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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 August 18, 2006 / 24 Menachem-Av, 5766

What a brief, strange trip it's been

By Mark Kellner

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http://www.JewishWorldReview.com | Twenty-five years and three days ago, a suburban New York company made a brief, but important announcement: "IBM Corporation today announced its smallest lowest priced computer system, the IBM Personal Computer. Designed for business, school, and home, the easy to use system sells for as little as $1,565."


Today, the PC platform first conceived under the IBM name, but quickly "cloned" by what seemed a planet-full of garage-based entrepreneurs, accounts for roughly 90 percent of the computers used on Planet Earth, with a Microsoft-designed operating system at the heart of most of these.


IBM no longer manufactures personal computers, having quite the desktop business, more or less, years before selling what remained to China-based Lenovo, whose chief IBM-style products are ThinkPad notebook computers. And while the first "luggable" PCs, from a Houston, Texas, startup called Compaq, were roughly the size of a sewing machine and weighed about at much, today's portables are sometimes so light and thin, you might forget they're in your briefcase.


I've worked with, and written about, this technology almost from the days of that first IBM PC, 23 of those 25 years. While a lot about computing isn't as strange and new as it once was, there's still plenty out there to surprise, and amaze, even the most jaded user. Some observations, then, at this milestone juncture:


First, nothing lasts forever. IBM, Compaq, Leading Edge, Kaypro, and a bunch of other names once intimately associated with desktop computing are pretty much gone. IBM remains, of course, as a company providing software and services to large enterprises and smaller to medium-sized ones. But apart from the Lotus Development Corp. software it acquired a few years back, there's precious little that IBM would sell directly to a small business or home user. Twenty years ago, however, there was at least a chance that IBM could have dominated those markets, too.


Thus for companies who believe their position in the marketplace is inviolable, and you know who you are, it's not a bad idea to run over to a computer museum, have them dig out an old Compaq or Kaypro and contemplate it for a while.


Second, "failure" is never final. Apple Computer, Inc., which had a desktop computer on the market two years before IBM did, has been down for the count more times than a cauliflower-eared pickup boxer. Yet, each time Apple has been counted out by industry experts, it's bounced back. The firm's widely touted "five percent market share" could well increase over the next year or two, thanks to its switch to Intel Corp. processors and a tweak of the operating system to match.


Then again, tons of folks, this writer included, were inclined to dismiss the UNIX (stet) operating system and its variants to the realm of scientific or scholastic computing. But if you look closely behind the operating facades of today's computers, you'll find UNIX and its "windowing" graphical interface, somewhere. The last couple of versions of Microsoft Windows draw heavily, some say, on the UNIX-based "Motif" interface, and the Mac's OS X operating software has UNIX at its core, as Apple happily admits.


Third, the future remains full of surprises, many of which should be quite pleasant. Microsoft is readying Windows Vista, which might well trump earlier versions of Windows, itself a 20-year-old product. New versions of old standard word processors and other applications are appearing regularly. Advances in computer design and power continue almost unabated. The $1,565 you'd have spent in 1981 for a now-anemic original IBM PC will buy you a very nice Windows machine - or even 2.25 such units, if you know where to shop.


It hasn't been as long and strange a trip as the late Jerry Garcia may have sung about, but the PC era has been a great one, and tons of fun for many of us. I have a feeling the adventure will still surprise us for the next few years, if not the next 25.

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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© 2006, News World Communications, Inc. Reprinted with permission of The Washington Times. Visit the paper at http://www.washingtontimes.com

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