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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 Oct. 30, 2009 / 12 Mar-Cheshvan 5770

Linux hits user nerve

By Mark Kellner



http://www.JewishWorldReview.com | PORTLAND, Ore. — Maybe I'm on to something. For a good chunk of last week, your reviewer's scribings about Ubuntu Linux was in the top five of most-read stories at Washingtontimes.com, this newspaper's Web site. Since most of the other top items concerned health insurance reform or the H1N1 vaccine and similar weighty topics, the presence of a geek-oriented column was a pleasant surprise.


I suspect this may reflect a growing disenchantment among many computer users with the high cost of operating systems, specifically Windows operating systems from Microsoft Corp. That firm launched its newest release, Windows 7, on Oct. 22 and while sales signs are encouraging, we're not seeing the mania some previous Windows launches have engendered. With prices ranging from about $110 to just under $200 depending on the flavor of Windows 7 purchased, some users may invoke the famous Roberto Duran maxim: "No mas" ("No more").


In short, when computer hardware can cost as little as $300 for a somewhat decent setup, spending one-third to one-half of that on the operating system seems a little extravagant, if not downright crazy.


My Ubuntu column drew a number of reader comments and questions. Here are a couple of clarifications and answers to the most frequent items raised by readers:


iTunes for the Masses: I voiced the "complaint" that there isn't a Linux version of Apple Inc.'s iTunes application for Ubuntu (or any other flavor of) Linux, and that this was a demerit. Several readers, including Mr. Stephen Ostrow of Long Island, New York, noted several open-source music player programs out there for Linux, including Rhythmbox, Songbird, Amarok, and Banshee.


But, said I, what about buying music MP3s under Linux? Mr. Ostrow correctly replied: go to Amazon.com and download to your heart's (and wallet's) content. His point is well taken.


Given my druthers, I'd still prefer a Linux-friendly version of iTunes: Apple has done very, very well, in my opinion, with its online music/video/podcast/applications store, and while Amazon.com is a very good player in the marketplace, there's stuff Apple has that Amazon doesn't. Bringing iTunes to Linux would be a nice step, in my opinion.


Emulation made easy: Another question was about using "virtual machine" software to emulate a Windows PC while running Linux. This can be done when there's a Windows program you just need to run, and there's no alternative. Toddle over to www.winehq.org and download the latest version, again, free. Follow the instructions, cross your fingers and you'll be off to the races with most of the popular Windows applications. (I'll confess I haven't tried this yet, because I'm traveling. But I'll do it soon and report back.)


The whole issue of emulation, though, portends something else, I believe: if we're able to cross-operate all sorts of applications on different (and less-expensive) operating systems, then what's the future of expensive upgrades? My guess: a limited one.


Now, there are advantages to having an operating system such as Microsoft Windows in the marketplace: there's a long history behind the OS, a lot of support for older computers, displays, printers and other peripherals, and ostensibly less worry about a "plug-and-play" computing experience. And, let's face it, users have nearly 25 years of Windows versions to play with; it's super-familiar and thus, super-attractive.


But there's that price tag. It's still jarring, especially since Apple, Inc., launched it's newest OS version, dubbed "Snow Leopard" at $30 a copy, period. While what's officially known as Macintosh OS X 10.6 is not necessarily as much of a revamp as Windows 7 has been, its price tag is more in line with the sensitivities of today's market, I believe.


We might well be at the start, the most nascent stage, of a sea change in computing: if your OS costs more than, say, 10 to 15 percent of your hardware's cost, it might be viewed as costing too much.

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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© 2009, News World Communications, Inc. Reprinted with permission of The Washington Times. Visit the paper at http://www.washingtontimes.com

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