/ January 2003
Phone messaging clock
Delphi Question #495 (received 31 October): Why does the
phone-message clock drift? Cant it set itself automatically using
a timeserver? If not, can it be set manually on a daily basis?
Response (1 November): The current five phonemail systems that UCAR uses
are based on technology that is over 10 years old. The systems clocks
rely on their internal computer clocks, which are drifting more as they
age. Their only connection is to the telephone system, which does not
provide clocking. They do not have a network connection; therefore, they
cannot be updated by using a network timeserver.
Each system is independent. Some drift more than others; all of them drift
less than five minutes a month. We check the time when we perform maintenance
on the systems. Changing the system time without running cleanup utilities,
which can only be performed with the system down, results in delayed messages.
So we do not feel that changing the system time on a daily basis is an
We are in the process of evaluating a new voice messaging system for UCAR
that does utilize the network and allows the syncing of clocks using a
timeserver, as well as offering other features of benefit to UCAR.
Marla Meehl, manager
Network Engineering and Telecommunications Section
Questions and suggestions from the staff to management may be submitted
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They must be signed. Detailed procedures for submitting questions are
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