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Molecular Biology software for UNIX?

Brian Fristensky frist at ccu.umanitoba.ca
Thu Sep 29 10:47:26 EST 1994


In article tt1 at rs18.hrz.th-darmstadt.de, martin at oc2.oc.chemie.th-darmstadt.de (Martin Kroeker) writes:
> Brian Fristensky (frist at ccu.umanitoba.ca) wrote:
> 
> > [ A description of the BIRCH software package ] 
> 
> > I think you'd be making a big mistake to move back to the PC world when you
> > have Unix available. PC operating systems are moving towards increasing 
> > complexity and will be harder and harder to administer as time goes on.
> 
> > A Unix server with X-windows clients solves most of these problems, and can
> 
> The PC world is not completely in the 'hands' of MS/DOS and MS Windows.
> How about installing BIRCH on PC's running LINUX (or one of the BSD
> derivatives) ? 
> Martin
> --
> Dr.-Ing. Martin Kroeker                 
> Inst. f. Organ. Chemie                   martin at oc2.oc.chemie.th-darmstadt.de
> Univ. (TH) Darmstadt                           db7p at hrzpub.th-darmstadt.de
> Germany                                     
You're right. Operating systems & hardware are not the same thing. In this
case, Linux is a time-tested and respected implementation of Unix that can
run on existing PC's. As you allude to, other versions of Unix such as SCO
and SunOS(Solaris) can be run on 386/486 architecture. I would be willing
to bet that a PowerPC Linux will be available well before OS/2 or 
Chicago or any of the "PC" operating systems enter the market.

To answer your question, since I do not currently have access to a
PC running Linux, I haven't adapted anything to Linux myself. However,
many of the programs BIRCH uses have been compiled and run under Linux
by others. In particular, there is now a Linux version of GDE, which
I believe is available at megasun.bch.umontreal.ca. It is probably a
good bet that anything that compiles under GNU C should comile with
no change under Linux. 

I suspect that Martin was also thinking about the fact that running Linux
or another Unix on a PC doesn't exclude also having something like
DOS/Windows on the same machine. You create separate disk partitions
and boot as one or the other. However, to me, this still leaves you with
most of the problems of what I consider "toy" operating systems, like
Windows or MacOS, and you have to keep moving back and forth between
two environments, and you have to be proficient at using two 
systems. Far better to unify all of your activities on a single
platform in a clean, straightforward manner.

===============================================================================
Brian Fristensky                | 
Department of Plant Science     |  A question is like a knife that slices
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frist at cc.umanitoba.ca           |  
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