Friday, October 16, 2009

It Works. Again. (or: ZIP Archives and non-English Filenames)

The wait is over. My wife's laptop came back from the lab. They've replaced the motherboard. Again.

My wife has commandeered my laptop during the past few weeks, trying to get some work done on a VirtualBox hosted WinXP machine, with her My Documents folder pointing to a VirtualBox shared folder in my home directory.

She wasn't happy: I think that the virtual machine is surprisingly fast; she thinks that it's dead slow.

Anyway, the bottom line is that she did manage to modify a few documents and created several new ones. So all that remained to be done, before reverting my laptop to its Debian self, was to synchronize between the My Documents folder on the fixed laptop and the documents directory on my laptop's hard drive.

I used the following to create a ZIP archive containing only the files that my wife modified recently:
cd ~/docs/wife/                                              
find -newermt "Sep 23 2009" | grep -v Thumbs.db | grep -v Desktop.ini | zip -@ /tmp/
My intention was to copy this archive over to my wife's laptop and extract its contents to her My Documents folder.

Unfortunately, the Unicode encoded file names in the archive showed up as garbage when the archive was opened on the Window$ box. So I re-archived the files with 7zip (Debian package p7zip-full), which seems to handle non-English file names in a more sensible manner:
mkdir /tmp/wife-docs
cd /tmp/wife-docs
unzip ../
7z a ../wife-docs.7z .
Next time (hopefully never - but I don't kid myself) I'll probably mount my wife's documents folder over CIFS and then use rsync to synchronize the files. It's supposed to be The Right Way™ to do this.

The warranty on my wife's laptop expires in a month. Wish us luck.

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