Angelo Delegeane (delgene at netcom.com) wrote:
: In article <2rqmhp$a9 at mserv1.dl.ac.uk> Guy Tremblay wrote:
: : Hi net fans!
:: : I would like to have some hints on the future of computing
: : related to biology. I am an undergraduate student at UQAM and I am
: : strongly interested in computer applications, but I am not sure of the
: : market's practical needs. Do you think that IBM PCs will overwhelm UNIX
: : hold on scientific applications? Where could I find some documentation?
: : Information on biocomputing graduate studies?
: : Thanks in advance...
: Being involved in Bioinformatics, I can tell you that if you are going to
: depend on an IBM PC to help you, you'll find that the bioinformatics world
: is going to pass you by in a flash. With the improvements being made in chip
: technology today and in the near future and with the incredible amount of
: information that is being derived and managed, UNIX operating systems are the
: only ones that will be able to handle the incredible load. Sure, Apple
: has been working on scripting languages but they don't compare to the power
: of the shell scripts that can be written and are still to slow.
:: You might write to the DOE and the Human Genome Project to learn of the
: current advances that are being made in bioinformatics and sequencing
: technology. Good luck!!
One small point - IBM PC != DOS or Windows for that matter - there are many
useful biocomputing applications which run under linux, a free version of
Unix for IBM PCs - I personally do a lot of my research on a PC at home, under
linux. The bigger issue is the computing power needed for some of the
applications being written - the whole PC architecture isn't exactly designed
carefully to exude performance. A sparc II will kill an intel chip at
floating point performance for example. I wholeheartedly support the notion
that Unix offers a lot more flexibility in data handling.