SEP continuously balances its commitment to geophysical research with its maintenance and improvement of its computing environment. We suggest that SEP could save a significant amount of time currently expended on the computing environment by simplifying its system, in particular, by reducing the number of supported computer platforms. We suggest a conceptually different computer environment in which SEP researcher would use a Linux workstation for standard UNIX services and a few special purpose computers for specific tasks such as huge computations. We prefer Linux because of its software quality, its portability, and free availability. Additionally, the PC hardware is not limited to a single vendor's operating system.
First we discuss features that demonstrate the capability of Linux-PCs to serve as office and home workstations at SEP. Next we point out the ease with which we ported the SEP environment to a Linux-PC. Finally, we point out the problems we see with SEP's current computer environment and suggest how to improve it.