on 23 July 2002
I found this book to be little more than a very basic introduction to bioinformatics. If you want a book to tell you what can be done then it useful, but it goes into very little detail. The ground it attempts to cover is far too large, it runs through an introduction to databases, LINUX and PERL. If you are interested in these you will need to buy a proper book for each subject.
The book would have been a lot better if they had run through some examples of what you can do, showing you what can be done along the way.
The authors should also acknowledge that most biologists only use Windows PCs and Macs rather than just concentrate on LINUX. It should have also mentioned that OS-X is based upon UNIX and lots of the LINUX things can be done on that OS too.
on 5 June 2001
Firstly this book is entirely Unix/Linux based, which may cut out many casual laboratory users. This is par for the course in bioinformatics but not strictly necessary. It has a few chapters to get you started on Linux set-up, and a very, very light grounding in molecular biology. The brief explanation of Perl programming, and databases is hardly sufficient other than as an eye-opener. It is a probable time saver as a good current reference to the available free bioinformatics web-sites and tools.
Possibly the authors are trying to cater to people who either know very little molecular biology (computing students), or very little computing (biologists). Perhaps there are two books yet to be written: one for each group.