Happy New Year

Still not dead, still not writing much on Livejournal.
Main news this year was R. applying for University, but we're still waiting to hear from most of them.

Dear lazyweb (part two)

Also, said laptop should be able to switch from a wired network connection inside a firewall, to wifi outside firewall with VPN, transparently, when undocked/unplugged.

Or failing that, manual switching should be easy.

Recommendations? (For Ubuntu 11.10 or 12.04)

Dear lazyweb

I want a network filesystem that continues to work when the network goes away, and magically reconciles stuff when it comes back. (For use on a Linux laptop which mostly lives in a docking station, but not always.)

I've found http://www.coda.cs.cmu.edu/ and http://code.google.com/p/tsumufs/

Both of them look as if they are trying to solve exactly this problem, but both look like interesting research projects not really ready for production use. Am I wrong? Have I missed something?

If I fall back on "have a local copy, sync regularly with the server", any recommendations?
("Make it all a DVCS repository" (bazaar looks a front runner, git another strong possibility), and Unison are possibilities.)

(And, related, I want to be able to login while disconnected, but keep account information in step with the stuff currently using NIS.
Use "ypcat passwd" (while connected) and compare with local entries?
http://manpages.ubuntu.com/manpages/oneiric/man8/sync-accounts.8.html ?
Something else?)

Poorly PC

My home PC stopped booting Windows this weekend. There are backups of the important stuff that can't be reinstalled, but this could be tedious. Currently watching ddrescue (from a Linux (Debian Mint) USB stick) copying a disk image to NAS. About halfway through (having run all day), Only 1 error so far.
(It seems determined to drive my monitor at 700x400 - I can select other resolutions and the size of things changes accordingly, but not the lack of detail.)

Once I have as full and up-to-date a backup as possible, time to try Windows Restore Console. And buy some new disks possibly....

Tool hire question

What's the difference between a Cultivator ("for preparation of ground prior to sowing or planting"), a Power Digger ("For digging uncultivated ground"), and a Rotavator (different web site, no description)?