owning XP

I am going to Cornwall for a month where my parents have a machine running Windows XP on a 56k dialup. The exchange is actually linked to another exchange in Bodmin via radio. Now that’s country and a completely hopeless Internet connection.

I need to do some work on my thesis still so I will need to have vim, ssh and subversion in a sane terminal. Latex stuff would be a plus.

I can’t install Debian because the network connection is too awful. I can’t afford to waste time to setup the machine and possibly screw up XP and cut my inheritance. The installer doesn’t have a partitioner to resize XP’s FS (NTFS by default??), does it? I would need to get parted on a CD…

Putty over such a slow unstable link would suck. The connection is not unmetered.

Knoppix package list does not have subversion. I could live with rsync-ing the file and commiting it at the server, but that would be painful. Also I am not sure if the modem will work with Knoppix. Argh.

Cygwin is another option. Its terminal I remember sucked. I am not sure if there is subversion for it. The biggest problem is how do I get it onto a CD? I remember it having a great GUI for downloading packages, but I can’t possibly download packages over the Internet on the dodgy 56k.

I think there are a couple of GNU/Linux distributions for Windows. I can’t remember their names. Will it solve my problem here?

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