Re: [LEAPSECS] Things to do at about 2005-12-31 23:59:60Z

From: Poul-Henning Kamp <>
Date: Wed, 21 Dec 2005 21:44:19 +0100

In message <>, Markus Kuhn writes:

>But what interesting things *are* there to do during a leap second?

I'm going to record all the bits and waves I can doing the leap
second, and I have asked the GNUradio, NTP and time-nuts communities
to please help me do so.

With a little luck the result will be a freely available repository
of test data so people can test and fix the leap-second handling
bugs in their software before the next one.

All of it, however will be running on automatic because I'm in no
shape to control a UNIX prompt at 1AM new years night.

>If you have a counter connected to the power grid, at least in most of
>Europe (i.e., the UCTE 50 Hz network), you should see that -- thanks to
>the leap second -- the frequency will during the following day be set
>slightly lower, to ensure that European electricity consumers pay back
>the free 50 cycles they got during the leap second. (But it may take a
>few days of averaging until this long-term phase shift by 50 cycles
>actually becomes clearly visible in the general phase/frequency noise of
>the power grid.)

I think this isn't the case anymore. After the market got deregulated
I don't think anybody is trying very hard to keep the long term average
at 50 Hz anymore, and at least here in Denmark (NorthPool side) we're
often as much as 15 seconds behind during winter.

>It might be fun to compile a comprehensive documentary here on how the
>leap second is implemented in practice today ...

I'm a few hours ahead of you, and welcome you and anybody else to join me:

Any and all records will be collected and made available.

Observations of microsoft computers and the interactions between clients
and servers would be a very important subject in addition to the many
other worthy ideas you mention.


PS: I'm trying to persuade the local watch-shop to let me put a video
camera in their shop and record a wall full of assorted clocks, some
radio, some not.

Poul-Henning Kamp       | UNIX since Zilog Zeus 3.20
phk_at_FreeBSD.ORG         | TCP/IP since RFC 956
FreeBSD committer       | BSD since 4.3-tahoe
Never attribute to malice what can adequately be explained by incompetence.
Received on Wed Dec 21 2005 - 12:55:22 PST

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