"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..."