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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. 23, 2009 / 5 Mar-Cheshvan 5770

The world has changed?

By Mark Kellner



http://www.JewishWorldReview.com | Just how important are computer operating systems, anyway?


We're going to get an indication. Yesterday, Microsoft Corp. launched Windows 7, the successor to the much-maligned Windows Vista, and what many critics believe is the replacement for Windows XP that Vista should have been. Oh, and XP is exactly eight years "old," as of next Sunday, that is, and that's kind of old.


In late August, Apple Inc. launched Snow Leopard, which has had a good reception among users and critics. I've reviewed Snow Leopard and shall review Windows 7 in due course. My early impressions of Win7 are positive, however.


That said, I again ask the question: Just how important is the operating system?


For many of us, it's not that important: as long as one's computer boots up and functions, and work can be done, we're happy. Adding new applications, or new versions of older applications, can require an OS upgrade, but then again, many of us find ourselves quite happy with one level of software and can stay there. (I can't imagine that the late William F. Buckley, Jr., however much he enjoyed computing, was hanging around Costco store waiting for the next release of either an OS or a productivity suite.)


But just as Moore's Law notes that "the number of transistors that can be placed inexpensively on an integrated circuit has doubled approximately every two years," as Wikipedia records it, operating systems and applications grow more capable every year or so. And if you can do more with a computer, why wouldn't you want to?


All this bumps up against practical matters of cost, however. Windows 7 upgrades are being advertised for as much as $199 a pop, depending on the version you buy. Snow Leopard was a comparative bargain at $29.99 a copy, but it also runs only on Macs that have Intel processors: if you have a somewhat older Mac, you were either out of luck or off to buy a new machine.


Is there an alternative to all this? Quite possibly, and its name is Linux. Specifically, Ubuntu Linux, of which a new release, version 9.10, is expected on Oct. 29. The nice thing about Ubuntu is that it's really free: just download a disc image at www.ubuntu.com, burn a CD or DVD, and you're ready to install it on a computer near you. (Ubuntu will work on Intel-based computers; PowerPC-based machines can find some new life with a Linux distribution called Debian, available at debian.org.)


I've not played with 9.10 yet, but I have used the most recent "stable" release, Ubuntu 9.04. It's a very nice operating system: graphical, easy to learn, and equipped, out of the gate, with a Web browser, e-mail client, productivity suite, and similar items. It loaded - in a virtualization mode - on my system without crashing the main OS, and it ran well. I could connect to the Internet without hassle, and thus had a world of options open to me.


The "rub" here is whether and how something such as Ubuntu and its related applications will coexist in a Windows world. My sense is they would work quite well: the productivity suite is OpenOffice.org's "clone" of Microsoft Office, and OpenOffice lets you "write" files in Microsoft formats. On the net, you might not have every bell and whistle, but Linux advocate Shannon VanWagner of ubuntuguide.com and similar Web sites, notes that a Ubuntu player for Hulu's video streaming service is now available, which is a nice plus.


Those who are devoted to Apple's iTunes, however, will face a more daunting challenge: to use iTunes under Linux, you need to install a "virtual" Windows XP system on your computer, or operate in a dual-boot mode where you have both Windows and Ubuntu running separately. For many, that could be a drawback. But for straight business applications, Ubuntu as an operating environment is more than adequate. You can't beat the price, especially in these cost-conscious days!

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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