Home
In this issue
April 9, 2014

Jonathan Tobin: Why Did Kerry Lie About Israeli Blame?

Samuel G. Freedman: A resolution 70 years later for a father's unsettling legacy of ashes from Dachau

Jessica Ivins: A resolution 70 years later for a father's unsettling legacy of ashes from Dachau

Kim Giles: Asking for help is not weakness

Kathy Kristof and Barbara Hoch Marcus: 7 Great Growth Israeli Stocks

Matthew Mientka: How Beans, Peas, And Chickpeas Cleanse Bad Cholesterol and Lowers Risk of Heart Disease

Sabrina Bachai: 5 At-Home Treatments For Headaches

The Kosher Gourmet by Daniel Neman Have yourself a matzo ball: The secrets bubby never told you and recipes she could have never imagined

April 8, 2014

Lori Nawyn: At Your Wit's End and Back: Finding Peace

Susan B. Garland and Rachel L. Sheedy: Strategies Married Couples Can Use to Boost Benefits

David Muhlbaum: Smart Tax Deductions Non-Itemizers Can Claim

Jill Weisenberger, M.S., R.D.N., C.D.E : Before You Lose Your Mental Edge

Dana Dovey: Coffee Drinkers Rejoice! Your Cup Of Joe Can Prevent Death From Liver Disease

Chris Weller: Electric 'Thinking Cap' Puts Your Brain Power Into High Gear

The Kosher Gourmet by Marlene Parrish A gift of hazelnuts keeps giving --- for a variety of nutty recipes: Entree, side, soup, dessert

April 4, 2014

Rabbi David Gutterman: The Word for Nothing Means Everything

Charles Krauthammer: Kerry's folly, Chapter 3

Amy Peterson: A life of love: How to build lasting relationships with your children

John Ericson: Older Women: Save Your Heart, Prevent Stroke Don't Drink Diet

John Ericson: Why 50 million Americans will still have spring allergies after taking meds

Cameron Huddleston: Best and Worst Buys of April 2014

Stacy Rapacon: Great Mutual Funds for Young Investors

Sarah Boesveld: Teacher keeps promise to mail thousands of former students letters written by their past selves

The Kosher Gourmet by Sharon Thompson Anyone can make a salad, you say. But can they make a great salad? (SECRETS, TESTED TECHNIQUES + 4 RECIPES, INCLUDING DRESSINGS)

April 2, 2014

Paul Greenberg: Death and joy in the spring

Dan Barry: Should South Carolina Jews be forced to maintain this chimney built by Germans serving the Nazis?

Mayra Bitsko: Save me! An alien took over my child's personality

Frank Clayton: Get happy: 20 scientifically proven happiness activities

Susan Scutti: It's Genetic! Obesity and the 'Carb Breakdown' Gene

Lecia Bushak: Why Hand Sanitizer May Actually Harm Your Health

Stacy Rapacon: Great Funds You Can Own for $500 or Less

Cameron Huddleston: 7 Ways to Save on Home Decor

The Kosher Gourmet by Steve Petusevsky Exploring ingredients as edible-stuffed containers (TWO RECIPES + TIPS & TECHINQUES)

Jewish World Review April 8, 2005 / 28 Adar II, 5765

An encouraging trend?

By Mark Kellner

Printer Friendly Version
Email this article

http://www.JewishWorldReview.com | There's a blurring of lines between computer platforms these days, and it might well be very good news for computer users of all stripes.

The migration of applications — and file formats — between the Microsoft Windows world and that held by the Apple Macintosh and even the open-source Linux community is a welcome change from the early days of computing, when "proprietary" ruled the roost: few programs worked cross-platform, and sharing data was a hassle.

Consider how much this has changed: there's emulation software to run Windows, and Windows applications, on Macs, and the software is now made and sold by...Microsoft, the Windows people. That same firm offers a version of its Office application suite (word processor, spreadsheet, presentation software and contact manager/calendar/e-mail client) for the Mac, and Office developers on both Windows and Mac come up with new innovations that the other program's next version adopts.

(This cooperation included, recently, a new import tool for Microsoft Entourage that will bring over e-mail and contact files from its Windows-based counterpart Microsoft Outlook, available for free at http://www.microsoft.com/mac.)

It's no real surprise that Microsoft would provide software for the Macintosh program: it supplied the first word processor and spreadsheet for the Mac, and the firm's executives clearly recognize that money can be made in the Mac market. What's interesting, though, is that other software publishers are recognizing the usefulness of interoperability across file formats and platforms.

This was recently demonstrated on the Mac side by Apple's iWork (stet) combo of a new page layout program, called Pages, and a revision of Keynote, the firm's presentation program. Both will read from and write to file formats for their Microsoft peer applications, Word and PowerPoint (stet). But this kind of compatibility is also a hallmark of a free Windows- and Linux-based application, OpenOffice (http://www.openoffice.org), which is gaining a lot of popularity.

Even Microsoft Word's longtime rival, Corel Corp.'s WordPerfect, which recently won a massive Department of Justice contract, advertises and promotes its interoperability with Word files, not to mention an ability to create the PDF format favored by Adobe Acrobat.

Now in the case of these non-Microsoft applications, there's the chance — and maybe only a chance — that a highly complex Word document or Excel spreadsheet won't transfer exactly say from Windows to Linux and back again, which is why people and organizations that need exact compatibility would do well to stay with one software family or another. But it's clear that folks in the OpenOffice crowd (including the commercial developers of StarOffice (stet), now owned and sold by Sun Microsystems) have worked very diligently to minimize, if not eliminate, such speed bumps on the road to total file integration.

Part of this may be pragmatism on the part of Microsoft: the firm is facing stiff competition from "open source" rivals in both Europe and China. By allowing other programs to more easily exchange files, Microsoft may forestall claims that it is a "closed" platform. And part of it is clearly pragmatism on the part of other software developers and publishers: if you're going to compete with Microsoft, it's vital to work with their file formats.

Even more encouraging, in the long run, are efforts to bring emulation software across platforms. Emulation isn't a total substitute for a computer natively running another operating system; VirtualPC is a good program for the Mac, in some instances a very, very good program, but it's not the same as having a Windows PC, and its makers acknowledge that. There's a Mac emulator — of the older operating system, not the current OS X — that some PC users rely on to run a specific Mac application or two, but again, it's not the same as having the "real thing" at hand. There are emulation projects afoot to bring Mac OS X to non-Apple computers, although these are in early stages.

What's encouraging, then, is the notion that applications and operating systems may some day be truly portable across computing hardware. An early portent of this is how Linux can turn older PCs, essentially unable to run the latest Windows, into a graphical computer nonetheless. Where it ends up is anyone's guess, but it's a trend that could give more life to the PC on your desk, or the one gathering dust in your closet.

Every weekday JewishWorldReview.com publishes what many in in the media and Washington consider "must-reading". Sign up for the daily JWR update. It's free. Just click here.

JWR contributor Mark Kellner has reported on technology for industry newspapers and magazines since 1983, and has been the computer columnist for The Washington Times since 1991.Comment by clicking here.

Archives

© 2005, News World Communications, Inc. Reprinted with permission of The Washington Times. Visit the paper at http://www.washingtontimes.com

Columnists

Toons

Lifestyles