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April 21, 2014

Andrew Silow-Carroll: Passoverkill? Suggestions to make next year's seders even more culturally sensitive

Sara Israelsen Hartley: Seeking the Divine: An ancient connection in a new context

Christine M. Flowers: Priest's execution in Syria should be call to action

Courtnie Erickson: How to help kids accept the poor decisions of others

Lizette Borreli: A Glass Of Milk A Day Keeps Knee Arthritis At Bay

Lizette Borreli: 5 Health Conditions Your Breath Knows Before You Do

The Kosher Gourmet by Betty Rosbottom Coconut Walnut Bars' golden brown morsels are a beautifully balanced delectable delight

April 18, 2014

Rabbi Yonason Goldson: Clarifying one of the greatest philosophical conundrums in theology

Caroline B. Glick: The disappearance of US will

Megan Wallgren: 10 things I've learned from my teenagers

Lizette Borreli: Green Tea Boosts Brain Power, May Help Treat Dementia

John Ericson: Trying hard to be 'positive' but never succeeding? Blame Your Brain

The Kosher Gourmet by Julie Rothman Almondy, flourless torta del re (Italian king's cake), has royal roots, is simple to make, . . . but devour it because it's simply delicious

April 14, 2014

Rabbi Dr Naftali Brawer: Passover frees us from the tyranny of time

Greg Crosby: Passing Over Religion

Eric Schulzke: First degree: How America really recovered from a murder epidemic

Georgia Lee: When love is not enough: Teaching your kids about the realities of adult relationships

Cameron Huddleston: Freebies for Your Lawn and Garden

Gordon Pape: How you can tell if your financial adviser is setting you up for potential ruin

Dana Dovey: Up to 500,000 people die each year from hepatitis C-related liver disease. New Treatment Has Over 90% Success Rate

Justin Caba: Eating Watermelon Can Help Control High Blood Pressure

The Kosher Gourmet by Joshua E. London and Lou Marmon Don't dare pass over these Pesach picks for Manischewitz!

April 11, 2014

Rabbi Hillel Goldberg: Silence is much more than golden

Caroline B. Glick: Forgetting freedom at Passover

Susan Swann: How to value a child for who he is, not just what he does

Cameron Huddleston: 7 Financial Tasks You Should Tackle Right Now

Sandra Block and Lisa Gerstner: How to Profit From Your Passion

Susan Scutti: A Simple Blood Test Might Soon Diagnose Cancer

Chris Weller: Have A Slow Metabolism? Let Science Speed It Up For You

The Kosher Gourmet by Diane Rossen Worthington Whitefish Terrine: A French take on gefilte fish

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 18, 2008 / 13 Nissan 5768

Bento, Simple Database, Shines

By Mark Kellner

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http://www.JewishWorldReview.com | Long ago and far away, around 1982 or 1983 according to the online reference Wikipedia, there was a database called "Nutshell" which used the simple metaphor of index cards to let you store and use information. I remember Nutshell fondly, even if it, and the MS-DOS platform that supported it, are only fit for computer museums.


A Macintosh version of Nutshell evolved into the successful software program FileMaker , which I believe is one of the better database programs around, available for both Macs and Windows-based PCs. However, the sheer force of power that today's FileMaker Pro represents may be too much for some users, who still, like those long ago Nutshell fans, want to keep it simple.


What goes around in computing may indeed come around: not long ago, FileMaker, Inc., the Apple software unit that publishes the eponymous database, released what could be called the 21st-century version of Nutshell, only this time for Macs running the latest OS X version and with some very spiffy graphics. Called Bento, the $49.95 program harkens back to what software once was: simple, uncomplicated and really, really useful.


I can't swear that Bento, a name taken from those simple, compartmentalized Japanese lunch boxes, is a true "flat-file" database, but that's how it presents itself. Like those long-ago index cards, the primary "unit" in Bento is a record, albeit one that can contain a picture or other graphic, which can then be organized into "collections," all as part of a "library." Using such non-computer jargon makes the process seem easier than it might otherwise.


Also aiding the process is the inclusion of a bunch of pre-defined "libraries" for personal, business and other categories. Need to create a super "to-do" list? Done. Ditto for inventories, donations, expense tracking, even a membership list for your book club. It's not rocket science, I guess, but it is the kind of technology many people can use, but would rather not expend the effort to create on their own.


Launching these collections is as simple as a couple of mouse clicks. You then enter data and can save the results, print them out on paper, or export them as a "comma-separated value" file for use in a spreadsheet, such as Microsoft Excel, or in a more powerful database such as FileMaker Pro or Microsoft Access.


Mac users who like to fool around with such things will also appreciate that the Mac's AddressBook.app and iCal.app data will automatically pour into Bento, making it easy for you to edit these files. Any changes make to them in the Bento database program will automatically update in the original applications. This way, you, or an assistant, can do the updating and then have it automatically reflect and sync with your iPhone or Palm-based device, if such synchronization has already been set up.


The export capability also provides a way to move your data if and when a file grows to require more than Bento is designed to provide, such as a product inventory becoming much larger.


All this combines, perhaps even conspires, to become a way in which users can be more organized, more easily, and that's a good thing. The computer age was supposed to reduce complexity and organize our lives, but somehow that hasn't automatically happened. This program may be a small step in the right direction.


Naysayers will note that Bento is only available for Mac users and, as noted, only for those running the latest version of the operating system. Fair enough, but Apple seems to be growing its user base, at least a bit, and those first-time Mac buyers are largely purchasing the newest Macs with the "Leopard" version of OS X, formally known as 10.5, pre-installed. Bento is a worthy accompaniment many users will relish.

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.

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