Good-Bye XP. Hello Windows 7? Not so fast…

How long will it be before the average computer user rebels against these ‘shotgun upgrades’ from Microsoft?

“Microsoft has wanted to kill Windows XP for years. There was only one problem. The users refused to let it die. Now, that Windows 7 is almost ready to go, Microsoft is, once more, trying to ax XP.

Microsoft did this to themselves. Vista was a flop. Even now, according to Net Applications’ Market Share, Vista has only a lousy 23% of the desktop market. For a while, Microsoft ignored the fact that even their own executives were horrified by just how bad Vista was. But, then the Linux-powered netbook came along, and Microsoft was frightened enough by its early successes that it un-retired Windows XP Home.

Now, Microsoft wants to kill off XP again. Step one will be bringing free support for XP to a close on April 14th. Step two is letting anyone and their uncle get a free copy of the Windows 7 release candidate sometime in May. The timing is by design. ” Source: Good-Bye XP. Hello Windows 7 – Computerworld Blogs

For me, the end of the line was last year. I resolved never to pay another penny to Microsoft and so far, I’ve been successful. In addition, my two-year long relationship with Vista ended last week, but it had been on the rocks for a long time…

I was forced into using Vista two years ago on a day when I had to walk into Sam’s Club and buy the best computer I could get at that particular store [don’t ask — it’s a long story!]. Well, for the past couple of years I have been living the old proverb about ‘marry in haste, repent in leisure’. My experience with Vista was so bad, that I started to look into Ubuntu and I have never looked back. Don’t get me wrong — Ubuntu cannot totally replace Windows. Yet. However, in many ways, it’s a better operating system than XP. And it’s free which is why every school, church and small business should think about getting off the Microsoft upgrade cycle and start using at least a little Ubuntu in their organizations…

I said my relationship with Vista ended. I hated that Sam’s Club computer so much that I actually traded with my college student son for an older computer just so I could run an xp/Ubuntu dual boot machine [which is very easy to set up — easier than a Windows XP/Vista dual boot!]. Using his computer properly configured has been like falling in love all over again. I can’t think of a single Vista feature that I’ve missed — not even the 17″ monitor on the machine which made the computer just too darn big to lug around, but that’s not a Vista feature, either. By the way, the computer I’m now using is an HP DV6000 series which you could ‘buy now’ on eBay for as low as $349. Also, I got off the Microsoft Office upgrade cycle, too. I now use OpenOffice 3.01 which is ‘built in’ to the Ubuntu download and available as a free download for XP [or Vista].

Bottom line? Here’s the thing you need to think about. Microsoft’s need to generate OS and Application licensing revenue forces users into an expensive, Microsoft driven upgrade cycle that doesn’t serve most organizations well. Smart leaders need to think about ways to stop the insanity by purchasing used computers on eBay and using free or inexpensive open source tools like Ubuntu and OpenOffice in conjunction with cloud computing solutions like Google Apps.

By the way, if you’re stuck using Vista and aren’t brave enough to set up a dual boot arrangement with Ubuntu, at least use the Vista Services Optimizer to shut off all the dreck you don’t need, although I highly recommend trying the dual boot option for those times when all you need to do is check email and surf the web quickly. Call or write on the contact page if you want to talk more about these options…

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How to Setup a Facebook Page for your Business, Organization or Church

I’m doing a training session next week at NWTC on ‘Facebook for Fun and Profit’. Unfortunately, it’s all filled up — for those of you interested in the topic that won’t be able to make it, this may help…

Location-Based Church Poll Results

You can follow the ‘via’ link above to go to the source and read the rest of the article if you’re interested in learning more…

Facebook Ads for Your Church

Pound for pound, this may be the most effective advertising a church can buy. Because of the demographics, it beats the snot out of the Yellow Pages and other traditional forms of marketing. You can follow the ‘via’ link above to go to the source and read the rest of the article if you’d like to dig a little deeper…

Pastor Bans Facebook to Stop Adultery

Facebook logo
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“I’ve been in extended counseling with couples with marital problems because of Facebook for the last year and a half,” he said in an AP story. “What happens is someone from yesterday surfaces, it leads to conversations and there have been physical meet-ups. The temptation is just too great.”

According to the American Academy of Matrimonial Lawyers, 81% of its members have either used or been faced with evidence from social networking sites in divorce cases in the last five years, including Facebook, Twitter and MySpace. A do-it-yourself divorce site in the UK has reported that one in five petitions it handles cited Facebook.

Let’s just say it: “People are getting divorced because of Facebook.”

It’s How You Use the Tool
I say that’s ridiculous. Fun fact: Facebook is neither good nor evil. It’s just a tool. It’s all about what you do with it. Let’s not condemn the entire tool because a few people don’t know how to use it.

It’s easier to live in extremes when there is confusion, and the church is really good at condemning things because they’re too hard to control: books, movies, television, the Internet, etc. What if we had abandoned those mediums because they were occupied by darkness? I shudder to think where we would be without being able to use those tools in today’s world. The church is called “light” for a reason. There have been some courageous, Bible-believing followers of Jesus who took a stand and demanded light in the dark places, and I’m thankful because now it’s our turn.

Facebook for Good
Here are some ways a tool like Facebook can be used for good:

  • Be Real: Let your staff and team be the genuine people they are. Don’t use them as promotion robots. Release some control and let them use Facebook naturally.
  • Remove Barriers: Connections through Facebook tend to break down barriers for people. I know several folks who attended a church already knowing several members. It really helps.
  • Have Conversations: Everyone is busy, but there’s something about a Facebook conversation that most people make time for. Whether it’s four sentences back and forth or month long messages, it can all serve to shine a light in dark places.
  • Evangelism: I think this is an obvious one, but there’s another layer. If you are living a compelling, God-honoring life through Facebook, people will reach out to you with faith questions. We don’t always have to do the pushing.

Author Danielle Hartland brings a great perspective to this issue. I believe Shakespeare was right when he said “Nothing is good or bad but thinking makes it so”. You can follow the ‘via’ link above to go to the source and read the rest of the article if you’re interested in learning more…

Bishops urged to embrace social media to evangelize effectively

Stained glass at St John the Baptist's Anglica...
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Social media is not only here to stay but should be recognized and used as a “new form of pastoral ministry,” U.S. bishops were told Nov. 15 in their annual meeting.

“Social media is proving itself to be a force with which to be reckoned. If not, the church may be facing as great a challenge as that of the Protestant Reformation,” said Bishop Ronald P. Herzog of Alexandria, La., a member of the bishops’ Committee on Communications, in an address to the U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops in Baltimore.

Bishop Herzog noted that although social media has been around for less than 10 years, it lacks the “makings of a fad” and is “causing as fundamental a shift in communication patterns and behavior as the printing press did 500 years ago.”

“I don’t think I have to remind you of what happened when the Catholic Church was slow to adapt to that new technology,” he told the bishops. “By the time we decided to seriously promote that common folk should read the Bible, the Protestant Reformation was well under way.”

Know Who You Are

This advice — directed at churches — is good for organizations everywhere…