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Author Topic: Why Nine Minutes?
Bassist
Chess Nuts Boasting 'Round an Open Fire


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I've been using various types of alarm clocks for several decades, and have often wondered why the nine-minute interval was chosen for the time their snooze button delayed the next alarm.

I've found the nine minutes to be the same for my cell phone's alarm, for digital clock radios and non-digital clock radios. It would seem likely that, with the ubiquity of digital technology and customization, there would be several models whose snooze settings could be shortened or delayed based on user settings.

Does anyone else have knowledge of or experience with alarms with a different snooze delay? Admittedly, my personal experience may be limited [Smile]

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The Pikey Snow Queen
The First USA Noel


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Mine can be adjusted between 10 & 15 minutes

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mizzie
I'm Dreaming of a White Sale


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With mine you can set how long you want the snooze to be. Anything between 1 minute and 30 minutes. I set it to 10, because that whole 9 minute thing has always bothered me (why not 10?). Anyway, it's a GE "Digital Clock and Wake Set" (model # 7-4837C). You can also chose if you want to wake up to the alarm or radio and it starts off very quiet and gradually gets louder. That way you wake up at the softest noise that will wake you up. It's better for you to wake up gradually instead of having the crap scared out of you every morning.
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musicgeek
Deck the Malls


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I used to have a Magnvox clock radio that had a 7.5 minute snooze. Pretty handy - every two slaps was a quarter-hour.

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[God said] "I'll just sit back in the shade while everyone gets laid; that's what I call intelligent design." - Chris Smither, "Origin of the Species"

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LemonLimeade
Deck the Malls


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My guess is partly because we play such elaborate games with ourselves regarding getting up for work. Many of us set our clocks somewhere around 20 minutes ahead, but often not exactly 20...more like 18. Which doesn't really make sense because internally we always make the adjustment, and thus hit the snooze heh. I have a very old clock that has ten minute snooze, but is also adjustable. I don't know if we sort of ended up generally setting the clock 18 minutes ahead to allow two standard snoozes or if the snoozes developed because so many people don't set the clock a full 20 ahead. Either way I can see the psychology behind not using a full 10 minutes but I can't seem to find words to explain it.

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lazerus the duck
The First USA Noel


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9 minutes to snooze and 1 minute to pick up the pieces of the alarm clock after you smash it against the wall.

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Aptenodytes_Forsteriis
We Wish You a Merry Giftmas


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quote:
Originally posted by lazerus the duck:
9 minutes to snooze and 1 minute to pick up the pieces of the alarm clock after you smash it against the wall.

If you do it the other way around it works better; then you can sleep all morning [Embarrassed]

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Em
Happy Holly Days


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I always thought it was the result of using a three-bit counter to keep track of the elapsed time.

The rest of the clock works on Binary Coded Decimal (BCD), but that is more complicated and therefore more expensive to implement, so it might not be worthwhile for something which only needs to count ten minutes. Using a four-bit register would make the snooze period 17 minutes, which would probably be too long and result in missed morning appointments.

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What the NFBSK does YOMANK mean?

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Ganzfeld
Let There Be PCs on Earth


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quote:
Originally posted by Em:
I always thought it was the result of using a three-bit counter to keep track of the elapsed time.

The rest of the clock works on Binary Coded Decimal (BCD), but that is more complicated and therefore more expensive to implement, so it might not be worthwhile for something which only needs to count ten minutes. Using a four-bit register would make the snooze period 17 minutes, which would probably be too long and result in missed morning appointments.

3 bits = 8? Four bits = 16? Where does the extra minute come from?
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Em
Happy Holly Days


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111 = snooze button pressed, count starts,
000 = 1 minute elapsed,
001 = 2 minutes elapsed,
010 = 3 minutes elapsed,
011 = 4 minutes elapsed,
100 = 5 minutes elapsed,
101 = 6 minutes elapsed,
110 = 7 minutes elapsed,
111 = 8 minutes elapsed,
000 = 9 minutes elapsed, reset and alarm goes off.

ETA: you would require a couple of extra gates to latch one of the MSB 1s and AND it with the counter ouput to avoid having the alarm go off at one minute, but that's still less hardware involved than implementing BCD.

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What the NFBSK does YOMANK mean?

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glass papaya
Jingle Bell Hock


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Huh? I don't get it.

000 equals both 1 minute elapsed and 9 minutes elapsed? 111 equals both snooze button pressed and 8 minutes elapsed? [Confused]

I must be missing something here.

ETA: Saw the edit...gotcha.

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Em
Happy Holly Days


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The counter is set to 111 when the button is pressed. The fact that 111 is also used to indicate 8 minutes doesn't matter if you can latch one of the MSBs to differentiate between 111 as a reset and 111 as an 8. A latch requires 2 gates, an AND requires 1 gate. That's one counter and three gates in total.

ETA: Now that I think about it, using a four-bit counter would work just as well. I tend to think of BCD as hardware intensive because it is when you're performing operations with it. If you're just counting it shouldn't be any worse than my suggested three-bit counter with add-ons.
Sorry guys. [dunce]

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What the NFBSK does YOMANK mean?

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DaGuyWitBluGlasses
I'll Be Home for After Christmas Sales


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quote:
Originally posted by Cecil:
(8) On a digital clock, nine is the greatest interval obtainable by advancing some sort of "snooze counter" on the ones column. But why mess with the ones column? Why not put the snooze counter on the tens column and advance that by one?

Because if the ten were the trigger it would be incosistent.

E.g. if you set your alarm clock for 7:15 you would only get up to 5 minutes snooze for the first time, but interval of ten after that.

But when its the one digits its always up to 9 minutes no matter what time the clock was set for.

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Em
Happy Holly Days


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I think I've worked out why I was going with an 3-bit counter. My alarm clock has an 8 minute snooze. At some point in the past I had thought about it and worked out that all it needed was a 3-bit counter. I then got carried away with trying to fit that "known fact" into this discussion of the more normal 9 minute timeframe without actually realising that my clock is unusual and that 8≠9.
Excuse me for a moment... [fish] [fish] [fish] [dunce]

Ok, all better now. If anyone wants me I'll be in the How do these people survive? thread.

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What the NFBSK does YOMANK mean?

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Mr. Baggins
Deck the Malls


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quote:
Originally posted by Em:
...without actually realising that my clock is unusual and that 8≠9.
Excuse me for a moment... [fish] [fish] [fish] [dunce]

Don't be too hard on yourself. Maybe your clock uses an unusually large value of 8? [Wink]

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Aptenodytes_Forsteriis
We Wish You a Merry Giftmas


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I still think a better idea is to smash the clock and sleep until you awaken naturally, it's more peaceful that way.

Unless the cat decides she wants to play in which case 'awakening naturally' involves a small paw gradually extending needle sharp daggers as it kneads sensitive skin. Cats need snooze bars!

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'Hello, assorted humanoid strangers. You are standing casually in our forest. This bewilders us.' Blatherskite

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lazerus the duck
The First USA Noel


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quote:
Originally posted by Aptenodytes_Forsteriis:
I still think a better idea is to smash the clock and sleep until you awaken naturally, it's more peaceful that way.

Unless the cat decides she wants to play in which case 'awakening naturally' involves a small paw gradually extending needle sharp daggers as it kneads sensitive skin. Cats need snooze bars!

Funny you should say that my cat won't let my wife use more than 2 snoozes. After that she will pummel till my wife gets up. (Never does that to me as am sick so don't need to go to work).

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Spindely Fingers
I Saw Three Shipments


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My (digital) alarm's four minutes.

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So I will throw Veterans' Day over my shoulder. ...
What else is sacred? Oh, Romeo and Juliet, for instance.
And all music is. -Kurt Vonnegut

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Raven Waift
The First USA Noel


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quote:
Originally posted by lazerus the duck:
Funny you should say that my cat won't let my wife use more than 2 snoozes. After that she will pummel till my wife gets up. (Never does that to me as am sick so don't need to go to work). [/QB]

How can I train one of my cats to do that to SO? He is capable of sleeping *through* the snooze. I have to wake him up and tell him to hit the snooze button. I end up being his alarm most of the time.

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lazerus the duck
The First USA Noel


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quote:
Originally posted by Raven Waift:
How can I train one of my cats to do that to SO? He is capable of sleeping *through* the snooze. I have to wake him up and tell him to hit the snooze button. I end up being his alarm most of the time.

I think my cat has figured out that the snooze keeps going off till my wife gets up so to get a little peace the cat decides to help things along.

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All the world's a face, And all the men and women merely acne.

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Troberg
Angels Wii Have Heard on High


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quote:
111 = snooze button pressed, count starts,
000 = 1 minute elapsed,
001 = 2 minutes elapsed,
010 = 3 minutes elapsed,
011 = 4 minutes elapsed,
100 = 5 minutes elapsed,
101 = 6 minutes elapsed,
110 = 7 minutes elapsed,
111 = 8 minutes elapsed,
000 = 9 minutes elapsed, reset and alarm goes off.

ETA: you would require a couple of extra gates to latch one of the MSB 1s and AND it with the counter ouput to avoid having the alarm go off at one minute, but that's still less hardware involved than implementing BCD.

I have a simpler explanation. It waits for the last minute digit to go to one less than it is now (rolling over at 0). Why one less? Because then you don't have to use logic to check if it's still the minute in which the button was pressed.

Example:

Button is pressed at 7.03, the last digit is 3, so the clock waits until it's 2, to avoid having to differentiate between 7.03 and 7.13.

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/Troberg

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Ganzfeld
Let There Be PCs on Earth


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That algorithm almost works, Troberg except, I think, it results in times of 8 to 9 minutes. When the snooze button is pushed, record the righthand minute digit. When you reach the same digit, sound the alarm. The result will be times between 9 and 10 minutes. Easy to implement in decimal anyway.
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Richard W
Ding Dong! Merrily on High Definition TV


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My snooze button lasts seven minutes, and I'm sure I've had more than one clock like that - I always thought that was the standard...
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Jay Tea
The "Was on Sale" Song


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I've always wondered why it's called a 'snooze' button, surely 'denial' button would be better [lol]

My alarm clock is in pieces right now - there I was this morning, lucid dreaming, Christina Ricci adhering to my every sordid whim, then the claxon went off! >smashie!<

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Tequila Mockingbird
I'm Dreaming of a White Sale


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I don't like alarm clocks because they scare me. I'd rather be tapped on the shoulder or shaken awake than thinking there's a fire every morning (my alarm clock sounded like my smoke detector). I just knew that one day I'd sleep through it and wake up in the middle of a fire.

I guess getting a radio alarm clock would have been the logical plan...

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I got in a fight one time with a really big guy, and he said, "I'm going to mop the floor with your face."
I said, "You'll be sorry."
He said, "Oh, yeah? Why?"
I said, "Well, you won't be able to get into the corners very well"

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Troberg
Angels Wii Have Heard on High


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quote:
That algorithm almost works, Troberg except, I think, it results in times of 8 to 9 minutes. When the snooze button is pushed, record the righthand minute digit. When you reach the same digit, sound the alarm. The result will be times between 9 and 10 minutes. Easy to implement in decimal anyway.
It may, as you say, vary between 8-9 minutes, provided they don't check seconds, in which case it would be more exact.

To just record the right hand minute digit and wait for it to appear does not work. Why? Because it will appear for up to a minute after the button is pushed. Say it's pushed at 7.03.34. In that case, the minute will remain 3 for another 26 seconds. Of course, the seconds can also be checked, but it's simpler to just wait a minute less.

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/Troberg

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fictional lie
I Saw Three Shipments


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My clock radio starts at 9 minutes after the first push of the snooze, and then 8 minutes after the next one, and then 7, and so on until there is only 1 minute between each press - until the next full hour then it doesn't go off at all.

9
8
7
6
5
4
3
2
1
followed by 14 more one minute hits until the hour.

Yeah - apparently my clock is far from the norm.

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Jenn
Layaway in a Manger


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quote:
Originally posted by Aptenodytes_Forsteriis:
Cats need snooze bars!

You're just not hitting it hard enough.

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