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hpr0609 :: I Blame Tom Merritt

A new host speaks of his first inklings of a Windows-free world

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Hosted by Curbuntu on 2010-12-02 is flagged as Explicit and is released under a CC-BY-NC-SA license.
Ubuntu, IBM mainframe, Tom Merritt. 6.
The show is available on the Internet Archive at:

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Duration: 00:13:13


After more than a year of using Linux, Curbuntu shares some of the "why's" behind his switch. Although they are "ancient history," if a listener is curious about the CNet episodes in which Tom Merritt mentioned Ubuntu, the video links are here:
  1. 2006-09-18: Try a Free Operating System
  2. 2007-07-26: Install Ubuntu on Linux with no muss or fuss
  3. 2008-03-21: Run Ubuntu Linux on a USB drive


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Comment #1 posted on 2010-12-02 23:51:09 by pokey

This episode was a real pleasure.

I had similar reasons for coming to linux. Tom Merit is high on my list of influences as well. Also, I always love to meet other Christians in the Linux/technology sphere. I'm not a very good Christian, but I'm trying, and it really helps me to know I'm not alone. Maybe you could help me convince my pastor to try Ubuntu some day, so I can stop fixing his Windows machines. ;) I use Linux at our church to display Hymn lyrics and DVDs on a projector screen. I'm also planning to migrate some of the CD audio to the Computer as well. Thank you for the great episode. I hope it's only the first of many.


Comment #2 posted on 2010-12-05 15:04:19 by klaatu

nice episode~

Nice episode! You sound like one of them professional voice actors or news anchors.

And yeah ,spreading Linux is a good thing!

Comment #3 posted on 2010-12-07 00:35:43 by Curbuntu

Converting OS-Heathen Pastors

Hey, pokey! Thanks for the feedback. I understand what you mean about fixing your pastor's Windows machine. A few years ago I was helping out (computer-wise) at a local church. According to Spybot S&R, the secretary's PC had over 24,000 (yes, 5 digits!) hits -- malware, tracking cookies, and various heaps of digital detritus, to say nothing of every system-tray doodad under the sun. That was well before my Linux days.

By and large, it seems that folks (pastors or otherwise) are reticent to trust techies (even well-intentioned ones) with changes that take the organization too far outside of comfortable parameters. There's some wisdom in that. How many times I've encountered a custom-made, one-off program (say, a database) written for a church; the creator has long since left (for whatever reason) and the organization is stuck with something they can't fix, alter, or use. After an experience or two like that, you can guess what the response will be to "Hey, change to Linux!"

That said, probably the safest course of action is gradualism. Linux may be the ultimate goal, but start off with introducing a FOSS alternative that runs in Windows. MS Office may be another sacred cow (strange that Christians would have "sacred cows"!), but the hardiness of Firefox running NoScript might be the first step in the long path to the changeover. Build on each success by introducing another FOSS alternative. I can point to a recent success I discovered. This summer I had the privilege of visiting a Bible college out in the "hoots and hollers" of Kentucky. I was blown away by the server room that two of the graduates-now-staff had put together -- CentOS servers, FOSS phone system, Ubuntu servers. Wireless for the whole spawling campus, too. The college board went along with just about everything, because of the tremendous cost savings -- except the board just insisted on Windows 7 and MS Office 2007 in the student computer lab. Still, it amounted to tremendous inroads made by some really sophisticated, heads-up techies.

I'd like to communicate more at length. Admin/Ken Fallon has the e-mail address of my alter ego. Or you can combine what you learn in Psalm 81:16 and 147:14 and make a good Google guess about the name of our website and, from there, how to contact me directly.



Comment #4 posted on 2010-12-07 01:11:42 by Curbuntu

Encouragement from a veteran


Coming from someone with your podcasting experience, your words bolster my confidence. And your recent interviews have given me an idea for doing a multi-part interview of a geekette wannabe friend of mine, someone who, in her early 50s, is trying to make a complete career switch. Her struggles and successes might be of interest to others.

Comment #5 posted on 2010-12-22 19:17:53 by buffalo pete

great episode

This was a great one, thank you for sharing! And thank you for integrating your passion for technology into your ministry and your social work. Although I'm not a Christian, I have a great deal of respect for the work that clergy of all faiths do. Also, as someone who tries to be socially active and a force for good in my own communities, it heartens me to hear another person's story of how their passion for free software helps them do that, as it certainly does me.

One final note: All the great HPR episodes lately, and especially since the public call for contributions, has really started the wheels turning for me about putting something together to contribute, so thank you also for that.

Great show, well done!


Comment #6 posted on 2011-01-08 22:00:07 by RandyNose AKA TheNose100


Hey, enjoyed this podcast. And the reasons for not using Windows still stand true today. - With about 3+ er, 4 years of playing with Linux and variations of Ubuntu, I too, don't see a reason to use something else. There are only a few programs out there that I might wish to use from time to time, but that's due to wanting to connect to others on a Windows Platform... I.E. Silverlight and Netfiks, and Webinar's that use Go To Meeting...


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