BBC: “About 1.89 billion journeys are expected to be made on the Chinese mainland over the two-week season. “

The blogosphere was ablaze tonight with coverage of the Iowa caucuses. The Command Post‘s coverage is getting good buzz. Also, lots of people are watching CNN TV. I watched for a brief period too, to catch live appearances by John Edwards and Howard Dean. Edwards seemed to be talking to the cameras; Dean to his supporters. Both were pushing a message of “taking back this country for ordinary Americans”. Ordinary Americans, like, uh, John Edwards and Howard Dean (whoops). I didn’t pay much attention to the talking heads on CNN. Except the woman who said that Dean lost his outsider edge when he accepted Gore’s endorsement. Dave predicted that would happen about a month ago, and, though I wasn’t sure at the time, it looks like he was right.

Dowbrigade: “Dave and the Deanies’ first move is an innovative effort to create and distribute a really useful RSS feed – not one which will just endless repeat the main story line the campaign wants to propagate at any particular time, but one which will include “everything everyone involved with the campaign needs to know””. Subscribed.

DVD burning from files on the hard drive

Okay, before I lose this information forever…
My mom recently had some old 8mm home movies converted to DVD. While I was home for Thanksgiving I copied them to my laptop’s hard drive. There were three disks, which amounts to quite a lot of hard drive space. My goal was to burn the files back to DVD.
This sounds straightforward enough but was not. The files for each disk sat in a folder called VIDEO_TS. I could burn those files as “data”, but the number of bytes in each VIDEO_TS folder exceeded the capacity of the DVD disk.
Much more preferable would be to burn the data as a regular viewable DVD. My Macintosh has a program called iDVD which is supposed to be able to do this. But I can’t figure out how to get it to import the files in the VIDEO_TS folder. *sigh*
So the trick seems to be, you first do something called “creating an image file”. You can do this by using a command-line utility called “mkisofs”. Getting this program installed and working turned out to be its own adventure. But anyway, here’s the syntax:

  mkisofs -dvd-video -o /DVD_PROJECTS/homedvd.img /DVD_PROJECTS/HOMEDVD/

Once you have the image file, you can use the OS X program called “Disk Utility” (in Macintosh HD -> Applications -> Utilities) to burn the image to DVD. Launch the program, click Burn, select the image, and start. It takes about an hour.