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InformationWeek: Bridging Unix And Windows At NASA

Dec 25, 2002, 10:00 (9 Talkback[s])
(Other stories by Larry Greenemeier)

"The engineers at NASA's Johnson Space Center in Houston are responsible for making sure all astronauts and flight engineers are trained before they go to work miles above the Earth's surface. This means writing training software that accurately simulates the in-flight work environment. But the Johnson Center had a problem. While its programmers prefer to work on Unix terminals, the government requires them to use Windows apps for E-mail and other forms of communication.

"About a year ago, Patrick McCartney, a Johnson Center project manager, created a Linux desktop environment that could also run government-mandated Microsoft apps. This let his team of 30 engineers continue to program in a Unixlike environment and create Word documents and Outlook E-mail all on the same PC. This mixed-use scenario is slowly taking hold, encouraged by a growing number of applications for running Linux on PC desktops.

"'As PCs have become more powerful, it's easier to run Linux on the desktop and add the Windows applications and use a single machine for everything,' McCartney says..."

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