Use Unison! It is a wonderful program working both on unix and windows. If a file is modified only on the server or the laptop, then the program automatically will propagate the modified one (based on check sum and not on date) to the other side. If the file is modified on both sides, then the use has/can decide what to do on a file by file basis. It inteligently updates files (moves only the changed parts of a big one). I have been using unison for 7 years and I had no problem with it and can only recommend it. I also liek to synchronize it manually (I know I always have a backup if I mess up something), but you can run it automatically (every 10 minutes or so).