First off, changing ISPs is not only to get around security measures. Some ISPs just plane suck! Also, you might want to change ISPs to get a faster internet connection, Sprint Broad Band for example. There is some truth in trying to get past security measures, and AOL is extremely good at not letting that happen, but anything is possible with computers, ANYTHING!
Second, not all programs show up on the "Install/Remove programs" list. I know how to prevent them from showing up, but it can create some real problems to try to Uninstal the program. Also, Bonzi Buddy, I use it for many things, and have never used it for hacking. I'll admit, it probably can be used for that, but I find it just plain anoying, and deleted it within a week. I would suggest just keeping it away from you children, for sanities sake.
Third, I'm constantly updating my computer. A faster video card enables faster game play. More memory increase game speed and loading. Larger Hard drives alows more games to be placed on the computer. The technological world is constantly changing and advancing, and computers require updates. Also, AMD's may be made in a third world country and lack saftey measures, but tell me, how do you program a processor? AMDs run more efficiently than the Pentium 4, but you must NEVER overclock an AMD, they will burn up so fast that it'll be gone before you know it. I personally prefere an AMD, but a 900 Pentium 3 will suffices nicely.
Fourth, some hacking books actually have very useful programming techniques for speeding up internet comunication on a game, and making larger files load faster. They are not all bad, but they can teach you a lot. Read the material in the book before freaking out. If your child is into programming, then you have a little less to worry about, I use a book that has some hacking techniques in it for my job, and it hasn't effected me in the least. However, if your child is a programmer, find out what they program. If it has anything to do with SPAMMING or anything to do with non-standard ports, then you have a reason to worry.
Fifth, 45 minutes on the computer is nothing. Have you ever tried to have an Tribes2 Tournament in 45 minutes? It's impossible. I spend about 5-6 hours a day on the computer. I keep good grades, and I don't have any brain damage from radiation! The radiation crap is like anthrax, the media makes it sound all big and scary, but in reality, it's below average (or not at all). Newer monitors are designed to lower any radiation output, and if you are suffering from brain damage, you probably don't know how to use the computer anyway.
Sixth, Quake is not just a meeting ground for hackers. It is a violent, gorey, fun 3D game. If that's the Quake that the author was talking about. I have played it before, and it is a fast paced 3D action shooter. There's hardly anytime to talk. Worry about them if they're obsessing over the Quake IRC chat. I believe it the quakenet.org server, and only worry if they're not playing a game every-so-often. Also, just because your child plays violent computer games doesn't mean that they're going to shoot someone. I play Unreal Tournament, Quake III, Tribes II, and am helping to program another game, currently known as project Nomad. It is a 3D Action Shooter, and I'm haven't killed anybody yet, except during game play.
Seventh, Rising levels of testosterome in young men can make them agressive and disagreeable. This is natural around the teenage years. Every teen hits a rebelious stage in their life, it's just one of those natural things. Take it from me, I've been there. It's not just related to the anti-social computer life, it's just puberty. Girls on the other hand, well, I don't know, go ask a doctor. It probably has something to do with either a falling level of estrigin, or the 'cramps'
Eighth, There is a completely legal O/S (Operating System) out called Linux, it may be spelled Lunix, I'm not sure. Linux, however, is a O/S used by hackers, but only because you can costumize it, if you know how to program. It is a handy alternative to Windows, and can be made compatible with most other O/S's. Don't be too worried about them using this O/S, though, if they ask, and don't try to hide what they're doing, then nothing is wrong. Also, you can fix your hardrive by saving anything you want, and just bombing/formatting it. You can completely wipe out everything on your hardrive, except Windows. It's not that hard once you know how.
Ninth, During the rebelious stage, many teens will try to dress in a fashion that their parents will not approve of. Don't take it as some radical way to express their hackerdom, just take it as rebelion. Spiky hair is also not a problem, and if your child is coloring his hair like a rainbow you should wory, they're either gay, or mental. Hackers are not all that crazy. Also, if they're wearing pacifiers around their neck, please, see a counselor.
Tenth, Academic struggle can just be a lack of study and/or stupidity. If your child is spending too much time on the computer, and not studying, limit his time. If he's just plain stupid, well, that's your problem. Math is a hard class. I program, and have a natural nack for it. If your child is a programmer, and can program well, but is still suffering in math they're just spending too much time on the computer. Also, falling grades can just be a lack of commitment and/or interest in school.
You can't judge a book by it's cover. Not all rebelious, stupid, dumb-dressing, programming nerds are hackers. Given, there are a few, but are all blondes stupid? No, don't steriotype anyone for any reason. There is a problem however, when your child has reached the stage called 'nerdvana' and has become one with the computer. They're spending a little too much time infront of the interactive tube. I've reached that stage, but I hide it well, and I will only say that if you're child can hide it well, you'll never see it.
Questions, e-mail me at Hacked_you_up@yahoo.com