For my birthday I received what could only be described as a unique gift. It’s a “binary clock” that shows the time with LEDs arranged in columns of binary numbers. One reads the six columns from left to right to produce the digits in the hour, minute, and second.

The little instruction manual claims that “with a few minutes of practice” you can read the binary clock as well as a standard one. Laralee and I plugged it in and stared at it for a few minutes, mesmerized by the changing lights, but I can’t honestly say we came away from the exercise with the ability to tell time in binary.

We did, however, discuss what time it would be when the most LEDs were on. We couldn’t figure out when that would happen, although it’s clear that seven is an important component of that time since it requires three LEDs. There were also discussions of what times would produce interesting patterns like pyramids or checkerboards.

Definitely a clock for geeks.