more on macvector, etc.

Fri Aug 7 23:58:17 EST 1992

>So what is the price for 10 seats? Still no way for a centralized mainframe
>solution? I'm afraid we're back again to the religious war how cheap must
>a workstation be to compete against a pc standalone solution :-( .
>And, don't forget the databases... they're growing. You now need to have
>a CD ROM at each station, better three: One EMBL, one PIR, and one NCBI

IMHO, no matter what you do, you will ALWAYS be spending that $3K, no matter
what solution you take, outside of accessing the local gcg suite with
your modem. Both MacVector and GeneWorks cost about $3K per system, 
including the databases. When added to the cost of the mac, it is near
a low-end workstation. HOWEVER, that workstation will cost you about 
$3K a year to upgrade operating system and analysis software, not to
mention hardware. 

With respect to the databases, it seems likely that r/w optical disks will
replace CD-ROMS for this sort of work. They run at least 10 times as fast
as the fastest CD-ROMS, the larger ones store gigabytes of information,
and you will be able to keep each database on one disk for years to come.
Since all computers can use them, its not an argument for micros vs.

I noticed that NOBODY mentioned DNASTAR in the discussion of mac software. This
package has has some excellent features that nobody else has. The restriction
mapping module is the best on any machine of any type. The protein analysis
module is also excellent. The editor is ok, and the search software also
is. The interesting thing is that the next version of software will support
networking, especially with respect to accessing remote databases on 
other systems. Anyone looking at mac software should consider this 
alternative. Its sold in modules, so sticker shock isn't so great (at first).

Finally, I might add the single best hardware/software I have added to our
systems was gopherapp. Searches take only a few seconds through GenBank/PIR,
and the files are instantly available. With a good mail program, you can
use the fasta/blast/blaze servers and eliminate the need for local databases.
Getting your micro directly onto internet means that the files come 
directly to the mac, instead of having to transfer them via modem from
your mainframe, etc. etc. Anyone planning on setting up a sequence analysis
facility should provide for networking.

-Peter Markiewicz

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