I agree with that statement. In the past, it was certainly important to know about partitioning in order to install Linux. I don't believe it's crucial anymore. It does depend on what the OP hopes to achieve by installing Linux. If you want to learn all about it then by all means start at the beginning with partitioning. However in this case, the OP just wants an OS that works well on a non-new machine. In that case, I'd concentrate more on learning how to use the applications you'll need rather than messing with partition tables and bootloaders. Most distros install with sensible defaults in those areas these days anyway.
Originally Posted by LinuxPenguin