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Three Steps to Open Source in the Church

Jan 03, 2008, 10:00 (12 Talkback[s])
(Other stories by Ted Carnahan)

"Check out this Microsoft KB article. It describes a (very complicated, very technical) process for reconfiguring your computer after Office 2003 Service Pack 3 quietly disables the ability to open certain older file formats. I'm certain that my grandma can follow that to access the old recipes she typed into her computer 10 years ago, aren't you?

"I've been warning people for a long time about the danger of relying upon proprietary software to maintain access to archived data. If you don't control the format or the software, there's no guarantee that you will be able to access your data in the future. Case in point: I have a number of old school files created using Lotus Word Pro 97. I still own a copy of the software, but the only Windows operating system I have is XP, and LWP97 won't install on Windows XP. So I have files, software to read the files, and yet I can't get access to my own data. Presumably I could pay someone to make conversion software, but why should I pay a second time to access my data...?"

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