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Baking my own bootable potato using mkisofs

Hi, I'm a long time user of RPM-based distributions (Redhat, Suse, Demo Linux
and especially Mandrake). My only experience with Debian is with Linuxcare's
Bootable Business Card.

I would like to know how to make my own bootable Debian installation CD,
WITHOUT the use of those humongous *.iso files. For some reason my ISP
frequently turns in abysmal ftp transfer rates. I plan to use a web
grabber, pavuk, to snarf the packages off the net.

In particular, I would like to know the layout of the installation CD. Where
are the essential packages located? Where do I find the boot floppy
image(s)? A tree listing summarizing the directory structure, relative to
the download site, would be fine.

For example, in Linux-Mandrake the root directory of the CD, taken off 
ftp://atik.ciril.fr/pub/linux/mandrake/7.1/, reads:

dosutils/ (stuff for Bill)
images/ (the boot images are found here)
lnx4win/ (stuff for Bill)

The Mandrake directory in turn contains the following files:

Mandrake/ --> RPMS/ (the essential packages are located here)
                --> RPMS2/ (packages for the extension CD are located here)
                --> base/
                --> mdkinst/

Also, could someone point me to a reasonably fast mirror in the Southeast
Asia-Australia region?

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