As an open source fanatic, I often feel the urge to just jump in and install Linux and other open source software on all the computers in the church. Sadly, this doesn't usually have the desired effect ("Oh wow! Thank you! We've saved $$$$$ per year, thanks to Open Source Software!"), and more often than not it has the opposite effect: driving everyone back to proprietary software.

Over the next couple of blog posts, I am going to blog about how I think we approach the issue of open source in the church. My suggestion is to do it in baby steps, little by little, one app at a time. My first post will recommend how to get the ball rolling.

As a first step, I recommend installing VLC. Tell your pastor to use VLC instead of Windows Media Player for all his audiovisual needs. Explain to him that it handles far more types of videos than Windows Media Player, it is free, and it has frequent updates (all of which is true). Most folks these days seem to use VLC, so he may already be using it.

Once your pastor is comfortable with VLC (difficult to guage, I know), move on to the web browser front. Set up his computer to use Firefox or Chrome. Explain to your pastor that Firefox and Chrome are known to be more secure than Microsoft Internet Explorer, and deliver a better browsing experience.

With these two applications installed, your pastor should have a great initial experience with open source software. First impressions are always extremely important, and VLC and Firefox/Chrome should go a long way to making a good impression.


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