To set up your own laptop you need to do this:
Once you have got this working, and if it doesn't do what you want or you don't understand how to use it, look at the full laptop configuration for everything else. And please write some documentation for the next person in your situation.
If you are just typing up logbook entries then you don't need any other software. If you are working with survey data download this software (short list):
Follow this link to register a key with the expo server to get upload (i.e. read/write) access. Do this first, Without it none of git, mercurial, scp, ftp or rsync will work.
On a Windows machine you will need to configure pageant (the putty authentication agent) to run at startup to load your key. Note that you are loading your private key, the .ppk file, into pageant and that this key never leaves your laptop.
When using Windows please, please be excessively careful when naming files and survex names and be exceptionally careful when using rsync.