Just as a coda to my mention of the busted laptop turned torrent slave, I’ve actually reversed the server-client arrangement on those machines and found it more to my liking.
I have the Thinkpad configured as the server, and allow the Inspiron to run as client. I was running into an unforeseen problem where shutting down the Inspiron was causing rtorrent to hang, since that directory wasn’t unmounted, but the contents were unreadable. Just an NFS quirk I guess, but one that caused rtorrent to clam up and go immobile, frozen in fear and confusion.
Since I’d rather not run both laptops full time, it makes more sense to set up the Thinkpad as the server, mount the watch directory from the Inspiron, and dump torrent files in there when downloading them. Then I can shut down the Inspiron and leave the Thinkpad running, and there’s no befuddlement over an inaccessible directory. When the download is done I can shift them back manually.
As a side note, I stripped the machine of any nonessential software (nonessential being determined by how much screen space I have left), and run everything as a console program from within Sakura. The short list includes rtorrent, of course, along with mc, elinks, axel, nano and so forth. It’s not intended to be a constant-use machine, so there’s no music player or other whiz-bang applications. Just enough to get the job done.
Of course it rankles me a little that the cruddy machine is the server and the best machine I own is the client. It’s like a weird role reversal that goes against my personal logic. Next thing you know, cats and dogs will live together and there won’t be a Father Christmas, Easter Rabbit or a Tooth Fairy. My little world is crumbling.