external hard drive, formatting and using

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http://ubuntuforums.org – Hi- I am not very knowledgeable with computer systems and computers. I have Ubuntu 12.04 and just bought a seagate 500 gb external hard drive to back up some of my photos and files before I download the newest Ubuntu OS. What are the steps I take to use the external hard drive? Do I just plug it in? It says it is for Windows and doesn't say anything about Linux. Again I know very little about any of this and am below absolute beginner, lol. (Hardware)