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The Multi-Boot Configuration Handbook by Roderick Smith

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Platform-Independent File Formats

Operating systems by themselves are useless. Chances are that most of the time you spend using your computer isn't spent moving files about using the OS's file manager. Instead, you probably spend most of the time at your computer writing with a word processor, creating graphics with graphics programs, or otherwise using applications. The result of using an application is usually a data file of some sort—a text file containing the letter you've written, a binary file containing a graphics image, or what have you. This chapter focuses on these data files.

Some data file formats are easily interchanged between platforms, either because they're entirely non-proprietary or because they use formats that, although ...

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