A really bad day

I got up this morning, thinking that the tiny glimpse of blue I saw in the otherwise uninterrupted gray sky might herald a decent day for a change. I turned on the computers and then went about my usual routine. When I came back some time later, I found that one of my two laptops, my principal desktop replacement, had serious problems. Work as I might, the situation got worse and worse. Ultimately, I had to use a rescue disk and return it to its pristine state, losing a great deal along the way.

Today I has been spent mainly reconstructing everything. What a huge pain.

I am sure you readers have had experiences like this. They remind me, just as I remind you now, of the famous phrase “Jesus saves… and so should you.” Back things up. Never throw away disks or books or delete downloads of programs. Even when you are as diligent as I am about making backups and backups to your backups, putting it all back into place can be really irritating and time consuming.

About Fr. John Zuhlsdorf

Fr. Z is the guy who runs this blog. o{]:¬)
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  1. Brian Day says:

    Is there a patron saint for computers/internet?

  2. Mark M says:


    Apparently the patron saint of the Internet and/or computers is St Isidore of Seville. However this isn’t quite official. There was some talk back in 2003–Wikipedia has more about it.

  3. Weldkamp says:

    One would think a snob who has so much to say about other people’s language skills would know the difference between “principle” and “principal.”

  4. citizentim says:

    Father, please feel free to contact me in the future if you have computer problems again, I’d be delighted to help. I’ve a lengthy background in the computer realm, and most work can be done remotely.

  5. Weldkemp: Your comment has more to do with who you are inside than my typos.

  6. Fr Martin Fox says:

    Ah, I’m sorry Father — I hope you had a nice gin-and-tonic or whatever was most soothing!

  7. Fr Martin Fox says:


    Judging by Father Z’s usage in his post, he does know the difference between “principle” (only used as a noun) and “principal” (used as both noun and adjective), and he used the term correctly.

  8. Andrew says:


    “Principal” – primary, chief, most important: therefore “principal desktop replacement” is correct. If you’re going to offend someone at least find an error: don’t just pretend that you found one.

  9. citizentim says:

    I just tried out the Z-cam, and noticed the note re: Rome firewall. I’m a network security engineer, and if you would like help getting through your firewall to get the Rome Z-cam working, again, I’d be glad to help. Again, please feel free to contact me if you’d like.

  10. GHP says:

    Weldkamp seems to have personified “Skitt’s Law” which states,
    “Spelling or grammar flames always contain spelling or grammar errors.”

    For more see:http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Skitt's_law

  11. Jon says:


    Look at it this way, it could be worse. When I need help, they make me call some guy in Bangalore!

  12. All: To be fair I must say that I corrected my typo to “principal” after the nasty comment. It might have been intended only to hurt me in some way, but he was right. I had written “principle”.

  13. RBrown says:

    One would think a snob who has so much to say about other people’s language skills would know the difference between “principle” and “principal.”
    Comment by Weldkamp

    The error was pointed out to Fr Z, and he quickly corrected it. On the other hand, the English “translation” of the Novus Ordo has seeped pus for more than 30 years.

  14. GHP says:


    …but he was right. I had written “principle”….

    There are ways to correct people’s grammar without being a boor. Had Weldkamp been raised a gentleman, he might have indirectly pointed out your error by copying your post with his correction inserted in lieu of the incorrect word (very subtle); or, he could have copied the “offending” text verbatum, with the editorial use of a bracked sic (more noticeable, but with an “educated” air).

    Additionally, he could have attempted a humorous correction, e.g., “your principal use of principle is principally unprincipled”. (Well, at least that’s my idea of “humorous correction.)

    Unfortunately, Weldkamp’s prime choice of correction was the least desirable method of all: boorish.

    –Guy Power

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