>>I'm pretty sure that most Macs can read CD's burned in PC format (but certainly not the other way around).
tedster, it is true that Windows is not able to read Mac formatted disks. Nowadays, most Mac CD burning software will let you burn a hybrid CD that both Mac and Windows can read. This option is generally checked as default.
Both fashezee and bodine are correct. Macs support 31 caracters filenames since 1984, it supports up to 255 ones since Mac OS X. The problem is not that Macs does not support long filenames. The problem is its incompatibility with Joliet, which presents a mock filename to Windows users.
The current limits for filename length on the various file systems used by Macs and PCs are as follows:
FAT: 8 characters plus 3 characters (eg 'filename.ext')
VFAT: 255 characters plus 3 characters (eg 'longfilenamehere.ext')
NTFS: 255 characters plus essentially arbitrary number of characters so long as 255 characters (eg 'longfilenamehere.extension')
HFS: 31 characters with no extensions (eg 'longfilenamehere')
HFS+: 255 characters with no extensions (eg 'evenlongerfilenamehere')
First, Windows 95/98 and Windows NT/2000 appear to support long filenames on FAT volumes. They do this by using a short filename internally (in 8.3 format) and presenting the long filename, which is a mock filename stored within the file (Joliet). This longer string will get lost when the file is transported to another file system or accessed by any non-Windows OS, Unix included (as far as I know).
Second, Windows 95/98 and Windows NT require the entire pathname of the file on VFAT and NTFS file systems (ie the full path to the file such as 'c:\directory\other_directory\another_directory\filename.ext') to be no greater than 255 characters. So, for example, a file with a 252-character name can't be stored anywhere but in the root directory (c:\) on a Windows box.
Third, although HFS+ supports 255 character filenames and Mac OS 9.0.x's also support such long filenames, the Finder in the Mac OS that present files only support the presentation of 31 character filenames. Mac OS X supports file-names up to 255 characters long on both HFS+ and NFS file systems.
So you are left with 2 options :
As fashezee suggest : 8.3 filenames will get a you a site open to almost any computer platform. (wich is the best option, but requires some work)
Burn the CD with software that allows you a hybrid format. Most Mac users do this. There are cheap or free utilities that will let you do that on Windows. Try 'Hybrid CD burner' on your favorite search engine...
Further reading :
<edit>fixed language bloopers. Thanks tedster!</edit>
[edited by: Macguru at 11:16 am (utc) on Sep. 2, 2002]