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 16, 2008 / 11 Iyar 5768

OpenOffice and Other Niceties

By Mark Kellner

Printer Friendly Version
Email this article

http://www.JewishWorldReview.com | Computing is much less expensive, in many respects, than it has been in recent years: you can get a very, very good desktop Windows PC system for between $500 and $750, and roughly the same for a good Windows notebook. An Apple Macintosh desktop computer starts at $599 if you bring your own keyboard, mouse and display; a MacBook portable starts at $1099 and the all-in-one desktop iMac starts at $1199.

Those prices may seem daunting to some, but they each represent a fair amount of computing power for the buck; bargain-seekers can also find gently used and well-refurbished models of fairly recent vintage at good prices.

Of course, the expense of computing is not limited to the PC itself. There are accessories to buy, most likely including a printer, and applications software. Some computers arrive with trial versions of key programs such as Microsoft Office; others will come "bundled" with various programs. Trials expire, however, and the bundled applications aren't always what you're looking for: that's part of where the phrase "bloatware" has its origins.

I mention all this to lead up to a happy conclusion: there's tons of free applications software out there, some of it quite good. Other applications are low enough in price to merit serious consideration without the usual worry that accompanies such purchases.

On the free side, I've been playing with the newest Beta release of OpenOffice 3.0 for the Macintosh, available online at www.openoffice.org. This software is intended to be a replacement for Microsoft's Office suite, and it's a rather capable one. No, it's not exactly the equal of the Microsoft product, but it's not far off the mark. The "Writer" program is a good substitute for Microsoft Word 2008, although it has its limitations.

Writer will let you open and save Microsoft Word files, including those in the ".docx" file format. It has most of the features of Word, though some, such as creating a header and inserting automatic text, such as "Page 1 of 100," takes four steps, instead of the two with Word.

Other modules for OpenOffice include a spreadsheet, presentation graphics, illustration and a database. I've been underwhelmed by the database in each of the previous versions, but the other modules should be more than adequate for many tasks.

OpenOffice is available in versions for Windows, Linux and the Mac, as well as Sun Microsystems' Solaris operating system. Even if you eventually decide to migrate to a commercial product such as Microsoft Office, this is a good "starter" for a new computer user.

Another product in Beta is a rather specialized one: it handles e-mail from only one service - Google's Gmail - and it runs only on Macs. But this thing is so darned elegant, you ought to point your Web browser to http://mailplaneapp.com/ just to look and marvel at Mailplane's 2.0 version.

What Mailplane provides is a "browser" designed for Gmail. It lets your view and interact with the Gmail service in a, simple, elegant fashion. There are shortcut keys you can use for various functions to create, send and delete mail.

Most impressive is the "iMedia" panel, which lets you select photos, audio or video clips, or even Web links, to drop into an outgoing Gmail message. It's simplicity itself, yet it's also a bit of genius.

Call me a pushover, but Mailplane is the kind of software I wish more people would write: simple and elegant, as I've said, but also highly practical. Estimates suggest tens of millions of people use Gmail, so the need for a program such as this is evident. The software sells for $24.95, and you can trial it for 30 days.

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.


© 2008, News World Communications, Inc. Reprinted with permission of The Washington Times. Visit the paper at http://www.washingtontimes.com