After having my dad replace the network card and mess with just about every Windows 98 network setting, the two machines still don't see each other. The network is working, and if you set them to the same IP address one of the complains. But for some reason pinging doesn't work and they don't show up in the network neighborhood. If PC bigots wonder why Mac users were so haughty about their OS for so many years, they have obviously never compared the networking on MacOS 8 versus Windows 95. On a mac, if you have a working ethernet jack, Appletalk pretty much always works. On an older PC, it's anyone's guess. (Admittedly this has all gotten a lot better in Windows 2000 and presumably XP, but that doesn't help folks stuck with old machines.)
So this is all very frustrating. Unfortunately I'm probably not going to be up there for at least another few months, and unless they can find a guru to work on it I don't think they're going to be able to figure it out on their own.