At the absolute minimum, you should know the basics of your system, such as how much RAM you have installed, what type of mouse, keyboard, and (importantly) monitor you have. Knowing the storage capacity of your hard drive is also important because it will help you plan how you will divide it up for Ubuntu. It is also a good idea to find out whether you are using SATA drivers or the more traditional PATA drives. A small detail such as whether your mouse uses the USB or PS/2 interface will ensure proper pointer configurationsomething that should happen without fail, but you will be glad you knew in case something goes wrong! The more information you have, the better prepared you will be for any problems.
Use the checklist shown in Table 2.2 in Chapter 2 to inventory or at least record some basic features of your system. Items you need to know include the amount of installed memory, size of your hard drive, type of mouse, capabilities of the display monitor (such as maximum resolution), and number of installed network interfaces (if any).
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