Great software

Warning non omics tangent ahead.

Its been a whole two months since my last post. In the last few months I have had a unix laptop hard-drive crash and its reiserfs file system irrecoverably “trample on itself ” , a windows XP installation get corrupted and loose all video performance after a system update, and both of this resulted in my buying myself a macbook pro running OSX .
These experiences made me ask myself that while I struggle with understanding protein structure and function correlations in my professional life, why cant engineers and scientists who deal with the vastly more predictable world of technology, build machines or systems that just do the right thing ( alright I use this apple add-speak because I just love OSX so far).
I then paused to ask myself , which are the recent technologies that have made my life so incredibly easy that they probably did represent significant achievements in software design or were probably the cumlination of people who wrote software that “did the right thing”. Using as a criteria , software or systems that I use so extensively and thoroughly that they are as much a part of me as my arms and legs , I made myself a quick “inapiration list ” in no particular order. They are Google , firefox , Microsoft Excel , a MySQl relational database , my home box running gentoo linux , the scripting language PERL and although still very new my OSX running macbook pro. I would also add the eclipse IDE to this list but that hope to be the subject of another post.

And as I was checking my gmail , in came an article on the SUN developer connection mentioning the 12 greatest pieces of software ever written. The list I was very happy to note included, every item in the above list I compiled in some way shape or form.
Google ( pagerank , no 11) , firefox ( well NCSA mosaic made no 6) , Excel ( no 9) , MySQL ( relational database no 2 ) , PERL ( the genome assembler coded in perl no 3) , and OSX ( based on BSD unix no 1 ) , gentoo linux ( also no 1).
I guess I am smiling because atleast I know a good thing when I see it. Charles Babcock I couldnt agree more.

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One response to “Great software

  1. … and I second that opinion. On an unrelated note – WELCOME BACK!!!!

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