Posts Tagged ‘Gmail Timer’

The Secret behind GMail Timer !

February 26, 2009

Gmail’s timer is simply awesome. I guess you haven’t noticed how it works. When ever you receive or send  a mail you will get the information about time when the mail was received or sent as shown:

7:04 AM (7 hours ago)

Do you know what it means ? The first part of the time, here 7.04 am, is the Standard Time of your country. I am in India, so it is the Indian Standard Time (IST). The second part of the time i.e ‘7 hours ago ‘ indicates the time relative to your computer. It actually is the difference between the time of your computer and the Standard Time of  your country.

Have a look at the videos made by my friend Roshan Singh. Ensure that you take a note of the ‘time’ shown in the videos and view the videos in full screen so that you don’t miss out minute details.

The 1 st video shows that the mail was received -1442 minutes ago. The explanation to this is that the IST was 8.48 am on 26 th of February, 2009 and the computer time was 8.46 am 25 th of February, 2009 (note this from the right corner of the video). 60(minutes) * 24(hours) + 2 minutes equals 1442 minutes, Simple Math 🙂 and the negative sign to indicate that the system (your computer) time is lagging behind by a day ! 🙂

This second video is another example of the same. Note, the time is 8.37 am, 26 th of February, 2009. The computer time was set to 2.30 pm, on 26 th of February, 2009. So the difference in time is ‘5 hours’ and this is exactly what is being  showed.

Don’t this it is a bug,  It simply is NOT . Google has put great thought before designing the timer so as to make the timer best suited not only for the individual but also to the place where he works.

If you think how could this be useful or what is the use of this, here goes the answer . Say you are a nationality of some country and go on an work to some other country, so it becomes difficult to keep track of both the time zones. This feature ensure that you keep a track of the time you received the mail in both the time zones  and ensures that you dont miss out anything because of the change in timings. The time indicated, say ‘5 hours ago’ in the second video, is machine dependent. It you happen to view the same email in another computer which is set to IST or the country’s Standard Time (matching with the first part of the time as showed in gmail), it will then show that the mail was received ‘0 minutes ago’ or ‘x minutes ago’ where x is the time difference between when you received the mail and the current time of your computer set to IST or standard time. 

You can try it out to understand the significance of how the timer works !

 The Gmail Timer therefore, takes care of both the country’s Standard Time and the local time of you machine.  Marvellous isn’t it !! 😀


Credits to me and Prashant Thorat for rightly spotting that it was not a bug ! hehe 😀

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