Tick tock tick tock tick tock…
Tick tock tick tock tick tock…


News: Posted April 2nd, 2018 by Alina

^ 42 Comments to “Tick tock tick tock tick tock…”

  1. Agatha Granger Says:

    Is Steven a technician? No one I know can do that, and no one I know is a technician…

    Posted April 2nd, 2018 at 12:11 am
  2. Grimpen Says:

    Agatha, to the best of my knowledge, most cheap analog clocks are simply a power pack hooked up to a geared motor that turns at a predicable rate. A digital clock will have some circuitry that will generate a pulse at a predictable rate and then something that will count and increment the time after a suitable number of pulses. Not much in common except maybe the power pack (batteries).

    Having said all this, I think what Steven was going to try was something a little different “wire the hands up to a digital clock”, so I pictured something a little different, an Arduino or similar controller (Beagle Board, Raspberry Pi, et al.) with a stepping motor that will actuate the hands at a suitable time interval. Kind of way overkill, but when general computing devices are cheap enough they become the universal solution.

    Posted April 2nd, 2018 at 2:18 am
  3. Sleel Says:

    Not me. For me, that would have been strike one. NO ONE touches my stuff without permission. I don’t give a flying fuck at a rolling donut what their reason is. It’s not. Theirs.

    Posted April 2nd, 2018 at 2:22 am
  4. Necrisha Says:

    I’m not going to lie, I’ve totes pulled the batteries out of clocks like that at that same distance for the same reason. The worst is when your roommate has one of those full on from the 1950’s wind up alarm bell clocks. It’s one of the reasons I tend to sleep better during the day, the variety of soft background noise helps deaden and minimize sudden sharp or unusually rythmic noise. I’d just offer to pay for a digital equivalent myself… And leave a note. Though that does explain the extra parts I was wondering about, and the spool of wire lol.

    Posted April 2nd, 2018 at 2:37 am
  5. Steven is a tinker.

    I do not think that he would be too keen for the Imperial March. Well, not at nighttime anyway.

    Posted April 2nd, 2018 at 3:10 am
  6. AllyCat Says:

    I can actually relate to this. I can’t STAND ticking clocks. There has been many a night where I have been kept up by a clock I couldn’t silence. I now have a rule of only non-ticking clocks in the house.
    Steven, mate, I know your pain.

    Posted April 2nd, 2018 at 5:47 am
  7. Gabriel Rotar Says:

    GAH!! Burn the witch… wait a minute, witches can’t do things with digital clocks…
    Blessings of the Omnissiah upon you Steven, you clearly are a tech priest of Mars.

    Posted April 2nd, 2018 at 6:53 am
  8. Simon Says:

    Fair enough, I know how he feels… I had the same problem with a clock given to me as a gift some years back, which after a couple of days had to be relocated to somewhere far from my bedroom. A regular sound like a ticking clock is pretty much guaranteed to prevent me from sleeping… my brain just fixes onto the sound and can’t let go of it.

    Posted April 2nd, 2018 at 7:07 am
  9. Matthew Domeier Says:

    Agatha… I am a technician. Now you know someone who is a technician. Now you know someone who can do that.

    Steven doesn’t have to be a technician, but I would be surprised if he wasn’t.

    Posted April 2nd, 2018 at 10:04 am
  10. Will Says:

    Given the right chip? This is a fun experiment.


    Is just a taste of what you can do.

    Posted April 2nd, 2018 at 10:23 am
  11. Joe Says:

    Sooooooo… Justin actually wants an evil clock

    Posted April 2nd, 2018 at 11:17 am
  12. Dru Says:

    I’m so happy we’re getting to know Steven 🙂

    Posted April 2nd, 2018 at 11:26 am
  13. DragonGeek Says:

    Terrible roommate to awesome roommate in 10 seconds flat.

    Posted April 2nd, 2018 at 11:38 am
  14. Peya Luna Says:

    hu, looks as if we finally get some background on talking guy…and he just got moved to ‘awesome’ as far as his rank as a room mate is concerned, because i can already see him make all kinds of cool adjustments to their tech.
    last but not least: i totally feel with the guy. i have this old, totally loud clock that i have to take off the wall and put it in a cupboard if i want to sleep at night.

    Posted April 2nd, 2018 at 12:22 pm
  15. Carson Says:

    Yeah, honestly I’m starting to think he has Aspergers like I do.

    -Odd lack of awareness at his annoyance. Check.
    -Ability to just talk forever on subjects interested in. Check.
    -Hatred of certain noises, including clocks (apparently common in autism.). Check.
    -The need for a strict definition on certain rules, given that vague ones were considered impossible to follow. Check.

    None of that’s definitive, but it certainly fits the bill to start. But unless you hear it from the horse’s mouth, it’s nothing but a theory to go on. That being the case, if he is, then I’ve got another reason to like this comic.

    Posted April 2nd, 2018 at 2:02 pm
  16. N0083rp00F Says:

    Most cheap wall clocks run off a single battery and the electronics pulses the drive motor to increment the second hand 1/60th of a rotation and the rest is handled through really cheap plastic gearing.
    The better ones run a motor continuously and the second hand has a smooth sweep across the dial face.

    Now a digital clock these days uses a single LSI chip with everything but a few discrete components built in and is designed to run a digital display by turning on and off segments of a display in a set pattern.

    Mixing the two is mad science though I am pretty sure you could set up an arduino to run an analog clock very precisely with some mechanical modifications to the cheap clock drive.

    Posted April 2nd, 2018 at 2:20 pm
  17. Philips Faust Says:

    I find it absolutely hilarious that Steven (aka talking guy) can’t sleep because of certain types of white noise.

    Posted April 2nd, 2018 at 2:48 pm
  18. werefrog Says:

    The Werefrog was talking to a guy (now about 70’s), who while in the business world, built his own digital clock. His clock determined time based on the frequency of the electrical current. He hooked his clock up at his workplace through their surge protector/uninterrupted power supply. When the power supply started going bad, its electrical frequency would start to slow.

    As such, this guy could tell, based on his clock, whether the supply was still good. When he saw it start to lose more than a minute per day, he notified his superiors that the power supply would need to be replaced soon since it would fail.

    3 replacements occurred during his tenure, and they all thought him a wizard who could prevent the failure weeks before it happened, yet never trusted him when he gave warning.

    The point of this story is that The Werefrog like stories.

    Posted April 2nd, 2018 at 4:18 pm
  19. Fazzey Says:

    I know that feeling. If I’m home alone at my parents place, I can hear the clock ticking downstairs while I have the radio playing. Real frustrating.

    Posted April 2nd, 2018 at 5:08 pm
  20. Ari Says:


    Posted April 2nd, 2018 at 9:39 pm
  21. Konnash Says:

    I’m somehow like Steven… have a very sharp hearing, to the point I can hear my fiancée turning the key at the door when I

    Posted April 2nd, 2018 at 10:17 pm
  22. Konnash Says:

    *dang, pressed the Submit by accident*
    *when I’m playing at the computer with AC on – and a closed door between me and the entrance door.
    I can even hear waterdrops in the bathroom – but this don’t make me lose a night’s rest because I can (and do) sleep like a stone.

    Posted April 2nd, 2018 at 10:21 pm
  23. I know someone who could probably do that. Not a technician, “just” a hobbiest who likes futzing with electronic gizmos.

    From a techincal standpoint, it’s a relatively easy change.

    I know just enough to explain it completely wrong, but… the ticking from an analog clock is from the mechanism it used to keep time and move the hands. A digital clock has a different way of keeping time. Hook it up so the digital time keeper-thingy tells the hands when to move, and you have a working clock with no ticking.

    Do, disconnect two things, attach two things, go.

    The tricky part is knowing which parts go where and how to attach them.

    Posted April 2nd, 2018 at 10:48 pm
  24. AutobotDen Says:

    Color me impressed. I’d just end up making the magical blue smoke that makes electronic things stop working appear. and I’m inclined to agree that Steven may be on the Autism spectrum. I have to have the TV on or music going to drown out the sound of the analog clock we have in the basement (where my laptop and hobby supplies are). otherwise I will begin to get agitated.

    Posted April 3rd, 2018 at 12:28 am
  25. Weatherheight Says:

    My grandparents had a large and quite loud grandfather clock. the ticking of that thing fair drove me mad if we were watching anything on TV with music (so, basically everything). On rare occasions, the music synched with the clock but not often.
    I could hear it from quite far away if the room I was in was quiet. Luckily, there were railroad tracks nearby and a fairly steady run of trains to distract me at night.
    No, I didn’t like staying at Grampa’s house much.

    Posted April 3rd, 2018 at 6:48 am
  26. Lacynth40 Says:

    I used to have hearing like that, and those cheap wall clocks WOULD drive me nuts. Spent enough time on the smoke deck beneath the flight deck of an aircraft carrier without proper hearing protection for that to not be a problem anymore. I was young and stupid, shut up.

    Posted April 3rd, 2018 at 10:12 am
  27. Time Sage Says:

    My mother decided to make the theme of her living room clocks when the room was redecorated and had a wall of clocks that all worked and all ticked. Fine. No one used that room much. But she also redecorated with plans on using it. I asked her about it and she claimed it was barely noticeable, and that TV being on helped, despite the tv being mounted on the oppisiate wall and the couch being under the clocks. The batteries were eventually pulled from all the clocks.

    Posted April 4th, 2018 at 4:52 am
  28. Old Brit Says:

    @Necrisha, and others who can’t stand ticking clocks. I had a 50s ticking alarm clock (well, it was the 50s) which didn’t bother me, but I was sometimes surprised by how far away I could hear it from. Time passed, I got an electronic alarm clock, I could still hear the ticking. Turns out I’ve got tinnitus that sometimes takes the form of ticking clock. Be glad it’s not you.

    Posted April 4th, 2018 at 4:57 am
  29. Melissa Says:

    I don’t know why anyone would use a clock with hands instead of one with seven-segment displays. But I’ve also worn a wristwatch effectively all my life and for most of that time it’s been digital and water-resistant and possessed a rubber or metal-segment strap – I don’t take it off to shower or sleep.

    Posted April 5th, 2018 at 10:30 am
  30. Abbie fan Says:

    How about one that plays one of the transformers theme songs instead?

    Posted April 5th, 2018 at 2:02 pm
  31. Oz Says:

    Each page on this comic just puts Steven higher on my list of favorite characters! Wait, I already said he was my favorite character a few pages ago. Ok then, each page increases the distance between him and the other favorite characters?

    Posted April 5th, 2018 at 3:20 pm
  32. Reluctant Ichthyophage Says:

    @Carson, anyone else who may have brought up autism/Asperger’s: YES. As someone who’s been diagnosed, I can definitely see the similarities.

    I was pleasantly surprised (and impressed) by how Dustin handled this situation, though. Not only did he get Steven to open up about something mildly important, but he actually turned the conversation around into a shared interest. I feel like Dustin is legitimately going to warm up to Steven, though I’m still very apprehensive about the other two. Particularly Doug, who seems bound and determined to prove himself right.

    Also, I’d kill for a clock that played the Imperial March.

    Posted April 5th, 2018 at 11:58 pm
  33. tomyironmane Says:

    Really he needs to do reversible fixes before he whips out the soldering iron. As for me, I have slept in HMMWVs, standing up, while on force marches, aboard ships that were rolling and pitching alarmingly with wave tips slapping the windows 40 feet up off the waterline, and during artillery bombardment. I can possibly understand his woes academically, but I have seldom suffered from them.

    Posted April 7th, 2018 at 1:14 am
  34. DarknessShallFall Says:

    Man, I wish he’d destroy all annoying ticking clocks in the world. They’re evil. σ_σ

    Posted April 7th, 2018 at 10:03 pm
  35. ChrisM Says:

    Reminds me strongly of an old friend with a Sensory Integration issue. He has absolutely no ability to filter out or ignore background noises and movement. A fly bumping into a window in another room could be enough to drive him batty.

    Posted April 8th, 2018 at 2:40 am
  36. Heavyarms88kai Says:

    I have the same problem. The wife likes the old analog clocks, but that incessant tick tock drives me made while I try to sleep, though I can handle pretty much anything else (grew up next to a major highway, railroad tracks and a hospital down the road living in the county seat)…

    So I end up taking it down and stashing it somewhere I can’t hear it, like the pantry or in the laundry bin. Once it even ended up in the cat food bin.

    Posted April 9th, 2018 at 2:28 am
  37. Cthulhu Says:

    So cool that Steven is now getting some depth to his caricature and it is goin to be so cool to see what he becomes

    Posted April 11th, 2018 at 12:34 pm
  38. Lindsay Says:

    I actually have the same issue as Steven. I have a hard time sleeping when I hear sounds that are persistent and rhythmic. It makes it so windy and rainy nights keep me wired with energy while any other sound slowly drains my patience while keeping me from falling asleep. I recently finally got batteries for a decorative wall clock for my room. It lasted two weeks before I took it to my office one night, then another ten minute before I removed the batteries and it’s been sitting there since.

    Posted April 11th, 2018 at 8:15 pm
  39. Storel Says:

    I grew up with wind-up alarm clocks, and I don’t remember the ticking ever bothering me. I’ve only had silent electric clocks for a long time now, though, so it’s possible a ticking clock would bother me a lot now.

    On the other hand, my wife keeps the TV on all night, so I’ve been sleeping with earplugs for years now… it’d take a pretty loud ticking to make itself heard through the plugs.

    Posted April 11th, 2018 at 9:49 pm
  40. Amadeus484 Says:

    So… Nobody is discussing that Steven’s robe is open? Nobody at all?

    Posted April 12th, 2018 at 9:02 pm
  41. Joal Heagney Says:

    Battery operated, ticking, analogue display clocks and digital display clocks both run off essentially the same technology, a quartz movement. It generates an accurately-timed pulse by electronically vibrating a quartz crystal of very accurate dimensions. It’s the most accurate mechanism available without resorting to atomic clocks or more modern mechanisms.
    In the analogue-display, the pulse drives a ratchet-mechanism that drives a gear-chain to move the hour, minute and second hands.
    In a digital-display clock, it drives a counter that is hooked up to 7-segment displays. Wiring an analogue display to a digital clock is still going to tick unless you pull the ratchet and the gear-chain.
    Ironically it’s the fully-mechanical clocks that don’t tick.
    A non-tick solution would involve leaving the digital clock alone, pulling the analogue circuitry and the ratchet mechanism, but leaving the gear-chain alone. Get an arduino with a stepper-driver shield and a real-time-clock shield (you could use the analogue circuit and try to tap into it’s pulse, but once you’re using an arduino, it’s not worth the effort). Hook the stepper-driver shield up to a stepper motor, and hook the stepper up to the gear chain. Use fractional-stepping to drive the motor at a smooth 1/60 rpm and hook to a power supply.

    Posted April 13th, 2018 at 6:31 am
  42. Joal Heagney Says:

    When I say it’s the fully-mechanical clocks that don’t tick, I’m talking about the more expensive mechanical movements, not the cheap, windup alarm clocks. 😀

    Posted April 13th, 2018 at 6:33 am