OK, yesterday I bought a laptop (my first ever), and I am so excited about it! It's specs:
Fujitsu-Siemes Amilo PI1536
CPU: Intel Core 2 Duo T7200 2x2.0GHz
HD: 120Gb SATA
Display: 15.4 WXGA
Graphics: ATI Mobility Radeon X1400 (128Mb dedicated/512Mb shared)
I chose it for its high quality CPU, and half-decent graphics card. It turns out most sellers have a large Core Duo stock, but a pitifully short list of Core 2 Duo models. Hence, they want to sell their already outdated Core models, and offer little choice in Core 2s (and a bit higher prices, although Intel sells them both at similar prices). The little choice in Core 2 Duos made it difficult to me to find what I was looking for, but I finally did.
However, this post is not only dedicated to spread my happiness. I also wanted to praise the Free Software program GParted, which I just used.
As any laptop+Linux user has experienced, usually Windows is pre-installed and shipped with the computer. In my case, I wanted to have it, so no problem with that. The bad part is that, of course, the whole hard disk is usually a single partition, with Windows being in it. Since I wanted to install Linux also, I had to make partitions. Although the laptop came with CDs for all the software that comes pre-installed (Windows included), I wanted to try to resize the Windows partition, and make room for the other partitions, without destroying the Windows installation.
I downloaded an Ubuntu ISO, burned it, then restarted the laptop with it. Good thing of Ubuntu is that its CD is a Live CD, which means that can be run without installing anything in the hard disk. Ubuntu started flawlessly, and I was presented with a GNOME desktop. There, I started GParted, and a simple, yet visually pleasing, GUI opened, and I point-and-clicked all the settings, which took me from:
1x 111Gb partition under NTFS
1x 15Gb (NTFS)
1x 512Mb (swap) probably wasted disk, but oh well...
3x 10Gb (ReiserFS)
1x 50Gb (ReiserFS)
1x 18Gb (NTFS)
This way, the second NTFS partition can be used to store files Windows can access (I have to try if Linux can access that. If not, I'll reformat with FAT32), and I still have room for three Linux distro installs (10 Gb Reiserfs), and a big
home/ that all Linux-es can share.
Now, the delicate part... rebooting into Windows. I held my breath while the computer rebooted, but it did so fine. Windows started without problem, it just performed a disk integrity check at startup (which finished OK), and then said it had found new hardware, which turned out to be the second NTFS partition (the E: drive now). As we are used to with the stupid Windows, I was told to reboot to have the system recognize the recently-discovered hardware. So I did, and it worked!
Now Windows is installed in the 15Gb NTFS partition (and recall I didn't reinstall anything. What was there, is still there), and sees a second 18Gb partition. As for Linux, I am looking forward to installing Debian, Ubuntu or something...