I never learned this in school.

Actually, I haven’t had to format a Linux partition manually since (maybe) I experimented with Slackware in 1995. So, when I had a nice little 400 GB USB HD with three partitions (two NTFS, one Linux), I was somewhat at a loss as to how to proceed.

I found this handy guide to partitioning and formatting mkfs.ext3.

Ahhh… I have access now.