Instead of posting or writing, I am in a cage match with technology.

Zuhlsdorf’s Law* clicks in again!

My printer died and no workaround will fix it.  I have tried it on three different computers.


*Zuhlsdorf’s Law: Whenever you want to show someone something with technology, at that very moment you need it, the technology will fail.  The extent of the failure is in proportion to your urgency.

About Fr. John Zuhlsdorf

Fr. Z is the guy who runs this blog. o{]:¬)
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  1. Indeed. I encounter Zuhlsdorf’s law all the time.

    Prayers, Father.

  2. wanda says:

    Arrgghh. This too shall pass, Fr. Z.

  3. I feel like I have done more posting on my blog about TECH problems than posting about substantive issues.

    I wish MAC ran a blog site… things would just work then :( You are unfortunate in that a lot of your problems have been “physical” and those are frustrating mostly because if it is late and there is a problem, you can’t just go to a store and fix it.

    My problems have been “virtual” and so it just keeps me up late until I figure it out. My most recent wrangel has been with my Feeds and Feedburner. Which of course should be easy with google… but it isn’t.

    Printers though are ANNOYING. The problem is that not only are there drivers, but the in printer memory and chips are so testy they are no fun at all. The best thing I have learned is to wipe everything and start over most of the time.

  4. Tom in NY says:

    Ponendum II:Tamquam necessitas poenum delictus.

    Quaesumus Domine, opera tui facienda, ut machina litterarum bene operet.
    Salutationes omnibus.

  5. lacrossecath says:

    Perhaps Zuhlsdorf is related to Murphy?

  6. Vetdoctor says:

    Every stinkin’ time I try to show my wife how I have a flexible calender and unlimited contact list in my phone the thing crashes, erases data or just won’t work. she laughs AT me and goes back to her pencil and calendar on the wall.

  7. Brian Day says:

    Fr Z,

    What model of printer died? Laser, inkjet?

    I only have a photo-quality color inkjet at home, although most of my printing is black only. I’m seriously thinking about getting an inexpensive laser printer for day-to-day use and only using the inkjet when I really need color. (Ink is soooo expensive).
    Plus if one of the units goes down, I’ll still have a back-up.

    This Brother printer would do the trick. Amazon wish list?

  8. Brian: I inherited this printer. Hopefully, I will get some donations today to defray what I will have to buy.

  9. lacrosse: Perhaps Zuhlsdorf is related to Murphy?

    HA! I laugh at Murphy!

    Murphy was an optimist!

  10. LarryPGH says:

    You’ve powered the printer down (or, even more intensely, pulled the power plug) and rebooted the computer you print from?

    Have you tried a direct connection (USB or (if really old) parallel) rather than a networked one?

  11. I am not exactly a noob.

  12. LarryPGH says:

    Not what I was implying, but I guess that’s a “yes”. Have you determined, then, that it’s a printer failure, and not a communications failure? Can the printer even print a test page? Does it “spring to life” when you power it up, or is it that far gone?

    In any case, as a non-noob, I’m sure you’ve done all that can be done, short of buying a new one, then…

  13. chonak says:

    Sympathies, Padre.

    I have a related law: when the computer technician arrives, either (a) non-functioning equipment will start to work or (b) functioning equipment will stop working.

    Both effects are evidence of the computer tech’s charism in relating to the machines.

  14. ghlad says:

    Fr. Z – have you tried blessing the printer? :) [With Holy Water?]

  15. Tom in NY says:

    Occam pluralitatem non ponendam since necessitate proponit. Technologia telefonica et informationis fidente, delictum pluralitatis technologiae ipsae invitamus.
    Ad astra per aspera.

    Salutations omnibus.

  16. LarryPGH says:

    One last stupid question, in case you haven’t tried it: I’m assuming the printer is directly connected to the printer (if it’s not, there’s a computer acting as a print server for the printer). Have you power cycled *that* computer? In other words, if the printer is able to print a test page, and appears to be alive, perhaps its just a problem with the print queue (i.e., the computer *to which* you print, not any particular computer *from which* you print).

    OK… no more blind troubleshooting from me. Good luck!

  17. Tom in NY says:

    erratum: “since”; corrigendum, “sine”.
    Patientiae gratias tibi ago.

  18. Marcin says:

    In academic research environment where I work The Law has a real hold. It manifests itself usually before grant or abstract submission deadlines.

    As a layman I can’t really bless the objects, so I try to do without…

  19. Desertfalcon says:

    Don’t you hate it when people ask, “Are all the cables connected?” The only thing more annoying than their assumption of the depth of your stupidity is when you check…and all the cables weren’t connected. I hate that.

  20. Anyone working in technology for a while knows this law. Calling it Z’s law makes me think of Al Gore inventing the internet… ;-)

  21. Denis Crnkovic says:

    Dear Father

    Judging from the picture of the printer you have posted here, he was killed by putting too much back and not enough leg muscle into his pull on the bar! Make sure your type is on its feet, that your coffin is level, that the plank, rib and wince are in good working order, that the firsket and tympan are tight and that the spindle and hose are solid and letting the platen give a good impression. Make sure your paper is damp and not too wet. Break down the ink really well before inking the forme. And get a footstep, so your next printing doesn’t die from wrenching out his back!


  22. irishgirl says:

    ‘Zuhlsdorf’s Law’? Hmmm…..

    I am totally clueless when it comes to technology. If I have a problem with the wireless connection at the library-no Internet at home-then I go to the ‘techies’ among the librarians!

    Or else I go to a repair shop, which is what I did last month. Needed a new battery, then got an upgrade. This was good, because now I can watch the Z-Cam, among other videos! [HUZZAH]

    Denis-your ‘tongue in cheek’ description of the ‘old’ printer’s woodcut is too darn funny!

  23. Jane says:

    Zuhlsdorf’s Law is absolutely correct. I have seen its effects in action.

  24. I have a functioning printer again. Thanks folks for the donations!

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