[Nottingham] Using Linux in the Church Office

Michael Leuty mike at leuty.net
Thu May 17 11:23:30 BST 2007

I'm meeting with the Rector shortly to discuss the future of the
network in our Church Office. We have five clients, of which four run
a mixture of Win 98/ME/2000/XP (one each) and the fifth runs openSUSE
10.2 (hooray!). Most of the machines are near the end of their life,
and the Rector wants to formulate a plan for the future. The secretary
who runs the Linux box all the time is happy with it. People who have
to use it on an occasional basis grumble because it isn't quite what
they are used to.

Of course, I would like to suggest a 100% Linux shop. There are two
problems that I can foresee with this.

1. Software. Although most people only need browser / email /
wordprocessing / flash / acroread, all of which Linux can provide, a
few are used to using Visual Liturgy (version 3 will run under
Crossover Office, version 4 will not, I have not tried the new VisLit
Live), and one uses accounting software and gift management software
that will not run under Crossover Office. There don't seem to be
appropriate Linux alternatives. How easy/cheap is it to set up a
virtual machine running Windows in order to run this software?

2. Long term support. I will not be around for ever, maybe a few
years. Everyone "knows" Windows and it is perceived to be easy to run
(though far from immune to problems). How easy is it likely to be to
find a volunteer who will happily continue to maintain a Linux shop
when I eventually leave?

I'm not expecting this list to answer these questions for me, but they
are the sort of thing that the Rector is likely to raise. Your
comments would be welcome.  :-)


Michael Leuty
Nottingham, UK

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