This past weekend, we hosted a youth conference at our church. Right before the conference started, we clicked on a message to update to the latest version of Adobe Flash Player on our main computer. Did I mention this was right before the conference started 🙂 Since it was a windows computer, you can guess what happened. Constant crashing and serious stress. For the first fifteen minutes of the conference, Tyler and I were frantically doing a system restore to get the computer back up and running. Luckily our worship band was able to keep playing and we got everything running smoothly by the time the teaching started. Since one purpose of this blog is to share lessons learned, so I want to share some new policies that we will be implementing for our windows computers.
From now on, automatic updates are officially turned off on our main computers. All software updates will be performed on Mondays or Tuesdays so that we have time to troubleshoot and keep things running smoothly for Sunday mornings. Even updates that seem unrelated to the programs you use may render the computer unusable. Just last week, a family member had a windows update cause their Windows XP computer to Blue Screen during reboot. For your health and sanity, don’t do an update right before a service, wait until you have plenty of time to fix things when they go wrong. And it will happen eventually. Remember we are talking about Windows.
I’m locking down the computer to prevent people from installing any programs or updates. I hate to do this, but with any computer that is used by multiple people, you have to protect it. I already use OpenDNS to filter the internet and Microsoft Security Essentials for Antivirus protection, but it is still too easy to install malware and viruses. And you need to check the computer regularly to ensure that the software and media installed are legally owned by the church.
Take advantage of the System Restore tool in Windows. It has saved me numerous times. I also backup the computer weekly, but System Restore works for most problems. Just choose a date and time when the computer was working smoothly and Windows will roll back your files to that date.
And Finally, Get a Mac
Make plans for switching over to a mac. Seriously, if we could afford it, I would put in a mac pro this week and make the switch. I use a MacBook Pro and have been spoiled by the ease of keeping things running smoothly. Macs are not without problems, but they have greatly simplified the user experience.
What else do you recommend? Leave a comment with your thoughts.