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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A Great Book For Exploring the Bioinformatics Field
It's no deep secret many Information Technology (IT) professionals today are facing a rough road finding gainful employment. In fact, according to Information Week, nearly 10% of the US IT workforce vanished in the last two months of 2002. More aptly put, some 272,530 American IT professionals in October were unemployed by December. This data is corroborated by the Bureau...
Published on April 15 2003 by Bruce Pechman

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3.0 out of 5 stars Useful only for a reference book
We are all well aware that it is impossible to write a book on bioinformatics satisfying all types of readers. That is the reason why we are spending much time on finding a book that we can say "This book is just for me!"
Well, this book is not a self-teaching book by itself. Don't expect that things will become clear to understand after reading this...
Published on Dec 2 2003 by Seungwoo Hwang


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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A Great Book For Exploring the Bioinformatics Field, April 15 2003
This review is from: Developing Bioinformatics Computer Skills (Paperback)
It's no deep secret many Information Technology (IT) professionals today are facing a rough road finding gainful employment. In fact, according to Information Week, nearly 10% of the US IT workforce vanished in the last two months of 2002. More aptly put, some 272,530 American IT professionals in October were unemployed by December. This data is corroborated by the Bureau of Labor Statistics. Where did they all go? Many almost certainly got jobs in other professions and many still could be seeking employment. Employment counselors are encouraging IT professionals to "repurpose" those hard earned tech skills.
Bioinformatics is a ripe apple waiting to be eaten. Bioinformatics simply stated is the computational and analytical methods to biological problems. If this sounds like an open ended explanation, it is. In fact, according to O'Reilly's definitive publication on the topic, "Developing Bioinformatics Computer Skills" by Cynthia Gibas and Per Jambeck, there are several different definitions to Bioinformatics, but suffice to say all revolve around applying IT to the management of biological data.
Chapters one through six delineate the basics including the typical and common software and hardware requirements for Bioinformatics. I will tell you right now if you want to be successful in this fresh field, you must learn Unix. The book points out why. Unix is used extensively in universities and academia where the abundance of software for scientific data analysis is developed. Not to mention in the mid nineties, the only workstations able to visualize protein data structure in real-time were Silicon Graphics and Sun Unix workstations. Linux fans rejoice! As the book points out, "Linux is an excellent platform for developing software, so there's a rich library of tools available for computational biology and research in general."
Sound interesting? At this point you could be overwhelmed and ask yourself, "Where do I start?" Well, you may want to purchase O'Reilly's "Developing Bioinformatics Computer Skills" to see what the fuss is all about, determine whether you have what it takes to succeed in this new field, and most importantly, get an introduction to the software tools for biological applications from the inside out. Bioinformatics is a growing field that will continue for the unforeseeable future.
If you're serious about turning around that stagnant IT career and expanding your education, you may find yourself in the same enviable position you were three years ago...needed and wanted! But don't let me mislead you. As the book points out, Bioinformatics is first and foremost a biological science.
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1.0 out of 5 stars horrible, June 10 2004
By A Customer
This review is from: Developing Bioinformatics Computer Skills (Paperback)
This book is the worst I've ever purchased. It has been no help whatsoever. It had a couple examples of PERL programming...big deal.
The 5-star ratings are obvious shills (one reviewer wrote a very long review and has never reviewed anything else)
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4.0 out of 5 stars Good introduction, somewhat uneven, Dec 17 2003
By 
Christoph Weber (San Diego, CA USA) - See all my reviews
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This review is from: Developing Bioinformatics Computer Skills (Paperback)
This book is a good introduction to Bioinformatics and to what it takes to get started in the field. Some reviewers deride it as too superficial or as too Unix-centric, but I think those are two of its strengths. The authors lay no claim to having written the definitive work on the subject of Bioinformatics, and they freely admit that they come in with a certain bias. If you are serious about Bioinformatics this won't be your last book anyway, but it'll get you started.
That said, I found the material a bit uneven. The authors tend to jump from almost trivial stuff to very complex in a heartbeat, and they sometimes use a concept or command before it can be properly understood One example: Introducing the Unix commands head and tail, then moving on to split and csplit. The introduction to regular expressions as needed by csplit follows a few pages later.
Nevertheless, I plan to use this book as a companion text to my own sequence of computer classes for biologists, and I think it will serve that purpose very well.
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3.0 out of 5 stars Useful only for a reference book, Dec 2 2003
By 
Seungwoo Hwang (Albany, NY USA) - See all my reviews
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This review is from: Developing Bioinformatics Computer Skills (Paperback)
We are all well aware that it is impossible to write a book on bioinformatics satisfying all types of readers. That is the reason why we are spending much time on finding a book that we can say "This book is just for me!"
Well, this book is not a self-teaching book by itself. Don't expect that things will become clear to understand after reading this book.
If your expectation is just to taste flavor of bioinformatics and to use it as a reference book, then this book is right for you.
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4.0 out of 5 stars Quite good introduction, Oct. 2 2003
By 
doudou1229 "doudou1229" (Irvine, CA United States) - See all my reviews
This review is from: Developing Bioinformatics Computer Skills (Paperback)
This is a quite good book for people who have little background in Bioinformatics or Computer Science. I have to say it was pretty good in introducing basic ideas in Bioinformatics, and online resources.
However, I think the authors can do a better job in providing more details in certain areas, for example, in Perl programming, and in sequence alignment. Some parts of the book is so simple that the contents in those parts are not quite useful.
I would recommend this book to people who are new to Bioinformatics. But not to people who have taken one or two
introductory classes.
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4.0 out of 5 stars Rating depends on what you purpose is, Dec 26 2002
By 
Steven Marks "Prog Harpo" (Petaluma, CA United States) - See all my reviews
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This review is from: Developing Bioinformatics Computer Skills (Paperback)
My purpose in ordering this book is to see if I can make the transision into this new field. From that perspective, I would rank this book 5 stars. It really satisfied my need to understand what is required to make the leap into this area.
This book is a real broad swatch of all the different skills that one needs to know to assume a basic competency in bioinformatics. On page 14, they actually list core essential skills and "nice to have skills". molecular biology, Unix, Perl, algorithms, major biology software packages are all on the essential core list. The auuthors really take the viewpoint on here is how to set your computer up (on a budget!), web sites to go to and so on. Not knowing Unix and not having it currently on my computer made the two Unix/Linux chapters academic.
The book is great from the perspective of seeing the big picture. Where it falls down is in the depth department. "Predicting Protein Structure and Function from Sequence" is covered in 35 pages! It is impossible to understand this subject in 35 pages - yet the authors conveyed a sense of the subject and how it fits into a larger picture.
If you are familiar with the subject and want in depth treatment, this is not the book.
if you want an introduction "big picture" book this could serve your needs.
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3.0 out of 5 stars Brief coverage of many topics, July 1 2002
By 
B. John - See all my reviews
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This review is from: Developing Bioinformatics Computer Skills (Paperback)
No indepth analysis in the topics presented. But this book could be really useful for those people who would like a quick review of many topics overnight for an interview or so. Not good for solid understanding of the theory behind. I think "Developing Bioinformatics Computer Skills" is a too vague title for the book. it is more about getting to know what is in there than any "development". It's good to have the book though not essential.
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2.0 out of 5 stars Very simplistic book., May 19 2002
By 
Hisashi T. Fujinaka (Portland, OR USA) - See all my reviews
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This review is from: Developing Bioinformatics Computer Skills (Paperback)
The book is at a level of a magazine article overview, just longer. With some editing it probably could have made it into a magazine.
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1.0 out of 5 stars AWFUL! SAVE YOUR MONEY, April 29 2002
By A Customer
This review is from: Developing Bioinformatics Computer Skills (Paperback)
AWFUL BOOK. HAS MANY MANY ERRORS. SAVE YOUR MONEY. NOT USEFUL.
THE WRITERS DO NOT KNOW WHAT THEY ARE TALKING ABOUT.
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1.0 out of 5 stars THE WRITERS SHOULD BE SHOT!, April 29 2002
By A Customer
This review is from: Developing Bioinformatics Computer Skills (Paperback)
Awful book. Not useful at all. FILLED WITH A TON OF INACCURACIES, ESPECIALLY IN THE GENETICS CENTRAL DOGMA AREA. Any comp scientist will learn genetics incorrectly from this.
What a waste of money and good paper that it was printed on
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Developing Bioinformatics Computer Skills
Developing Bioinformatics Computer Skills by Per Jambeck (Paperback - May 3 2001)
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