requirements for 10.04

Am interested in trying Ubuntu - picked up a magazine on it with installation instructions and some of the requirements.
What I didn't see is how will this Ubuntu work if I upgrade the desktop.
I already have a dual boot - 2 separate hard drives. One runs XP and is dedicated to Adobe Photoshop. It will be upgraded as far as a version of Photoshop runs on XP which means more RAM and possibly a faster processor. This drive only connects to the internet to verify installations.
The other drive is Win 2000. This is the one I want to try 10.04 on.
Also, the magazine said nothing about hardware. This computer has an ethernet cable. What does Ubuntu do with stuff that's hard installed on the PC?
Need some answers before I try it.
Thanks,
Gamma

ethernet

Ubuntu normally finds and uses Ethernet "out of the box" as/named "auto_eth0"

as for sound and usb, etc iv never had issues - the hardware seems to work on any machine i install it on. (iv only ran into issues with graphics installation - but just installed a propriety driver and it was fine)

GRUB Should let you choose between XP and Ubuntu at boot.

I was going to try from the

I was going to try from the CD first and work my way thru. I do know how to change the boot seq. in the bios as that is how I change drives on that desktop. The drive I want to use has 2K on it. The XP drive is verboten to anything but Adobe's software. (It's a separate drive not a partition)
As long as it finds the ethernet, I can post from that drive.
Thanks for the info and I'll probably be back with quite a few more questions.
Gamma