)

forecolor 205:’ Change color to red
LOCATE 1,1:PRINT “AlarmTime: “;AlarmTime\$
forecolor 33:’ Change color to black
LOCATE 2,1:PRINT “Current Time: “;t\$
CALL TEXTMODE(0)
OldT\$=t\$:OldSec=SecAngle:OldMin=MinAngle:OldH=HAngle
CALL FILLOVAL(VARPTR(CenterRect%(0)),VARPTR(pattern%(0)))
IF Alrm=false THEN
forecolor 273
LOCATE 3,1:PRINT “Alarm is off”:GOTO Loop
END IF
forecolor 341:’Change color to Green
LOCATE 3,1:PRINT “Alarm is on “
‘Sound the alarm if time is up!
IF t\$=AlarmTime\$ THEN
BEEP:BEEP:BEEP
LOCATE 4,1:PRINT “Alarm event occurred”
END IF
GOTO Loop
DIALOG OFF

SetupClock:’ Set up the face of the clock
activewindow=WINDOW(0)
WINDOW OUTPUT 1
CALL TEXTSIZE(14)
CALL MOVETO(centerx%-8,centery%-circledia-4):PRINT “12”;
CALL MOVETO(centerx%-8,centery%+circledia+20):PRINT “ 6”;
CALL MOVETO(centerx%-circledia-20,centery%+7):PRINT “9”;
CALL MOVETO(centerx%+circledia+10,centery%+7):PRINT “3”;
PSET (centerx%,centery%)
forecolor 205:’ Change color to red
CALL PENSIZE(2,2)
CIRCLE (centerx%,centery%),circledia
CALL PENSIZE(1,1)
SetRect CenterRect%(0),centerx%-5,centery%-5,centerx%+5,centery%+5
forecolor 33:’ Change color to black
SetRect pattern%(0),&HFFFF,&HFFFF,&HFFFF,&HFFFF
CALL FILLOVAL(VARPTR(CenterRect%(0)),VARPTR(pattern%(0)))
WINDOW OUTPUT activewindow
RETURN

DialogEvent:
d=DIALOG(0)
SELECT CASE d
CASE 1
IF DIALOG(1)=1 THEN editwindow=true
CASE 4
GOTO Quit
CASE 5
IF DIALOG(5)=1 THEN GOSUB SetupClock
CASE ELSE
END SELECT
RETURN

END IF
RETURN

SetAlarm:’ Set the alarm
Alrm=NOT Alrm
DoSet:
IF Alrm THEN
WINDOW 2,””,(50,50)-(250,150),2
LOCATE 2,1:PRINT “Alarm Time:”
IF AlarmTime\$=”” THEN AlarmTime\$=TIME\$
EDIT FIELD 1,AlarmTime\$,(100,17)-(165,32),1
BUTTON 1,1,”OK”,(40,45)-(170,75),1
editwindow=false
WHILE editwindow=false
WEND
AlarmTime\$=EDIT\$(1)
a\$=””:i=1
WHILE MID\$(AlarmTime\$,i,1)<>”:”
a\$=a\$+MID\$(AlarmTime\$,i,1)
i=i+1
WEND
Ahour=VAL(a\$)
IF Ahour>24 OR Ahour<0 THEN GOTO DoSet
a\$=””
i=i+1
WHILE MID\$(AlarmTime\$,i,1)<>”:”
a\$=a\$+MID\$(AlarmTime\$,i,1)
i=i+1
WEND
Amin=VAL(a\$)
IF Amin>59 OR Amin<0 THEN GOTO DoSet
a\$=””
i=i+1
WHILE i<=LEN(AlarmTime\$)
a\$=a\$+MID\$(AlarmTime\$,i,1)
i=i+1
WEND
Asec=VAL(a\$)
IF Asec>59 OR Asec<0 THEN GOTO DoSet
a\$=””
IF Ahour<10 THEN a\$=”0"+STR\$(Ahour) ELSE a\$=STR\$(Ahour)
a\$=a\$+”:”
IF Amin<10 THEN a\$=a\$+”0"+STR\$(Amin) ELSE a\$=a\$+STR\$(Amin)
a\$=a\$+”:”
IF Asec<10 THEN a\$=a\$+”0"+STR\$(Asec) ELSE a\$=a\$+STR\$(Asec)
AlarmTime\$=””
FOR i=1 TO LEN(a\$)
IF MID\$(a\$,i,1)<>” “ THEN AlarmTime\$=AlarmTime\$+MID\$(a\$,i,1)
NEXT i
DtRec%(3)=Ahour
DtRec%(4)=Amin
DtRec%(5)=Asec
‘Call Date2secs routine (QuickBASIC Date2secs does not work right)
TrapNo%=&HA9C7
ToolBox “R”, TrapNo%, ReturnArray&(0),VARPTR(DtRec%(0))
Al&=ReturnArray&(2)
POKEL &H200, Al&
WINDOW CLOSE 2
ELSE
TEXTMODE (0):LOCATE 2,1:PRINT”
“
END IF
RETURN

getAlarm:’ Retrieve
Al&= PEEKL(&H200)
secs2Date Al&,DtRec%(0)
a\$=””
IF DtRec%(3)<10 THEN a\$=”0"+STR\$(DtRec%(3)) ELSE a\$=STR\$(DtRec%(3))
a\$=a\$+”:”
IF DtRec%(4)<10 THEN a\$=a\$+”0"+STR\$(DtRec%(4)) ELSE a\$=a\$+STR\$(DtRec%(4))
a\$=a\$+”:”
IF DtRec%(5)<10 THEN a\$=a\$+”0"+STR\$(DtRec%(5)) ELSE a\$=a\$+STR\$(DtRec%(5))
AlarmTime\$=””
FOR i=1 TO LEN(a\$)
IF MID\$(a\$,i,1)<>” “ THEN AlarmTime\$=AlarmTime\$+MID\$(a\$,i,1)
NEXT i
RETURN

Quit:
WINDOW CLOSE 1
END
```

Community Search:
MacTech Search:

WebSnapperPro 2.0.5 - \$20.00
WebSnapperPro lets you capture full web pages exactly as they appear in your browser, with a single mouse click, without the need to "stitch" or cut-and-paste. Save the page as an image file or as... Read more
VOX 3.2.1 - Music player that supports m...
VOX just sounds better! The beauty is in its simplicity, yet behind the minimal exterior lies a powerful music player with a ton of features and support for all audio formats you should ever need.... Read more
Evernote 7.0 - Create searchable notes a...
Evernote allows you to easily capture information in any environment using whatever device or platform you find most convenient, and makes this information accessible and searchable at anytime, from... Read more
Hopper Disassembler 4.3.16- - Binary dis...
Hopper Disassembler is a binary disassembler, decompiler, and debugger for 32- and 64-bit executables. It will let you disassemble any binary you want, and provide you all the information about its... Read more
VOX 3.2.1 - Music player that supports m...
VOX just sounds better! The beauty is in its simplicity, yet behind the minimal exterior lies a powerful music player with a ton of features and support for all audio formats you should ever need.... Read more
Evernote 7.0 - Create searchable notes a...
Evernote allows you to easily capture information in any environment using whatever device or platform you find most convenient, and makes this information accessible and searchable at anytime, from... Read more
Hopper Disassembler 4.3.16- - Binary dis...
Hopper Disassembler is a binary disassembler, decompiler, and debugger for 32- and 64-bit executables. It will let you disassemble any binary you want, and provide you all the information about its... Read more
Default Folder X 5.2.2 - Enhances Open a...
Default Folder X attaches a toolbar to the right side of the Open and Save dialogs in any OS X-native application. The toolbar gives you fast access to various folders and commands. You just click on... Read more
EtreCheck 4.0.1 - For troubleshooting yo...
EtreCheck is an app that displays the important details of your system configuration and allow you to copy that information to the Clipboard. It is meant to be used with Apple Support Communities to... Read more
Carbon Copy Cloner 5.0.9 - Easy-to-use b...
Carbon Copy Cloner backups are better than ordinary backups. Suppose the unthinkable happens while you're under deadline to finish a project: your Mac is unresponsive and all you hear is an ominous,... Read more

## Latest Forum Discussions

Our top 5 characters from casual RPG Cre...
Creature Quest definitely lives up to its name with a host of collectible creatures based on fantasy tales and world mythologies. To celebrate Creature Quest’s first birthday, we’re going to lay out what we think are the five best characters in the... | Read more »
Around the Empire: What have you missed...
Did you know that Steel Media has a whole swathe of other sites dedicated to all aspects of mobile gaming? Sure you'll get the very best iPhone news, reviews, and opinions right here at 148Apps, but we don't want you missing out on a single piece... | Read more »
All the best games on sale for iPhone an...
Oh hi there, and welcome to our round-up of the best games that are currently on sale for iPhone and iPad. You thought I didn't see you there, did you, skulking behind the bushes? Trust me though, the bushes aren't where the best deals are. The... | Read more »
The Battle of Polytopia Guide - How to H...
A new update just released for The Battle of Polytopia (formerly Super Tribes), which introduces online multiplayer. For all the fans of Midjiwan’s lite take on Civilization, this is certainly welcome news, but playing online isn’t as easy and... | Read more »
Here are the very best mobile games to p...
It's Valentine's Day! Did you get loads of cards and chocolates and other tacky, simple expressions of human affection? Did you send out tat because you find it almost impossible to express emotion unless there's a section dedicated to it at your... | Read more »
Florence (Games)
Florence 1.0 Device: iOS Universal Category: Games Price: \$2.99, Version: 1.0 (iTunes) Description: Florence is an interactive storybook from the award-winning lead designer of Monument Valley about the heart-racing highs and... | Read more »
Purrfect Date (Games)
Purrfect Date 1.0 Device: iOS Universal Category: Games Price: \$4.99, Version: 1.0 (iTunes) Description: Cats are a lil’ like marmite. Either you absolutely head-over-heels love’ em, or… nahhh, who are we kidding?! Everyone... | Read more »
More monsters to collect and evolve in C...
A laid-back mix of RPG and TCG, Creature Quest is all about building your deck, evolving your creatures and winning in battle. It’s the creation of VC Mobile, set up by Might and Magic producer Jon Van Caneghem. There are elements of that classic... | Read more »
Check out this awesome hands-on with the...
Well, PlayerUnknown's Battlegrounds has come out on mobile. This isn't a clone, this isn't a riff on the battleroyale mechanics of the game, it's the official mobile port by Tencent. But there's a little bit of a hitch. [Read more] | Read more »
Hostage Negotiator (Entertainment)
Hostage Negotiator 1.1.0 Device: iOS Universal Category: Entertainment Price: \$3.99, Version: 1.1.0 (iTunes) Description: Official app of the board game by AJ Porfirio and Van Ryder Games. In Hostage Negotiator, you play the part of... | Read more »

## Price Scanner via MacPrices.net

13″ 3.1GHz/256GB Silver Touch Bar MacBook Pro...
Amazon has the Silver 13″ 3.1GHz/256GB Touch Bar MacBook Pro (MPXX2LL/A) on sale for \$1649.99 including free shipping. Their price is \$150 off MSRP, and it’s the lowest price available for a new 13″... Read more
Saturday Sale: Amazon offers 13″ 1.8GHz/256GB...
Amazon has the 13″ 1.8GHz/256B Apple MacBook Air on sale today for \$250 off MSRP including free shipping: – 13″ 1.8GHz/256GB MacBook Air (MQD42LL/A): \$949.99, \$250 off MSRP Their price is the lowest... Read more
Roundup of Apple Certified Refurbished 12″ Ma...
Apple has Certified Refurbished 2017 12″ Retina MacBooks available for \$200-\$240 off the cost of new models. Apple will include a standard one-year warranty with each MacBook, and shipping is free.... Read more
Apple offers Certified Refurbished 10″ and 12...
Apple is now offering Certified Refurbished 2017 10″ and 12″ iPad Pros for \$100-\$190 off MSRP, depending on the model. An Apple one-year warranty is included with each model, and shipping is free: –... Read more
Apple Canada offers Certified Refurbished Mac...
Canadian shoppers can save up to \$560 on the purchase of a 2017 current-generation MacBook Pro, MacBook, or MacBook Air with Certified Refurbished models at Apple Canada. Apple’s refurbished prices... Read more
Sale! 13″ MacBook Airs for up to \$180 off MSR...
B&H Photo has 13″ MacBook Airs on sale for \$50-\$120 off MSRP. Shipping is free, and B&H charges sales tax for NY & NJ residents only: – 13″ 1.8GHz/128GB MacBook Air (MQD32LL/A): \$899, \$... Read more
Sale! New 8-core iMac Pro for \$4799, \$200 off...
Adorama has the 8-core iMac Pro on sale for \$4799 including free shipping plus NY & NJ sales tax only. Their price is \$200 off MSRP, and it’s the currently lowest price available for an iMac Pro. Read more
Sale! Walmart lowers prices even more on 9″ i...
Walmart has lowered their sale price on 9.7″ Apple iPads to \$80 off MSRP for a limited time. Sale prices are for online orders only, in-store prices may vary: – 9″ 32GB iPad: \$249.99 \$80 off – 9″... Read more
Roundup of 13″ MacBook Pro sales, models avai...
B&H Photo has 13″ MacBook Pros on sale for up to \$200 off MSRP. Shipping is free, and B&H charges sales tax for NY & NJ residents only. Their prices are the lowest available for these... Read more
Roundup of 15″ MacBook Pros sale, models up t...
B&H Photo has 15″ MacBook Pros on sale for up to \$200 off MSRP. Shipping is free, and B&H charges sales tax for NY & NJ residents only: – 15″ 2.8GHz Touch Bar MacBook Pro Space Gray (... Read more

## Jobs Board

*Apple* Retail - Multiple Positions - Apple,...
Job Description: Sales Specialist - Retail Customer Service and Sales Transform Apple Store visitors into loyal Apple customers. When customers enter the store, Read more
*Apple* Retail - Multiple Positions - Apple,...
Job Description:SalesSpecialist - Retail Customer Service and SalesTransform Apple Store visitors into loyal Apple customers. When customers enter the store, Read more
*Apple* Retail - Multiple Positions - Apple,...
Job Description: Sales Specialist - Retail Customer Service and Sales Transform Apple Store visitors into loyal Apple customers. When customers enter the store, Read more
*Apple* Solutions Consultant - Apple (United...
# Apple Solutions Consultant Job Number: 113501424 Norman, Oklahoma, United States Posted: 15-Feb-2018 Weekly Hours: 40.00 **Job Summary** Are you passionate about Read more
Senior Program Manager - *Apple* Music - Ap...
# Senior Program Manager - Apple Music Job Number: 113393020 Seattle, Washington, United States Posted: 02-Feb-2018 Weekly Hours: 40.00 **Job Summary** Apple is Read more