I bought a netbook. I’ll explain the hows and whys of that in a later post but basically it’s cheep and good for traveling when I don’t want to lug too much stuff. Now, it’s important to note that as someone who has been using Macs forever, that last thing in the world I wanted was a machine running Windows. So I decided on Ubuntu which I thought would be a fun change anyway. So all I had to do was wipe the system and install it right? Well, turns out that isn’t quite so easy when the netbook doesn’t have a CD drive. Luckily you can install Unbunto from a USB stick too, but it’s slightly more complicated if you are a major noob. Like me, sort of.
I realize I went about this a little backwards, but it worked. The first thing I did was just install a dual boot of Windows/Ubuntu using Wubi which was dead simple. A few clicks and let it run and it was done. Now I had the netbook run a dualboot but the partitions were all goofy and I really didn’t want Windows on it at all, so I needed to wipe it. For some folks, the dual boot might be just fine. Windows gives me hives so I had to kill it.
My first step was getting a USB stick that would work, something over 1GB. On my Mac, using ‘Applications > Utilities > Disk Utility’ I erased the USB stick and reformatted it as FAT for windows. While I was doing that I loaded up the netbook and downloaded the Ubuntu installer CD .iso file and saved it to the desktop. Then once the USB stick was prepped, I pulled it out of the Mac, jammed it in the netbook and it recognized it as UNTITLED. Perfect. Then, on the netbook running Ubuntu (still as a dual boot) I choose ‘System > Administration > Create a USB startup disk.’ I selected the USB stick I’d just formatted as the destination, and chose the .iso file I’d just downloaded as the source and hit go. From there on it was pretty simple and self explanatory. One of the options you get is if you want partitions or 100% Ubuntu which is what I selected since that was the whole point of these shenanigans. It ran it’s course and worked perfectly. I’ll explain the netbook thing in a post shortly, I promise.