bootload: Nerds hacking NerdTV #42

Peter Renshaw authored this page on 18 December 2005 at 19:52 Hrs.

 Journal #42, where we stuff NerdTV from
 MPEG-4 downloads onto DVD so we can
 watch it on TV instead of the computer.
 Where writing Code & selling code goes
 in fits and starts.

NerdTV on DVD

 `... The NerdTV mpeg-4 video, mp3, ogg
 vorbis, and aac audio, and text
 transcripts offered on this site are
 licensed under the Creative Commons
 2.5 License and are copyright by NerdTV
 LLC and PBS. ...[0]`

If you haven`t yet seen, hear or read the NerdTV shows then now is as good a time as any to do so. Bobs been making great TV for programmers, hackers and nerds for a long time. What makes it great to watch, is Bob gets the nerd bit. From `Accidental Empires` to `Electric Money`, `The Pulpit` and now NerdTV, Bob informs, interviews and cracks the odd corny joke. Besides anyone who prefaces their contact details with, `Tell Him He's a Dipstick` understands that for all the huff and chest beating about technology, the key is not to take things too seriously.

 `... Its not that I am so smart, but
 that my friends are smart ... [1]`

So back to NerdTV. Personally I usually just read the transcripts first because its more convenient than downloading the mpegs and trying to get it to play. But today at work a Sunday. A cold, raining, summer, Sunday R , decided to see if he could squash the mpeg4 videos onto a DVD so he could watch it on TV. So instead of NerdComputer its really NerdTV.

 `... why I had given R the Sony DVD-RW
 , but I couldn`t think at the time why
 ... later on this would bite me ...`

So he downloaded the eleven or so shows whacked them onto the network. The question at the time was asked why I had given R the Sony DVD-RW , but I couldn`t think at the time why. later on this would bite me.

Grabbed the commercial dvd burning software we have and proceeded to see how many would fit on the Sony DVD-RW. As it turns out 5 shows would fit. Now remember that each show is a compressed MPEG4 file of about an hour and about 90Mb in size each. So 5x90Mb is approximately 4.5Gb. Well the five could just be squeezed onto the disk.

Once on the disk the software had a DVD authoring tool allowing you to quickly

then burn. The burning machine takes about 5 to 10 minutes to burn a full CD so we figured it may take a while to burn the DVD. Well two hours and twenty minutes later the DVD was burnt. And presto when we put the sucker into the Sony DVD player it worked. Like a charm. It was a great end to a rather slow day. We did get a fair bit of work done. It just didn`t feel like at the time.

As soon as I got home I wacked the DVD into my Sony machine and .... doh! ...will not play DVD-RW. So I had to watch on the computer, sort of defeating the original purpose.

Cooking up a DVD

So you have some friends over and you have nothing to watch? How about a DVD? What about some NerdTV? Soon your friends will marvel at the programming wizardry of Andy Hertzfeld [1] and the technical know-how of Anina [2].

If you want to cook your own NerdTV DVD make sure you have the necessary media to match your hardware. Ability to read the DVD on commercial players is still hit and miss for us so if you find a media that works, stick with it. Check your ingredients and read the recipe. And don`t forget to have fun.


Carefully locate the following ingredients. Make sure you have the correct licensed software. Also make sure the DVD media will play on your particular DVD player.


If you your NerdTV DVD to work your going to need to experiment with your hardware and software.

So there you have it NerdTV on your TV.


[0] NerdTV license, `Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial ShareAlike 2.5 license`:

[Accessed Sunday, 18 December 2005]

[1] Andy Hertzfeld, `Transcript of NerdTV #1`:

[Accessed Sunday, 18 December 2005]

[2] Anina, `Transcript of NerdTV #9`:

[Accessed Sunday, 18 December 2005]


This work is licensed under a Creative Commons License. You can read more about the license here.


bootload: groking software, bit by bit into plain english

Nerds hacking NerdTV #42 is published at