Date: November 23, 1992

Until recently, computation-intensive programs that allow researchers to control their data pictorially--through program shells known as Graphical User Interfaces (GUIs)--were largely impractical for research chemists using MS-DOS-based personal computers. On-screen manipulation of molecules, for example, requires many recalculations per cycle of the central processing unit (CPU); and with real-time chemistry data acquisition, the computational requirements become even more daunting.

But today, as MS-DOS-based PCs get more powerful and cheaper than ever before, and with the advent of an improved Windows operating system, chemistry programs incorporating GUIs are proliferating on the desktop.

It is true that members of the Macintosh computer family, from Apple Computer Inc., Cupertino, Calif., support a number of GUI computer programs for the research chemist that predate Windows by several years. And powerful mainframes have long supported them in demanding chemistry applications. But the improvements in PC power and the added capabilities in...

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