software for molecular biology

Thomas Collet collet at scripps.edu
Wed Aug 5 15:48:24 EST 1992

Someone just mentioned that they were looking for
software for a microcomputer to do their sequence
analysis and I figure I should put in my 2 cents

We use the IG suite on our Sun in the core lab and
MacVector on our Quadra 700 and on a IIsi. In my
opinion MacVector is just trash. It comes with poor
documentation (we have been unable to obtain a manual
that describes the windows and screens of our version)
and the IBI tech support is apologetic, but generally
useless. MacVector tends to bomb and freeze on all Macs
we tried (IIci, q700, IIsi, and others) and this is not
because we don't know how to run Macs, trust me. In fact,
it seems as if MacVector bombs about every 6th or 7th time
that you try to save a new file (another thing you don't
want to happen after digitizing in 400 base pairs). 

The last time I got this excited about MacVector was when
the area rep for IBI showed up here trying to tell me that
I don`t know what I am doing. Supposedly, I was the only
one having these problems (too bad that I know of at least
two other labs that have the same complaints, just less 
energy than me when complaining). 

The IG suite is overall quite useful, but I prefer to have my
data on my own machine, so I won't go into detail about
this here.

Two weeks ago, I received a SAVE/PRINT-disable version of the
new GENEWORKS 2.0 and I just love it (the Mac version).It is 
very fast, has a phantastic multiple alignment feature for 
DNA and proteins and a great mac-like interface. It even allows
you to have bases read back to you while you are entering 
them (it will also simultaneously do a 6-frame translation!).

On the whole, I think we made a big mistake when buying 
MacVector and I would recommend to anyone to obtain a 
SAVE/PRINT disable version of any program for extensive 
testing before spending several thousand $.

As to IBM-compatible version, I don't know any so I won't
say anything that will just draw a flame. In this lab,
however, several bench scientist not inclined towards computers
have had no problems learning what they need to do their
science on the Mac.

I would love to get some feed-back on MacVector, so don't
hesitate to post.



All opinions expressed here are mine; who knows what 
my employer thinks.

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