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High resolution date and time class

, 24 Jan 2000
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A high resolution time class that is a replacement for COleDateTime that does not use MFC.
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    The CHighTime and CHighTimeSpan are two classes for replacement of COleDateTime and COleDateTimeSpan. Instead of using a double for storing the date, it uses a 64 bit integer to store the date and time. The range is +/-29000 years and the smallest time span is 0.1 microseconds.


    As "everybody" knows that accuracy of floating point is not so good with small values. My experience says COleDateTime(Span) can not handle 1 second time and spans correctly. Sometimes I would get: (2sec-1sec) != 1sec ... This was not what I wanted!

    Secondly, the resolution for COleDateTime is only 1 second and I needed better. CHighTime(Span) handle down to 0.1 microsecond. I choose this because FILETIME and the KeQuerySystemTime function in the kernel use this resolution. One strange thing is that they have zero time at January 1, 1601. But I follow that convention for easy integration.

    Finally, I needed to calculate time in a kernel driver and there floating point maths not possible. There are some changes that are needed to do before it is possible to use it in a driver. All MFC use must be also removed. I have started but haven't finished it. It should also be possible to use the classes in a non MFC project with some small not yet implemented parts...See below

    To use

    Using CHighTime(Span) is quite simple and similar to COleDateTime(Span). Include CHighTime.h where you need it and create an instance of CHighTime. There are some different constructors. Both with separate date/time parts and with COleDateTime or SYSTEMTIME or FILETIME as arguments. The output format string is the same as for COleDateTime(Span).Format and _tcsftime with additional codes for millisec(%s), microsec(%u), nanosec(%n).

    CHighTimeSpan is also capable of handling "out of range" values. eg. 30 hours = > 1 day + 6 hours

    The constructors have milli, micro, nano default value 0 so it is possible to replace COleDateTime directly without any changes.

    CHighTime PresentTime, SomeTime;
    CHighTimeSpan TheLife, OneDay(1,0,0,0);
    CString sText;
    SYSTEMTIME systime;
    PresentTime = CHighTime::GetPresentTime();
    SomeTime = CHighTime(1968, 6, 8, 0, 2, 0);
    TheLife = PresentTime - SomeTime;
    sText = TheLife.Format(
        "I have lived %D days %H hours %M minutes %S seconds %s milliseconds\n"
    systime = CHighTime(2000,1,13, 14,07,10, 20, 40, 100);
    SomeTime.SetDateTime(2000, 1, 13, 14, 25, 10);
    sText.Format("The time now is %s\n", (LPCTSTR)PresentTime.Format("%H:%M:%S:%s"));
        "The date tomorrow is %s\n",

    If you want to use the class in a MFC project, add #include "stdafx.h" before the include of hightime.h, in the hightime.cpp like this.

    #include "stdafx.h"
    #include "hightime.h"

    Things to improve

    1. Modify so a kerneldriver can use the classes. The string functions must be removed/changed. The only need for the CHighTime::Format function should be for trace. So why make that work for almost nothing....??? A additional #define could be used for using the classes in a driver
    Please feel free to send me any suggestions about these classes.


    This article has no explicit license attached to it but may contain usage terms in the article text or the download files themselves. If in doubt please contact the author via the discussion board below.

    A list of licenses authors might use can be found here


    About the Author

    Håkan Still
    Software Developer
    Sweden Sweden
    No Biography provided

    Comments and Discussions

    GeneralClasses are not to be sold for profit Pinmemberchunkeungyu20-May-10 9:57 
    GeneralRace condition in the const CHighTime& operator=(const time_t& timeSrc) method PinmemberMember 3211554-Feb-09 4:17 
    GeneralRe: Race condition in the const CHighTime& operator=(const time_t& timeSrc) method Pinprofessionalrharding648-Jan-15 16:24 
    QuestionVS 2005 or VS 2008 Version Anyone? PinmemberPaul Kissel10-Sep-08 23:20 
    I wrote a program a few years back using CHighTime and am now trying to move it to either VS 2005 or VS 2008 (preferred). I'm seeing a lot of build errors and warnings and wondered if anyone out there has modified the classes to build with either tool? If so, please email the new version to Thanks!
    AnswerRe: VS 2005 or VS 2008 Version Anyone? Pinmembercoder1234567896-Oct-08 1:40 
    GeneralRe: VS 2005 or VS 2008 Version Anyone? PinmemberKim Moung Soo5-Mar-10 21:25 
    GeneralGet total Milliseconds Pinmembermsurni13-Dec-07 20:28 
    GeneralMistake with milli/micro/nano Pinmemberabcdenis12-Jan-07 0:02 
    GeneralActual resolution much lower... PinmemberRobert Bielik9-Jun-06 3:00 
    GeneralRe: Actual resolution much lower... Pinmemberfvds_sub26-Oct-06 6:29 
    GeneralWEIRD: CHighTimeSpan::Format() does not take 1 arguments Pinmemberkd7osk21-Feb-06 10:11 
    QuestionIssue with subtraction bug? PinmemberDavid White23-Dec-05 5:47 
    Generalambiguous call PinmemberEMTA4114-Oct-05 7:46 
    GeneralRe: ambiguous call Pinmembercraig.miller30-Jan-06 15:00 
    GeneralRe: ambiguous call Pinmemberkd7osk20-Feb-06 12:35 
    GeneralHightime for Visual C++ .NET 2003 Pinmemberabudiman25017225-Sep-05 22:38 
    Generalwhy not just use CTime? its a 64bit Integer Pinmemberm00m0024-Aug-05 14:57 
    GeneralRe: why not just use CTime? its a 64bit Integer PinmemberSteve Mayfield24-Aug-05 15:16 
    Generalgetting started PinsussAnonymous2-Feb-05 1:20 
    GeneralA bug in CHighTime::GetYear() when a year is negative Pinmemberholevel629-Feb-04 20:59 
    QuestionWhats about CFileTime? Pinmemberosy2-Feb-04 21:51 
    AnswerRe: Whats about CFileTime? PinmemberPierre Couderc10-Nov-05 5:42 
    AnswerRe: Whats about CFileTime? Pinmemberhulvey27-Jan-06 15:13 
    GeneralYou do good work! Pinmemberdevwat24-Jan-04 17:42 
    GeneralGeneral questin on .inl files Pinmemberdswigger11-Jan-04 6:09 

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