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Computers Servers and Software at EWCMI - Software In the Church Ministry

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Software in the Church Ministry

Making a choice

Linux ? What do you mean ??

Many people look at me a little weird when they hear that within Eagle Wings Charismatic Ministries International, (EWCMI) we are running our systems under the Linux (Ubuntu) operating system.

Within this post I would like to provide you with our motivation. Information on cost is provided as of date of Publication September 2012

1. Cost

Linux is free, Windows cost money, Windows 7 Professional $199.99 per installation for 5 office PC's that will be $1000.00
For an Office suite we run open office which works both on Windows and Linux and is considerably cheaper, Windows Office Professional, which has publisher and access included in it cost $349.99 for 5 office PC's that will be $1750.00
Anti Virus software needs to be purchased with Windows machines but is included in Linux distributions.

2. Security


In line with the costs, the security of Linux is much stronger then that of windows, it was designed with a high security level in mind.
Virus protection comes with the Ubuntu Linux distribution for free.
Network filtering and security is also that comes for free with Linux distributions, you can install dansguardian for free on each machine, or dedicate one specific (old barrel) computer with two network cars as a filtering computer.
A program like netnanny needs to be purchased for each individual machine.

3. Choice of Desktop

Within Linux we are able to make a selection all the way up to what kind of Kernel (the heart of the system) we are using.
Within EWCMI we use two different environments, one for multi media manipulation and one for pure office work. The lay-out of the desktop, the look and feel, the fonts etc. all can be changed without breaking the Operating System, or being in breach of any support contracts.

4. Software

There are so many choices, that sometimes it might become a bit to much for the people that need to make the hard decisions in the church office, however, the software installer makes that pretty simple too.
As an example, Ubuntu made the decision about two years ago to go with Libre Office as an office tool / suite.
We at EWCMI however decided after working with Libre Office for a while and after Open Office was picked up by the Apache Foundation to go with OpenOffice (a tutorial on how to make this change will follow later).

However, the big plus, again it is free, also within the community support a lot of information and templates are found.
For Photo and Picture editing there are just like with the office suite many options available, even NEF editing for Raw photo editing.

5. Hardware

This is truly a big point of content I have with Microsoft products, within every update the hardware requirements are so much increased that simply adding a little memory is not sufficient anymore.
Within EWCMI we needed a new office machine so what are we spending on this. Apr. $ 100.00 and another $60.00 to expand the memory to 4 GB.
This was all that was needed to purchase a Dell GX280 at Discount Electronics.
And believe it or not, this machine will be in use for another 2 to 3 years.
The older machines, what do we do with that, hmm, good that you ask, we run the server version of Ubuntu on that and use it with an external USB hard drive as a file server.
I don't even want to think about the price ticket for that under windows server or mac server, Wow.

6. Installation

One of the big no, no's in the past was that “I'm not going to install linux, because I’m not a computer specialist”.
Fortunately, that is not the case anymore.
We can pop in a CD with a Live version of Ubuntu and after we played with it say install, and there it goes.
Software installation also became child play with the Ubuntu software center.

Setup is like Child Play

Pastor Chris

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