This note is regarding the unfortunate state of affairs at IUBIO.
Don Gilbert (gilbertd at sunflower.bio.indiana.edu), besides giving the bio
community such useful utilities as READSEQ (the reformatting routines of
which have been incorporated into a number of other programs, making it
easier to mash sequence), GopherApp (the first and still foremost compiled
gopher for the Mac), loopDloop (Canvas for RNA structures), SeqApp (the
first Internet-aware sequence analysis program that has set and upped the
standard for all manner of sequence analysis programs), and many others,
(deep breath) has also managed to set up a revolutionary biology archive
that addressed a huge deficit in computer assisted sequence analysis (easy
access to an updated Genbank among other things) AND modified and
implemented the WAIS code that allowed gopher to use boolean connnectives
in WAIS searches. In short, what Don has accomplished for sequence bashers
is quite a bit.
Don has recently become a victim of his own success, with his archive
disk first full and now crashed. Although he's back up temporarily with a
borrowed disk, and he'll probably get a replacement, what he really need is
more disk space, something that he's mentioned a few times here....to a
disappointing silence, at least from the postings.
According to the log, Don's Biogopher services about 7000 requests a
week. While I access it frequently, I doubt it adds up to anywhere close
to 7000 8), so there's quite a few IUBIO users out there, one indication of
usefulness. Another is that here at the Salk, we have stopped buying the
Genbank distribution (as well as a number of other databases) because Don's
Genbank gopher made it so easy to grab sequences. Not only did we save a
bit of money by not buying the tapes, but we saved installation time and
disk space, and the number of complaints about getting sequences dropped
precipitously (altho the number of requests for info about gopher
increased). I imagine that similar situations exist elsewhere.
(The point already, stupid) So how 'bout it, people? How much is it
worth to you to have Don get a new disk and keep grinding out bio-code for
the rest of us? Look at it this way - times are tight, but $25 is about
the cost of a subscription to Newsweek or Time and much less than a
subscription to Cell or Nature, or even the cost of a very cheap piece of
software. Isn't it worth that much to keep alive of one of the best little
archives in the world? Bypass bureaucracy! Direct Action! Carpe Diem!
(incorrectly, Death to Carp).
Come on, dig out your checkbooks and write him a personal check for $25,
harass your colleagues to do the same, and/or get your dept to cut a check
for $100 out of petty cash. He needs about $2500, one of the best
*^%!&!^%! deals that much will ever buy.
For more info, email to archive at bio.indiana.edu.
We now return you to your regularly scheduled programming.
Harry Mangalam Vox:(619) 453-4100, x250
Dept of Biocomputing Fax:(619) 552-1546
The Salk Institute 1' mangalam at salk-sc2.sdsc.edu
10010 N Torrey Pines Rd 2' hjm at salk-sgi.sdsc.edu
La Jolla CA 92037 3' mangalam at salk.bitnet