the dd command didn't work.
also tried playing around with the dd options to change i/o block sizes and number of blocks, but i don't really know what i'm doing.
when i try to boot off the diskettes that i made with dd or with cat, it still has the linux version info at top, so apparently the program itselft gets copied, but its format is wrong.
is there a way to just make another boot disk, say, from X?
i know many distros have commands from the main menu that will make boot disks.
thanks for all your help!