Time Expired Software!

C. J. Fields cfields at gab.unt.edu
Tue Jan 28 02:23:43 EST 1997


Explain, then, how PC-GENE, a packaged program which, correct me if I'm
wrong, is made up mostly of freeware or variations thereof (Clustal,
FASTA, RNAFOLD,etc), and whose only original program seems to be merely
something which ties the freeware together, can charge such a ludicrous
price?  I can at least see putting a nice graphical interface on it, but
I guess it's a free market.

Nice breakdown, but it doesn't explain much in terms of the fact (as
stated above) that most of the programming comes from freeware or
shareware.  This software was donated by scientists to the academic
community at large.  I can see this breakdown applying to the Staden and
GCG packages, at least; if so, I don't argue about it in the least.  It
also doesn't justify the fact that packages like GCG and Staden can be
networked for roughly the same cost (providing that, as Tim Cutts would
point out, the System Admin and necessary hardware are already in place)
as a lab buying a new Geneworks package. which is operable on only two
computers due to the access key.  Some price savings; that doesn't even
include the GenBank and other database subscriptions.

BTW, GCG has reportedly quit giving out their sourcecode, as of version
9, and I don't blame them.  Want to know why?  They were finding large
portions of their source code in other *commercial* software, with the
GCG copyright and labeling removed!!  (See the bionet.software.gcg
archive for more details).  Now who's the pirate?

If it's a free market, then let the buyer beware (especially in this
field)!!!!
-- 
C. J. Fields
Graduate Student, Dept. of Biological Sciences
The University of North Texas
Denton, TX 

email : cfields at gab.unt.edu
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