An actual acedb question.

Brian Fristensky frist at cc.umanitoba.ca
Mon Jan 25 20:14:59 EST 1999


Aidan Weatherill wrote:
> 
> GET RICH QUICK, Here's how!!
> 
ANSWER: DON'T choose a career in academics!

> OK not really, just trying to fit in with the general posts here!!
> 
> I am just about to set up an acedb database and am unsure what computer
> would suit me best.
>  many ways I would prefer a Linux solution for the economy, but would then
> be left on my own for support, also Alpha's seem cheaper than suns on a
> pound/performance check. The computing service here will give me support for
> suns, but they seem to cost more.
>
The cost is highly dependent on institutional discounts.
Our university is highly-Sun oriented, so we buy 
a lot of Suns, and get good discounts. 

It is also worth mentioning that there is an
enormous market in second-hand Suns. These
machines never die (Two years ago I sold my Sparc1+,
bought in 1990, and the lab that bought it is 
still using it!). The prices for these machines
are often so low you could afford one for home
use. If you go with a Sun, I'd strongly recommend
considering ONLY a 64-bit machine (Ultrasparc 1 or above).
The latest release, Solaris 7, is fully 64-bit, and
any 32-bit platform will be increasingly obsolete
in a very short time.
See comp.sys.sun.forsale.

Also, you need to consider which Unix systems
are supported at your institution. Your computer
center will probably be happy to support machines
they are familiar with, and reluctant to support
what they don't know. For example, our computer
center offers a $1/day support deal in which they
do all administration for our Sun Ultrasparc,
including file backups, installation of OS patches
and upgrades, security etc. It is actually quite 
easy to do this, since our machine is simply a clone
of all the other servers on campus. That means that
essentially all the public-use software that they
install (eg. WordPerfect, graphics programs, SAS,
you name it) are automatically available to us, with
no installation or maintanence on our part.
If you can get a similar deal, you'll save a great deal
of time and money.
 
> I am fairly computer literate, both software and PC hardware, but Ace seems
> big enough without having to learn the underlying systems at the same time.
> 
Right, and that's why you want to leave the
Unix administration to professionals, and
concentrate on Ace.

> A straw poll of the systems used by people who read this would be useful for
> me.
> 

Both Sun/Solaris and Linux are strong platforms for 
molecular biology, as well as for general 3rd party
software.  

> Many thanks
> 
> Aidan Weatherill
> aweather at worf.molbiol.ox.ac.uk

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