The American Scientist conducted a poll to see how scientists really use computers. Nearly 2,000 people responded and they said they work about 48 hours a week, spending 30 percent of that time developing software and 40 percent using. They also said they are spending more time now than five years ago developing and using scientific software. Most of the respondents generate and archive a few gigabytes' worth of data a year and tend to use common software. "If funding agencies, vendors and computer science researchers really want to help working scientists do more science, they should invest more in conventional small-scale computing," Greg Wilson writes.
At Mailund on the Internet, Thomas Mailund doesn't find the conclusions surprising. "Even at BiRC where we do a lot of genome analysis that really do need computer grids, most of our computer use is desktop computers," he writes.