laptop theft and sharing data between home and work

laptop theft and sharing data between home and work

Post by nmdc6 » Fri, 23 Dec 2005 23:03:58

My laptop was recently stolen from my office and I shopping
around to buy a new one. I'm currently debating between a Powerbook
and a Linux Intel machine (I started a separate thread on this a few

In this thread I'd like to hear opinions about theft protection and
sharing data between work and home.
My ideal would be to use a laptop, preferably a Mac, everywhere,
and bring it in the office every day.
However after the recent experience, I came to the conclusion that
I will no longer trust bringing an expensive laptop in the office more
than on rare occasions, even tied to a lock. I have to lock it in a
drawer every time I leave the room, which is not feasible.

So I thinking of buying a Powerbook to use only at home and
when I travel, and a Linux desktop for the office. I can afford two
Macs. To avoid too much file transfer, I'm thinking of keeping my
home directory on an external USB or firewire laptop disk, that
I could hook up to both computers. This way I only have to carry
the disk.

Is this feasible using Mac and Linux, or are there inconveniences
due to the different systems?

Is anyone using this solution on a regular basis?

Will an external disk be slower?

Or should I stick to identical Linux installations for both computers
to keep things simple?

other theft protection and data sharing suggestions are appreciated.


laptop theft and sharing data between home and work

Post by Roman Pear » Mon, 26 Dec 2005 18:24:37

The best way to protect data is to back it up to a server, daily. You
will need high speed internet at home for this to work. In my
experience with these things, USB keys are lost or forgotten somewhere,
although they make a great secondary backup for things which are really
important (ie: presentations).

If you don't have fast internet at home, or if your files are too big,
then consider a portable hard drive. I would not recommend putting
your home directory on the drive, because it just creates a mess. Keep
the drive neatly organized, with only your work on it, and keep the
mess on your home machine. When you are working, copy the relevant
files to whatever machine you are working on, do your work on that
machine, then copy the finished work back to the drive. This is a
valuable safeguard against accidentally wrecking something and saving
it. Copy the whole drive over to your home machine or laptop at least
every week. That way if you lose the drive: 1) your home machine still
boots and 2) it may have a copy of your data. Ultimately, data
protection is about redundancy. Your home and work machines should not
require a portable hard drive to run. They should have a copy of your
data if possible.

Also make sure you format the drive with FAT32 or whatever "lowest
common denominator" filesystem Windows XP supports. Sometimes you are
in a hurry and you just need some blasted file off your drive, and all
you have access to is a Windows machine. Of course FAT32 is supported
by virtually every Linux distro as well.


laptop theft and sharing data between home and work

Post by Gnarlodiou » Tue, 27 Dec 2005 02:13:04

Entity Roman Pearce uttered this profundity:


-- Gnarlie
echo 38698196677083401706731788025369086101258315035012362P|dc

laptop theft and sharing data between home and work

Post by Roman Pear » Wed, 28 Dec 2005 05:46:36

> Entity Roman Pearce uttered this profundity:

Care to enlighten us with your suggestion, or are you just an idiot ?