LSU Kickoff Countdown Timer Notes

Countdown to Kickoff



If you would like to put the countdown timer on your PC's desktop:

Note: Windows Vista does not include Active Desktop, so for now I can't suggest a method to get the timer to work in that operating system.
  1. Right click on this link (LSU-Countdown.htm) and choose Save Target As to save the file to your PC.


  2. For Windows 9X or 2000, Right click on your desktop, choose Active Desktop, and select New Desktop Item.

    For Windows XP, Right click on your desktop, choose Properties, then Desktop. Click on Customize Desktop, then on the Web tab, and then select New.


  3. Click on the Browse button and navigate to the location where you saved the LSU-Countdown.htm file, then click on OK.

To adjust the loaded Active Desktop window:
  1. Move the Window: You may need to click on the Restore Down box before you can move the window. Move your mouse to the top of the window to activate the title bar. You can then drag the window to a new location.


  2. Resize the Window: Move your mouse anywhere into the window and then slowly move the mouse to the bottom right corner. When you see the black curser with double arrows, hold your left mouse button down and drag the corner of the window.
Game times will of course be subject to change. To edit the game times:
  1. Right click in the active desktop window and choose View Source (Note: right click on the top of the window *under* the title bar; if you right click in one of the text boxes, View Source will not be an option). A text file in Notepad should open displaying the html code.

    If you have trouble reading the text because it is jumbled together, copy (Ctrl + A to select all, Ctrl + C to copy) all of the text and paste (Ctrl + V) it into Wordpad. This should remove all of the tabs and make it much easier to read. Copy all of what you pasted into Wordpad and paste it back into Notepad, overwriting the original text.


  2. Simply change the time (make sure to use Central Time, not your time) on the desired target date, save the file, and close Notepad.


  3. Click anywhere in the Active Desktop window and then hit F5 on your keyboard. This will refresh the window and load the changes that you made.

If you open LSU-Countdown.htm in your web browser, you will see that the 3 text box entries appear side by side. The break lines in the form name="timeForm" section have been intentionally removed. This is in anticipation that you will resize the width of the Active Desktop window to be the width of a single text box.

If you are using Windows 95 (A or B) or Windows NT and would like to install the Active Desktop, see http://www.tburke.net/info/win2k/win2kinfo.htm#DeskTopUpdate.

If you have a question or a suggestion to make this better, please Email me at webadmin@lsufootball.net.
Geaux Tigers!!!
Editor's Note: The Countdown to Kickoff timer was created to put the timer on your desktop. It can easily be added to a web page, but please keep this in mind: It has taken a couple of years to get the java code to the point where it is now. I find it frustrating when people post it on their websites without citing where it came from. That implies that they came up with this on their own.
Revisions to LSU-Countdown.htm for 2009:
01/29/08: Added games for 2009, changed the way the script is started.

Technical Notes:

The countdown timer is calculated based on the difference between your time and the values declared by the targetdates and should be accurate from anywhere in the world. It automatically adjusts to the next game after the kickoff time has passed for the previous game. Although the kickoff time that is displayed is for your time zone (this may only be true for Internet Explorer), it is correct since it is calculated based on the targetdate in the Central Time Zone.

If your PC is not set to use Daylight Savings Time or if you live in an area that does not adjust to Daylight Savings Time (Arizona), then neither the countdown timer nor the kickoff time *may* be accurate while Daylight Savings Time is in effect.

I made these notes to help me understand how the time correction part of this script works, the notes only cover that part of the script. I am not advocating this is the best way or even a good way to get it to work, this is just the trial and error method that I came up with.

If you want to see just the source code without any notes, Go to LSU-Countdown.htm.

Details:

  • Set the targetdates and Games:
    targetdate1 = new Date("Sep 01 2007 19:00:00 CDT");
    ...;
    targetdate10 = new Date("Nov 10 2007 19:00:00 CST");

    Game1 = ("LSU vs Middle Tennessee");
    ...;
    Game10 = ("LSU vs Louisiana Tech");


    Note the use of CDT vs CST for the TimezoneOffset values. The TimezoneOffset is the difference between Universal Time (UTC) and your time zone. The concept of UTC is very similar to GMT or Greenwich Mean Time, but UTC is used in astronomy and meteorology.

  • Compare now (the current time on your PC) with the targetdates; set the gamedate and game off of this.

  • Note: Adding in 14400000 creates a 4 hour delay after Kickoff, causing Geaux Tigers to be displayed for those 4 hours.
    if (now <= targetdate1 * 1 + 14400000) {targetdate = (targetdate1); game = (Game1);}
    ...;
    else if (now <= targetdate11 * 1 + 14400000) {targetdate = (targetdate10); game = (Game10);}
    Current time:
    Targetdate:  

    The rest of this script basically converts now and targetdate into numerical values and then subtracts the value of now from the value of targetdate.
    If the time difference is positive, it uses this result to calculate and display the remaining time left.
    If the time difference is negative, the script moves to the next declared date and will continue to do so until it finds a positive result or it runs out of dates.

    Since the TimezoneOffset for the targetdate is set to be in the central time zone, using it in the calculation should yield the same result from anywhere in the world.
    The date displayed in the calculated target date shows the TimezoneOffset based on your location, but this is a corrected time from the central time zone. This is why the kickoff time shown is actually correct for your specific time zone.

  • This method does not take into account if you are in an area that uses Daylight Savings Time where the TimezoneOffset changes by an hour while Daylight Savings Time is in effect.
    For example Central Standard Time (CST) is UTC-6., but during Daylight Savings Time it becomes Central Daylight Time (CDT) and is set to UTC-5.

    I have attempted to fix this by comparing the TimezoneOffset between now (the current date) and the target date and using different calculations to set dstfix depending on the results of the comparison.
    dstnow = now.getTimezoneOffset()/60;
    Get the TimezoneOffset for the targetdate (next game)
    dsttarget = targetdate.getTimezoneOffset()/60;
    if (dsttarget == dstnow) dstfix = (0); else if (dsttarget > dstnow) dstfix = (-1); else if (dsttarget < dstnow) dstfix = (1);
    nowfix = (now * 1 - dstfix * 60 * 60 * 1000);
    Now is multiplied by 1 in the nowfix calculation so that now will be calculated as a value.

    For the Central Time Zone:

    If today was 01/01/2007 (CST or UTC=6) and the next game was on 09/01/2007 (CDT or UTC=5), then dsttarget < dstnow and 1 hour is subtracted from now.

    If today was 11/03/2007 (CDT or UTC=5) and the next game was 11/10/2007 (CST or UTC=6), then dsttarget > dstnow and -1 hour is subtracted from now (subtracting -1 is the same as adding 1).

    For additional information on Time Synchronization, see http://www.tburke.net/info/misc/time_synchronization.htm