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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 28, 2009 / 5 Sivan 5769

A Tale of Two Operating Systems

By Mark Kellner

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http://www.JewishWorldReview.com | I sometimes wonder if God has the best idea about operating systems: If you're a believer, you're likely to affirm that the Creator gave us an "operating system" at birth, and while it is shaped, modified and sometimes even warped as we grow and develop, for most of us it runs, basically, every day, every week and every year, until it (and we) stop.


By contrast, I've had a lot less fun with a couple of operating systems that have arrived recently.


Let's start with Linux, or more precisely, SimplyMEPIS Linux. The 8.0 version, available via free download at www.mepis.org, or via subscription at $50 a year or on a CD for either $18 in a basic package or $30 with all sorts of programs added. The download "subscriptions" get you updated versions as the year progresses.


It's built on the Debian flavor of Linux, which is a specific set of interfaces and accoutrements that sit on top of the Linux "kernel," or core. In plainer language, SimplyMEPIS is a version of Linux that claims it is easy to install and configure on most computers, at least those with Intel (and compatible) processors. Because its cost can be much, much lower than that of Microsoft Windows or Apple's OS X (which is supposed to run only on Apple-made hardware), the appeal is having a computer system on the cheap, but with enough power to do what needs to be done. The other big "draw" of this product is that it's smart enough to figure out all your devices, install the necessary drivers and let you rock and roll quickly.


Well, I'm still hopeful, but so far, not so good. Using a Dell Vostro 1310 as my base unit, I had a promising start. You can boot SimplyMEPIS from a CD, and the computer will fire up. You get a "desktop" and applications with which you can work, including the OpenOffice.org suite and Mozilla's Firefox Web browser. In fact, there's enough basic software to make this quite appealing.


Try as I might, I couldn't accomplish two things of some importance. One is to get the system to recognize my wireless network and connect to it. The computer, under this Linux flavor, could "see" my wireless net, but it wouldn't connect. Installing it as a permanent OS on the computer might help, but no sale there, either. I'm sure that with enough hacking and effort, I can overcome these things. But, you do remember the name, "SimplyMEPIS," right? That's "Simply" as in simple? Well, any time you have to start hacking, in my opinion, you lose simplicity, which has been (and in my view remains) the chief problem in getting Linux to achieve greater general acceptance in the marketplace.


At the same time, I'm wrestling with the "release candidate" of Windows 7, which Microsoft should bring to market some time this year. The news here is that Win7 is moving forward, and that's a good thing.


Those who've worked with it say that it clears up a lot of bugs found in the public Beta version, although, frankly, I didn't encounter many. It took a couple of tries, but I was able to install this version in a "virtual machine" mode on my Intel-based MacBook Pro, so now, some would say, I have the best of both worlds.


Regardless of operating system theology, however, it's nice to have Windows coming along. As mentioned several times in this space over the years, hegemony isn't one of my favorites, in terms of totalitarianism or operating systems. Now we're on the verge of getting a better version of Windows, a new-and-improved Mac OS, and maybe a Linux for the masses, if the MEPIS folks can overcome some issues.


Not a bad horizon, I'd say.

Every weekday JewishWorldReview.com publishes what many 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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