A world clock that's cool to look at with its graphical map of the earth
Pros & Cons:
Sun Clock is one of those applications you find every now and then, where you look, and say, "Wow! that's cool."
It is cool to look at with its graphical map of the earth, complete with the day / night view, the position of the sun and moon, and even optional simulated lights in the night zones. While this is a cool program to look at, its usefulness is severely hampered by the fact that it is somewhat slow to load, and runs full screen. This means you look at the display, see all the countries and cities of interest to you, then you press Esc., and the program shuts down. You can't minimize it, and you can't display times in a simple window to refer quickly to any time you need to check something. Trying to switch tasks with Alt Tab also closes the program down.
To configure Sun Clock, you right click the mouse, and after a few seconds, a window pops open. Configuration is easy, and it is interesting to be able to display a clock graphically in the exact location of the map, but for any cities not yet listed in the default settings, you have to know the latitude and longitude to configure them in. This is not generally hard to find, using tools like timeanddate.com, or Google, but you still need to find the settings yourself, though with every country from the looks of it, and literally hundreds of cities, chances are good you may not need to add many yourself. At almost 40Mb of memory with two processes running, this program is a little greedy, but considering what it does, that's not really too bad.
For those who feel that Americans always think the USA is the center of the world because American maps are so often printed with the US in the center, relax. You can configure Sun Clock so that any offset in degrees from Greenwich is the center of your map, so you can make your home location the center of the world! This is really easy to do, by either entering the longitudinal offset (e.g. I am at about -84 degrees), dragging a little slider which moves a tiny world map, or by selecting your home city as the current location.
Don't be misled by the configuration window displaying an option to enter a license key to register. This application has free, personal (also known as single user), and corporate versions. The single user and corporate versions have a few more features which are of course only available when the software is purchased. The download has a 30 day timer, after which three licensed single user features (sky view of stars and planets, RSS news feed and wall clock mode) stop working, while all other free features are still fully functional.
No portable version is available, but after installing you can copy all files from the installation directory to another computer and it appears to still run normally, and configurations are kept in ini files in the program directory, though a few entries are written to the registry.
Sun Clock was reviewed by Gizmos Freeware on