iClock Help

For the time of your life

by Mark Fleming & Julian Miller

Version Changes Info

Dost thou love life? Then do not squander time, for that is the stuff life is made of.Benjamin Franklin

Introduction

“The best thing about the future is that it comes only one day at a time.” Abraham Lincoln

Time is a kind of illusion or maya. Along with space it may be the very best of illusions. Seeing the sun rise and set convinced us for eons that the sun goes round the earth but it turns out the opposite is closer to the truth. The measurement of time was based mostly on the movement of the sun. Working from that we have made all sorts of tools to measure and display time. Sundials, hourglasses, clocks, calendars, watches, etc., It’s become an extremely complex illusion. So, what is time?

Time and space are modes in which we think, not conditions in which we live. – Albert Einstein

Sorry, some day we would like to go into this deeper but this is not the place for that fascinating discussion. We can, however, give you a nifty collection of tools to enjoy time.

When Mac OS X first came out, it had a nice clock in the menubar, but sadly it only displayed the time. Every day you needed to click the menubar to show the date. We found ourselves clicking daily in the menubar, until we thought, “enough of that” and decided it was time to make something better.

The first job of iClock was to remedy the omission but it’s gone far beyond that…

Requirements

“As if you could kill time without injuring eternity.” – Henry Thoreau

Users of Mac 10.11 and higher use the ‘Check for updates’ in the File menu or in the General prefs panel. Which is the same as the version on our site.
Users of Mac OS X 10.5 to 10.10 can use iClock Pro
Users of Mac OS 10.4 can use the older iClock 3.05
Users of Mac OX 10.3.9 can use this version of iClock

Permissions

iClock requests you grant permission for Contacts.
System Preferences:Security & Privacy:Privacy:Contacts

-iClock requests you grant permission for Calendars.
System Preferences:Security & Privacy:Privacy:Calendars

IMPORTANT: sometimes if you have trouble with some permission and iClock is already in this area try unchecking and checking it. This may be a bug in Mac OS.

Terminology

  • Time Zone – a region of the Earth that has uniform standard time, usually referred to as the “local time”. iClock allows you to see multiple time zones/locations/cities right from the menubar (image above). See info on time zones in Wikipedia.
  • Daylight Savings Time (DST) – the convention of advancing clocks so that afternoons have more daylight and mornings have less. iClock displays the correct time taking DST into account for your location automatically. See Wikipedia for more info.

Changes from Earlier Versions of iClock

“Consider that this day ne’er dawns again.” – Alighieri Dante

Ye olde iClock first appeared in 1999 (back in the last century) for Mac OS 9. A newer version for OS X was created in 2002, yet another in 2008 and again in 2016. The earlier iClock was a continuously evolving work that developed organically based on our ideas and user requests. The latest iClock is an app that is completely rewritten but still similar to the early versions.

With the latest iClock, Mark has done a masterful job at keeping all the features of the earlier versions and, simultaneously, making the interface much easier and more accessible. Now, everything is located in one place, the iClock app. The Preferences in the the iClock app has all the settings to turn features on or off. It’s simple!

How To Uninstall Old iClock ProThe old iClock was not an app but a control panel. Click for info to uninstall older versions of 1, 2.0.1 up to 3.0 for back when iClock was not an app.

Install & Uninstall

iClock is an app that can always be downloaded from the first page of the site plumamazing.com

Install – To install download and unzip (uncompress). Double-click the app and it will move itself to your application folder.

Uninstall – If you ever need to uninstall iClock, just delete the app in your Applications folder.

Initial Setup

1. – 2 clocks showing?
First time users: If you launched iClock and there were 2 clocks showing then watch this quick video to learn how to hide the old Apple clock. You can turn it back on later if you want.  The second tab has the same instructions but shows the info in one graphic.

This graphic also explains how to turn off the Apple Clock.

2. Turn on ‘Start at login’

. To start iClock automatically at login. Go to iClock preferences. Click on the iClock Time menu and toward the bottom you will see ‘Preferences…’. select that. Go to ‘General’ and check the item called ‘Always launch iClock at startup’.

3. Rearranging the menubar items (optional)
Rearranging the menubar items is only possible in Mac OS 10.12 or higher. You can command drag the time menu all the way right. The same can be done for the Date and App Menu (if you turned it on). Each can be moved individually to a different area.

Hold down the command key, click and hold on one of the menubar items, Time, Date or App menu, and drag to the location in the menubar you want. Demonstrated in the video below. Not available if you are on 10.11 or lower. Apple controls this not us

Overview

The clock of life is wound but once,
And no man has the power
To tell just when the hands will stop
At late or early hour.

To lose one’s wealth is sad indeed,
To lose one’s health is more,
To lose one’s soul is such a loss
That no man can restore.

The present only is our own,
So Live, Love, toil with a will —
Place no faith in ‘Tomorrow’ —
For the clock may then be still.

– Robert H. Smith ©1932-1982 and thanks to Laing MacDowell

There are 4 major major visible parts of iClock.

  1. Time Menu – shows local time in the menubar and preferences on the menu can be selected.
  2. Preferences Panel – the control panel for iClock and location of all settings. Opened from the Time Menu.
  3. Date Menu – shows date in the menubar which when clicked reveals the calendar.
  4. App Menu – shows all active apps, recently used apps and system control panels.

Once iClock is installed and open then from the Time menu you can open the Preferences.

Quick Start

Once installed, click on iClocks Time menu and in that menuselect ‘Preferences…’ (screenshot below) to see and change the preferences for the Time, Date, and App menus.

That will display the Preferences. Preferences are all in one place and look like the screenshot below. Select an item on the left side to display a panel with setting on the right. Adjust the settings to your taste.

Preferences

Preferences is the control panel for iClock. It’s the one place for all settings.

To open Preferences find and select it in the Time Menu see Quick Start (above). Another way to open Preferences is if iClock is the frontmost application select preferences as seen below in the screenshot or type command ,

Starting on the left side of preferences and going down thru each item, here is an explanation of each panel.

iClock:About

This is where we put info about the creation of the app and it’s heritage.

iClock:Register

Here is where you can purchase anytime and then copy & paste the license key which unlocks the app.

iClock:General

[ ✓ ] Always launch iClock at Mac startup – when checked will always launch iClock on Mac startup. Checked is recommended.
[ ✓ ] Automatically check for updates – when checked lets you know when a new version is available. (not in Apple store version) Checked is recommended.
[    ] Remove from dock – for those people who don’t want to see the iClock icon in their dock or application switcher. Unchecked is recommended.
[Reset all preferences] – returns iClock to the settings/preferences when it was first downloaded. IMPORTANT: all changes, new cities and custom formats will be lost.

[Open onboarding screen] – when iClock is first start this set of startup screens are shown to get the user oriented and setup.

Time:Menu

Time:Menu refers to all the settings for the time you see in the menubar. We don’t allow turning this on/off because we need to have a way to get to the preferences.

Below you can find info on each setting from top down to bottom. At the top of each preference is a checkbox to turn it on/off.

Set time format – select the time format from this dropdown menu of commonly used formats that you want to see in the menubar. The red X icon allows you to delete formats from that menu.

Create custom format – by dragging the blue pills like the one that says Time Zone HST down to the field below called Custom. Once there if the pill has a downward facing triagle and choose from options like in the screenshot below.

Continue to make the selection you want to make up your custom format. Tap ‘Add Custom Time Format’ and it will be added to the bottom of the dropdown menu (called ‘Set Time Format’) of commonly used formats. There you can select and use it.

It is also possible to add punctuation and other characters in between the pills like a comma. The ‘Custom’ field can also take directly the unicode codes which are described in depth by tapping on this link. Those codes like,  HH:mm:ss zzz can produce a result like 15:08:56 PDT.

Flash separator – the ‘:’ character flashes as a visible indicator of each second.

Color – change the color of text in the menubar.

Drop Shadow – turn on/off drop shadow in the menubar.

Set Font – change the font, size of the time in the menubar. Does not change color.

Reset to defaults – if you get a little to crazy and want it the way it was.

Time:Menu Items

The items below apply to the Time Menu.

External IP – show/hide the external IP. Internet Protocol address assigned to you by your Internet Service Provider (ISP). Select the address to copy it to the clipboard.

Internal IP – show/hide the internal IP. IP Address assigned by your local network router. Select the address to copy it to the clipboard.

Location Name(s)/Time(s) in menu – when checked, this will display your locations/cities with their current local time.

Click to edit cities – tap this button to add and remove cities or time zones and to set which ones show up in the time menu and in the floating clocks. See checkmarked items below on the left appearing in the time menu on the right. Drag cities up/down in the pref (left) to change their order in the menu (right).

Menu items format – set the format to see your cities with as much or as little info as you want.

Hide Country – this will hide the country name when this box is checked.

Time format – select a format or create your own custom time format.

Color – set the color of the menu items.

Drop Shadow – set whether to add drop shadow to the menu items.

Set Font – choose the font you want for the menu items.

Time:Floating Clocks

Show Floating Clocks

Clock Face – select to have a digital or analog face.

Analog face type – select among the different face types.

Analog clock size – set to the size you want.

Show analog second hand – show/hide the second hand in analog clocks.

Show AM/PM – kinda obvious.

Clock Location Text – Show city, country, timezone, color, etc. – obvious.

Arranging the Locations – to change the arrangement of cities in the Floating Clocks, click and drag the cities up or down in the location list (image below) to set the order in which you want the locations to appear:

Items checked off in the ‘F’ column above will be the ones that show up in the Floating Clocks.

Items checked off in the ‘M’ column above are the ones that will show up in the menubar when you click on the time. See image below.

When you are finished arranging the locations, turn the Floating Clocks off and on, and it will show the new arrangements.

Time:Chimes

Speak the hours, Voice – select a voice to speak the hours.

Play sound on the hour – like a grandfather clock or Big Ben.

Only once – one bell

For the hour count – the hour is the number of gongs.

Play sound on the 1/4 hour

Play sound on the 1/2 hour

Play sound on the 3/4 hour

Quiet time – no sounds play during this time.

Chime volume

Time:Take 5

The name Take 5 means ‘to chill’, is based on English slang for take a break and also on the famous Jazz piece ‘Take Five” composed by Paul Desmond and played by the Dave Brubeck Quartet. That piece also happens to be 5 minutes long and is perfect for use with the Take 5 utility in iClock. We recommend using the tune ‘Take 5’ with the app Take 5 so it plays for 5 minutes in the background as you take a short exercise break every 30 mins.

Take 5 is a timer in iClock for timing regular breaks. Breaks are essential especially if you sit at a desk or on a computer all day long. We have bodies and we forget they need to more around, relax and get exercise. Take 5 is a reminder to provide your body with maintenance it needs.

“There is no pill that comes close to what exercise can do,” says Claude Bouchard, director of the human genomics laboratory at Pennington Biomedical Research Center in Louisiana, found in Time Magazine article.

“Physical activity does not have to be arduously long to be beneficial,” says Howard D. Sesso, an epidemiologist at the Harvard School of Public Health

“Brief bursts of intense exercise are remarkably effective.” “Most people cite ‘lack of time’ as the main reason for not being active,” says Professor Martin Gibala. “Our study shows that an interval-based approach can be more efficient – you can get health and fitness benefits comparable to the traditional approach, in less time.”

Tap here for some exercise suggestions that were sent to us from an iClock user and Olympian. 

Take 5 in iClock is also a pomodoro technique timer. What is the Pomodoro Technique?

The idea of staying focused for 8 hours can seem like a daunting undertaking. The Pomodoro technique (originating from the tomato shaped kitchen timer) helps to break this chore into manageable increments. Despite how overwhelming your task at hand may sound, you can do anything if it’s only for 25 minutes.

  1. Remove all distractions: close emails, silence phone, and shut office door (if applicable).
  2. Set the Take 5 timer for 20 or 25 minutes (one “Pomodoro”).
  3. Work solely on one task, completely uninterrupted for 20 or 25 minutes straight.
  4. Once the time goes off, give yourself a short break, maybe 5 mins (ie. get a drink, stretch, walk around, or meditate).
  5. After completing four “Pomodoros” give yourself a longer break of 20 or 30 minutes to rest your brain before the next round.
Take 5 can help protect your vision. Use Take 5 to provide a break for your eyes. 
Follow the 20-20-20 rule. Look away from your screen every 20 minutes for 20 seconds at a time and focus on a fixed point 20 feet away. Set up Take 5 to follow the 20-20-20 rule when using computers all day.

Conclusion: Take 5 is essential for to maintain focus, getting work done, maintaining the body and brain in optimal shape 🙂

Settings

Turning on/off “Add Take 5 to Time Menu” – adds ‘Take 5’ to the Time Menu. When on you get a link to Start, Stop and Preferences.

Settings for the break, duration and number of times to repeat the sessions.

Sounds for Break Beginning and Break End.

TIP: Remember ‘Take Five’ by Dave Brubeck is a great MP3 you can use for a Break every sound (break length).

Time:Alarms

A checkbox to turn on/off  the display of “Add ‘Alarms…’ to Time Menu’ to the Time Menu.

Below this you can name, set the time, date and sounds for an alarm.

Time:Countdown Timer

Set a time to countdown to. Example enter Dec. 31, midnight for New Years.

Countdown resolution – like days, hours, mins., secs to see a countdown timer.

Display window – can open the countdown window each time you login, wake from sleep, either of those.

Within days – put the number of days before the event that you want to start seeing the coundown timer.

Time:Global Scheduler

A tool to help any arrange a multi-timezone teleconference.

Have you ever had to arrange conference call with people in many different timezones? It can be very challenging figuring out how to connect with 3+ people in different locations and not catch them at lunch, dinner, asleep or just getting up. Global Scheduler is the tool to arrange this in the quickest and easiest fashion.

Time:Stopwatch

The stopwatch part of iClock allows you to count up, count down (from a set amount of time), stop, reset and change the settings. The settings look like this screenshot on the right.

Start – start and stop with this button.

Reset – resets everything to 0.

Resolution – set the accuracy of time resolution.

Set Font – set the color of the font used for displaying the numbers.

Floating or Normal Window – dropdown menu allows selecting a normal window which allows Stopwatch window to move around from the front to the back layer of windows. Or select floating window to have it always on top and visible.

Sound – allows select one of the many sounds to play when countdown reaches 0.

Time:Set Timezone

Takes you to Apples control panel to change timezone.Here is a link to a good map of Standard Time Zones

Time:Light/Dark Mode

Apple’s Dark Mode adds a fresh new option to the Mac appearance….but it doesn’t give you a quick way or an automatic way to switch from light to dark mode. iClock controls time, now it allows controlling Light/Dark Mode within time itself !!!

Automatically switch to Light at sunrise and Dark at sunset to save your eyes. Automatically switch modes at a custom time. Or switch manually via an iClock menu item from the menubar.

And Apple said, “Let there be light,” and there was light in the Mac OS UI. Apple saw that the light was good, and separated the light from the darkness in Mac 10.14” – Book of Jobs

The above preference in iClock is for switching and automation of Apple’s Light/Dark Mode.

  • Add Light/Dark Mode to Time Menu – allows adding it to the Time Menu making it a very convenient way to switch modes. Do it. This is very handy.
  • System UI Appearce – allows immediate switching in the pref to light or dark.
  • Switch Appearance At – gives 3 methods to switch modes.
    • manually (which shuts off any automatic mode previously set).
    • automatically at sunrise and sunset
    • automatically via your own custom schedule

Date:Menu

Very similar to setting the time in the menubar above.

Set Date Format – select from the dropdown menu any of the commonly used date formats.
or
Create a custom format – by dragging the blue pills like the one that says Thursday down to the field below called Custom. Once there if the pill has a downward facing triagle and choose from options like in the screenshot below.

Continue to make the selection you want to make up your custom format. Tap ‘Add Custom Date Format’ and it will be added to the bottom of the dropdown menu (called ‘Set Date Format’) of commonly used formats. There you can select and use it.

It is also possible to add puctuation and other characters in between the pills like a comma.

Another option is to type the Unicode date codes directly into the ‘Custom:’ field. Those codes like, yyyy.MM.dd G ‘at’ HH:mm:ss zzz can produce a result like 1996.07.10 AD at 15:08:56 PDT.

Above typing the Unicode Date Codes cc dd-LL-yy directly into the ‘Custom:’ field you get in the preview the format you can add to the date format presets menu. That one is handy for those in Europe.

Date:Menu Calendar

Here you can set the calendar that appears when you tap on the date in the menubar. You can select TinyCal or BigCal.

TinyCal: is small. It can show 1 to 12 months. It can show your events, holidays and other items that Apple or Google have in their calendars. For most people’s purposes TinyCal is perfect.

BigCal: it is resizable. It can be have it’s background, days, dates, in different fonts, colors and sizes. It is not possible to show events presently. You can use BigCal as a printable calendar.

After selecting the calendar you want to appear when you tap the date in the menubar select either the Apple or Google calendar.

For Google Calendar: select Google and login. It will open your browser and request your Google credentials to give TinyCal permission to show you your Google Calendar info.

For Apple Calendar: select Apple. To use the Apple Calendar you need to give it permission in Security & Privacy System Preferences panel. To do that open that panel, unlock it and drag iClock’s app icon to the Calendar area of the System Preferences:Security & Privacy panel. Seen in the screenshot below.

Date:Date Difference Calculator

Select a beginning and ending date and you get both the numerical difference and a human phrase for that length of time.

Applications:Menu

It looks like this

Enable Application Menu – turn on/off a new menu that contains all active applications. Select an application to switch to it.

Only show app icon – instead of the name just show the app icon.

Optional sub-menus:

Show currently in use apps – show active apps sub-menu.

Show recent apps – show the most recently used apps sub-menu.

Show system preferences sub menu – show the system control panels sub-menu.

The app menu looks like above right screenshot.

  1. Time Menu – if you select the time it looks like this (right). It shows local time in the menubar. In the menu below it can display Internal and External IP, a list of cities with local time worldwide, Alarms, Take 5 and more. Some items are on by default, many are not. To adjust was is displayed in the menubar and in the menu below go to the preferences panel. The preferences panel can be selected from this menu. You can see Preferences highlighted below in this screenshot.
  2. Date Menu – shows the date in the menubar. Click on it to show the calendar.
  3. Application Menu – shows which applications are running and can optionally show recently used apps and system preferences.

Applications:Laptop Alarm

This could be useful for laptop owners who’s office is in a Starbucks or other coffee shop. Or in a restaurant or airport and they need to use the restroom or to talk with someone and don’t want to keep their eye on their laptop every moment.

The way it works is you plug in your laptop. Checkmark the ‘Power Disconnected’ checkbox in the screenshot (above) and one of the sounds will go off when you (or someone else) disconnects the power. The sounds are earsplitting (depending on how you set the volume) and this feature is experimental so we recommend trying it out yourself. Learn how to disarm it quickly. All it takes to test is pulling the cord then… Ah Ohhhhh Gaaaa !!!!!

FAQ

Q: How can I have the several floating clocks I use (desktop mode) appear in order of their time zones?
A: In the button Time Zones/Locations seen in the screenshot below you can drag the locations into any order you want to have them display. The ones in the F column are the ones that are displayed for the floating clocks.

Q: How do I uninstall iClock?
A: It’s an app just remove the app.

Q: Where are the files located?
A: The iClock app is in the app folder. The pref file is located here:
:Users:Library:Preferences:com.plumamazing.iClock.plist
and
:Users:Library:Preferences:com.plumamazing.iClockPro.plist
Also if you were a user of any old iClock there may be a folder in:
User:Library:Application Support:Script Software:iclock:iclock locations
or
User:Library:Application Support:Plum Amazing:iclock:iclock locations

Q: How do I make iClock not appear in the dock or the application switcher?
A: Go to the preferences and to iClock:Advanced and there is a checkbox there that if turned on will make iClock not appear in the dock or the application switcher.

Q: How do I set the clock for 24 hour time?
A: In the system preferences:language&region panel, checkmark the ’24-hour-time’ item seen here.

QHow do I turn off the Apple Clock?

AThis is the system preference panel where you turn off the Apple Clock.

1. Click the lock icon to unlock it and it will ask for your password to change this setting. Then

2. Uncheck the “Show date and time in the menu bar’ settings to turn off the Apple clock.

Q: The ‘Start at login’ doesn’t seem to work.
A: Open iClock prefs and go to the General prefs and turn off the ‘Always launch at Mac startup’

Go to the System Prefs:Users&Groups:Login Items and delete all login items for iClock if there are any.

Then with both still open in iClock turn on ‘Always launch at Mac startup’ and look in the System Prefs:Users&Groups:Login Items and you will see the iClock item appear. Turn on/off a few times the iClock General pref ‘Always launch at Mac startup’ and you will see an iClock item appear and disappear in the System Prefs:Users&Groups:Login Items showing it is now fixed.

Purchase

“Time is money.” – Benjamin Franklin

Never put off till tomorrow the fun you can have today.” – Aldous Huxley

From Plum Amazing iClock offers a free 30-day trial. It continues to work fine after 30 days but after the free trial purchase the app to support it’s continuing evolution.

Previous users will also be given special pricing. Purchasing in quantity reduces the price in our store automatically.

Registered users get:

  • A license key to remove the reminder dialog and the splash screen.
  • The knowledge that you are participating in the evolution of iClock.
  • Access to all of iClock’s features

After registration, users automatically and immediately get an email from us with details and a license key (link) to unlock iClock easily.

Time is the most valuable thing a man can spend.Theophrastus

Support

“Time cools, time clarifies; no mood can be maintained quite unaltered through the course of hours.” – Mark Twain

We love to hear from you. Please let us know your suggestions and bugs here.

User Raves

Email us with your rave.

“I tried iclock because I was annoyed with not being able to see the date in the bar.  When I  went to pay for it, I noticed copypaste and decided to try it because I frequently want to do a little fancier copying.  I probably won’t use the more advanced options, but I want the simple things to work well. Thanks Ed.” – Dr. Edward Catmull, one of the co-founders of Pixar. He was President and CTO of Pixar and now is President of Walt Disney and Pixar Animation Studios.

“With my line of work, I never know what distant corner of the world my job will take me. iClock’s simple, intuitive interface never lets me down. With a quick glance at the pull-down menu, I can see what time it is where I am….where I’m going…and where I’ve been. With another click, I can check the weather at my next destination. Its so much more than a digital timepiece for the Mac.” – Kevin Rafferty, visual effects supervisor “Fantastic Four: Rise of the Silver Surfer”, “Star Wars: Episode I – The Phantom Menace”, “The Lost World: Jurassic Park” and many other movies.

“It’s hard to imagine that so much functionality could be packed into a ‘clock’!” – Guy Kawasaki, Author, Blogger, Evangelist, and Entrepreneur.

“iClock saves time! Once again I’ve snagged an invaluable tool from Script Software. iClock elegantly offers just the right balance of functionality and features. No digging – no bloat; just a wonderfully simple tool to help manage my clock, my time, my Mac.” – Rand Miller, Co-creator of Myst and Riven

“Many thanks. Great app!” –David Bogart, Executive VP & COO, Ontario Innovation Trust

“The new iClock is excellent and it is very stable. I also like all those links to various sites. I really love being able to easily glance at the bar and see the day and date plus I find the drop down calendar super useful in that it lists calendar items that are coming up. Excellent!” – Kerry Dawson

“Best time I ever had!!!!” – Charles Henry, PanTech Inc.

“I love iClock. It’s not only attractively designed, it’s really useful, too. Besides all its time features, I was delighted when I saw that it restored the drop down menu for open applications.” – James Henry Rubin, Professor and Chair, Department of Art, State University of New York

“The feature that attracted me to iClock was the location time menu. As you know software sales is world wide because of the Internet. When I need to make a service call overseas I need to know what time it is in that country. I have used other products that require running a program to see the times, or software that clutters the desktop with clocks. iClock is simple, non-obtrusive and FAST. Thank you for a very useful yet simple to use program.” – David Parrish

“iClock is AWESOME! You should really try to get Apple to include it with all their machines! I’m glad I found it. Thanks!” – John Kingdon

“I couldn’t live without iClock now. I love it because it is so simple, but has so many powerful features. I am constantly amazed at what it can do.” – Anil K Solanki

“I am a ham radio operator and I just want others to know that iClock 2 offers useful nw features for hams. The new 2.0 version supports handy web links along with many other useful features making it a very nice tool for HAM operators. I use iClock for time conversions, a handy quick calendar for looking up date (launches iCal when you want to enter something), Alarms, Stocks and more. An important note is Mark Fleming the author is interested in other links hams might find useful.” – Steve Hellyer