It's Automatic!

Last time I stayed at a hotel, I noticed that the clock on the iHome device on the bedside cabinet was showing the wrong time. It wasn't just off by a couple minutes: it said "12:31 PM" when in reality it was 9:53 PM.

Just like any other perfectionist, I decided to fix it. Well, that was easier set than done.

Below are the pictures of the iHome unit from 4 different sides. The other 2 sides that are not included were perfectly smooth, and could not have had any clock controls.

How about a little challenge? Can you tell from these pictures how to change the time (mind you, not set the alarm, but change the actual time)?


If you know how to do it, I will admit that you are smarter than me. I tried a whole bunch of different button combinations, but nothing worked. There was no cell signal, and Wi-Fi wasn't free, so I could not look it up. In the end I concluded that you probably need to plug in your iPod (which I don't have), and the time will be synced with it.

After I came back home, I found the manual (you can see it here if you like). Of course, ideally the time would be set automatically using a special radio station. But if that doesn't work because really nobody should ever rely on automatic things to work, you can actually set the time manually.

Take a closer look at this picture.

See that little silver knob? If you unscrew it, there is actually a whole panel that is currently covered by a piece of plastic. On that panel, there is the magic Clock Adjust button.

This is so unusable it is scary. Why would anyone want to hide the functionality so well that even tech-savvy users would not be able to find it? This is even worse than my original idea that you may have to plug your iPod in.

I have looked at the pictures and manuals of the more recent version of iHome, and it looks like they all have a much more prominent button that allows people to set time. It is good to know that they are working on it and improving their products.

Now all that has to happen is that all these hotels buy the new version, right?