Thursday, 24 April 2014

A tale of two alarm clocks

The now defunct clock
Over fifteen years ago I bought an alarm clock, which served me well all that time until the button that had to be pressed to set the time broke, so when the clocks went forward, it was a goner.

It was a very simple alarm clock. It wasn't a radio. It didn't play music. It didn't make tea. It just did two things - woke you up and told the time. Frankly, I don't need an alarm to wake me up any more. My phone does that just fine. But this alarm had a big (I mean 4 cm high) numbers in a clearly illuminated display, which was wonderful. I wake up a lot in the night, and a quick glimpse at it, without my glasses on, was enough to check the time. It was brilliant, and all I wanted was to replace it with an identical clock. Only as far as I can see, Ross, the manufacturer, doesn't exist as a company any more.

In the end I went for about the only decently large display alarm I could find. It's clearly different in that the display is red rather than green - but that's no matter. I was delighted to discover that it is exactly the same alarm in different clothing. Apart from that colour change, the display is identical - and it's clearly the same chip, with exactly the same setting mechanism.

The new clock, on the bedside table, earlier
Okay, the alarm sound, which used to be an irritatingly blaring buzzer, is now a rather mellow peeping - but that's all to the good. The only other difference is the controls. Though functionally identical, they have moved from the top of the clock to a panel in front, which is taking a little getting used to. They have also been designed by someone who hasn't been taking their medication, with strange, arrow shaped sliders that make no sense at all - but this just adds to its charm.

I am a happy bedtime bunny. (If you want to be too, here's the clock on Amazon.co.uk)

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