[Ubuntu PA] Possible New NTR Project

Kevin Valentine kevin.valentine at gmail.com
Wed Sep 10 03:22:22 BST 2008

Art Alexion wrote:
> Brian Stempin wrote:
>>     I do this 2-3 times a week.  I know where the cruft lives and I know how
>>     important it is for people not to lose their stuff.  Would you want to
>>     be instructed to destroy your stuff?
>> No, I wouldn't, nor was I advocating this.
>> I think the idea of backing up the user's data and restoring it for them
>> (cruft-free) is pretty neat.  I don't think that what Jim or Kevin
>> described can do this for 100% of users.  It does not have the space or
>> the cruft-avoidance ability.  The broken links that something like this
>> would produce from missing programs, etc etc is a ton of cruft and
>> confusion for end-users.  Also, there has been no mention of what would
>> happen if the user has more data than the aux drive can handle.
>> I just think that it would be simpler to have the user back their data
>> up.  Perhaps we can somehow aid in this (ie, perhaps aiding the user in
>> running an special NT backup script that stores the backup on the aux
>> drive), but automating it with *0* user intervention is probably not a
>> good idea.
> I propose backing up three folders -- not to an internal drive, but to a
> CD, DVD, or USB stick.  Potentially lots of data, but shouldn't include
> installed executables. (Possibly an install package downloaded to the
> desktop, though)  So there shouldn't be any concern about breaking
> links, etc

I'm really liking this discussion.  Jim and I had briefly touched on 
dealing with personal files but decided to go the cheap way and only 
provide a warning message.  I like Brian's suggestion of a 
semi-automated solution.  Art's suggestion of different media options is 
great too.

In response what Brian said about using a special NT backup script.  
Doesn't that mean you'd be doing the personal file backup from within 
Windows?  I think the best approach to this is to provide a solution 
from within the existing Ubuntu desktop environment.  It could be in the 
form of a documented procedure or even a full blown, hand holding GUI.  
The main reason I say to do it in Ubuntu vs. Windows is because one must 
assume the Windows environment has been corrupted, thus the need to 
backup personal files and do a restore in the first place.  Does that 
sound reasonable?

As much as I would love to work on a GUI for this, we should start off 
with just providing NTR a well documented manual procedure.  I think it 
would take too long to create a GUI that has all the necessary features 
to be considered user friendly.  So maybe we can start by documenting 
how to mount the Windows drive, select the proper files, and save them 
to a thumb drive or burn them with Brasero to CDs/DVDs.  Once we've 
defined all of that and even used it for a while, I'm sure we'll have a 
better concept of the challenges in developing the GUI.

Of course, this doesn't mean that someone can't work on a GUI now.  
However, AFAIK we don't have any other GUI developers volunteering to 
work on this.  I'm stuck focusing my novice GUI development skills on 
the "Windows image creation and Ubuntu OEM install" application.  For 
any of you GUI developers reading this, feel free jump in :)

I'll do my best to capture what's been discussed here and put it on the 
project's wiki page.


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