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James Currie
Chemistry Department, Pacific University
Forest Grove, OR 97116

Note: This article was scanned using OCR from the Fall 1989 CCCE Newsletter. Please contact us if you identify any OCR errors.
Please see the cover for the figures from this article.Ifyou need more information, query professor Currie directly.
Chemlntosh is a structure drawing aid for Macintosh computers. For chemists, this tool is so incredibly useful that it could be worth buying a Macintosh just to use it. While having some functional similarity to ChemDraw, the fact that Chemintosh is a desk accessory, greatly adds to its versatility. With it, you can generate typeset quality structures of all sorts for inclusion in written articles, databases and presentation materials. 
As with nearly all Macintosh programs, Chemintosh is easy to use. A very complete palette of tools is used to create the structural parts. All the common rings, bond types, and stereochemical notations are included. Tools for rotation, inversion, resizing, alignment, and grouping are also present. Quite frankly in the one and one-half years of use, I have not encountered a structure or equation that could not be adequately and easily drawn with it. Most of the tool characteristics such as default bond lengths, double bond spacing, wedge lengths or widths are easily customizable. And of course all installed fonts are available. The resulting graphic is easily copied to the clipboard and pasted into the currently active application. All the common applications, such as word processors or databases accept these structures and allow manipulation as needed. The structures are object graphics and take full advantage of the resolution of a postscript laser printer.
Chemintosh is large for a desk accessory(36K) and uses a very large resource file, 360K. The DA itself must be either installed in the system file or accessed through a utility such as Suitcase II. The resource file may be anywhere but must be online during use. I use Chemintosh conveniently on an Appletalk network with both components stored on the network server. Suitcase II is used to access the DA and a shareware utility, SetPaths, is used to transparently tell the system where to look for the resource file.
A second version of this program is known as ChemConnection. This desk accessory contains a full implementation of Chemintosh but adds a structure translation tool for converting drawings to a text equivalent for on-line searches in Chemical Abstracts. Although I have not yet tried this feature on-line it's implementation is very convenient. One merely selects the drawing and clicks on the phone icon; the text equivalent is pasted on the clipboard ready to be sent by a communieations program. The feature may be customized to give the desired translation into normalized or exact bond types. 
Chemlntosh retails for $295 and Chern Connection for $395. Academic discounts are available. This is one of those "can't live without" programs that while not cheap is worth every penny of it.


10/20/89 to 10/24/89