A quick-and-dirty application to make CFAbsoluteTime values human-readable.

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CFAbsoluteTimeConverter is a quick-and-dirty application to convert CFAbsoluteTime values to a more human-readable state. For instance, converting “321111621.8” to “Sunday March 6, 2011 7:40:21 AM CT”.

CFAbsoluteTimeConverter was created in response to a user request. On November 2003 I was contacted by Jeff Mao, Directory of Technology for the Maine School Administrative District #60. Then, as a part of the Maine Learning Technology Initiative, the state had purchased 38,000 Apple iBooks to put in the hands of 7th and 8th graders across the State of Maine. But since kids will be kids, it seems some of those students were using their iBooks to visit websites they shouldn’t have been visiting. In tracking down this misuse of school resources, the admins were checking Safari history files and found a “lastVisitedDate” timestamp. Mr. Mao searched around and thought this might be some sort of Universally Unique Identifier and thus stumbled across the old Hsoi’s Shop website. He asked if I knew how to undo the number to find the time stamp. After a little research, I discovered the number was not a UUID but instead a simple CFAbsoluteTime value. I hacked up a quick-and-dirty application to help Mr. Mao out, and CFAbsoluteTimeConverter is the result of that work.

I figured if this could help Mr. Mao, it may be of use to others, so I made a quick-and-dirty packaging of the quick-and-dirty app and released it to the world. The application is not polished nor pretty, but it’s functional to it’s stated goal. The application and source code are released to the public domain, but Hsoi Enterprises maintains them.


  • Version 1.2.1
  • Requires at least Mac OS X 10.5 (Leopard)
  • Simple, no cost
  • Released: 2011-03-06
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