$ctime returns the same value for everyone
I thought that at first, too. But then I changed my Time Zone from +12(NZ) to +9:30 (Darwin) and called (within the space of 3-4 seconds of each other) //echo -a $asctime($ctime) from $ctime and got:
Sun Jul 20 20:09:55 2003 from 1058688595
Sun Jul 20 17:40:06 2003 from 1058679606
The difference in ctime values is clearly visible.
Help file description: "Returns total number of seconds elapsed since 00:00:00 GMT, January 1, 1970 based on your system time"