molecular biology software

L.A. Moran lamoran at gpu.utcs.utoronto.ca
Mon Feb 18 12:03:10 EST 1991

Brian R. Smith writes,

     "Yes, there are platforms that do not (or cannot) support X.  I don't
      mean to sound snobbish, but I think they'll fall by the wayside.
      (Even if you get a Mac or PC X server, you still can't run a program
      on the Mac/PC and display on another X server - it's only a one-way
      support.)  And, if they are replaced by Unix machines, many
      departments are going to HAVE to hire an experienced system
      administrator to care for and feed them.  Even if workstation
      manufacturers manage to put a workable system administration layer
      over Unix (as NeXT is trying to do), the underlying software still
      must be understood."

This opinion seems to be shared by Chris Dow who is also a fan of X-windows
and UNIX. 

I use PC's and Mac's. They are quite sufficient for all of my molecular
biology needs so I find it quite puzzling to read comments such as those
expressed on this newsgroup. Most of us do not need to manipulate complex
structures in three dimensions - this is the only reason that I can think of
to purchase an expensive workstation and software that is so complex that
I would need to hire an expert just to run it.

Perhaps Brian Smith or Chris Dow could explain what kind of applications they
are referring to when they make such claims. Do they think that a MAJORITY
of molecular biologists should purchase expensive workstations that run
UNIX and X-windows? If so, why?

-Larry Moran
Dept. of Biochemistry

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