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Give a geek a hug

On Friday, it's time to show appreciation for trusty techies. System Administrator Appreciation Day was created to pay tribute to anyone in information technology.

If you're like most people, when your computer crashes you groan, issue a string of expletives, and then wait idly by until your trusty information technology person rescues you from blue-screen hell.

On Friday, it's time for you to show your appreciation for those geeks in shining armor.

Ted Kekatos has created System Administrator Appreciation Day, a time to honor the people whom neither rain, nor snow, nor bizarre "illegal operation" errors can keep from fixing your machine.

Kekatos, a droll system administrator in Chicago, was inspired to create the special day by a Hewlett-Packard ad he saw a few years ago. In the ad, a system administrator is bombarded with presents from employees as thanks for installing new printers.

"I tore that ad out and showed it to some of my co-workers and said, 'Look at what this guy's getting. Where's mine?'" Kekatos joked.

The event, now in its third year, is designed to pay tribute to anyone in information technology. "Let's face it, system administrators get no respect 364 days a year," Kekatos wrote in an e-mail urging people to celebrate.

All Kekatos is really hoping for this year is a simple "thanks"--and maybe some cake and ice cream. Last year, his co-workers bought him lunch.

But he's put together a geeky wish list for nerds everywhere, just in case. Inspired by e-mails from fellow system administrators, the list contains gifts ranging from a case of iced mocha cappuccino to dream rewards like a handheld GPS unit or a home theater system.

"I put some stuff on there that I would like," he said. "You can always dream."

Kekatos' site also gives some tongue-in-cheek tips for maintaining your administrators' spirits on a year-round basis, including "When Ted says he's coming right over, log out and go for coffee. It's no problem for him to remember your password" and "if you get a .EXE file in an e-mail attachment, open it immediately. Ted likes to make sure the antivirus software is working properly from time to time."

Kekatos hopes System Administrator Appreciation Day will become a bigger holiday along the lines of Secretary's Day, and he's even considering sending a little reminder to the CEO at his own company.