Equipment Failures and Local Backups

I had originally thought to provide a post today on the TimeCheck application. Friday is normally series day on the blog. Unfortunately, my computer had other ideas. Yesterday morning it decided not to work any longer. I heard a pop and then the screen went black—no helpful error message like 0x000000D1 and no blue screen of death—nothing at all. Replacing the power supply with my ready backup brought no joy. I’m sure I’ll find the cause of my woes eventually, but for now, I need to get up and running so I can meet my deadlines (and write this blog).

Fortunately, I had already decided to upgrade my computer and have all of the parts on hand to build my new dream machine (at least, what I can afford of that dream machine). In addition, I had made a local backup of my system the day before, so I’ll lose one day’s worth of work at most. What all this means is that I’ll be back online soon with a newer system that will provide me with everything needed to complete my work for the next while.

Using my emergency online e-mail will help keep me in contact with the few people who absolutely must contact me. Others are relying on the phone to contact me. If you’ve sent me e-mail about a book issue, I apologize in advance for not addressing your question in a timely manner. I hope that you’ll understand that it wasn’t my idea to have a system failure (it’s never my idea—the computer apparently has a mind of its own).

The one thought that has come to mind during this current crisis is that I’m extremely happy that I don’t rely on an online backup service. In order to get some things working on my new system, I needed the backup files, but I didn’t have access to the Internet. If I had relied on an online backup service, things would have gotten extremely interesting. Fortunately, my local backup is easily accessed despite the lack of connectivity, so everything is fine. I mention this in passing because I know that online backups have become quite popular. They have their place, but don’t neglect local backups because you never know when you’ll run into a situation like mine where online access is impossible.

As far as the TimeCheck application is concerned, we’ll restart the series as soon as is possible on Fridays. I appreciate your patience while I get things sorted out. In the meantime, let me hear about your dream machine at


Author: John

John Mueller is a freelance author and technical editor. He has writing in his blood, having produced 99 books and over 600 articles to date. The topics range from networking to artificial intelligence and from database management to heads-down programming. Some of his current books include a Web security book, discussions of how to manage big data using data science, a Windows command -line reference, and a book that shows how to build your own custom PC. His technical editing skills have helped over more than 67 authors refine the content of their manuscripts. John has provided technical editing services to both Data Based Advisor and Coast Compute magazines. He has also contributed articles to magazines such as Software Quality Connection, DevSource, InformIT, SQL Server Professional, Visual C++ Developer, Hard Core Visual Basic, asp.netPRO, Software Test and Performance, and Visual Basic Developer. Be sure to read John’s blog at When John isn’t working at the computer, you can find him outside in the garden, cutting wood, or generally enjoying nature. John also likes making wine and knitting. When not occupied with anything else, he makes glycerin soap and candles, which comes in handy for gift baskets. You can reach John on the Internet at John is also setting up a website at Feel free to take a look and make suggestions on how he can improve it.