Hi Reinhard, long time no see... Glad to hear from you again.
As for having GCG on your computer, that's hopeless now. Unless GCG has
ported its programs in the latest version, you are locked into using a
workstation or server.
GCG runs under UNIX. It should be fairly portable, sadly GCG seems to
ignore the existence of Linux or free *BSD systems. They even seem to
ignore the existence of commercial UNIX like SCO and Solaris x86.
This means that you can't run GCG on a PC yet. Unless they have ported
it, that is. It should be straightforward to recompile the Solaris version
under Solaris x86, and porting to Linux or *BSD shouldn't be that
difficult, but GCG is no longer distributed with source code, so no one
else can do it now (sic) but them. Who knows, may be you can convince them
or there is a port ready for next release.
If you do not want to even hear of UNIX, then OxMol has some GCG-like
packages for the MS-Wxx oriented. No source either, but may get you
OTOH if you are not afraid of installing Linux or Solaris on your PC, go
ahead. You'll find tons of tools for it. You wo not need any fancy
configuration, almost any PC will do for almost any work you want.
If you simply want to develop software, look at EMBOSS (http://www.sanger.ac.uk)
where you'll find open source for developing new bioinformatics software.
If you want advanced access to databases, SRS is your solution. Just
keep in mind that databases eat up lots of space. You don't need too many
gigas, 20-40GB will do for now to start perfectly well.
FASTA, BLAST, and many popular programs and packages run on Linux boxes
without a glitch, and performance may compete with that of the fastest
PHYLIP, Clustal, ACeDB, Genomics packages, Staden, and lots of other
tools also work perfectly well, and again you do not need any fancy
model. Just about anything will do for most work.
If I were you, I'd seriously consider it. You won't substitute all of
GCG functionality, but may get around most of it and WAY BEYOND anything
GCG provides with a simple PC, Linux and software available from other
sources. It will take more work to gather and install though, granted.
As I said, but for some 20GB to get started with the databases, you do not
need anything fancy, and if you are an academic user, you'll find almost
everything you need free of charge, and will learn much more with a simple
PC and Linux.
Jose R. Valverde