Search for Information.

I am currently in the middle of changing from a position involving
 molecular mechanics and related calculations on small molecules (saccharides)
 to one where I will be working with protein and (to an extent) nucleic acid
 sequence information and structure.
 I would be very grateful for any information that members of this list could
 provide me with in the following areas:
 1) Databases.
 Which databases of sequence and structure information exist? How can I get
 them? Are they available on tape, or must they be downloaded over the internet?
 If the former, what sort of costs are payable by an academic site, an academic
 site with commercial links, or a "full" commercial site? What size are
 various databases, and what is the position on merging information between
 several of them?
 2) Software.
 Which packages exist for analysis and exploration of the databases? How much
 is available "over the net", and what is sold commercially? Again,
 what are
 the costs for a straight academic site, an academic site with commercial links
 or a full commercial site?
 3) Hardware.
 What machines do these programs need to run on? What is the minimum size of
 system that is normally used, and does it have serious limitations? In other
 words, is the minimum system normally used one that will JUST do the job, or
 is it a system that happens to have been already in existence and to which the
 software can easily be ported?
 4) Other Considerations.
 Is there a parallel mailing list to this one for molecular biology?
 Can anyone recommend a good review of the field?
 As you can imagine, I'm rather "in at the deep end" with these
 questions, but I
 assumed that the Combined Wisdom of the Net ought to be able to give me a good
 idea of the information I need for this project.
 Thank you all very much,
                          Steve Glover (british order) (rest of world)
 PS it goes without saying that I will summarise and repost...