UBUNTU in a Virtual PC

I'm a new to Linux today and am installing UBUNTU 6 into a Virtual PC 2004 instance on my laptop so I can learn it in a relatively contained environment.  I thought I could use it as a platform for software development using Ruby on Rails. As a dyed in the wool MS VB/Visual Studio developer this all represents a voyage into the wild beyond. So far so good. Its impressive how much can be done with so little overhead. The other day I had to set up a VStudio 2003 complete installation for someone. It took four hours and the resulting virtual hard disk (.vhd) was 6Gigabytes! It does make you wonder.