Picked up a 160 GB WD external HD, to make my paranoid backing of everything easier.
FAT32 is widely recognised, and still the best file system for interoperability. (Well, arguably FAT16 is more widely supported). So 30GB stays in the FAT32 the drive came formatted as.
NTFS is safer, fasters and more secure than FAT32, and now that Gutsy supports writing to it out of the box, it’s my filesystem of choice for sharing between windows and ubuntu. 30GB for you.
ext3 natively supports permissions, so for backing up my home directories from various machines in all their glory, there’s not substitute. Yup, a whopping 100GB of ext3 storage.
Turns out there’s an unmounting (ejecting) bug when you have multiple partitions.
The ubuntu community guidelines for renaming volumes have also come in handy.
It’s a security thing – if I know my data is safely backup up, I’m not afraid to ruthlessly trash things that are taking up space, write scripts to compress vast tracts, and hit the upgrade to gutsy button.