New lab seeks computing advice

Matt Harrington mbh at sdphu1.uucp
Mon Nov 22 21:23:51 EST 1993


I'm helping to set up a new structural biology lab at the Salk Institute
and had a few questions about computing and x-ray crystallography.  Let
me first say that my experience is in programming and physics, not
biology, so please excuse my ignorance.

First, is it worth it to get a machine dedicated to VMS?  We have an
Alpha on order.  I'm coming from the high energy physics field where
VMS went extinct.  I guess it is still used in crystallography,
right?  Is there stuff available only in VMS executable form?  UNIX
seems to be the operating system of choice for most applications.  Is
the trend in crytallography towards UNIX also?

We'd like to get a few Macs to run Word, Excel, etc.  Has anyone had
a good experience running MacX to emulate an X terminal?  It seems 
painfully slow.  What are the arguments in favor of having PCs
that run Windows or NT?  How about PCs and LINUX?

I'd really appreciate any advice regarding current computer use in
this field.  We'd hate to commit to hardware or an operating system
which has no future...

Thanks in advance,

Matt Harrington

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