Malc (mas90) wrote,

A product which should exist

Last night I had an idea for a product. I think it ought to exist already; does anyone know where I might buy one? It's a USB virtual DVD-RW drive, in the same form factor as a pen drive. I want to be able use it exactly as if it were a USB DVD-RW drive permanently containing a DVD-RW disc; I should be able to write an CD/DVD image onto it (of, say, a Windows installation disc) using the usual CD/DVD-recording tools, then use it exactly as if it were a DVD drive containing the disc I had just written (for example, booting the Windows instaler from it). Actual USB DVD drives are large, cumbersome and frequently need external power supplies — not to mention DVD media — and I'd much prefer something that I can attach to my keyring. I see no reason for this to be difficult or expensive to produce; it could presumably just be a >=4.7GB USB flash drive with slightly-modified firmware.

The 3G dongles I've used recently have had roughly this capability, as it happens: they contain their drivers and an installation program on a flash chip, and this emulates a CD drive so that the installation program will autorun in Windows. I suspect I wouldn't be able to write my own full-sized CD image there however.
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