Sackville-West Clan Wiki/ nlvt2007/ ablog/ Laptop configuration

I've ordered a laptop as I need to be able to get some work done on this trip (taxes, payrolls etc) and it'll be nice to remain in contact as well. It will serve multiple duties: dvd player for the kids in the car, summer homework machine for Isabelle, work machine for me, general toy for the rest of the family. I ordered what looks like a decent rig from linuxcertified with an upgraded processor (core 2 duo, I guess its doubledoubleplusgood...).

It will arrive today according to ups. So I've got to get this thing configured. I ordered it with Ubuntu as that's the closest option to my preferred system: Debian. So I've got to decide whether to go ahead and run it with Ubuntu, or upgrade it to Debian... well, I consider it an upgrade. I usually use wmii on my desktop and I suspect that getting that to work satisfactorally (sp?) may be difficult. Its probably better to go with what I know and reinstall the thing. I'll have to take copious notes about the configuration before hand though. Maybe I'll just copy off the whole /etc tree and save it somewhere as a reference. My big fear is that the wireless will be running some non-free bits that I won't be able to get working easily in Debian.

I'll have to set up a kid friendly environment as well, as I don't really expect them to take to wmii right away. Its probably too late for them... I should have started them with a command line instead of letting them touch a gooey gui. That's a hangover from our windows days. The kids learned on windows first. I hope they can be saved...

The other thing to work out is how to sync this laptop with my main machine. I'd love to follow Joey Hess' subverted home, but I won't really have time to set that up. And frankly, I probably won't need it. We'll only be networked intermittently, so I'll have to copy some critical documents to the laptop for on-the-road work, but a lot of stuff can just stay where it is. I'll probably continue to just ssh in and attach a screen session for checking email, manipulating photos of the trip, admin'ing the server and so forth. I think the best bet is to just setup a wrapper around rsync and use that to move critical stuff back and forth. hmmm... I could incorporate it into the networking stuff and have it rsync those things automatically whenever the net comes up and goes down... that's gotta be worth a few minutes of sript hacking. I could create a post-up script to rsync the laptop back to home everytime it comes up. That would give me nice consistent backups of everything I do when offline.