This essay does not describe an existing computer program, just one that should exist. This essay is about a suggested student project in Java programming. This essay gives a rough overview of how it might work. I have no source, object, specifications, file layouts or anything else useful to implementing this project. Everything I have prepared to help you is right here.
This project outline is not like the artificial, tidy little problems you are spoon-fed in school, when all the facts you need are included, nothing extraneous is mentioned, the answer is fully specified, along with hints to nudge you toward a single expected canonical solution. This project is much more like the real world of messy problems where it is up to you to fully the define the end point, or a series of ever more difficult versions of this project and research the information yourself to solve them.
Everything I have to say to help you with this project is written below. I am not prepared to help you implement it; or give you any additional materials. I have too many other projects of my own.
Though I am a programmer by profession, I don’t do people’s homework for them. That just robs them of an education.
You have my full permission to implement this project in any way you please and to keep all the profits from your endeavour.
Please do not email me about this project without reading the disclaimer above.
To keep your PC clock accurate, you must periodically resync it from an accurate clock out on the web. In general, the closer that clock is, the more accurate the resync. However, a server far away but connected with faster lines, might work better. It takes time for your probe to wend its way over the net to the server, for that computer to respond and for the response to wend its way back. Symmetrical servers where packet take the same time to travel and return work best. There are thousands of possible servers you could use. Most computers are set up with default Microsoft servers which are very bad choices. This program will help you find the best choice and a few alternate backups.
You can use Ping, TraceRoute or SMTP (Simple Mail Transfer Protocol) for a quick analysis of the route to the server. You can use NTP (Network Time Protocol) for a thorough analysis. You might use one of the quick methods to rapidly discard duds, and use NTP to refine your list of candidates.
You might temporarily install a hardware clock to have a measure of very accurate time.
Even though there is no competition, and every business and home computer needs this utility, almost nobody appreciates the value of having an accurate server. You therefore will not be able to sell this.
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