About this project
UPDATE: **SHIPPING OUTSIDE THE USA** Please add $10 to your pledge amount for shipping to Canada, or $15 for shipping to other countries. Shipping within the US is included.
UPDATE: FUNDED!! Thanks to everyone who pledged so far, let's keep it going!
Further pledges will allow us to purchase in larger quantities, lower our costs, and ease entry into retail markets. Pledge to get an isostick of your very own!
There has been a lot of misconception about the functionality of isostick. All the optical disk magic takes place in the isostick itself, it doesn't matter if you're in the computer's BIOS, an OS, anything -- whatever you plug it into will see both an optical drive and a flash drive. Absolutely no software is required for this. The software mentioned is a convenience for configuring it, but all settings are ultimately stored in config files on the flash portion, which you can edit however you please. I hope this clears up some confusion about the isostick, and I hope you like it!
Some BIOSes only see the first drive a device presents, so isostick's optical drive comes first so you don't have to worry about not being able to boot from it!
See new warranty info in the FAQ below! 30-day warranty on all units! :)
The isostick is a USB flash memory stick that likes to pretend it is also an optical (CD/DVD) drive. As far as the computer knows, there's two things in that little device: a flash drive and an optical drive.
Any CD/DVD images (also called ISO9660 or "iso" files) that you keep on the flash drive can be "inserted" into the optical drive. The computer will think there is a real optical drive there with a real disc in it! Of course, you can keep whatever you want on the flash drive, not just iso files.
You can boot from the optical drive as well, so you can keep your OS install images on there and use them as needed. Of course, that's not much good without the ability to change which iso is loaded on-the-fly. To solve that problem, we have a little thing we call "isosel," short for "iso selector," developed by our friend Stephen. Briefly, booting from the isostick's optical drive gives you a list of all your disc images, with the last-inserted one selected by default. It works much like any other boot manager: there is a (configurable) timeout, so if you don't do anything it will go ahead and boot the last-inserted image, so unattended installs will work fine.
The isostick also has a read-only switch so you never have to worry about a nasty virus hitching a ride on it. You can feel safe plugging the isostick into any computer with the switch in the Read-Only position, it's implemented fully in the device so there's no way for rogue software to override it.
Sometimes you're waiting around for something to complete and you're not sure if the computer has locked up or if it's just busy doing something. It has been said the "everything is better with blinkenlights." We couldn't agree more, so we put a nice bright LED in the isostick to show drive activity. That way at least you'll know if it's being accessed. But sometimes bright lights can be a problem, maybe you're a vampire and you work in the dark. We've got you covered: the brightness of the LED is completely configurable, you can even turn it off if you wish.
The isostick is targeted at IT people, computer technicians, and geeks in general that are sick and tired of carrying around lots of discs that always get lost, broken, scratched, or just stop working. Often times you'll have to update your discs with the latest patches or virus definitions or what-have-you. With isostick it's a breeze, just drop the new iso on the flash drive and you're ready to go!
Currently isostick supports the FAT32 filesystem. Despite this limitation, the isostick management software will automatically split up ISOs larger than 4GB, or you can do this yourself. You can format and partition it however you please, but for right now it can only make use of iso files on the first partition, which must be FAT32. Support for reading iso files from other partitions (so long as they are FAT32) will be coming soon. Support for other filesystems such as HFS+, ext2/3/4, and NTFS, is planned although that's a low priority so please don't expect it too soon!
On that note, isostick can be updated with new firmware as new features are added and bugs are fixed. There is no limitation on this, whether you're the first person or the 100th person to get one, everyone can always keep their isostick up to date with the latest firmware.
At the time of writing, the production boards are designed and we've tested a small run of them, shown here:
There's still some kinks to be worked out and features to be added before we're ready to get them to the masses. That's where you come in. Your funding will help us finish things up and bring the isostick into production. With your help, we can start making the lives of geeks everywhere a lot easier!
Thank you very much for visiting and we hope you like isostick!
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