Re: Safe install
With the Ubuntu installer, no I didn't. I guess I should have. But given that I was installing on a second blank disk drive, I didn't mind whatever happened to that drive. I presumed that my second drive would have its own master boot record on which GRUB would be installed and the installer did properly recognize both drives with windows installed on the first drive. I admit that I made a stupid mistake; as Amir and Dirk suggested, I should have not trusted automatic installation and proceeded with manual.
But at the same time, I was wondering if GRUB is at all compatible with the way thinkpad's master boot record is set, so that Rescue and Recover (tm) can be called at boot time. Clive's experience suggests that GRUB can live peacefully with a thinkpad's master boot record factory settings, or maybe he didn't install GRUB on the master boot record?