In this issue

Jonathan Tobin: Defending the Right to a Jewish State

Heather Hale: Compliment your kids without giving them big heads

Megan Shauri: 10 ways you are ruining your own happiness

Carolyn Bigda: 8 Best Dividend Stocks for 2015

Kiplinger's Personal Finance editors: 7 Things You Didn't Know About Paying Off Student Loans

Samantha Olson: The Crucial Mistake 55% Of Parents Are Making At Their Baby's Bedtime

Densie Well, Ph.D., R.D. Open your eyes to yellow vegetables

The Kosher Gourmet by Megan Gordon With its colorful cache of purples and oranges and reds, COLLARD GREEN SLAW is a marvelous mood booster --- not to mention just downright delish
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 May 20, 2005 / 11 Iyar, 5765

Alchemy's Mac TV Solution: Good, Not Yet Great

By Mark Kellner

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http://www.JewishWorldReview.com | Alchemy DVR is a card that'll slip into G4 and G5 PowerPC Macintosh computers and let you hook up a cable line, over-the-air or satellite antenna, and turn your Mac into a "personal video recorder," or PVR, as well as a rather nice desktop TV.

One of the greatest attractions is the price: $159 for the board and software, which is a bargain of sorts, since competing products, mostly external boxes that connect to the Mac, can cost double that, if not more.

But a bargain is no bargain if it doesn't work: my first unit couldn't be "seen" by the Mac's brain, no matter how hard I tried. A replacement card did work, which leads to a moral: make sure you know the exchange policy of your dealer if you choose to buy one of these. Better still, see if they'll test your card in the store before you go.

When working, however, the card offers some rather elegant features. On learning my ZIP Code (stet), it found the potential cable systems I could use, and let me pick the right one. The card scanned the available channels and stored their names, which were for channels 1-99, since I was connected directly via a coaxial cable and not through a converter. In the latter case, I could probably go through channel 124, which would leave out many premium, or movie, channels.

Despite this limitation, the unit performed very well in terms of tuning and playing video/audio. The Mac I'm using has some very nice external speakers (the JBL "Creature" model) and, coupled with a 20- inch LCD display, make for a very nice viewing experience. Even better, I can watch the TV picture in a small window while working or full-screen.

The PVR features take a bit of getting used to: the Alchemy product uses the online TitanTV listings grid, which is a very good system and which can generate instructions to program the computer to view and record a show. This is done through the Apple iCal (stet) application, which can be a bit balky, and recordings have been somewhat hit-or-miss for me. I've recorded several important shows, but missed others. Bottom line, you'll need to practice with this before depending on your Mac to get the season finale of "Desperate Housewives," reportedly First Lady Laura Bush's preferred Sunday night viewing.

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Once you've recorded a show, you might want to put it on a DVD disc for later viewing; the files recorded by the Alchemy, about 10 to 12 GBytes per hour, might need some massaging before such a transfer, since most DVDs are in the 4.7 GB range. To be honest, I've note tried doing this yet, but Apple's iDVD application might hold the answer, or perhaps an adjustment of record settings will do the trick. Unfortunately, the otherwise-comprehensive manual for the Alchemy is silent on what to do in this instance, even if there are hints given.

There's also an infrared remote control you can connect to the card (which also accepts S-Video and composite video cables), but I didn't even bother. My office setup is such that it's easier to use a keyboard or mouse to control the tuner, so I did.

Bottom line: the Alchemy is a good product, but it may need some refinement from its maker — and a steeper learning curve for users like me — before it qualifies as great. But if all you want or need to do is record and/or view TV at your desk, it's a tremendous bargain. Details can be found online at http://www.miglia.com/index.html

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.


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