Wheels coming off the wagon – update

Update, below.

Originally posted 12 January.

There is a particularly annoying pattern in my life’s days.    When it comes to my “tech stuff”, life goes along as smoothly as if it were zooming down a newly paved road.  Then, all of a sudden and without warning, WHAM, not only do I find I have hit a stretch of deeply corrugated unpaved road but all four wheels are parting from the axles.

And so my day began.

I decided to update my old iPhone.  It kacked on me, of course, and froze on the start screen.  To make a long story short, after ineffectual trials and errors, I am now going through the process of restoring it and then jailbraking it again, which should take some time.  At the same time, my mothership computer and my laptop has overnight both developed a snag without my having done any updates.   My car is making a new, and unwanted noise.  A usb hub has died.


Commiserate with me, O Viator, unhappy wretch that I am, waiting for yet another shoe to drop.

Time for some…


Mystic Monk Coffee!

Mystic Monk Coffee

You can still get their Christmas Blend as their Coffee of the Month for a few more days, I think.

Don’t make your next and upcoming Really Bad Day even worse by running out of coffee!

UPDATE 13 Jan 21:13 GMT:

I have managed to fix my spare iPhone 3GS.  I successfully restored it’s software, only to find that it had flashed my baseband modems firmware with a new version that has caused problems (involving GPS).  Bottom line: the phone’s antenna didn’t work properly and the the phone stayed in search mode looking for a network until it gave up looking… even when there was no sim inserted!  To fix it I removed my sim and reflashed the firmware with the iPad baseband.  Badda bing.  I got the message that there was NO SIM rather than the searching message.  It now works properly with my UK and Italian sims.

I have also fixed the desktop and laptop snags.

The usb problem is still a problem and the car noise is still a noise.

Irritation by irritation.

About Fr. John Zuhlsdorf

Fr. Z is the guy who runs this blog. o{]:¬)
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  1. Father, let me commiserate with you. I’ve just given up trying to submit a conference proposal because of persistent server and login errors on the other side. These and the like seem to be the new and improved lacrimae rerumof modern life. Maybe we were all better off spending our days worrying about disease, drought and crop failure instead.

  2. Maltese says:


    I feel your pain.

    The dreaded “blue screen of death” recently appeared on my MacBook, a harbinger of the demise of my HD. O death, where is thy sting does not apply, since it does sting when your HD dies!

    Hundreds of hours of songs gone forever.

    The fool that I am never backed-up my HD; lesson learned.

    And then a huge limb fell on my ’71 Porsche 914, and though the car still runs, the damage strangely did electrical harm so that my battery runs-out if I don’t take the + cable off!

    And on top of all that, a bus hit my grandmother last week.

    (No, the last is a joke, but is a reminder to be happy for what we have, and not lament to much about what we don’t, after all, at least I’m not Job!)

  3. persyn says:

    We need a new index of blessings. I am pretty sure I’m never going to require a musk ox be blessed, but there are certainly some electronic and mechanical beings in my life that need them. That’s what needed revising since 1963, NOT the Holy Sacrifice of the Mass. Just sayin’.

  4. Supertradmum says:

    Ah, yes and last night in the middle of chats and email, google crashed here. The vicissitudes of Internet use reminds me of how dependent I am on electricity and this media. One thing I have learned, or am learning, is not to be upset or angry at the computer-duh. The imperfections of my soul come out more online that anyplace else, and therefore, is part of my daily “mea culpa…” Maybe that is why some of these things happen, to show the root and tree of sins which would be hidden to my conscience otherwise. As I am doing a layperson’s version of the Ignatian Exercises, I can apply the crashes, server problems and general electronic incompatibilities, to my meditation on sins, by using them to show me the disorder of my life, and the”revulsion of habits, customs, attitudes, decisions” which need to be purified. St. Ignatius works well with these problems!

  5. Maltese says:

    Speaking of iPhones, did you know that they are, oddly enough, the dreaded enemy of chameleons?

  6. APX says:

    I dunno, Persyn, my musk ox has been causing me all types of grief. I think it needs a good strong blessing.

    Is there a blessing for a clutch? Mine’s acting up, but nothing’s broken. It just has air in the line still and needs to be re-bled.

  7. q7swallows says:

    I commiserate (but on a smaller, self-inflicted level). With 2000+ pics on my iPhone, it has kacked on me every time I’ve attempted a back-up & at each attempt at photo downloads. User stupidity but oh well. So which memories would I like to dump?….evading the question…..

  8. keithp says:

    Two hundred years ago, Father, you would have been saying to your neighbor that your mule is making new and unwanted noise. And, that your fire wood became soaked overinight so your house keeper could not make you your morning cuppa. :)

    The daily contradictions we face really have not changed all that much, IMO. A fine time for mortification, I say. Offer your troubles up for the Holy Souls in Purgatory…

  9. JayDeee says:

    Were you in a hurry? ‘Cause, never let anything mechanical know that you are in a hurry. Just sayin’.

  10. lgreen515 says:

    I am deeply, deeply impressed that you can jailbreak an i-phone. I am also impressed by your other technical knowledge. I have every confidence that you will solve all of these problems within the next 7-10 days.

  11. benedetta says:

    Thanks to the Mystic Monk coffee subscription, we no longer are worried about running out of coffee…or tea….May I also cue the music or is that reserved for the driver of this jalopy going down along a hill without wheels… :)

  12. Maltese says:

    If anyone has instructions on how to jailbreak an iPhone (which is perfectly legal, btw.), could you please post them, in the name of Justice, and the American way of life! (Mine has been laying dormant because of the unconscionable monopoly that AT&T has held; wherein I used to pay $90/mo., bastards!)

    [Whatever you do, be sure not to allow an upgrade of the baseband modem firmware. Upgrading that firmware could make it difficult for you to pick up service.]

  13. PomeroyonthePalouse says:

    It’s certainly calming to know that I can google the words “Fr. Z”, jailbreak and come up with over 2,000 links. (just playing around, I found that “Fr. Z”, canon gets 333K hits, while “Fr. Z”, cannon gets 394K! Lot of misspellings out there?)

    John in Pomeroy on the Palouse who’s taking a break from trying to implement Facebook’s ‘OG’ tags on his dad’s memorial site.

  14. pm125 says:

    First: The car. When the smooth pavement goes, downshift or tap brakes. Get the car near the coffee pot and seek help from a noise/sound doctor. (In case the shoe that may or may not drop requires a drive.)
    Second: Inscrutable cyber tech things are not your mind, they are dispose-able, unsound, time-consuming, and probably will come around when something out of your control changes. Times of trouble with them are like looking at the Mona Lisa painting for an answer.
    Third: Think of Job (per Maltese) – he pulled through.
    But cyber is so much better for us here than the solitude with typewriters. How about replacement shopping?

  15. Tim Ferguson says:

    Have a ton of work to get through before I head off for a week vacation to work on my thesis paper. Went to the auto repair place this morning at 7:00 a.m. for a minor fix. Six hours and several hundred dollars later I was able to drive away. Now there’s less time before vacation, and even more work to be done. Plus we have a snowstorm heading in. At least my antilock breaks are working now.

  16. RichardT says:

    Maltese says: “… jailbreak an iPhone (which is perfectly legal, btw.)”

    No it isn’t (as I’ve said here before). [Yes, it is, as we have said here before and we are not going to go through again. Click HERE.]

    The Obama administration has said that they will not enforce the criminal law against it. But it is still a breach of the purchase contract, and therefore a violation of Apple’s legal and moral rights.

    Sorry Father, no sympathy from me for your iPhone going down (although lots of sympathy about the car; I have tried praying to St Christopher about mine in the past, but it never seems to work).

  17. RichardT says:

    ‘Jailbreaking’ is probably also a violation of the rights of the company that supplies the mobile phone access.

    I don’t know about iPhones specifically, but assuming they follow the same practice as the rest of the mobile phone industry, when you buy the hardware, your purchase is subsidised by the airtime supplier, in return for your ‘lock-in’ contract. By ‘jailbreaking’ you’ve taken the subsidy but then reneged on your side of the deal.

  18. introibo says:

    New verb in my vocabulary…”kack”?
    As they say, when it rains, it pours.

  19. irishgirl says:

    ‘Jailbreaking’? ‘Kacking’? These are new words to me technology-wise.
    But I do know ‘the blue screen of death’! It happened a year ago this month on my iBook. And, yes, it was the HD that needed repair! Took me until June to get the cash to pay for the repairs–and I got it just days before this laptop was going to be TRASHED!
    I didn’t get back my ‘back-up’ server, Firefox (only have Safari, which sometimes crashes on certain sites-drives me nuts when it happens!), and I did lose some documents. Fortunately, I didn’t have any photos or songs, so I had nothing to lose on that score.
    Wow, Father Z-I hope you get all your ‘tech stuff’ and ‘car stuff’ taken care of! If I had the means to send you a small ‘maiden’s mite’ to help you out, I would!

  20. Tonia says:

    I was in a lecture yesterday when the projector stopped working. One of the students used their iphone to find out who the patron saint of technology is – St. Isidore of Seville. The lecturer said we could pray and she would swear and we’d see if either was effective. One of them worked!

  21. APX says:

    If there’s one thing I miss about not living at home it’s having someone to assess car noises to assure me my car is not going to die/fall apart/break while driving. The repair guys won’t tell you that. Very stressful.

  22. coeyannie says:

    If you need a second job, you can work for the Geek Squad.

  23. discipulus says:

    Last week, my computer was going to update when I turned it off for the night. Several minutes later, I could still hear it running. It was still on when I woke up the next morning. About an hour or so later, it had still not turned off when I went to visit this blog. I finally removed the battery, unplugged the laptop, and was able to restart it normally.

  24. There is an old adage (and I’m sure everyone knows it) that says, “when it rains, it pours!” I just went through a particularly damp spell myself! :-)

  25. Kathleen10 says:

    And for me I have some good technological news. Really! In some mysterious way I was suddenly hit by a computer virus a few weeks ago. All of a sudden what was on my screen just duplicated and duplicated…eeuw….that feeling in the pit of your stomach that says…ruh roh. It was a virus and a nasty one. The computer went to sickbay where they said they had a tough time getting rid of the virus, as a last resort “did we make a recovery disk when we first got the computer?”.
    YES, my husband DID make a recovery disk when we first got the computer! =D
    My beloved mother, my darling, my sweetheart, passed away five months ago today. I would have lost the pictures of us in the last few months of her life. For some odd technological reason, saving our photos to a flashdrive did NOT save my 2011 photos, including the last few months of Mum. (?) So they would have been gone, but thanks to God (and hubby) photos were recovered and I have my photos of my darling, now safely put on flash drive, just in case. Another life lesson well learned, make recovery disks. If not for that….hard drive DOA.
    Would anyone interested please pray for her soul? Her name is Ruth. Many thanks.

    [I am sure many of the readers here will stop and say a prayer for her. Also, your experience should prompt everyone to develop a disciplined back up routine.]

  26. Mom2301 says:

    Tim Ferguson-
    What kind of horrible vacation involves working on a thesis paper! I hope you are planning a vacation after that vacation.

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