Showing Brookhaven DB Models on PC

goldman at goldman at
Fri Mar 20 08:26:09 EST 1992

In article <1992Mar19.122149.21159 at>, num208jn at MBDS.NRC.CA (John Nash) writes:
> In article <1992Mar19.021019.6062 at>, li at (hans li) writes:
>>Need some help here.  My boss has assigned me the task of trying to find a 
>>program which will run on a 386 with coprocesser, vga and 4 megs of ram (just
>>in case there are some that won't run on that) which will allow us to draw/
>>render models of enzymes and other molecules based on the brookhaven database.
>>He would like one where we can actually go in and take measurements of the
>>distance between specific groups, but not necessarily one which will do
>>energy minimazations(sp).  
>>This is not limited to shareware/freeware and as long as it's of reasonible
>>cost (under 200) he'll spring for it. 
>>Please reply via email as I don't monitor this group regularly.
> Please... don't just email the reply to the sender... share it with
> the rest of us... we who DO read it regularly.

The best (by far! IMHO) PC molecular modelling program I have ever seen is 
called ProModeller; it was written by a Harvard grad., I believe.  (I think
the company he formed was called Vermont Microsystems ?Vermont Micrographics)
original version ran on ISA-bus machines equipped with the PGA card - which
is no longer manufactured.  I believe there is a newer version ?for the XGA?
It's quite an expensive proposition, but has a user interface that makes
InsightII, Sybyl, Frodo, etc, looked like pieces of junk.  

     EG: when you're labelling atoms, you can pick a "label" option that 
         allows you to move your cursor across the molecule.  As you do so,
         the name of the atom under the cursor is displayed, so you can
         easily label odd subsets of atoms.  
     EG: it was the first program I saw that could rotate stereo
         space-filling models -- albeit very jerkily)

However, it runs on non-standard hardware, and tended to be incompatible
with other things; when I wanted to use MS windows, I had to reboot my
machine.  So I've stopped using it.  I just go use the Insight on the SG
across the hall.

I also recently saw an ad. either in Nature or Science (don't remember
which) for a molecular modelling program written by Autodesk (I think they
wrote Autocad) which runs under Windows.  This might also be worth

The ProModeller option is (was) EXPENSIVE, and I suspect that the Autodesk
product is too.


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