When is a USB flash drive an optical drive? Wait a minute here, before you think that I have had a little bit too much to drink, let me explain to you just how such a situation can happen. We’re talking about the Isostick, an idea that needs funding on Kickstarter. This particular device is a memory stick which is capable of converting ISO images into physical, mounted optical drives automatically – it does so by tricking the computer into thinking that way.

The entire process happens in a transparent manner, letting you stash away an image of Ubuntu or Windows on an Isostick, reboot up your machine and boot straight from it. Your computer won’t care that physically it isn’t an optical disk, as it “sees” it as an optical drive.

To sweeten the deal, you are able to cram in as many ISOs as you like onto the Isostick – as long as space permits, of course, limited by the 32GB of memory. Apart from that, a hardware read-only switch is thrown into the mix, letting you flip it if you want to prevent viruses or other malicious programs from messing with your images.

I would think that those who are power users or administrators at the office definitely love the Isostick for what it is. Imagine being able to stash away just about any and every utility and operating system you need on a solitary USB flash drive, without having to tote around discs upon discs. There is also no risk of the disc getting scratched, so that is definitely another incentive.

This convenience comes at a price – the 8GB, 16GB and 32GB models will retail for $100, $175 and $225. Anyone wants to contribute their bit over to the Isostick project? There are 24 days left to go, and the Isostick project is short of $3,500 thereabouts as at press time.

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