What Is The Difference Between A Counter And A Timer?

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Barbara DeWalt Profile
Barbara DeWalt answered
A timer only measures the passing of time, whereas a counter measures how many times something happens.

Timers And Cooking

Cookery timers can usually be programme to sound an alarm once a set amount of time has passed.

This is so you don’t forget about the lasagne in the oven, and saves you from a kitchen full of smoke!

Timers and Sports

Timers and stopwatches are used to time competitive racing sports such as running and swimming.

These timers usually measure in minutes, seconds, and milliseconds.

Timers, Safety and Convenience

Many modern appliances have in-built timers so they’ll switch on or off after a certain amount of time.

As a safety precaution, things like irons and hair straighteners will often turn off automatically when they’re not being used.

You can also program some coffee machines to start up before you’re out of bed – this is great, as it means your coffee is ready and waiting for you when you wake up!

Counters and Retail

Cash registers usually have in-built counters to keep track of how many people have been served each day.

Counters and Gaming

Many arcade games – including air hockey, dance pads, and shooter games – use counters to track how many points the player has earned.

Air hockey counts the goals scored, and dance pads count the errors made.

Counters and Communication
Your cell phone uses counters for plenty of things! Here are a few examples:

  • Your data allowance (how much internet you use, measured in MB)
  • Your text message allowance (for example, 600 texts per month)
  • The character limit in a text message or Tweet
Obviously, counters and timers are each useful for different things - which one is best depends on what you’re trying to measure!
Anonymous Profile
Anonymous answered
A timer has an internal clock...whereas with a counter we have to use an external clock for it to work. In simple words, counter + oscillator = timer.

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Anonymous