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Discussion Starter #1
On our last vacation, we started thinking that it might be nice to have a little netbook computer to take along on trips-just something to get on the internet and track vacation spending on a spreadsheet, nothing fancy. However, then we started thinking that it might be nice to be able to watch a DVD, but none of the netbooks have optical drives.

This might sounds like a dumb question, but can we just put a couple of movies on a flash drive or memory card (the one we're looking at has a card reader)? How much space does an average movie take up?

SU also JUST got an ipod video from craigslist before we left, so movies on that would be a possibility, too. Does anyone have any recommendations to convert DVD to ipod? We downloaded a couple from itunes before our last trip, but I hate buying/renting them when we have so many on DVD.
 

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I've looked at those "mini" notebooks, but if you take a look at the size of their hard drive and how much space the OS take up, they're really not practical for large files. As far as an iPod goes, the movie needs to remain on the computer because the iPod software "looks" for it every time it synchs with the computer. Kind of frustrating, if you ask me. That said, if someone knows something I don't about the whole synching process I'd sure like to hear about it.

There is a legal program out there that will allow you to convert DVDs to just almost any format you'd like. I have a Creative Zen and iPod and can convert any DVD to either player. Don't know if I can post the name here, so if you're interested you can PM me. I like having a movie or two on my iPod in case I get stuck somewhere for a while -- keeps me occupied when I don't want to read a book.
 

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Discussion Starter #3
PM incoming!

And I should have been more clear-for the memory card/flash idea, I'm talking about just saving them and then viewing directly from the card/flash-no ipod or itunes involved. The Ipod is Plan B for movie watching if we can't figure out a removable solution we can watch on the computer.
 

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Files for DVDs would be pretty large, I'm guessing in the range of several gigabytes unless you can compress them somehow (sacrificing quality of picture). A 16g usb stick is pretty cheap and could probably hold up to 4 movies uncompressed, depending on the movie. Or you could get one of those slim external harddrives with up to a TB of memory.

My coworker has a mac and has some sort of mac software that converts DVD movies into formats he can play on his ipod. It is slow, though--like it might take a day to upload and convert it.

If you really want to watch DVDs I'd probably 1)get a portable DVD player for around $50 in addition to the netbook, or 2)get an external portable dvd drive.
 

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I agree with Allie; portable DVD players would be the way to go for that. You can watch movies online for free; just be sure you go to the legal sites. There are a few that have movies; maybe not new releases, and also TV shows online.
 
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