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Covid in the Fort

Due to t serious number of cases, I will not be doing outcalls until things get better. You can still bring your computer to me, it will be sterilized and serviced for you to pick up. If you have Internet access still, call and I can set you up for remote servicing. Over the phone I can even show you how to do things with this set up on your computer.

new: fortstjames.com

If you live here – START here!
After 4 years untouched, I decided the extended Covid19 lockdown was an opportunity to do a huge update to the website www.fortstjames.com.

Simplified, easier for touchscreens and tablets, more organized and with loads of new information and links relevant to our town. There’s Today’s News, Local diner menus and phone numbers, Handy links for banks, online shopping plus access to your online mail. Even a slideshow – you can email your favourite local pic and I will credit you on it. Even a button for out of town Visitors to find out all about the area.
With a built in one click Google Search, there’s no reason not to use it as your starting page!
To do that:
-go to fortstjames.com with your browser
-look for the three dots or three lines in the top right corner
-look for Options or Settings
-click Home or On Startup, choose ‘a specific page’ and click Use Current

If you have suggestions, things to add, pictures, or an update restaurant menu e-mail admin@fortstjames.com. Links to actual websites will be added but not to pages on other websites (like Facebook).

Rebuilt computers!

X2 255 tower $100
tiny Atom box desktop $25
Asus EEE desktop $25
22″ LCD $40
Macbook 2008 $200
Mac Mini 2010 SSD $400
WACOM tablet $75
tons of various laptop chargers $10 Acer HP Lenovo Toshiba

Mail Problems?

@fsjames.com mail accounts work as a courtesy to former customers from before 2014, mainly for seniors who find change difficult. Nobody’s paid a nickel in four years for the service, I pay it. Do not use it for important business, legal matters, etc as I might just decide to shut it down if costs or significant time needed to keep it running increases! Use Outlook, Telus, Gmail, YeeHaw for that.

Get the files onto your computer. Use POP if you can or realize you get only so much space on the server. If you use modern setup wizards they set up IMAP which leaves a copy of everything on the server too, and it eventually overflows.

Overflowed mailboxes are the most common problem – check that first. Go to www.fortstjames.com and click the @fsjames.com WEBMAIL icon. Log in. empty or purge your TRASH Folder, then go to the SENT folder and Empty all the files over a week old. Go back to your TRASH and empty or purge it again. That should fix it.
If you still have problems, call 996-4008 and I will check things. If I need to come set up or fix your end, it will only cost you $35.

Passwords: I don’t know your password, so if you’ve forgotten it you’ll have to call and set up another one. One that meets today’s security requirements.

CHANGED YOUR E-MAIL? If you’d like your old @fsjames.com mail to go to another email address, email admin@fsjames.com or text 006-4008 with your old fsjames account and your new one (gmail, outlook, yahoo, etc.) and I will direct fsjames mail to it. I don’t need any of your passwords to do that.

Organize your mail if you just can’t throw away those 12 year old jokes from your sister: Make an Old Mail folder and move old messages to it
Thunderbird, Windows Mail:
-File Menu -> New -> Folder..
-Give the mailbox a name (i.e “old mail”) and Create as a subfolder of “Local Folders”

Microsoft Outlook
-File Menu -> New -> Folder..
-Give the mailbox a name (i.e “old mail”) and place the folder inside “Personal Folders”

Apple Mail
-Mailbox Menu -> New Mailbox..
-Give the mailbox a name (i.e “old mail”) and set the location to “On My Mac”

Don’t use @fsjames.com anymore? Please call or text 996-4008 and let me know so I can remove the old account. At the end of each year, I look at the mail server. If you haven’t logged in (I can tell that much) in 6 months, I will automatically delete the account and everything in it.

Telus Mail change

@telus.net is now hosted by Google. Just go to gmail.com with your browser and sign in with your @telus.net account and password. It may force you to change your password the first time.
If you need to use a mail client, add a new gmail account with your @telus.net email and password and delete the old Telus one. Or call and set up remote so I can do it for you.

Mail Setup

Just use the wizard when you start Mail. All you need to do is enter your email address and password and it will do the rest.

SECURITY WARNING ON FSJAMES.COM– this is because the actual server name is practically unspellable and I’m not going to pay for a certificate for everyone else’s free email service. Click CONTINUE and ADD an exception. You will have to do this almost every time your browser updates. The site is perfectly safe.

I you have trouble, call. I will set you up for only $35


The hotel or place you’re at may be on Shaw, or Rogers, or Bell or some other Internet service. They won’t let you send mail through someone else’s server. Use the webmail feature that works just like Hotmail and Yahoo. As long as you don’t check a message and pick delete it will still be there next time you use your computer at home. You can even choose filters to delete spam and such if you look at the bottom of the page before you choose Squirrelmail or Roundcube to read it.

webmail.fortstjames.com    or

go to www.fortstjames.com and click on the mailbox icon.

Logon with your email address and password, if you forgot your password – guess what? I don’t know it either. Call me at 4008 and we’ll have t make a new password for you. It will need to be a complex one with capitals, letters and numbers in it that meets a minimum standard. The days of “bob” or “1234” are long gone.


The first computers I played with were back in the 1960s and 70s. I remember touring SFU when it first opened, ‘the computer’ was the size of your garage and about as powerful as a handheld calculator. But that was amazing at the time, just remember that the H-bomb, nuclear reactors and the Space Program were accomplished with a slide rule. How many people even know what those are in this day and age? Some of the early computing devices we played with were mechanical devices, you pushed gears and levers about with a stylus!

I had an uncle with Honeywell-Aero back east. He took me to the first computerized auto plant in St. Thomas where they built the Ford Pinto (boom!) and programming was done with crates of punchcards. He was a favorite among customers, one apple-box of cards he took everywhere, when you loaded it in the computer would churn out a picture of Snoopy on his doghouse, with a calendar below. On a dot-matrix made out of Xs an Os for the graphics. I guess it’s all his fault…

So after an aborted attempt to appease the parents by entering Dad’s alma mater at UBC and realizing it was more fun building light organs and fancy looking gizmos that simply ground started a payphone and blowing Cap’n Crunch whistles, I cut my hair and got a real job. Which paid so well I could buy reel-to-reel tape recorders, synthesizers and all sorts of fun stuff. But I quit to become one of the highest paid writers in the world. Believe it or not, over fifty bucks a word! Every two weeks I’d write NO-NO-NO-NO-YES-NO on a punchcard, mail it in and the government would send me over $300.

Which being a geek only piqued my curiosity, all they had to do was marker pen those words and use an optical reader or punch a hole and feed them through a computer…. but being gov’t they probably had a clerk hand punch another card.

I married a girl with family in the phone company, that was back in the days when that’s all you needed was a name to get in. And ended up in a department where I ended up all over the province converting the old mechanical offices into digital switches. Took a computer course when I ended up somewhere for a whole semester and quickly bought myself a Vic20 to pass the time. Punching in ones and zeros from the back of a computer magazine and saving them to cassettes. Learning two and two = two and how to divide D8 by 10. Dropping over $400 for a whole 4 kilobytes of extra RAM so I could have a system a powerful as the schools. Checking out BASIC and PASCAL and DOS, invited to Apple for the unveiling of the Macintosh and wondering how could anyone do any real programming with icons and a mouse.

Worked mainly with Commodore systems (C64, Amiga, Commodore PC) until they folded and Billy Gates came up with Win98 SE, a system stable enough to work with.

At any rate I ended up here in the Fort fixing phones, as the office was being converted. It had a teletype link to print our work orders and then got upgraded to a real data line. I was writing tech and consumer articles for the local rag and I could reference them over the the computer at work – the beginning of the Internet. I was never a good pole climber and they pointed out how my knees were popping and I’d have to look for some other work as they were planning to scale back at the phone company. So I took a buyout and opened the first Internet service outside P.G. Then another. Merged with the others, and eventually into Max Internet.

So let’s clear something up now, I never owned it. I owned shares in a company that held the majority of shares in it. And worked the office, sales, installation and repairs.

We quickly disposed of those racks of dialup modems squealing and awking in the backroom and in it’s dialup heyday had 46 incoming lines and one of the only T1s in town. Started playing with wireless delivery for higher speeds, and resold ADSL lines for a while. Forgot all my Cisco training as we could never afford their switches and had to ‘make do’. Bought myself some Macs, learned Linux and ran our own server banks, web servers, mail servers, our own DNS servers, etc. Lots of fun. No money.

Thanks to all the guys kids that worked for us and with us, Sean and Alan for turning me onto Linux and Brock for kicking me in the ass to get serious with it. Keegan for proving someone from the Fort really could go somewhere in tech. Johnny the most amazing salesman I ever met, why he’d not only sell a refrigerator to an Eskimo, he’d sell him one with an LCD in it and another for his bar! Shara for making me wish I kept writing and drawing and got somewhere with that. Lynn and Sebastien who could make the customers smile.

Spent the last three years trying to sell out, and finally did. But I still hack lines of webcode, fix computers and configure things just for the fun (and hopefully some profit) of it. Just like how I used to just pick up your phone and discover what needed to be fixed, I can still tell you within a few minutes what your computer or Internet connection needs to be fixed. And people tell me I have the patience of a Saint, so after practicing that for all these years serving the public, I can show you how to do something on your computer.

Rick’s Area 250 Computer Services

Site is always under construction. Call or text (if you don’t know the first 3 digits, you don’t live here so I can’t help you) 4008 for help with computer repairs, computer or internet related problems, or lessons.