Tuesday, August 05, 2008

Nine-Minute Snoozes

The other night (or was it early morning?), Robert and I stumbled upon a most profound of questions...

Why is it that alarm clocks have 9-minute snoozes?

Didn't snooze cycles used to be 5 minutes? Why are they now 9 minutes, as opposed to a nice round number like, say, 10 minutes?

Here's what that "series of tubes" called the Internet tells me...

With a 9-minute snooze, digital alarms clocks only need to monitor the last digit. With a 10-minute cycle, the last two digits would need to be watched, and thus the circuitry would have to be more complicated.

Way back when, when snooze functions were introduced, the snooze gear had to fit in with the other gears' teeth. Practically speaking, this meant that the snooze cycle could either be between 9 and 10 minutes or between 10 and 11 minutes. For whatever reason, 9-plus minutes was what was decided on, presumably by an anonymous clock engineer whose legacy lives on, as evidenced by...

There is (was?) a band called "Nine Minute Snooze."

The term "nine minute snooze" results in 897 Google hits. (Almost double the number of hits for the term "Steve Balla." Hey, there has to be a bunch of us Steve Ballas around the world! To our shame, we have yet to leave much of a collective footprint in cyberspace...)



Post a Comment

<< Home