Let’s face it: We’re all a bunch of lusers without our trusty sysadmins.

Today is the 13th annual Sysadmin Day. The holiday was created by system administrator Ted Kekatos and was first celebrated on July 28, 2000. Basically, it’s the day we honor and celebrate the men and women who “make it go” on a daily basis.

Sysadmin, for the not-so-in-the-know, is a portmanteau of “system administrator.” It’s the title you give to the person who maintains a computer system. Interestingly, depending on the size of a system or organization, a sysadmin’s duties can vary widely, from high-level project management to helping some clueless technophobe figure out why his document won’t print.

While a lot of the time these folks get treated like lowly tech-support monkeys, they actually bear a huge responsibility and are often on call around the clock, including weekends.

“Let’s face it, System Administrators get no respect 364 days a year,” write the Sysadmin Day folks on the holiday’s official site.

“This is the day that all fellow System Administrators across the globe will be showered with expensive sports cars and large piles of cash in appreciation of their diligent work. But seriously, we are asking for a nice token gift and some public acknowledgement. It’s the least you could do.”

At VentureBeat, our own sysadmin is CTO Chris Peri. He’s the guy who sets up (and fields constant complaints about) our WiFi networks, who selects our always-on laptops, who keeps our custom WordPress CMS up and running, who oversees a multitude of projects ranging from web design to custom databases, who saves the day when we get hacked — and yes, the dude we all call when we are having password problems. We appreciate the crap outta Mr. Peri.

Take a moment today to thank your sysadmin (at work and/or at home), and if you’re a sysadmin yourself, go get yourself something nice to celebrate. You’re an unsung hero.

How to tell your sysadmin you love him/her

  • Buy ’em the xkcd book
  • Get a gift certificate for Fry’s or similar
  • Send ’em a case of Mountain Dew
  • Deliver some home-baked, extra chocolatey brownies
  • If you’ve got a coffee or beer connoisseur on your hands, spring for the good stuff, or even an “X of the Month” club membership
  • Is your sysadmin a big ol’ nerd? Send him/her to a con! (E.g., the Star Trek Convention will be in San Francisco in November)
  • At the very least, send a team email and/or public tweet naming and thanking your awesome sysadmin for a hard job well done

More Sysadmin Day resources:

From ReadWriteWeb: Ten Ways to Celebrate Sysadmin Day

From SysadminDay.com: Sysadmin gift ideas

Classic IT Crowd clip: “You do know how a button works, don’t you?”

From ThinkGeek: Sysadmin Contest, with stories from the contest coming soon to the ThinkGeek blog

From LOSPA (League of Professional System Administrators): Discounted membership at $35 all week

From CafePress: Sysadmin swag

Note: The term “neckbeard” is not used with any kind of derision or sexism, but rather to denote a deeply IT-nerdy mindset. The author of this post would be a full-on neckbeard if she possessed the necessary skills to do so.