Intel’s 80386 chip holds a lot of promise for scientists working in all areas of computer-supported research. In addition to increasing memory capacity over its immediate predecessor, the Intel 80286, the 386 packs far more power. With it, for example, scientists will be able to run complicated molecular modeling or number-crunching programs on their desktop PCs. But it will be a while before that potential is realized in the IBM-compatible world since, for the full 386 power to be “unleashed,” an operating system more complex than even the latest version of MSDOS is necessary. This will come eventually in the form of an update to IBM’s OS/2, currently available only for 286-based machines.

Does that mean that chemists who want to work with complicated molecular models or neurobiologists who want to design neural network simulation programs, can gain nothing from their spiffy new 386-based PS/2s, Compaqs, or other machines whose...

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