extra hard drive = new computer
I've been using Linux on a Dell Laptop. One very handy feature is that this and most other laptops allow you to remove and replace the hard drive. This allows me to have 3 seperate hard drives. I purchased the extra drives and kits to mount them. I only use one at a time.
One is for XP. One is for Linux with svga and a buch of C programs I don't want to loose and one is for messing around with 2.6 and new kernels. No mater how much I screw up the other drives don't get corrupted and they change with one screw and then plug in.
Thus in effect I have 3 computers.
Hope this helps.