For those who wonder what a pastor spends his time on, here is more insight...
The last two weeks, our parish offices had problems with our computer server. For those unfamiliar with such things, a "server" is a computer to which all other computers are linked, allowing for sharing of information between computers and the people who use them. I am not sure, but it may be heresy to ask, "do we need a server," so I don't ask; but it may be that we certainly do. In any case, we do have one, and it stopped operating a couple of weeks ago.
Well, all manner of adventures ensued. We called on a parishioner who has been helping us; he said, I can't fix this, call this person; we did. Between the consultant and the volunteer, and some friends they called on, we were able to patch together temporary fixes. You see, with the server down, people lacked access to email, to files they were working on, etc. We got email up, then we got access to files, via a temporary server, and last night we brought back the original server.
All this creates big headaches and makes people less productive, and people wonder what's going on; I have to make sure everyone gets up to date information, such as I may have it.
What was wrong with it? Well, the hard-drive was completely full; of junk emails, it turns out. At one point, we thought it was a virus, but our consultant found no evidence of that. She and I will be talking soon about a remedy. Yes, we do have anti-virus protection, but we're going to talk about some improvements as well.
So, question number one for my readers: Norton or McAfee? McAfee appears to be about half the price. We're going to install it on the server, and have the server "upload" it to each client computer, and keep each one up to date.
Meanwhile, one of the issues we are dealing with is: we have several versions of Microsoft Office software in use on various computers, and I just got off the phone with Microsoft about purchasing the latest Office software, and have it uploaded from the server to client computers. To get Word, Publisher, Excel and Outlook will cost $410 per computer--for eight, that's a cool, $3,280! Money the parish simply does not have.
So, question number two for my readers: any advice on a cheaper solution? It has to be legal and ethical; the fact that Microsoft is a big, wealthy company does not justify failing to pay for the use of its products.