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InformationWeek: Adolescent Angst

Jun 05, 2003, 17:30 (5 Talkback[s])
(Other stories by Larry Greenemeier)

[ Thanks to Thomas Chung for this link. ]

"As businesses turn to Linux to run more of their critical business applications, it looks as if the open-source operating system is entering an awkward adolescence. You liked Linux a lot when he was just the gawky kid from down the block mowing your lawn or shoveling the snow. But now that he wants to date your daughter, you're not so sure he measures up.

"3-Dimensional Pharmaceuticals Inc. would like to welcome Linux into its family. The company, which uses computers to screen possible drug combinations to speed up the drug-discovery process, wants to move its workstations for X-ray crystallography and other drug-discovery functions from Unix to Linux. That would cut the cost of workstations from around $30,000 for a Silicon Graphics Inc. Octane to about $7,000 for a Dell running Linux from Red Hat Inc. The savings would make it feasible for 3-Dimensional, which was acquired in March by Johnson & Johnson, to put a workstation in front of each of its 40 chemists, making them more productive.

"'We're trying to move so that more people can access the same data,' says John Spurlino, a senior director with 3-Dimensional. 'Unix workstations are more specialized and more expensive than a PC environment. If we can bring those programs to a PC running Linux, it becomes more cost effective...'"

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