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Linux Multimedia Hacks by Kyle Rankin

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Hack #72. Create Self-Booting Movies

Make a video that will boot and play directly from CD.

I love my son and try to give him what he needs in life. Sometimes I even give him what he wants, too. He has a nice bike that he uses quite a lot, and he is always out and about. Of course he has his own PC, which is online 24/7 while he constantly surfs for sports car images. (For some strange reason, the teachers at his primary school think he's some sort of genius, as he's always telling them that Windows sucks and the TCO is much less when using Linux.) At times I think I let him have too much: I have let him play games on a Windows machine. Then, of course, at age 11 he broke my collarbone, and all I did was lecture him on his propensity for causing "incidents."

However, sometimes I put my foot down. One example involves my DVD collection. I don't trust him with those little discs of plastic and dreams. We sometimes have debates about what he's allowed to watch, and often he wants to take my DVDs to a friend's house, which I absolutely forbid. What's a father to do?

The answer is to make a self-booting CD copy of the DVD that he can watch on any PC. And that is where this hack comes in. It shows you how to reduce a DVD-length movie so it fits on a single CD—and to top it all off, it makes the CD bootable, so when you start a computer with the CD in the drive, it loads a very lightweight Linux OS with just enough software to play the movie on the CD.

Before diving into the guts of the hack, ...

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