I have the privledge and duty of maintaining the repository at a linux distribution called "Damn Small Linux".
It is a small 50 MB 'bootable' LIVE CD , which will run on about anything that has at least some type of math-co (486DX or better) and >16MB ram.
Included with the use of the distro is the forementioned repository, which contains about 250-300 apps that are basically "click & run" linux software.
I have contributed many of the mentioned ham radio apps to the site, all ready-to-run with no compiling or other challenges, simply download and run.
Being so easy to remaster ( burn on a CD ) , and being so small, it's a breeze to take the basic 50 MB .iso ,
and add the dozen or so apps to your miniCD, to make your OWN custom linux distro, which includes what you want in it.
Boot it up anywhere, on just about anything. I use a 128MB USBkey to bootup DSL AND hold a wealth of apps.
A miniCD holds about 180MB's , and easily fits in your pocket. Just right for your entire distro AND 120MB's of your favorites..
Here is a list of the apps I have working nicely.
LinPSK, Predict, G-Sat, Q-Cad, TWLog, X-Log-0.99,
TLF, Xastir-1.4.0 AND festival, XEphem, XPlanet,
QSSTV, WmWeather, soundmodem, Sox, and Minicom/microcom
Over the weekend, I was able to work the ISS via APRS several times using xastir.
I posted to the DSL forums many screenshots of the message log, APRS traffic, that are available in xastir,
as well as the www.ariss.net
I posted up several more showing the topo, weather, and street maps available thru xastir,
as well as other screenshots demonstrating many other programs.
( the live weather data from amateur weather stations was a big hit. )
I also posted a copy of an email I sent myself via APRS, noting I did this without an internet connection.
Both feedback thru the forum's userbase and my email has been positive and generous.
Linux has been a blast for me this past year, and I hope to share the joy with as many others as possible.
I realize the topic here was also about M$ apps, and I have used them before,
and they are more refined than the ones in linux.
But to a newcomer, who is seeing these types of communications and excitement for the first time,
the joy doesn't seem to be in the brand, but the results..
KE4NT "Kent" Porter