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about time

Is there not a more rational solution than "calculating the drift of the
clock [surely temperature dependent, among other factors?] and resetting
it every now and again"?

How about Network Time Protocol?  There exist several atomic clocks on
the internet, that i know have been persuaded to divulge their time to
hosts.  Several of our VAXen update their clocks in this way, and my
solution to the drifting clock is to sync with the VAXen every 12
hours.  Usually, it's off by less than a second in the meantime.