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Utilizing dvgrab, RedHat Fedora Core 3, on an old Fujitsu Tablet, I now have a portable video capture device that works great.

I wanted to be able to do video capture directly onto a hard drive, but could not afford the cost of the dedicated capture devices (like a FireStore). So I decided to build my own.

I purchased a Fujitsu Stylistic 3400 (P3, 400MHz, 192MB RAM), a PC Card Firewire adapter, a 40GB hard drive. Total cost... under $300. At first I tried MS Windows as I had been doing that with some success on my home desktop (P4, 2.8GHz, 512MB RAM, 80GB HD, DVD burner). But on the tablet, I could not capture more than a few seconds without severe frame dropping - several seconds dropped every minute!!

That's when I decided to turn to my old friend Linux and see what it could do. It took a few hours figuring out how to get the Firewire stuff working, but after that... success. I've captured several hours of video on my little tablet and transfer the video back to my Windows desktop for burning. Not a single frame dropped that I could say is dvgrab's fault. As a matter of fact, the capture works so well that I don't do ANY capturing on my Windows desktop machine anymore.

Now whenever I read about the hardware people are buying to do video capture under Windows, I just laugh.

I did a write-up on in case anyone would like to read more about this project.

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