Vector Clocks is a desktop alarm clock with a set of freeware analog alarm clock faces that you can customize and pin anywhere on your desktop. You can change the size, transparency, behavior, and other aspects of the clock; rotate and manipulate the clock face; and hide it with a mouse gesture. The clock also features digital time and date displays, and it can even function as a stopwatch. The alarm plays sounds from MP3, WAV, and MIDI files.
Vector Clocks' installer gave us the choice of a standard Windows installation or a portable installation on a USB stick or similar device. We chose the standard installation but appreciate the option. The clock face is a clear, high-definition graphic with realistic highlights and movement, especially the sweep second hand, which synchronized with the digital time display. The clock displayed AM or PM as needed, and the date was displayed but not the month. We clicked the large "i" that appeared over the center of the clock when we hovered the cursor over it, and an attractive calendar display popped up. We clicked Set Alarm, and a wizard helped us set the default audible alarm. We could also choose our own file or access more alarm sounds online. We right-clicked the center of the clock to access its main settings; something we could also do from the program's system tray menu. This tabbed dialog contained numerous checkboxes for selecting the clock's behavior and appearance, its desktop integration, the time format, and other options. We set our city's name and chose our options, including selecting a skin from a drop-down menu as well as the mouse-over autohide feature, which worked just fine. We could also add an image from our library to the clock face.
The program's Web site offered a huge array of high-quality clock faces that can be downloaded for free by clicking More Clocks on the system tray menu. Each is a separate, fully functional Vector Clock, and you can cover your desktop with them, if you like. We've seen lots of free desktop alarm clocks; Vector Clocks is the nicest one yet.