I had a UNIX computer once. I even managed to do something genuinely useful with it but like a cautious monkey I hadn’t let go of my old branch before grabbing this new one so when the new branch looked a little unkempt I swung straight back to my comfortable old branch. Now all the other monkeys in my office are on a newer branch, it’s a nice tidy looking branch and they’re having a great time and there’s free fruit! Okay, I’ve flogged that analogy sufficiently and I’m not even sure it’s working, here’s a more coherent summary; I had a PC then I tried UNIX computing but went back to PC because I couldn’t cope with Open Office (it feels a lot like Office 2003). Now my colleagues have got Macs, the operating system is basically UNIX and you can have all your familiar Office software. So this week, with a Tarzan like cry I shall leap from my ms-windows branch to join the Mac monkeys.
And for those of you of stern enough dispositions to get though that last paragraph here is why; NGS software is UNIX software, commercial programmes are starting to pop up but they tend to be based on algorithms that are already freely available on UNIX and given the rate of change that we observe in NGS I wonder if they will be able to stay relevant as quickly as the crowdsourcing/open-source approach will. So unless I’m happy shipping my data off to undergo some magical black box processing (and I’m not) then I think I’d better pull my socks up.