How Computers Changed My Life


This is me before using computers
Poor, Unhappy & Alone

This is me after 10 short years
of using computers in my research
Rich, trim, & sexy

The other day at Spago, as I was waiting for my limo to pull up, the Saudi prince I'd been noshing with said, "Say, Bill, how did an unassuming guy like yourself come to be so rich, so trim, so... sexy?"

My eyes grew misty. "It wasn't always this way, Ahmed, old buddy..."

My mind raced back to the Bad Time, before the Nobel prize, before the screenplay of my autobiography won an Oscar, and my biotechnology company went public. ...

Once I was a lot like you.

Working on a dead-end project, watching other peoples' seminars, washing out Eppendorf tubes to save money, and hitting on research techs. I tipped the scales at a hefty 232, but my research grant couldn't have tipped the bus boy at the Midnight Mission.

Finally, I hit bottom.. laughed off the podium at a Gordon Conference for confusing my introns and exons.

My last friend in this lonely world, Hardy Gustavsen, set me straight while he was driving me back to the bus station.

"Bill, get hold of yourself! Start using computers in your research!"

"Gosh, Hardy, don't you have to be a rocket scientist to use computers. Besides, does all that theoretical work actually have any real value for the bench chemist?"

Aside from an undergraduate degree in electrical engineering and a world record high score in Tetris and Super Mario Brothers III...

I knew absolutely nothing about computers.

"Bill, who would be wrong if your research improved?"
Looking into his steely blue eyes, I realized Hardy was right. I resolved to give computers a shot.

At first it was quite painful. Nobody warned me about carpal tunnel syndrome, monitor radiation, or eye strain. All those different fonts made my head spin.

But I started to feel the beneficial effects of using computers in my research in just one short week.

In no time, my research proposals were legible. I spent less time in the lab and more time analyzing successful experiments, and I became able to distinguish coding from noncoding regions.

Soon I was spending every night with my computer and a good book like Methods In Enzymology vol 183.

Then I met Marline. The first girl who knew that you didn't need a steel toe to boot a computer. And I fell in love.

Today, I'm on top of the world with a wonderful wife, close friends in high places and a promising career as CEO of a multinational biotechnology company.

Can computers do for you what they did for me?

A few years back, scientific studies showed that if you set an infinite number of monkeys down in front of an infinite numbers of computers, they would eventually write Hamlet.. Now if computers can do that for monkeys, imagine what it can do for you.

The possibilities are endless.

Can you afford to use a computer?

Sequence analyses that used to require a supercomputer can now be done on the desktop. Also, the National Center for Biotechnology Information has a Special Introductory Offer. You can use the system FREE OF CHARGE for as many hours as you like without obligation.

Begin the computer habit today.

Don't let this opportunity slip through your fingers. Get an account on the Bioinformatics Computers ... NOW, while you're thinking about it. And get ready for a spectacular improvement in your research.
Warn your family and friends that you may be staying later at work.
You may forget what mercaptoethanol smells like.
And the next time you're on the freeway thinking about playing with your nose, you'll find yourself asking:
"Really. Would a big name in molecular biology do this?"