# Redundancy of digital clock displays

My vision of my alarm clock from my bed is partially obscured by various prescription medicine containers, and has led me to realize that some of the indicators on digital number displays used in things like that clock do not need the bottom light to be visible in order for one to determine which number is being displayed. They’re not particularly hard to figure out either. Research into this has led me to realize that the bottom right indicator does not need to be visible either, but the bottom left does in order to distinguish 5 from 6. The top indicator need to be visible to distinguish 1 from 7. The top right distinguishes 6 and 8. The middle distinguishes 8 and 0. The top left distinguishes 3 and 9 as they are canonically displayed, but the 9 could have the bottom indicator be dark and be recognizable. If this change were made, then the top left could be obscured and all digits still uniquely determined. Although you would need the bottom light visible to distinguish between 3 and 9, you could still obscure the bottom right.

What’s wrong with redundancy?

What’s wrong with redundancy?

Your mother and I are so proud.

Make sure you’re near the clock some night at a minute after 10, then you can discuss it with the little man watching you from inside the clock:

|0:0|

I used to set my alarm for 7:07 a.m., because if I lay on my back it looked like the clock was laughing at me.

Too bad there’s no 77 o’clock; at thirty-four minutes passed, you could scare someone real good-like.

Because it means that there are unnecessary segments that aren’t needed (they aren’t even required).

I did notice recently that there’s exactly one number that doesn’t use the top right: 5. I used this in respond to someone mentioning their clock said 4:99 PM or something like that. The 9 could be a 5 with it stuck on.

(Yes, some 9s look like a lowercase g.)

Technically you only would need 11 segments total on the clock face to tell the current time unambiguously – 10 if you don’t need to distinguish AM from PM. However, reading such a clock would be extremely difficult. The redundancy allows for displaying the time using symbols that are easy to understand, and allows separating the time into hours and minutes.

This post has been de-redundified by the de-redundifier.