Re: Can I buy the LongTrace software?
Posted by: nucleics
Date: August 05, 2007 08:14AM
I hope we are not insulting our customers by explaining why we don't just sell the software. The LongTrace software is computationally complex (it takes 7 to 15 seconds to process each trace). The mac mini is a surprisingly powerful computer (about equivalent to 3Ghz Pentium 4). To run LongTrace in a reasonable time it needs to be run on a fairly powerful computer - something that the mac mini offers in a small and silent package.
The major problem we face with just selling the software is that LongTrace uses the KB basecaller. LongTrace just process the traces and they are basecalled by ABI's KB basecaller. Because of the difficulty of setting this up correctly (we need to use KB in a non-standard way) it makes for a very brittle system, where unless we know exactly the state of the system it doesn't work. Given that the extra cost that the mac mini imposes on our customers is very low (~5% of the final price), and the fact that we are then faced with supporting only one system, we think that this makes sense for our customers - I would hope they value having a reliable, working and supportable system even if it comes at a slightly higher price.