I remember a few years back when I loathed having to use a floppy disk for anything. Once in a great while I’d encounter someone that desperately needed to get files off of their old disks. My favorite was trying to install Windows XP on a SATA drive. Well, I’ve discovered that I’m starting to get that same feeling about optical discs. It’s not quite so bad, but I try my best to avoid using one. Most of my software is backed up on a file server, and my games download via Steam. I even managed to put my Windows 7 disc onto a flash drive (which installs much faster). That last one wasn’t the easiest task in the world, but it might just get easier soon.
The isostick is a flash drive that can actually take any iso and trick your computer to thinking it is actually an optical drive. I’ve used software in the past that emulated optical drives in a similar manner, but only while Windows was running. This stick takes things further and allows you to boot from it, just like a CD/DVD drive. You can slap any of your emergency boot discs, Linux live CDs, and anything else you like onto it, and boot. It comes with a bootloader installed, so that you can select which available iso file you’d like to boot from. Right now the isostick is just a kickstarter project, but it has almost reached its goal in a few days. The sticks are very pricey, running $125 for an 8GB drive, but hopefully the price will drop in the future.