MolBio OS?

Richard P. Grant r_grant at see.sig.for.address
Wed Mar 3 03:38:02 EST 1999

Hi Andreas, 

I hope you don't mind me writing directly as well as to the group.

In article <36DCBD46.F20C8628 at san.rr.com>, milton at san.rr.com wrote:

>Actually I have experience with many OSes, but I am trying to make a decision
>that impacts a large group of people.  I want to accommodate all the
>essential applications used in Molecular Biology.  The problem I'm having is
>that  this field tends to be Mac and unix based.  However, my gut feeling is
>to go with Microsoft products because of the global acceptance of the windows

<shudder> that's NOT a good reason to go with MS products - they may be
globally accepted (which I'd actually dispute) but that does not mean
they're any good. . .

Ideally you want something stonking running the GCG suite of programs
under UNIX, and then hang Macs off it running some kind of X-Windows
emulator . . . if money is no object.

>I understand that file formats are text based... and while that does make the
>migration of data quite seamless,  I am still having a problem researching
>what platforms people prefer in the lab...  I prefer Linux and Netscape....
>but I want to make an unbiased decision.

In my experience (I've been round a few labs . . .) most molecular
biologists prefer to use Macs for their daily grind, and if you have a
Unix-based box running the central suite of programs (access can be via
X-windows as above, or Telnet or Versaterm or Netscape) then you'll make a
lot of people happy.  I think the important thing is not to have to shift
people away from their favoured way of doing things - if they already do
things in a certain way that is.

If the centralized server is not an option then go for the pile of
freebies at http://iubio.bio.indiana.edu/soft/molbio/Listings.html or one
of the commercial packages with a site licence.  

Why don't you go along to http://www.molbiol.ox.ac.uk/ for a solution that
was initially set up 89/90-ish and that doesn't care what platform uses
Factor in support costs and you'll find that a Mac-based solution will
work out cheaper than Windows in the long run.  And bear in mind that
someone will disagree with whatever you decide . . .


Richard P. Grant MA DPhil     |             rgrant at cmtech.co.uk
work: www.cmtech.co.uk        |      home: www.avnet.co.uk/adastra
           -- 'Bring me the hedge of Alfredo Garcia' --

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