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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 Feb. 17, 2006 / 19 Shevat, 5766

Is ThinkFree Office A Microsoft killer?

By Mark Kellner

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http://www.JewishWorldReview.com | Who says your productivity software has to reside on your computer? Not ThinkFree Corp. of San Jose, Calif. The firm's eponymous ThinkFree Office Online, http://online.thinkfree.com, offers 30 Mbytes of storage, the rough equivalent of 15,000 pages of text, for you to store documents, presentations or spreadsheets, which can be edited with the firm's "clones" of Microsoft Word, Excel and PowerPoint.


The cost? Zip, zero, zilch — which presumably explains the "Free" part of ThinkFree. It's been six years since I first ran across the firm at a technology conference; now they seem to have a rather robust platform available.


But is a free application worth it when business work is involved? A quick test, occasioned by a trial of a computer that didn't have the obligatory Microsoft suite installed, tells me yes, at least for simple tasks. What's more, the Web-based version of ThinkFree Office — there's a retail package of the software said to run on Windows, Macintosh and Linux systems — appears to make the jump from Windows to Mac quite easily.


The key is Sun Microsystem's Java, a way to create and run programs in a variety of environments, or so Sun says. Most people refer to it as a computing "environment," not quite an application, not quite an operating system. However you define it, Java-based applications can, in theory, easily run on various platforms, so long as the Java software is on your machine. On Macs and many Windows boxes, that's not a problem.


Once loaded, ThinkFree Office's applications are very similar in look and feel to their Microsoft Office counterparts. Not every Microsoft Word feature is available in ThinkFree Office 3 Write, but enough are present to let me prepare an article or report without too much hassle. I can get a word count, but not change the case of highlighted text with a menu option. Spell checking is built in, but there's no online thesaurus.


PowerPoint and Excel files seemed to open quite easily in their ThinkFree counterpart applications, and there appear to be enough tools to handle the task of revising such items. As with ThinkFree's "Write," I wonder a bit as to how complex one could go, but for basic projects, all three ThinkFree applications appear to be more than sufficient.


Printing may be a different matter. One can save files as Adobe Portable Document Format, or PDF, files, which can be read and printed on any number of computers. But the program claims an ability to print to a printer attached to your computer; in my trial, something triggered a "no ink" warning when there was, indeed, ink in the printer. A little more work may be needed here.


I suspect that ThinkFree hopes to "monetize" this free Web application by selling copies of its software, licenses for a server version for corporate networks, and extra space to Web denizens constrained by 30 Mbytes of storage. Fair enough: ThinkFree Office shows definite promise and, on the Web at least, you can't really beat the price.


But the very presence of ThinkFree Office online, however, raises a question for Bill Gates and his peers: how much longer will users be forced to buy their applications by the box? The answer, I suspect, is not very long indeed.

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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