20101220

Smartphone app roundup

Several different things have come my way at the exact same time that are sorta like decimal time apps, but not exactly.

Decimal Time 1.0 by Harald Mueller is a 99¢ iPhone app which does not display decimal time.  Rather, it represents standard 24-hour time as four columns, one for each digit.  Each column has a number of binary indicators that indicate the digit, depending on the maximum number.  For instance, the first column has two indicators, representing 2×10, and the second column has nine, so that the hours 0-23 can be indicated.  The next two columns are for the minutes, so one column has five and the last has nine, for minutes 0-59.  Get it?  If you are looking for a real decimal time app, don't get this one!

At the same time, I saw this tweet by Oliver Bothwell directing me not to an app in the iTunes app store, but to a "Metric Time" web app, which is basically a web page that works on iOS devices.  He says it's optimized for iPad, but it works on my iPhone.  I find that it does not work on all Windows or Linux browsers, but it does work on Safari and Chrome.  What is much more interesting is his Metric Diary, which not only uses decimal time, but also a decimal, or "metric", calendar, with ten-day weeks and ten months per year alternating between 35 and 40 days.  This is all explained on his metric poster.

The final entry is the Metric Clock Widget for Android by Dan Perron.  I'm not able to check it out, but it's one I'd like to have.  There are few widgets for iPhone, and those are only if you jailbreak.

MJD 55550.513

20101123

Happy Holidays!

Thanksgiving is almost here in the US, and this year falls on the 25th of November (55525), exactly one month before Christmas (55555).  I was thinking about this a couple of nights ago, and was wondering when Hanukkah was this year, when I noticed that there was a full moon in the sky above me.  I remembered Jon Stewart singing on A Colbert Christmas a couple of years ago (54793) that the Festival of Lights also starts "On the 25th." ("Of December?" "Kislev." "Which is when, exactly?" "I will check.")  Since the full moon falls on the 15th day of Jewish months, that means that the holiday must follow in ten days, which would be the night of 1 December (55531/2).  We don't really celebrate, since there are no kids left, but I'll probably bring home some gelt.  That's all three holidays falling on the 25th of some month.

I just noticed while writing this that Christmas falls on Modified Julian Day 55555, which is another reason to celebrate, I guess.

I think it's funny that some people get upset if they hear "Happy holidays" instead of "Merry Christmas", because Christmas is not the only holiday.  We have not only Christmas, Thanksgiving and Hanukkah, but also New Year, which most people celebrate regardless of their religion.  I suppose somebody must celebrate Kwanzaa, too.  ("What would it be like without Kwanzaa?  Like every year before 1966.")  If we were to be really accurate, we should mention all of them, but that would take forever, so why not just lump them under "holidays"?  It's not meant necessarily to avoid offending non-Christians, and I don't why people want to do that, but it's to include the other holidays we all celebrate in this country, i.e. Thanksgiving early in the season, and the New Year later.

Happy holidays!

MJD 55523.534

20101110

Decimal Clock app for iPhone by Michael Behan

Decimal Clock is a simple app which displays an analog decimal clock, with the decimal time in digital underneath, on a green background with diagonal stripes.  There are no other options or features.  There is a 10 at the top of the clock, as with French clocks, but the digital display starts at 00.00.00, except a brief moment when it says 10.00.00.  The app costs $0.99.

There's an ad that's one of those autogenerated videos like that GEICO commercial at www.headoverflow.com.

MJD 55510.453

Getting better

I've been using the Skyfire app for a few days now, and it seems to be working normally.  It is still not ideal.  The app is blocked on some sites, like Hulu and Fox, although I don't know why you would be able to watch Family Guy episodes on a computer but not on other devices.  Some videos just don't load for some reason.  However, the most annoying thing is pages that have multiple videos, like on io9, where Skyfire only plays the first video.  It also don't work with Flash games and other animation, but fortunately Frash will work with some of them, if you're jailbroken.  So still not perfect, but better than before.

MJD 55510.440

20101103

Still no Flash for iPhone

One of the biggest drawbacks with the iPhone has always been its lack of ability to run Flash.  Flash is used to embed animation and video into web sites, and many sites use it, which means that a lot of web content is not available on iOS devices.  Apple refuses to support Flash because it uses a lot of resources and degrades performance.  This is true; I often have difficulty playing Flash videos on my old laptop.  Apple has been promoting HTML5 for playing videos, and many sites now support this, but many still do not.  I am frequently frustrated by this.

Two months ago (55440.685) Skyfire announced that they had submitted an app to the iTunes App Store which would allow viewing of Flash video on web pages.  The way it works is that they convert the Flash on their own servers and send it back to your device.  That way, you don't have to run Flash on your iPhone, but you still get the videos.  I have been eagerly waiting for the past two months for this app to get approved.  Skyfire is already one of the most popular apps on Android and other phones.  Apparently iPhones are not the only phones that have trouble with Flash.

Well, today (55503) it happened.  I bought the app for $2.99 and started browsing.  First I tried one of their suggested sites, the Daily Show with Jon Stewart (even though I already watch it everyday on TV).  It wouldn't load.  Then I started browsing my news feeds, and quickly found a BBC story that had a Flash video.  It took forever to load, then I got a few seconds of an advert and it stopped.  Other attempts were also unsuccessful.  I began to suspect what the cause of the problem might be, as it happens frequently when highly desirable sites turn on or get publicized.  The servers are overloaded.

Turns out, I was exactly right.  Skyfire has removed their app from the App Store.  They state that within five hours the app had become the top grossing iPhone app and that demand far exceeded their predictions.  So now we have to wait for them to increase their capacity, which will probably take a while.  At least this time I managed to grab the app before it was pulled.  Usually by the time I learn about an app too good to be true, Apple has already pulled it, like when that kid snuck in free tethering in his app.  Hopefully as the early adopters finish playing with their new toy, the servers will start running again, in which case I am ready.

MJD 55504.050

20101008

10/10/10

Since this site is named Decimal Time, I should mention the fact that 2010 October 10 (55479), or 10/10/10, is the tenth annual Powers of Ten Day, which is named after the 1968 short film that starts by looking at a picnic in Chicago and zooms out by a power of ten every ten seconds until reaching 100 million light years, then zooming down to 0.000001 ångstroms.  This is not to be confused with Decimal Day, which was when the UK converted to decimal currency on 15 February 1971 (40997).

Also, the new jailbreak for iOS 4.1 (iPhone/iPad Touch/iPad/Apple TV) is scheduled for 10/10/10 at 10:10:10, presumably GMT (55479.423727).  Unfortunately, it only works on the latest versions of these devices, but that's OK for me.  Update: (55479.189) a different jailbreak has already been released, so the all-tens release probably won't happen now.


MJD 55477.815

20101001

Stardate apps for iPhone

Stardate Calculator by Priddy Software was released to the app store on August 10 (55409) and is free.  It's very basic.  Time and calendar date are displayed in a column with year, month, day, hour and minute broken out, and the stardate below, on a starry background.  Tap on the calendar date, time or stardate to change them and convert.  Both calendar date and time have a button for "today".  However, the displayed time is two hours off from the time I pick, probably because the developer is in the US Central Time Zone.  It should use either the user's local time or Greenwich (and make clear if it's the latter) rather than Illinois time.  The "i" button just brings up ads for other apps, including several fart apps, but at least there are no ads on the front page, which is good for a free app.  They should put some information about stardates, and the method they use to generate them.
The current stardate is -311636.5, which I can tell uses the same method as the "twenty-fourth century stardates" calculated by TrekGuide.com.  They start from 2322 May 25 (169296) as 0.0 and increment by 1000.0 every 365.25 days.  Since this date is in the future, contemporary stardates are negative.  Thus, this app is fine if you want to convert between stardates and calendar dates used in the 24th century, as on The Next Generation (TNG), Deep Space 9 (DS9) or Voyager, (VOY) but not very satisfactory for earlier centuries, as on the original series (TOS) or right now.

I have mentioned the other two stardate apps previously on this blogStarDate Calculator Pro sounds like a paid version of the above app, but is actually free and made by David Frick, aka Triangle Powers Software.  It's even simpler than the above app.  It starts out with the current stardate, which is now 64214.9, even though the calendar date always shows "September 26 2009" (55100) when it first loads.  You can convert from any Gregorian calendar date to a stardate, but not vice versa.  This app does not give correct stardates for future centuries when the TV series and movies take place, but it does provide a good approximation of the stardates given in episodes of TNG/DS9/VOY according to when they first aired on television.  The app apparently uses the TrekGuide.com formula for "contemporary dates in The Next Generation Stardate format", which starts with 0.0 on 1946 July 15 and increments by 1000.0 every year.  This gives satisfactory-looking stardates for the current era, if not for future ones.

iStardate by Max Soderstrom/SusaSoftX was updated to version 1.1 on 2010 July 19 (55396) and costs 99 cents.  As before, it loads with a starry field overlaid with the current stardate, which appears right now as [-28]3770.31.  But now when you tap it, a "convert" button appears, allowing you to convert any Gregorian calendar date.  It increments automatically, like a clock, 0.01 stardates every 2 or 3 minutes, or 5.00 per day.  The "i" button gives a brief explanation, which really does not explain anything.

iStardate uses the method from Andrew Main's FAQ, which is my least favorite.  Basically, he has stardates rolling over from 9999.99 to 0000.00 every five-and-a-half years, then incrementing the "issue" number in brackets.  They start from [0]0000.0 in 2162, right after the Federation will be founded, with negative issues before that, with the current one being [-28].  According to the FAQ, after 2269 several different methods will be used, in order to correspond with the stardates used in the various TV shows and movies, but the app continues using the same formula for these periods.  So the app gives incorrect stardates in the future centuries, and ugly ones in ours.  Even though this method was also adopted by Google Calendar, I cannot stand these stardates.

You may wonder what the numbers that look like stardates are that I have after Gregorian dates.  These are Modified Julian Day numbers, which have been used by astronomers for over a half-century to date star observations, and which are a modification of the Julian Days used since the 19th century.  Just add a decimal and they become Julian Dates.

MJD 55471.063

Update: (55472.572) I forgot to include the latest version of New Clocks, which shows a current stardate similar to Triangle Power Software's app.

Update: (56144.078) Sternzeit by Sebastian Bothe uses TNG stardates with January 1, 2323, as the epoch, so that stardates for the present period are large, negative numbers, slightly different from Priddy's Stardate Calculator app.  Priddy's app is the only one that let's you enter a time when converting to stardates.  Triangle's Stardate Calculator Pro no longer seems to be available in the appstore.

20100930

New planets

Today (55468) two more planets were announced orbiting the star Gliese 581, one of which is only three times as heavy as earth and orbiting in the "Goldilocks zone" where liquid water, and therefore life as we know it, can exist. In fact, one astronomer believes that "chances of life on this planet are 100 percent."

This seems like a ridiculous thing to say, since we only have one data point so far, which is not enough to determine probabilities. Just because life might be possible does not make it certain, and there are still too many variables which we do not know.

The planet is the sixth to be discovered around this red dwarf star, which is about 20 light-years (190 terameters) away from us, and called Gliese 581g. This is what bugs me. The six planets are lettered b-g, and the parent star is letter a.  This is how astronomers name extrasolar planets.  The first object in another system is named a, which is always a star, the second object, which may or may not also be a star, is lettered b, and so on. 

But it's not supposed to be that way!  Any sci-fi fan knows that planets are numbered in order from the parent star, which always has a pronounceable name.  For instance, earth, the third planet from the sun, is Sol IIIKhan was marooned on the fifth planet of a star, Ceti Alpha V, shortly before the sixth planet, Ceti Alpha VI, was destroyed.  It's not that bad that they use letters instead of numbers, but the letters do not distinguish between stars and planets, and go in order of discovery, which usually relates to size, rather than distance.  How stars, themselves, are named is much more complicated, and more often have just letters and numbers than proper names.

Of course, it has to be that way.  There are hundreds of billions of stars in the Milky Way, only a few thousand of which are visible to the naked eye from earth.  Only the brightest of these have short names.  Up to a couple of dozen per constellation have a name that is a Greek letter combined with the name of the constellation, like Alpha Centauri, which is actually a binary star, the components being lettered A and B.  (Proxima Centauri, the closest star to us, may or may not be part of the same system, so it is sometimes called Alpha Centauri C.)  There are various other naming schemes, some based upon star catalogues such as the Gliese Catalogue of Nearby Stars, which lists nearly a thousand stars that are within 20 parsecs (617 petameters).  Stars often have multiple names, e.g. Alpha Centauri is also called Rigil Kent or Toliman, as well as various other designations.

It is currently impossible to name extrasolar planets based upon orbital order, since we cannot see all of the ones that might be orbiting a given star.  So the best we can do is to name them as we find them, which necessarily means that they are named in order of discovery.  In our own solar system, we have proper names for all the planets.  The six innermost have been known since prehistory, long before it was known what they actually were, so there is no order of discovery, although we could order them by apparent brightness.  If we make the sun Sol a, then earth could be Sol b, Venus Sol c, Jupiter Sol d, Mars Sol e, Saturn Sol f, and Mercury, which is hard to see even at its brightest, Sol g.

One advantage of this system is that discovering a new planet would not require renaming known planets.  If a planet was discovered between Sol IV (Mars) and Sol V (Jupiter), then it would become Sol V and Jupiter would become Sol VI.  This actually happened a couple of hundred years ago, when Ceres was discovered, although now Ceres is classified as an asteroid or dwarf planet.  The first planet discovered in modern times, Uranus, would be Sol h, and Ceres would be Sol i.  But due to our vantage in the inner solar system, the last major planet, Neptune, was discovered after several minor planets, which were later reclassified as asteroids.  We all know that Pluto was likewise demoted from major planet to dwarf planet.  As we find more and more planets, such distinctions will become even more arbitrary, but they will tend to be discovered in order of size and named in that order, rendering it moot.

Of course, nothing precludes us from switching to the other system once we discover warp drive.  If we were to colonize extrasolar planets, we would find proper names for them and their parent stars, and at the same time we could refer to their orbital number, just as we call earth Sol III.  We use what is convenient for now, but in the future something else may be more convenient.

Stardate 55469.378
Starfleet HQ
Sol III
Sector 001
Alpha Quadrant

20100922

Bonne année !

If you use use the Salut et Fraternité iOS app or have the "Romme" option set in the Calendrier app, or simply follow the French Republican Calendar using Romme's proposed reform, then you can celebrate today, 22 September 2010 (55461), as the first day of the new year, CCXIX (219).  According to Romme's proposal, a leap day is added to the end of years divisible by four.  Brumaire, maker of S&F, adds the leap day to the end of the previous year.  Since 219 is neither one of these, there is no leap day, and therefore today is a new year.

However, if you use the original rule, which was the only one ever legally in effect, the new year starts at midnight on the day when the autumnal equinox occurs in Paris.  The equinox occurs tonight at 20:09 my time, which is 03:09 GMT (55462.13111).  France is currently two hours ahead of GMT, so that would be 5 h 9 in Paris, but actually the law specifies temps vrai de Paris (Paris apparent time), which today is about 16 or 17 minutes ahead of Greenwich, so the equinox is around 23 sept. 2010 à 3 h 25 t.v.P., or 142 decimal minutes past local apparent midnight.

Anyway, that means that tomorrow, 23 September (55462), is without doubt the first day of the new year, which means that today is a leap day, the sixth (sextile) complementary day, the Day of Revolution.

It is already tomorrow (summer time) in the eastern hemisphere, so whichever day you celebrate, bonne année !

MJD 55461.979
Sextidi 6 complémentaire an CCXVIII à 9hd 86md t.m.P. au
Primidi 1er Vendémiaire an CCXIX à 9hd 86md t.m.P.

20100918

Julian Date Calculator app for iOS by CosmoWerx

Julian Date Calculator is an iPhone app by CosmoWerx, aka Milan Battelino.  Currently at version 1.3, it costs 99 cents in the App Store.  As the name indicates, this app calculates Julian Dates, which count the days since the beginning of the Julian Period, 4713 BCE, including the decimal time from noon UTC (GMT).  To convert any  (Coordinated) Universal Time and  calendar date to a Julian Date, first enter the time on the picker and tap the date to change it, or vice versa.  You may also tap the "UTC Now!" button to get the current UTC time and Julian Date, which generates a loud "ping!" sound.. However, you have to convert between local and UTC time yourself.
 
To convert a Julian Date to a calendar date and UTC time, simply tap on the Julian Date and a number pad will pop up, allowing you to edit the field, then tap the "Done" button to convert.  You can also select and copy the Julian Date to paste into another app.

There is a second field under the Julian Date, which displays an additional decimal date, which you can select by clicking on the "i".  Additional date options available include:
  • Modified Julian Date
  • Reduced Julian Date
  • Truncated Julian Date (NASA)
  • Truncated Julian Date (NIST)
  • Dublin Julian Date
  • ANSI Date
  • Rata Die
  • Unix Time
  • RAMSES Time
Selecting any of these will display a description of what they are.  The last two are second counts, rather than day counts.  RAMSES Time is new to me, and is explained as the number of seconds since the beginning of 2000, MJD 51544.0, developed by the Swedish Space Corporation.

There is also an iPad version, named Julian Date Converter, for $1.99, which shows all the decimal dates and times at once, including GPS Time.

MJD 55457.419
JD 2455457.919
RAMSES 338119402

20100916

Holidays part deux

The moon is half full in the evening sky, setting around midnight, which means that it's been about a week since the lunar holidays of Rosh Hashanah and Eid.  (The origin of the seven-day week may be related to the four phases of the moon.)  Soon there will be more holidays.  The tenth day of the Jewish month Tishri is Yom Kippur, the Day of Atonement, which begins at sundown on Friday, 17 September (55456/7).  Last year, Stephen Colbert played my wife calling his "Atone Phone" on his show.  Shame on you, Stephen, shame on you!

17 September is also the first Complementary Day of the French Republican Calendar.  Since each Republican month had thirty days, and there are 365 and a fraction days in an average year, there are five or six days left over, which were called Complementary Days, or Sancolotides. Here are the names of the Complementary Days this year:
  1. 17 Sept.: Virtu (virtue)
  2. 18 Sept.: Génie (skill)
  3. 19 Sept.: Travail (work)
  4. 20 Sept.: l'Opinion (opinion)
  5. 21 Sept.: Récompenses (awards)
  6. 22 Sept.: Révolution (revolution)
Note that the sixth (sextile) day is a leap day, which occurs because there are 366 days in between this year's and last year's equinoxes.  Those who use a fixed rule to determine leap years do not recognize that there is a leap day this year, and observe Wednesday, 22 September, as the first day of the year CCXIX (219) and of the month of Vendémiaire.  Those who follow the original rule of equinoxes observe the new year on Thursday, 23 September, since the equinox occurs 3.435 hours, or 1.43 decimal hours, after apparent midnight in Paris on this day.

There should be a beautiful full moon this new year!

MJD 55455.479
Decadi 30 Fructidor an CCXVIII à 4hd 85md t.m.P.

20100909

Day of Reason

I was looking for information about la fête de la raison, the Day of Reason, or Festival of Reason, which Wikipedia says was another name for one of the complementary days, or Sansculotides, in the French Republican Calendar, Opinion Day, which falls on 20 September (MJD 55459) this year.  However, I cannot find an original source for this, and the Wikipedia article on the Cult of Reason and other sources state that it was instead held once, on 20 Brumaire, Year II (10 November 1793, JD 2376253/4), and the organizers were guillotined a few months later.

There is also a US National Day of Reason on the first Thursday of May, which is unrelated, but really cool.

BTW, shana tova 5771 and Eid Saeed!

MJD 55448.436
Tridi 23 Fructidor an CCXVIII à 4hd 42md t.m.P.
1 Tishrei 5771
30 Ramadan 1431

20100904

Holidays in other calendars this month

There will be a lunar conjunction on 8 September 2010 (MJD 55447.4375), which means that the moon will pass between the earth and the sun, which happens about once a month.  This is also known as an astronomical new moon, although traditionally a new moon is usually observed about a day later, when the crescent moon first becomes visible in the evening sky.  In lunar calendars, this crescent moon marks the beginning of a new month.

One such calendar is the Hebrew or Jewish calendar.  Sunset on 8 September will mark the beginning of the month of Tishrei and Jewish year 5771, and the holy day of Rosh Hashanah.  Although the Jewish calendar has months based upon the phases of the moon, it keeps track of the seasons by sometimes adding a thirteenth month to the year, since the solar year is about eleven or twelve days longer than twelve months.

Another lunar calendar is the Muslim calendar.  The crescent new moon marks the end of the holy month of Ramadan, and the feast of Eid ul-Fitr.  The Muslim calendar is not predetermined, but based rather upon actual observations of the moon, so that while it is expected to occur around 10 September, it may be a day or two before or after, and varies from place to place, depending upon local observers.  Unlike the Jewish calendar, the Muslim calendar does not keep track of the seasons and always has exactly twelve months in a year, so Ramadan comes about eleven days earlier every Gregorian year.

In the solar Gregorian calendar, September is the month containing the equinox marking the beginning of autumn in the northern hemisphere.  This year, the equinox occurs on 23 September in the eastern hemisphere, and 22 September in the western. (MJD 55462.13111)

The French Republican calendar, used during the French Revolution, begins each year on the day this equinox occurs in Paris, which is in the eastern hemisphere, so by this rule Republican year CCXIX begins on 23 September, which means that a leap day must be added to the end of the current year CCXVIII.

However, the calendar has not been in official use since 1805, and some people use different leap year methods to determine the beginning of the calendar year.  Brumaire uses a rule similar to the Gregorian calendar, but since historically the years III, VII and XI were leap years, the leap day is usually inserted at the end of the year previous to one divisible by four.  That means that there is none this year (218), and in the Salute et Fraternité app the year CCXIX begins on 22 September 2010 instead of 23 September.

The Calendrier app offers a choice of two different rules, either the original equinoctial rule which starts the year on 23 September, or the Gregorian-style rule proposed by Gilbert Romme during the Revolution, which starts the year on 22 September.

MJD 55443.893
Octidi 18 Fructidor an CCXVIII à 9hd t.m.P.

20100811

Dezimal zeit uhr

Click to enlarge
That's a decimal time watch made by Rainer Nienaber of Bünde, Germany, who produces unusual hand-made watches and clocks.  As with French decimal clocks, hours are marked 1 to 10 on the inner circle, minutes up to 100 on the outer circle.  Nienaber's web page says "1 day = 10 hours" but this picture taken at a show earlier this year in Basel says "1 tag = 2 x 10 Stunden".  If you're looking for a decimal watch that's not made by Swatch, this is it, although it will probably set you back a few thousand more!

MJD 55419.939

20100805

Android Decimal Time app

This blog is not just about iPhones!   Jon tweeted about an app on Android, so I asked him for a review, which you can read below.



Hi John,

Thanks for messaging me to ask for a review of the only Decimal Time app for Android.

As you can see from the screenshot (from my HTC Tattoo running Android 1.6 - attached) it's a *very* simple app showing solely the 24h time and the decimal time equivalent.


Like several of the apps you've mentioned for iOS it does suffer from the skipped dsecond issue every now and again.


There are no settings, nada!

The android market is improving and increasing rapidly and I hope there will be more Decimal Time apps in future.

Marketplace link (for android devices) market://search?q=pname:com.fxndev.decimaltime
 
URL for a marketplace listing. http://androidapplications.com/43094-decimal-time
 
Also attached is a QR code link that will take an android device straight to the marketplace download link.
 
Thanks
 
Jon @wolfpupjon on twitter
(Sent: MJD 55412.663125)

20100725

@beat app for iOS by Christophe Dirac

There is a new free app displaying Swatch .beats/Internet Time.  @beat by Christophe Dirac displays local 24-hour time and date along with the current beats and tenths (decibeats).  It also shows a slide show of the first 50 images in your camera roll and works in landscape mode.  There are no options.  Tapping the "i" brings up a tribute to Internet Time inventor, Nicolas Hayek, who recently passed away, and a very brief history of Internet Time, although no description is given for what .beats actually are.

The app store search function does not recognize non-alphanumeric characters, so try searching for a combination of "beat" and the author's name.

MJD 55402.920
@961

Update (MJD 55418.253): I noticed that the photo linked here has changed, which is because the app has been updated.  Although not yet published in the app store, there are some new features, such as local temperature and humidity, day of week, choice of background colors and text-to-speech. See the author's site for complete details.

20100717

Bumpers

As I suspected, Steve Jobs today, just 20 miles from here, offered free "bumpers" to all iPhone 4 owners, or a choice of cases to be named later. I had planned to buy a case the first day, but Apple had none, and Best Buy was sold out.  Apparently this was because Apple didn't trust case makers to keep the phone a secret, so they didn't have time to manufacture enough of them.  I've been thinking that maybe I would not bother.  After all, the aluminized glass is pretty tough.  However, I can't keep from holding the magic spot.  I've also noticed that the glass back is so smooth that it slides off other smooth surfaces.  So I will gladly accept the free case, thank you.

MJD 55394.357

20100715

Death Grip

I bought a new iPhone 4 a décade ago (55382), mainly because I promised my wife my 3GS when the new phone came out.  There were already reports in the media about the apparent reception problem, aka "the death grip".  I dismissed this initially as being over-hyped.  I have been thinking that, yes, it may be a real, albeit minor, issue, but Apples reactions have made it seem even worse.

Now I no longer think it is a minor issue.  Holding the phone in the most natural way, my calls do not go through, or are dropped after I make them, and my 3G data connection immediately goes south.  It's quickly resolved by changing my grip, but it has become annoying, and I should not have to constantly have the problem!  I do not have a case because all they had were those stupid "bumpers", and I'll be damned if I'm paying $30 plus tax (@9.5%) for a rubber band that does not even protect one of the two glass sides.  To add insult to injury, Apple released a software update today, which does nothing to actually fix the problem; it just makes the bars higher and more accurate.  WTF?

Tomorrow (55393.75) Apple is supposed to announce their fix.  It had better be good.  Free bumpers would be a start.

MJD 55393.250

20100714

New Clocks iOS app by Dennerlein Consulting

The decimal time apps just keep coming.  New Clocks (opens iTunes) by Jesse Dennerlein was released on July 8 (55385) and is free, supported by iAd.  If you haven't seen an iAd, yet, you can download this app and tap the bottom to watch the animated, interactive ad for the Toyota Nissan LEAF electric car.  The app, itself, simply displays four five different digital clocks simultaneously:
  • Standard time (24x60x60 per day)
  • Swatch Internet Time (1000x100 per day)
  • New Earth Time (360x60x60 per day)
  • Decimal time (10x100x100 per day)
  • Stardate (00002.728 per day)
The standard and decimal clocks display hours, minutes and seconds, the NET clock displays degrees, minutes and seconds but only increments every 15 seconds (which is one second of standard time), and the Swatch clock displays .beats and centibeats.  If you tap one of the times, it will show you a brief explanation and a "More info" button that links to Wikipedia.  You can change the background color for the app, and the font for each clock can be set independently.

The only bug I've found is that the Swatch and decimal time clocks sometimes skip a second/centibeat, an issue we've seen in other apps.

MJD 55392.126

Update: (55392.366) I just noticed that the Swatch .beats show local time, rather than "Biel Mean Time" (actually CEWT/BST or GMT+1).  As you can see from the screenshot, the Swatch .beats (@429.89) are the same as the decimal time (4:29.89), which is pretty redundant.

Update: (55418.260) The app has been updated to fix the problem with the .beats I noted in my previous update, so they are now on BMT.  Also, another clock has been added which displays stardates, according to the method used by TrekGuide.com, which basically increments 1000.000 units per year, or about 2.74 per day.

20100626

Salut et Fraternité app for iPhone by Brumaire

Another decimal time app for iOS iPhone.  Salut et Fraternité (opens iTunes) is very similar to Calendrier, as it shows the Republican calendar date and decimal time below art from the French Revolution, namely a famous depiction of the Declaration of the Rights of Man and of the Citizen.  It also allows conversion both to and from Republican calendar dates, while Calendrier only converts from Gregorian to Republican.  It also displays the decimal time on a simulated antique watch with animated hands.

Although similar to Calendrier, Brumaire has offered versions of their Salut et Fraternité software for years.  Like the other versions, the app calculates dates by inserting a leap day before every year divisible by four (except century years).  This makes it continuous with historical dates from the First Republic, when each year started on the autumnal equinox, resulting in leap days at the end of years 3, 7 and 11.  Calendrier gives two different options, either to have current years begin on the equinox, or Romme's proposal to insert a leap day at the end of every year divisible by four, although the implementation of this is buggy.  It just happens that dates for this year (ER 218) are the same for all three methods.

[Salut et Fraternité is $1.99]

MJD 55373.487
Octidi 8 Messidor an CCXVIII à 4hd 94md t.m.P.

Update: (55441.294, Sextidi 16 Fructidor an CCXVIII à 3hd t.m.P.) Version 1.1 has dropped in the App Store, featuring calendar girl images for each month from the Revolution, optional seasonal images on the Convert and Genealogy tabs, and an option for Arabic instead of Roman numerals.  Also, swiping on the settings tab brings up bios for calendar creators Gilbert Romme and Fabre d'Eglantine and a gallery of calendar girls, with text of the associated poems in French.  Complementary days, which are in a couple of weeks/décades, still show the Declaration of the Rights of Man and of the Citizen.

iOS4

I upgraded my iPhone 3GS to iOS4 on Monday, and have been been offline all week.  It may be my own fault for not restoring on 3.1.3 before updating to 4.0, since I jailbroke my phone. All seemed to be fine, until I left home.  It turned out that my data link was broken, so while it worked fine at home on my wi-fi, it did not work on 3G or 2G/Edge.  Restoring did not help.  I got an appointment on Wednesday at the Apple Store Genius Bar, where they reset it to its factory state.  But when I restored again, I had the same problem.  So I have been manually reloading all my apps, settings, etc.  It's just as well, since it will soon be my wife's phone.  As soon as I get the new iPhone 4, I will likely have to reload everything all over again.

One nice thing about the new iOS is folders.  I can now put all the decimal time apps in one place.  This works even better than the jailbreak Categories.  Other things I can do are wallpapers, multitasking, pull-up rotation-lock and iPod controls, editable playlists, improved email, spellcheck, etc.  That's most of what I liked from jailbreaking, although multitasking is not as good as Backgrounder, and I cannot use my mono Bluetooth with iPod to listen to podcasts, so I will eventually jailbreak again just for that.

MJD 55373.456

20100609

iOS4

There's a new catchall term for what has heretofore been called the iPhone OS, which is also used on the iPod Touch and iPad: iOS.  So from now on I will call these simply iOS devices.  This comes with the announcement of the new iPhone 4, which will run iOS 4.0.  I might get the iPhone 4, since my wife has been bugging me for one, so she'll either get my old phone or we might even share an iPad.  The flash and sharper display are nice (especially when the Netflix app is released) as would be the front-facing camera if I had anybody to use it with who also has an iPhone 4, but the iPad's large display would be a lot better to use at home, even though it costs at least $300 more.

Either way, I look forward to using iOS 4.0 on my current iPhone 3GS when it becomes available on July 21 (55351).  It has a couple of useful features, including multitasking and folders.  I really need these, and had to "jailbreak" my iPhone to get them before.  However, there are other things I'll probably still need to jailbreak my iPhone for, such as listening to podcasts through my mono Bluetooth.

Of course, there are some other great phones available now, but I've become accustomed to my iPhone, and so far as I know there aren't very many decimal time apps, although I have heard that there is one for Android.  I'm not an Apple fanboy, and I've never had bought an Apple product before my current iPhone, but I do love the iOS platform.

MJD 55356.973

20100603

dTime app by Cyberlab

Yet another decimal time app has appeared in the iTunes app store, dTime by Cyberlab, (opens iTunes) currently for free.  This one displays a simple analog clock dial with 100 marks around the edge, with the corresponding digital time displayed below.

The digital time is divided into three fields, each field having two digits.  The first unit is called "kar" (I don't know why) which is equal to one centiday or 14.4 minutes.  The next unit is called "mnit" and is equal to 100 microdays or 8.64 seconds.  The third unit is unnamed and is equal to one microday or 86.4 milliseconds.


The analog dial has three hands.  The "kar" hand makes a complete rotation once per day, just like a French revolutionary clock, but it points straight down at midnight (00) represented by a black circle, and straight up at midday (50) represented by a white circle.  The "mnit" hand makes one rotation every "kar", which makes it ten times faster than the minute hand of a revolutionary clock, and again points down for 00 and up for 50.  Then there is a little hand offset from the others, which makes a rotation once every "mnit", although this hand points up when the units are 00 and down for 50.


The Cyberlab web site has a Belgian domain and is in French, which is ironic since the authors seem unaware of French decimal time, and have reinvented the wheel.  C'est la vie!


MJD 55350.423

20100512

I'm a Neanderthal

Ja, Ich bin ein Neandertaler.  And so might you be, if you are not from Africa.  Two papers published in Science indicate that 1-4% of the genomes of Eurasians and Pacific Islanders contain DNA from Neanderthals, which Africans don't have.  See John Hawks and Carl Zimmer.  This suggests that shortly after human beings left Africa, about 50,000 years ago, they interbred with Neanderthals, who were then living in the Middle East, before spreading to the rest of the world.  Specifically, they compared the genomes of people from France, China, New Guinea and Africa (Yoruba and San) with the genomes from the bones of several Neanderthals.  Presumably, that suggests that all human beings living outside of Africa might have Neanderthal genes.  Even if you're African American, you probably have Neanderthal DNA, since most blacks in America have some mixed ancestry, and even some Africans must also have Neanderthal genes, since there has always been some migration in and out of Africa.  There's a caveat that it's still early days, and these are small sample sizes, and there are other possible explanations of the data, so the picture will become more refined in the future, but for now it looks pretty likely that most people outside Africa may be hybrids.  It's also possible that we have genes from others, like Homo erectus; we're still finding more hominids. 

Now I'm feeling offended by those GEICO commercials!

MJD 55328.992
 
UPDATE: I just got the free MEanderthal iPhone app from the Smithsonion, so I'm adding this image of myself from the app, since it fits so perfectly with the title.

20100504

Deci Clock and Internet Beat apps

There is yet another decimal time app for the iPhone, and an update of a previously reviewed app, both of which display Swatch Internet Time .beats.

20100409

3D TV

Today I watched coverage of the Masters Golf Tournament in 3D.  Comcast is offering two hours of 3D TV per day from 7-11 April. (55293-55297) It's on channel 897 where I live. 

20100401

Twitter

I meant to do this a while ago, but I finally got around to setting up a Twitter account under @DecimalTime.  You can follow it for blog updates.

MJD 55287.938

Breaking NEWS..... France to adopt metric time

From about-france.com:
      France will officially become the first country in the world in modern time to adopt metric time, according to documents leaked late last night to a French television station, and confirmed by a high-ranking official in Paris. The change to metric time will complete the process of metrication launched over two centuries ago following the French Revolution.  Subject to official confirmation, M-Day is scheduled for April 2011, leaving French businesses, transport operators and the general public just a year to prepare for the event...
Londonderry NH net also has a good one.

MJD 55287.900

20100327

Celebrity spotted using decimal time

Grammy winner John Mayer tweeted about decimal time, and specifically about the DeciTime iPhone app.  Here is what he said last night, in chronological order:

Trying to switch to decimal time. 10 dours, 100 dinutes, 100 deconds. Check out the DeciTime app.
Posted 55282.109

This is what time it is now in decimal time. http://twitpic.com/1b7fmf
Posted 55282.273


It's 2:60. I really should go to bed. Maybe I'll get 3 dours of decimal sleep. On stage tomorrow night at 8:75.
Posted 55282.555

MJD 55282.967

20100319

Star Trek: The Exhibition

Today we went to Star Trek: The Exhibition at the Tech Museum in San Jose.   My captain is more interested in the later series, especially Voyager, while her first officer prefers the earlier shows.  We sat in the captain's chair and stood on the transporter pad while watching ourselves dissolve on the monitor.  I saw several different PADDs there, from various centuries, and noted their resemblance to the new iPad, and the smaller ones resembled the iPhone I carried with me.  The communicators reminded me of flip phones, although in function they are more like satellite phones.  And scattered around the exhibit were LARS displays, including an entire corridor, but no matter how much I tapped the screens, I got no response from the ship's computer.  Nor did the jelly beans on the TOS bridge do anything.  Oh, well.  There was also a large display of a timeline, with separate sections for each series and movie, starting the 20th century, and mentioning the return to the moon during the 21st century by the Constellation Program.  Oops!  I guess this was an alternate universe where Obama did not cancel Constellation.  I only noticed year numbers, no stardates, although I did not pay that much attention, since I'm already familiar with Star Trek chronology, and I was more interested in examining props than reading a bunch of stuff that I can get online.  I did try jumping through the Guardian of Forever to past centuries, but found only this one on the other side, and no Joan Collins.

Stardate 55275.0

20100313

Go ask Alice

Yesterday I saw the movie Alice in Wonderland and I noticed the price tag on the Mad Hatter's hat said "10/6".  I recognized that it was a price in old English currency of ten shillings and six pence.  Since there were twenty shillings in a pound and twelve pence in a shilling, 10s 6d would today be equivalent to 52½p or £0.525, although halfpennies stop being minted in 1984.

That got me thinking of duodecimal measures.  The words "inch" and "ounce" both come from the Latin uncia, meaning a twelfth part, and there are twelve inches in a foot, and twelve troy ounces in a troy pound, although other types of ounces no longer represent a twelfth of anything.

Years are divided into twelve months.  Originally sun dials divided the period of daylight into twelve hours, which varied in length depending on location and time of year, but eventually mechanical clocks came to represent periods between midday (noon) and midnight, and these clocks are divided into twelve hours of equal length.  An additional hand likewise divides each hour into twelve parts; adding marks between the numerals multiplies this division by five, giving 60 minutes, but have you ever noticed that the time is almost always rounded to the nearest multiple of five minutes, so we're still dividing hours by twelve?

A dozenal system of units would be fine, and in some ways better than decimal, but traditionally there have been only a handful of dozenal units.  A shilling were divided into twelve pence, but a penny was divided into two ha'pennies or four farthings, a pound into twenty shillings, etc.  Since Decimal Day, 1971 February 15 (MJD 40997), a pound is divided into 100p, period.

MJD 55269.198

20100311

Calendrier

I posted before about the French Republican Calendar iPhone app called Calendrier.  It seems that it has been updated.  Originally it used a calculation that skipped a leap year every 128 years, so that all Republican years between 128 and 256 (1919 and 2047 CE) start on September 23.  Version 1.2, released 2010 March 4 (MJD 55259/14 Ventôse an CCXVIII) has all years starting on the autumnal equinox in Paris, as during the French Revolution, with an option to display the current date according to Romme's Gregorian-style proposal to skip leap days on most century years.  (Romme went to the guillotine before it could be adopted.)  Under Romme's plan, all years between 200 and 300 (1991 and 2091 CE) start on September 22.  Under the original rule, all years between 141 and 300 (1932 and 2091 CE) start on either September 22 or 23.

The app also now converts Gregorian dates between 1792 and 2195 CE (1 and 404 ER) to Republican dates, although apparently only by the equinoctial rule.  (Not sure why the Gregorian months appear to be in Spanish.)  Now I'm actually tempted to pay $1.99 for it!

MJD 55266.380
Primidi 21 Ventôse an CCXVIII à 3hd 86md t.m.P.

20100304

What is a planet?

This week's episode of Nova on PBS, "The Pluto Files", reminded me of a story.  It was around the beginning of a new century, and an astronomer was predicting that a planet existed which had yet to be discovered, and he organized a search for that planet.  An object was observed and declared to be a new planet.  However, the new planet was quite small, and other objects were later found to orbit in roughly the same part of the solar system, so after half a century or so, a large number of astronomers stopped calling it a planet.  Then, in 2006, a proposal was made to the International Astronomical Union that would have included it as a planet, but this was rejected because it shared its region of space with other objects, so it became reclassified as a "dwarf planet".

20100225

Legacy of the French Revolution

Decimal time was the law of the land for only a brief time.  In 1793, during the French Revolution, decimal time was declared mandatory for public acts, starting on 1794 September 22, or 1 Vendémiaire, year III, in the new calendar.  However, the law establishing the metric system on 18 Germinal, year III, (1795 April 7) suspended mandatory use just six months after it started.  This did not entirely kill decimal time, though.  It still continued to be used in some parts of France, such as Toulouse, for a number of years in official records, perhaps until Napoleon abolished the new calendar at the end of 1805, or maybe when ten-day weeks were dropped in 1802.

But even then, decimal time did not disappear completely.  The great French astronomer and mathematician, Pierre-Simon Laplace, was enthusiastic about decimal time and had a decimal watch made.  He also used decimal time in his work, Traité de Mécanique Céleste, in 1799.  He represented the time of day as a decimal fraction, such as 0j,60566.  He also added the fraction to the Gregorian calendar date, such as:
...l'instant du passage au périhélie, sept.29j,10239, temps moyen compté de minuit à Paris. 
In English, that's "...the instant of perihelion passage, Sept. 29d.10239, mean time counted from midnight at Paris."  This became common practice by astronomers, with French astronomers using mean time in Paris and British astronomers using Greenwich mean time.  After the British astronomer John Herschel proposed Julian days, astronomers added decimal fractions to Julian days, creating Julian Dates, which are still in wide use in astronomy, along with variants such as Modified Julian Dates.  Calendar dates with times given as decimals of a day in Universal Time have been used in astronomical circulars for the past century.  Others, such as computer programmers, also use decimal fractions of a day to represent time.

So these modern applications of decimal time can be linked, through Laplace, to the decimal time established back in the 18th century during the French Revolution, and possibly inspired the stardates that are projected in future centuries.

MJD 55253.234
Octidi 8 Ventôse an CCXVIII à 2hd 41md t.m.P.

20100220

New pages

I have posted several pages on this site which were on the old site, links to which may be found at the top of this blog.  They are still a work in progress, and I have to fix all the internal and external links and make other updates.

I also made changes to the decimal times in the sidebar.  For the local decimal time, I now use the Excel (for PC) serial date, which includes local time as a fractional day, the same as the calendar date in the title bar.  I also moved the French republican date (Calendrier Républicain) into the same gadget and made it update with decimal seconds.

So the decimal time is represented in up to five different time zones:
  • Excel for local time
  • NASA/NORAD Two-Line Element for Universal Time = GMT
  • Julian Date for astronomical time = GMT + 12h
  • Swatch for Biel Mean Time (actually Central European Winter Time or British Summer Time) = GMT + 1h
  • Republican calendar for Paris mean time (temps moyen de Paris) = GMT + 9m21s
MJD 55248.125

20100211

Site design

As you can see, I've made some changes to the site.  In order to match the original logo, I've changed the background from black to white.  The image does not fit well at the top, so I've put it on top of the sidebar. Perhaps I'll create one that fits the new site better later.  I also restored the favorites icon (favicon) which is based on the same image, replacing the Blogger icon.  [And added an Apple Touch icon, so I can add it to my iPhone.]  I am also working on adding back some of the other pages from the old site, such as the one on calendars.  Unfortunately, the URL has to be slightly different, so any incoming links will still be broken. :(

MJD 55239.050

20100209

Pads

I have heard people making fun of the iPad because of the similarity to a feminine hygiene product, never mind that "pad" is a generic term that has many other uses. For one thing, it's sounds the same as very similar devices on Star Trek! Only according to Memory Alpha, the Star Trek wiki, it's spelled PADD, which stands for Personal Access Display Device.  Most likely, this is really a backronym, just as another Apple product, the Lisa, supposedly stood for Local Integrated Software Architecture, even though Steve Jobs's daughter also happened to be named Lisa.

The name iPad may have been chosen so that all three devices have the same first two letters, iPod, iPhone and iPad.  I think that from now on I'll just call them collectively iP.

MJD 55236.476

20100204

Lunar Holidays

"The Holidays" are considered to be at the end of the (solar) year, but around the beginning of the year there are a series of holidays which are based upon the phases of the moon.  These are determined according to various lunar calendars, which are sometimes called luni-solar calendars, because they are periodically adjusted by adding months to keep them somewhat synchronized with the solar seasons.

20100201

Decimated

The Economist online, of all places, posted an article on January 15 (55211) titled Decimated: What if Napoleon hadn’t abolished decimal time? The article talks about decimal time, the Egyptian calendar, decimal angle, etc.  It is not entirely accurate.  For instance, Napoleon did not abolish decimal time; it came and went before he came to power, although he did abolish the ten-day week.  And dual-face decimal clocks were not numerous in France in the 19th century, and certainly not elsewhere; almost all of them were made in the early 1790s.  It does mention Lagrange's suggestion for déci-jour and centi-jour, but he did not "try in vain" to get these as part of the metric system because France already had decimal time units.  As for the "compass", decimal angles called "grads" are actually common on calculators today, although I am not sure who uses them.  (The "gon" mentioned in the article is another word for the same thing.)  Then the article goes into hexadecimal time.  I'm not sure who uses that, either.  Unix time and Microsoft's filetime are mentioned, but not other systems, such as Microsoft Excel's decimal time and date.

By way of Calendar_Reform_with_Metric_and_Decimal_Time_Adoption.

MJD 55228.544
Tridi 13 Pluviôse an CCXVIII à 5hd 51md t.m.P.

20100130

Decimal Time Converter app

I've been posting a lot here about iPhone/IPod Touch/IPad apps, but I haven't mentioned the one app that actually has "decimal time" in it's name, Decimal Time Converter by CodeBurners (free).  That is because it is a different type of decimal time.

20100129

iPad apps

You have probably heard by now about the new Apple tablet that Steve Jobs announced here on Wednesday, the iPad.  Since it will run iPhone apps, that means that all the decimal time apps will work on the iPad the day it's released.  I have made a list on the right side of the page of all the apps I have posted about on this blog.

I don't know about apps on other devices, such as Android phones.  Does anyone else?

20100125

Metriclock iPhone app

Decimal time apps keep appearing.  Metriclock by Stotion was released on January 23 (55219) for $0.99.  It is not only a clock, but also a "metric stopwatch and metric timer".  The units have new names.  Decimal hours/decidays are called "alkas", decimal minutes/millidays are called "zimits" and decimal seconds are called "ozzis", I don't know why.  I have not tried it, but I see from the app store that it features a digital display with multicolored digits and a plain dark background.

The associated website is http://floint.com, which is in Flash, and therefore cannot be viewed on an iPhone.  Doh!  It's also difficult to view on my laptop, since it's a huge image which is larger than my screen, but I can see that it shows some pics of the app running on an iPhone.

MJD 55221.482

20100123

Wither Swatch .beats?

Apparently Swatch no longer sells .beat watches.  These were the only mass-produced watches with decimal time.  Fortunately, they are still available on eBay, where I bought one a few years ago.  I stopped wearing it when the band broke; I'm not much for wristwatches anyway, and I use my mobile for the time, like most people now.  Now the battery is dying, so the display is blinking and the light does not come on, but it still works, for the moment.

20100119

Decimal time notation

For some time I have looked for examples of how decimal time was used in France, so that I can represent it accurately in my scripts.  Most of them are written out in full, as in "five hours and fifty minutes decimal".   In both French and English of the period, it was customary to write a small "h", "m" and "s" after the hours, minutes and seconds, respectively, and even today it is common in French to put an "h" between the hour and minute, instead of a colon.  It therefore seemed likely to me that they would have written decimal times in a similar way, although they would have to distinguishable from standard times.

I have been trying to read Essai sur l'unification internationale de l'heure (Essay on the international unification of the hour) by Joseph Charles François de Rey-Pailhade, published in 1893.  Mostly it is about his proposal to use the centiday and the milliday, which he called cé and decicé, but he also writes about related subjects, including decimal time from a century previous, and includes examples such as:
3 heures 93 minutes (système décimal) 3hd 93md
It's a bit awkward to use double letters for each unit, but it seems likely to be correct, so I going to use this notation from now on.

Decadi 30 Nivôse an CCXVIII à 5hd 77md t.m.P.
MJD 55215.570

20100117

Swatch .beats/Internet Time apps

I already mentioned earlier one free Swatch beats/Internet Time app for iPhone/iPod Touch, Internet Beat by Thomas Cherry.  Dennis pointed out in his comment that this app has a bug, because it updates once per second, and a centibeat is less than one second, so it sometimes skips a centibeat.  This is a pretty minor bug.  However, I have noticed a bigger one. Half the time, when you turn the phone from portrait to landscape, the number of .beats changes.  This is because when the centibeats are displayed in landscape mode you are seeing the exact number of .beats, but when in portrait mode it is rounded to the nearest .beat, instead of simply truncating.  For example, @199.50 becomes @200.  This is like saying that 1:59:30 is 2:00.  A clock should not do that.  If you go to the official Swatch website you will see that the app is half a .beat fast when in portrait mode, or 43 seconds.

I also found another app, InternetTime by Jaewon Choi for $0.99.  I have not tried it, but I can see from the picture that it displays a map of the earth in the background, with approximate areas of day and night.  It also shows the current date, and unlike the other app displays leading zeros, such as @090 instead of @90.

@971
MJD 55213.930

20100116

Metric Clock iPhone app by Ecce

Thanks to Ecce for letting me have the Metric Clock app for testing.  The iTunes price is $0.99.  If anybody else wants to provide me with an app, or to post about anything else relating to decimal time, or anything at all, just use the email link in my profile.  (I just fixed it.)

20100110

Laplace

I have read that the great French mathematician and astronomer, Pierre-Simon Laplace, was enthusiastic about decimal time, and used it in his work Traité de Mécanique Céleste. (Treatise on Celestial Mechanics)  Unfortunately, I have been unable to find all five volumes online, and reading what is available is difficult, as it is highly technical and full of math, and I don't speak French.  But according to a translation by Nathaniel Bowditch, he wrote in his preface:

20100106

French Republican Date

I have posted the current republican date at the top of this blog, according to the original equinoctial rule, although for the current year this is the same as both Brumaire and Romme. minutes ahead of GMT.

20100103

Calendrier- French Revolution Calendar

I posted earlier about decimal time iPhone apps.  I had also searched for an app for the French republican/revolutionary calendar, as the calendar was tied together with decimal time.  I even searched the French word "calendrier", but did not find one.  This calendar was used from 1793 to 1805, and replaced the 7-day week with the 10-day décade, with exactly three décades (i.e. 30 days) a month and five or six extra days at the end of the year, which began on the autumnal equinox in September.

20100101

The 10s

The odometer has rolled over from 20091231 to 20100101.  An new day, new month, new year, new decade, at least for the Gregorian calendar.  Of course, it's only 20091219 on the Julian calendar, and something else on every other calendar.  You can see a few of them at Calendrica.  That's why integer dates were introduced, to sort through this confusion of calendars.  For instance, Julian dates start from the year 4713 BCE and count days continuously.  No years, months, weeks, just days.  Modified Julian dates use a more recent epoch, in 1858, while truncated Julian dates count from 1968.  Excel serial dates count days from 1900 CE.  Unix time is finer, counting seconds from 1970.

So happy 2455197!

MJD 55197.4