Sun co-founder John Gage, who coined the phrase "The Network is the Computer" which later became a Sun slogan, is today entirely correct. Oh sure, he's not semantically correct, but he's basically correct in that the true power of the computer is not realized until it is connected to something. MP3 players are little computers that are networked to your computer long enough to load music on to them, for example. One useful and basic thing we can do to cause computers to participate with one another is to copy files between them. Sometimes it's most effective to just do this with a disk, but if they are connected to a network, it's usually easiest to copy the files that way, if not fastest.
How-To: Tutorials and Walkthroughs
Let's say, just for the sake of discussion, that you have an Xbox and you want to zip up all the roms in their own little zip files so that they take up less space, since nearly all the emulators will load roms from zip file, and perhaps because emulauncher currently demands that all extensions for a specific type of game be the same. Here's how you would do something like this in a bourne-compatible shell (like bash, ksh, ash, etc:)
In this guide, I will explain both why and how one should hack the Microsoft Xbox to run unsigned code and accept hard disk upgrades. This has been written up many times, but most of the guides are pretty old and out of date. This one will eventually also be old and out of date, but right now it's new :)
On Windows there are a slew of file recovery tools which will peer intently at an optical disc, retrying until they recover every possible file. The leading tool is probably Isobuster, but there are dozens of candidates for the title. There are few automated (or even user-friendly) data recovery tools on Linux or UNIX(tm) platforms, but common tools which are often even included with the core system or which are installable through the official package system are often sufficient for performing this critical task.
Led by Obi Bok's Linux Tune-Up Guide "Slipstreaming Windows CD under Linux" I was able to get an XP Install going on the Dell Vostro 1500. My lady bought this system (1.4 GHz Core 2 Duo, 2GB RAM, 160 GB disk, DVD burner) on sale for $600 (with intel wifi and dell bluetooth) and it's pretty sweet, and well-designed for the modern age, it even has slots which can accept a storage cache card for vista (not that we got any of those.) Vista, unfortunately, is a dog, so the goal was to install Windows XP.
Ubuntu Gutsy is the first version of Ubuntu to include LTSP verison 5, MueKow. This new version of LTSP is designed to better be integrated with your distribution of choice, and while LTSP.org provides a source distribution, this is not recommended unless you are rolling your own Linux (e.g. "Linux From Scratch".)
There are oodles of guides to netbooting the ubuntu install. This is the story of what worked for me. You could start with any of the nearly-identical guides – I began with FRIS's "Install Ubuntu Gutsy over network or from a hard-disk" on Linux Mini. Now that we've gotten credit out of the way, here are the basic steps in broad strokes:
My Compaq nw9440 laptop has a Conexant HSF soft modem. To make a long story short, the only way to get it to work on Linux (that I know of, anyway) is to use the commercial Linuxant drivers. Conexant paid them to sell drivers, and they're twenty bucks. It's not a bad deal compared to 3com, which does not and may never have Linux support for Winmodems (especially older ones.)
UPDATE 200802120955 PST: On my system (Ubuntu gutsy, wine-0.9.47) this seems to be working. I will leave this page up for posterity. --drink
Since about 0.9.13 or so Wine has been capable of running Steam and its attendant games, which includes items like Half-Life 2. However, steam backups don't seem to want to work properly.