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A useful Linux app for your CD-R

Quit wasting space on your CD rack with CDs that are only 3/4 full!
C’mon. You know you’ve done it. You’ve got 1.9 gigs worth of stuff to burn to CD. You know it should fit on three CDs. Half an hour later, you’re tired of trying to figure out how to make it fit and you just burn 500 megs’ worth on four CDs.

Anyone who works with large numbers of awkwardly-sized files runs into this problem. Now that blank CDs cost closer to 20 cents than 20 dollars, that’s not a financial tragedy, but wouldn’t it be nice to have some more room on that CD rack?

That’s what bestfit is for. It’s the proverbial Unix utility that’s written in C, under 15K when compiled, and does just one thing but does it well. Feed it a list of files and/or directories (or a subdirectory containing files and/or directories), and it spits out a list of what should go on your first CD. You can even feed it a command to execute on those files, to move them out of the way so it can make the next CD.

The binaries are only distributed as a Debian package (the author appears to develop in Debian), so if you run something else, you’ll have to download and compile the source. That’s probably not a very big deal; I’d be very surprised if it’s more than two commands. It’s small so it’ll compile fast.

I doubt I have to say anything more. If you need this utility, you’ve already clicked on the link and you’re getting ready to download it.

For those of you who are still with me, if your usual CD-burning tasks involve your digital photo albums, you can of course save some more space by running jpegopt, which you may have heard about here.

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1 thought on “A useful Linux app for your CD-R”

  1. Hmmm. OK.

    Whatever I click, it takes me back to the top of the screen “The Silicon Underground”.

    No articles or anything, just back to the beginning….(what am I missing?)

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