The drive itself could not fit into my external casing due to the Torx screws, but I was able to connect the USB connector to the IDE interface anyway and connect it to my ACER.
(here the drive is sitting on a protective sheet that came in my Mac. I would not recommend just plunking it down on just any old surface)
Windows XP could not recognize the MAC formatted drive (Quel surprise!) so I booted up in Ubuntu, which recognized the drive right away.
The next challenge was to unlock all the directories so I could access the files. All my personal files were denoted with:
drwxr-----meaning that only the owner can access them. Since I cannot login to my MAC, this is a problem.
I was not actually sure if this would work, but I ran a chmod command as root to add the needed permissions. I opened a terminal window and navigated to the mounted hard drive where I ran the following command:
monica@Tzedakah:/media/Scooby$ sudo chmod -R +xrw Documents/
the -R causes the permissions to be changed for the Documents directory as well as all subdirectories and files. Now all the permissions on all the files denoted by:
drwxr-xr-xmeaning I can read/write/execute all files, group permissions are read/execute, and others can only execute.
This is great, as I can now look into to the subdirectories and see what is there. I found a bunch of papers I had written in college, including my undergrad thesis.