The TIX Clock doesn’t actually tick, but it will make people talk. I suspect most of them will talk about how much of a geek you are, or how only a nerd can hope to read the chaotic display. They might be right, but that isn’t stopping me from loving this clock.
Reading the display is quite simple once you know how, but it will be fun to watch and see who gets it without an explanation. The pattern will change constantly, but the time will only change once a minute. Someday I’ll have to do the math and find out just how many different patterns there are, but for now I’m satisfied knowing there are millions.
My youngest Geeklet was the first to realize what it is and how it works. It took him about two minutes and he promptly told his sister and Mom what it was and how to read it. So far the most common mistake seems to be counting the unlit squares and subtracting from 10 instead of 9. Read on for a spoiler on how to read it.
Even though there are many different LED combinations for every minute of day, you can read the current time by counting the lit LEDs in each block. Empty blocks count as a zero. The display at the left is 7:11. In the photo above it is 7:09. Some minutes are more boring than others. 9:09 doesn’t change at all
I have caught myself staring at the clock watching the patterns. It’s a bit hypnotic and somewhat thrilling to see familiar or repetitive patterns. If you watch long enough you’ll see most of the Tetris blocks, a few letters, and some oddly symetric paterns. Twice now I’ve glanced up at the clock to have it say Hi (7:30).
The only complaint I have so far is the AC adapter. I’d love to mount this on the wall, but I don’t really like the idea of a black cord hanging below it. The adapter is for 6V AC but as long it doesn’t use the AC frequency for the clock it should run fine on some rechargable alkyline batteries.