One of the items I wanted to accomplish was a technology structure that was cost effective and able to be replicated for the entire officer line. This e-mail will tell you some of what is installed and where you can obtain it for free for your own computer. Also, the Secretary's laptop has the exact same software install. The Master's laptop should make passing down the documentation of the office easier. However, when designing the software install base, the main focus was leveraging Open Source and free software. Open Source software is free software that is community driven. Basically it is created by programmers in their personal free time and given freely to the world. It is geeks doing what they love for the love of doing what they do. If you do not already have their commercial counterparts, I encourage you to install the free ones to assist in document sharing. The main application suite is Open Office (open source), which can be found at www.openoffice.org . This is a Microsoft Office killer, that is capable of opening and editing Word and Excel files, with a similar look and feel. This program is available for both Windows and Mac. The application for image editing is called the GIMP (open source), which can be found at www.gimp.org/windows/ . The commercial counterpart would be similar to Adobe Photoshop. I used this program to do the Scriptype ads starting in April. The Mac version is at www.gimp.org/macintosh/ When e-mailing my documents to you I have used PDF files. On the Master's laptop, we have a copy of Adobe Acrobat Professional, which will create, edit, and view the PDF's. But for your computers, you can leverage free software to create and view PDFs. To create PDF's you would use the CutePDF Writer (free), which can be found at www.cutepdf.com/Products/CutePDF/Writer.asp . You will need to download and install the converter linked on the page before you install the CutePDF Writer. This creates a printer that you can print to from any Windows program and it will create a PDF file. To view PDF's you would use Acrobat Reader, which can be found at www.adobe.com/products/acrobat/readstep2.html . I hope this has already been installed on your computer since all I have e-mailed have been PDFs. For Antivirus protection, we are using AVG (free for home use), which can be found at www.download.com/AVG-Anti-Virus-Free-Edition/3000-2239_4-10320142.html . If you do not have a current Anti-virus solution, I strongly recommend getting this program ASAP. If you have an outdated anti-virus, please uninstall it before proceeding with the installation of AVG. To secure the documents, we are encrypting them with Truecrypt (open source), which is at www.truecrypt.org . Getting into the installation and use of this is beyond normal computer usage and the scope of this article. But, if you want to secure documents so nobody can read them, this is the way to do it. Due to the insecurities of the Grand Lodge Management software, this program was used to secure the data and protect the personal information of our members. For Web Browsing and meridiansun69.freemason.com editing, we are using FireFox (open source), which is at getfirefox.com . This is a more secure alternative to Microsoft Internet Explorer.