x servers

jmiller at vxbio.span.nasa.gov jmiller at vxbio.span.nasa.gov
Mon Feb 18 14:30:41 EST 1991


  I finally have to say something in the debate about the merits of unix
vs. the type of OS on micros. I agree with Brian Smith that most of the 
power of unix is not necessary for the average user. Most users don't
think in the way that unix wants you to think. It makes good sense AFTER
you have spent SEVERAL MONTHS working with it. The point is that doing
the basics in unix is just as hard as doing the advanced things. Furthermore,
its model for data manipulation is not the one molecular biologists use.
 I think the recent release of GeneWorks by IG gives us an idea of how
an OS which thinks like users might look (the programs is more of an
operating system than an application).
 About departments hiring software adminstrators. The biggest thing this
shows is the nearly complete failure of AI to live up to its promise. 20
years ago we expected that complex systems would be able to police 
themselves and adapt to the user. Now it isn't happening, and the solution
being touted is to bring users up to speed in OS environments like unix.
  One final note. I've used computers with virtually every OS around for
several years, so I'm not a novice. But I still had to SWEAT BLOOD to
setup and run a copy of MacImDat (molecular modeling). This program runs
on the mac, but its interface is pure unix workstation. Is this the 
future?
-Peter Markiewicz




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