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Jewish World Review
Dec. 28, 2007
/ 19 Teves 5768
Things I'm thankful for
Technology's growth in 2007 is difficult to ignore, and there are many
products, companies and individuals I'm thankful for as the year ends.
I'm thankful for MICROSOFT CORP. They brought out Office 2007 for
Windows, and it's a marvelous product, making word processing and
other tasks much easier for users of all stripes. The firm also
released Windows Vista, which seems to be OK for many users, but has
brought headaches to some others. I've not been brave enough to
install Vista on one of my existing PCs, but the new computers I've
used that have Vista seem to be just fine.
Another word of thanks goes to SUN MICROSYSTEMS and its spin=off OPEN
OFFICE project. Yes, I like Office 2007, but I can't be bothered
hassling with an install-and-uninstall process on every PC sent here
for testing. My "standard," then, is Open Office's office suite
(www.openoffice.org) and it's more than sufficient for my needs. Oh,
and it's free!
Gratitude must also go to APPLE COMPUTER on the software front: this
year saw the arrival of a boatload of new Mac applications, and of
course the long-awaited Mac OS X 10.5, known as Leopard. This
operating system revision is sweet, and installation and usage has
generally been much easier for users than with Vista. I say generally,
because some have reported hiccups. No hiccups have ben reported with
new applications such as IPhoto 08, Pages 08 or Keynote 08, all of
which commend themselves to users needed image handling, modest word
processing or stunning presentations. Of the three major new Mac apps,
I give highest marks to IPhoto - it's just too wonderful to be true. I
use it almost daily, and, almost daily, I'm amazed at how well it
On the hardware side, kudos must also go to APPLE COMPUTER. The new
iMac is stunning in its appearance; I've not used one, but if it's
half as good as its predecessor, which I use daily, it'll be great. I
can say nothing but good things about the newest MacBook Pro
computers; mine has been in constant use since August and it's a
steady, solid performer.
And, of course, there's Apple's crowning achievement of the year, if
not the decade, the IPhone. Not since the original Palm Pilot of a
decade ago has a single device so changed and challenged an industry.
Steve Jobs, Apple's chairman, and the IPhone team each deserve
tremendous plaudits for coming up with a device so intuitive, so
natural to use that there's no comparison with any other mobile phone
in existence today. This product has redefined the entire category,
and such an accomplishment is not an every day event.
There's someone else I'm thankful for at Christmas-tide, and on other
days of the year. He is LT. GEN. MICHAEL W. PETERSON, the chief
information officer of the United States Air Force. Hearing him speak,
and interviewing him earlier this year, I saw that Gen. Peterson is
that rare leader who is not only thoroughly versed in the mission of
the military, but who also understands the role of technology as well
as any corporate CIO that I've seen.
Gen. Peterson is representative, by the way, of the entire cadre of
Department of Defense information technology leadership. These are
people who "get" that our future defense will take place as much in
cyberspace as anywhere, and that vigilance is vital to protecting our
To Gen. Peterson, his colleagues and all those working to keep the
"land of the free" exactly that, my deepest gratitude. Godspeed to you
all in the accomplishment of this vital mission.
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.
© 2007, News World Communications, Inc. Reprinted with permission of The Washington Times. Visit the paper at http://www.washingtontimes.com