[QUOTE=Xenon901;1950]I have a hunch that as the majority of the time stamps look about right (between 10 and 15 minutes), they were run on the 1st mac.
Those that look odd to me (upwards of 50 minutes) may have been run on the second mac which had a different time on it.
Could it be the case that the ‘created’ and ‘modified’ times are altered by OS X depending on which mac you look at them? That is, say an experiment was run at 12pm GMT, but the OS clock is showing 1pm GMT. Now, superlab would put ‘1pm GMT’ in the text file and OS X would save the file as ‘created’ and ‘modified’ as 10-15 minutes after 1pm GMT
Say then, I moved the files to a second mac which displays the correct time, would the ‘created’ and ‘modified’ times change to show 10-15 minutes after 12pm GMT?
Apologies if I’ve made little sense, it’s just a little hard to figure out by myself!
Actually, whether you realize it or not, I think you have mostly provided the answer to your own question. So perhaps you are simply looking for someone to confirm your hunch?
The reason I say you answered your own question is that I do think that this is explained by the fact that the second mac has a different time. Actually, even the fact that the second mac has a different time might be “overkill” in terms of facts needed to solve this question. In some cases just the simple fact that there are two machines between which to transfer files is enough to explain a case like yours.
I am not an expert on the internals of the Mac operating system. However, Mac OS X shares much in common with the BSD Unix system. Unix systems typically associate three date values with each file. These three values are atime, ctime, and mtime.
Here are some links that might help clarify:
Note that ctime is not the time of file creation
“stat” and “touch” are two tools that are available to examine and to alter these times.
Anyway… when transferring files from one machine to another, a lot of little things can go on “behind the scenes” that you might never notice or necessarily expect. Factors that will be in play during a file transfer:
File system on the source machine.
File system on the target machine.
User permission/User identity of the user performing the transfer.
Software used for the transfer.
File systems could include NTFS, FAT32, HFS, MFS, EXT2, or others.
Software being used could be anything from the command-line scp utility to the GUI “Finder” application to an email client being used to email the files back and forth.
Something that is probably a very important point to glean from any discussion of atime, ctime, and mtime, is this:
It is easy to tweak these times.
It is easy to tweak them accidentally and harmlessly, and it is also easy to tweak them deliberately. It wouldn’t be something that probably deserves too much concern. There’s no way for me even guess what various types of scanning software or backup software or any other factors might be operational on either of these two machines that might cause any apparent date-time weirdness. But I don’t see any cause for extraordinary concern.