Importance of computer communications in research?

Michael Holloway mhollowa at nyx.cs.du.edu
Wed Nov 2 23:49:21 EST 1994

Your input would be greatly appreciated.  I'd like to conduct an 
informal survey of the bionet community to gauge the extent to which
end users have access to the net and graphical interfaces for net 
tools.  I hope to use the response as evidence that greater emphasis 
needs to be placed on end user access at my institution, which is not 
BTW the University of Denver.  I have to telnet here in order to use a
half way decent newsreader.  My institution's concern over security 
necessitates using an old miniVax as a fire wall and allowing the use
of only VMS text based software.  Those who can afford it are allowed 
to shell out $10,000 for an X-terminal for use with the Vax.  A VMS 
proxy server, whose performance with various kinds of client/servers is
unknown to us, is mentioned as a solution for some indeterminant time in 
the future.  

Does your institution give you the opportunity to directly access your 
gateway, with or without a proxy server, and thereby make use of communications 
software that you can run from your own machine, Mosaic for instance?
Do you currently have to log into a remote system?

Do you feel text based tools under VMS are sufficient for making full
use of computer communications for molecular biology?  Do you find 
newsgroup access, conferring with your collegues remotely, to be useful?
Do you think that a VMS newsreader should be as good as anything else?

How important do you think a graphical interface is for using the tools 
available now and in the future?  Does the convenience have an impact on
how you use computer communications?

If the topic is of general interest I'll summarize and post any responses
I receive via e-mail.

Mike Holloway
mike.holloway at stjude.org

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