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Dear Fix-It-Fairy

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Dear Fix it Fairy,

I have an ethical dilemma.

Some how some of my acquaintances have gotten the idea I know how to fix computers. Now it seems every time I turn around some jack ass is giving me his six year old windows 95 machine and asking me to fix it. I really don�t know crap about these machines but fortunately in most cases the problem is simple. Like, they haven�t defragmented their hard drive since they bought the thing.  Or even better, one person could not figure out why the internet was not on his computer when his modem was not even plugged into a phone line.

My dilemma is this. Some of these folks want to pay me for my services. What does a jack-ass who doesn�t know crap charge  another jack-ass who knows even less doing the regular stuff they should have learned when they bought the computer. 


Is it unethical for me to gut their machine for parts, keep the parts and tell them their computer was beyond repair and suggest they buy a new one.

Sign me� the English major who everyone calls their computer guy.


Dear English major,

As with many a seasoned computer person, the definition of the word �ethical� is a little foggy. So I looked it up on the Internet. Upon the discovery of the meaning of this odd word, I must say that I was surprised and very confused to what I found. As I continued reading I was pointed to the phase; moral philosophy. So I looked it up too. This led me to the word clitoris. Clearly I am a man easily distracted. As with most men in general, I also discovered that I know less about the clitoris than I do the word ethical, so immediately returned to your question.

Fixing someone�s computer for free is a sin, just like adultery and murder. It is not important that you know that much about computers as it is that people think you do. If people think you do, then you can charge for your services. The more that you charge, the more they will think you know what you are doing.  And of course, the less that you charge, the more they will complain about your service. 

The amount to charge varies from conscience to conscience. Because you had to ask, I would start with $50.00 an incident. I charge 100.00 an hour.

Best of luck,



Dear Mr. Fairy,

I am contacting you from the West of Ireland, so this email will take about a month to get to yeah.
My grandfather was in Greece in the 1960's and bought a abacus. He passed away last year and left it to me in his will. What I was wondering how to connect the abacus up to a modem and a
television so I could view porn from the Internet. My friend Mick said it was possible, and told me how to do it, but both of us were really drunk at the time, and we can't remember how to put the parts together.

Please get back to me soon.

Dear Sean, 

To answer your question, I spent considerable time in my lab trying to connect an abacus to a small portable television. I must admit that I didn�t think that it was possible but I didn�t want to respond with negative results without at least first trying. My first few attempts were met with failure. And then I remembered that you were an Irishman and realized that I was trying to do this in a legal state of mind. Immediately I called my friend Joe, who is of Irish descent and a computer engineer with a degree in physics, and he dropped what he was doing and came over immediately. On his way, Joe came to the same conclusion as I and stopped at a liquor store purchased a case of Guinness. Amazingly, with every can that we drank, we were more convinced that we could successfully connect an abacus to a television. After finishing the case of Guinness we abandoned the experiment and began singing songs about the glen and dressed as close as we could to leprechauns and went pub hopping. Well, I can�t recall much of what happened after that but the next morning Joe and I woke up in a jail cell, with our testicles painted green, a tattoo of Shena O�conner on our arses.

Upon returning to our original project, we were successful, however due to the fact that the abacus is made up of little balls on rod, the porn was not all we had hoped for.


Dear Fix-it-fairy,

I just got 4 computers that a company was going to throw away.  I think they are 486's cause they are running windows 96 or whatever the current one is.  What I was wondering is if you could tell me where I can learn to program so that I can change my windows start bar to be on top like a Mac and I can single click too.  Would I do that in java?

Billy G

Dear Billy

4 � 486s is a 4 times a whole lot of nothing. If you could somehow link the four together you might have a really slow computer with Windows 95 on them. If it was possible to change your start bar to emulate a Mac than you would still have a really slow computer with a start bar that looked like a Mac. However it is possible to change your mouse to a single click, but I�m not going to tell you how to do it because I don�t want to be liable for whatever sever damage you might inflict on yourself as a result of the effort. Remember, slow computer users use Macs and stupid computer users send computer questions to the Fix-it-Fairy.


Dear Fix-it-fairy,

I have a bible program and can not get it my computer. Why not? I have a Compaq 6320.

My Bible

Dear My Bible,

Some bible programs by emasculate design will not install on the same instrument that was once used to harvest porn. You must consult your minister or the company that makes the software, only then will ye see the digital words of God. 

Dear Fix-it-fairy,

I have a problem with Kazaa. I have been having a problem getting it to sign on. I checked with the website and they said to ask you to help me with port 1214.It say to do the following: You should open up port 1214 on this firewall, or configure SOCKS5 on both the firewall and Kazaa Media Desktop. You will most likely need your network administrator to assist with this. What do I do?

Dear What do I do?

Many people that use Kazaa mistakenly contact the Fix-it-Fairy at the Network to help with their problems. As do AOL Users and any other program that has a popup box the says, "Contact Your Network Administrator" The network administrator at is not your network administrator. If the Network Administrator had to support AOL and Kazaa users, The Network Administrator would give up computers all together move to Queensland Australia and get a job at the Australian Zoo cleaning out the Dingo's cages. 

Dear Fix-it-Fairy

General Query

From: Omar 
Date: 28/11/02

Topic: Upgrading My System


The system has the following specification .

� Pentium 60
� 486/586 Motherboard
� 2 Speed CD ROM
� 100Mb HDD
. 16 MB Memory 
� VGA Monitor
� 101 Keyboard
� Generic Video Card
� No Sound Card
� No Speakers
� Broken Mouse
� 4 Years Old

I am wanting to upgrade this system so that it includes Windows 2000, MS Office 2000 and the latest computer based training programs. Also the machine will be connected to a network (college one most likely). The limit that I have In order to produce this upgrade is an amount of �316.

Please could u help me on this mater as much as possible in the following sections...

1) Firstly id like to know the considerations, which i need to take during this upgrade?? (Health and Safety..Etc)

2) The hardware components required?

3) How i should select the hardware? Which ones need to be selected? (any recommendations)

4) The specification of the upgrade? (Inc all hardware, software parts?)

5) And finally if you could just list the cost of the upgrade (for each part) bearing in mind the �316 financial constraint!

Then please add any other relevant information, which you feel, will help me in the decision in to making this upgrade!!

Thank you!

Ill be looking forward to hearing from you, feel free to contact either by E-mail or Post to the address given above. For any queries don't hesitate to contact me on my mobile. (XXXXXXXXX) 

Ill get back in touch to take the matter forward.

Yours sincerely.... Omar 

Dear Omar, 
Thanks for sending me such a lengthy request.

This is a difficult question to answer with a lot of variables. So I must first ask you a few questions.

1. Understanding that Pubs are an integral part of the British past time with such popular drinking games as darts, a pool table and maybe even some type of pull tab betting games, I didn't know that they also included computers with Internet access. 

2. How did you find my email address? 

3. Without looking up the exchange rate between Microsoft dollars and the British pound, 316 dollars might get you Microsoft flight simulator. But with a name like Omar you would no doubt get the enhanced version with a Sky Marshall in the jump seat that only flies over the ocean with a built in tracking chip.

4. And finally, I'm glad you mentioned health and safety considerations because when you are picking up that great big piece of shit and chuck it in the bin, you are gonna want to lift with your knees!! Not your back.

Dear Fix-It-Fairy: 
I have been given an old Commodore 64 without a power supply. I want to turn this into a games machine that can handle PC, Nintendo and Playstation games. I have zero money and only a slightly higher IQ so no big words in your answer please. I have seen this sort of modification done on Star Trek using a tricroder and phasor on low power, so I know that it is possible. If you cannot help, do you have LaForge's email address so I can talk to a proper engineer?

Thanks Help

Dear Help:

I have an old washer machine in the garage that I'd like to turn into a vehicle that will transport between earth and the area of space known as the Ort cloud so I may collect pretty rocks and sell them at the flea market that is held in my town every second Sunday of the month. Should I contact NASA and ask their engineers for help? 

Dear Fix-It-Fairy: 
I have a 486-100 with Windows 95 on it. I paid a great deal of money for it several years ago and am reluctant to give it up because I know as soon as I buy a new computer, a month later it will only be obsolete, so why waste the money. My question is this, can the government see if I'm looking at porn?

Older is better.

Dear Older is better:
Although many of today's programs require a Pentium II 266 or higher your computer is a piece of shit. And "Yes" the government sees every site that you go to and also reports it to your church. Now go wash your hands and wait by the door for the police. 

Dear Fix-It-Fairy: 
I have just purchased a brand new modem box for my CPU and I'd like to have more memory on the hard drive. What should I do next?

New User

Dear New User: 
Most computer users that don't know what the hell that are talking about call the computer case a modem box and confuse memory with hard drive space. My advice is, don't throw the cardboard box away that came with your "Computer".

Dear Fix-It-Fairy: 
I want to purchase merchandise from the Internet like my friends do, but because of all the stories I've heard on the news I'm afraid that someone will steal my credit card number. What can I do to protect myself when I finally do decide to buy from the Internet?


Dear Scared:
Yes it is true that there are a lot of scary things in the world and many of them are on the Internet. I've seen pictures of people mutilating themselves with body piercing, pictures of hairy babies sucking their toes and even pictures from the Royal Book of Smiles. (Excuse me, I just threw up in my mouth.)  But as far as the Internet not being a safe place to make purchases? That is complete and total none sense spread by department stores trying to frighten people back into the stores. In fact if you want to make your first purchase a 42 inch Plasma Screen TV, you may do so on this sight and we will monitor your transaction for you. 

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