Molecular Modeling programs on different platforms - table correct?

mathog at mathog at
Fri Sep 13 17:33:06 EST 1996


Periodically I check the status of various molecular modeling/molecular
display/related programs with respect to portability.  This is my latest
table - if anybody sees any errors or wants to add something, please chime

Listed alphabetically 

             MIPS      ---DEC Alpha----         Intel
What         SGI       DU            WNT      Windows   GraphicsType

Biosym       Yes       No*           No*           No*       GL
Grasp        Yes       No            No            No        GL
MidasPlus    Yes       No            No            No        GL
molmol       Yes       Yes           No            No        X11
O            Yes       No            No            No        GL
rasmol       Yes       Yes           ?             Yes       X11/Windows
Setor        Yes       No            No            No        GL
VMD          Yes       No            No            No        GL
XtalView     Yes       Yes           No            No        GL/X11

* Separately licensed "Axxess" product lets Biosym run as an X11 client.

Kind of amazing to me that more of these have not been ported to other
platforms, for instance Alpha/Linux or WNT.  Looks like the only really 
portable one is Rasmol.  In terms of horsepower the SGIs are at least twice
as expensive as these alternatives.  I guess the ports will only come when
the grants start coming back marked with "buy cheaper platforms".  

If I get a vote, I cast it for moving to WNT.  Not that I'm a big fan of
that OS, but realistically, WNT workstations would be a lot more readily
accepted by our undergrads then the current set of SGIs are, and getting
other software for WNT machines (word processors and so forth) would be one
heck of a lot easier and lots cheaper than it is for SGIs. 


David Mathog
mathog at
Manager, sequence analysis facility, biology division, Caltech 

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