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Many basic digital clocks are set by simultaneously
pressing the "set" or "alarm" buttons along with the
"hour" or "minute" buttons to advance the
corresponding value by one unit, or by holding them
advance it repeatedly. This is quite a hassle if you
trying to set your clock to,
say, 6:57to the point
where I find myself contemplating just waiting three
minutes and setting it to 7:00 instead. And, of
if you accidentally skip past the time you intended,
you get to press the button another 23 or 59 times
(since holding it down always seems to cause it to
advance at a snail's pace), and be more careful not to
blow it on the next try.
The solution to this common annoyance is to have
direction the clock advances depend on the order
press the buttons. So, pressing "alarm" and then
"minute" will add a minute to the alarm time, but
pressing "minute" and then "alarm" will subtract a
minute (and if you hold them down, continue to
subtract time). This solution is particularly elegant in
that it requires no exterior design changes to the
and since most people press the "set" or "alarm"
first anyway, it won't surprise anyone who doesn't
about the feature.
[po, Sep 02 2011]
||I have one of those that I use daily as an alarm clock, and while
it works as you describe, it's expensive and complicated to use
compared to a simple alarm clock. It's also not a perfect
solution, as it's actually much more of a pain to set the alarm to
a significantly different time since the clock can only be
advanced a minute in either direction (at least on mine). So if
the alarm is set for 7AM, and you decide you want to take a nap
and wake up at 3PM, you have to sit there holding down the
button for quite a long time.
||Anyway, the point of this idea is a function that can be cheaply
and easily added to the design of most existing alarm clocks to
make them much more convenient to use, without complicating
them unnecessarily for people who don't know about or prefer
not to use the additional feature. The Dream Machine doesn't
resemble most common alarm clocks in terms of interface, so
it's not really comparable. You might as well say "this problem
has been solved by simply hiring a valet to read you the current
time whenever you signal him by belching Yankee Doodle".
||I had an Emerson alarm clock back in the tape player days that had a 'fast / slow' forward / reverse buttons to do precisely this. Not 'hour / minute,' but would simply scroll through either direction.