Started out with archiving my home directory. Being slighly paranoid, I had made multiple copies of things depeneding on levels of falsely perceived ciriticality. I chose to use a non standard Linux distro simply because I was walking this path to have a OS of my choice.
The backup was particuarly painful. Once I got to nuking the box and repartiotning, I discovered that 10GB had been previosuly unpartitioned. Went thorugh the usual partioning dilemma. After years of making dual/tri/quad boot machines on 4/30+4/40/120 GB HDs somethings never change. The choice of OS is always different and so is the expected usage pattern. I decided to save some space for Windows since the necesaary license is already paid for anyway.
Managed to get ssh working late Tuesday night and I headed home. Built pretty much everything after that over the next day (remotely). Headed to work this morning. Extrated the archives. Most stuff just picked the settings and worked. These include firefox, gaim, opera, thunderbird, mozilla, mplayer.. and of course maildir based stuff.
Chose not to import a few settings. Now fine tuning stuff (rather was before I headed home). Managed to tweak the system to make it look like the company std distro from the internal pkg management tools perspective. Managed to fwd X from the build box.
It is too good to be true