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Any update on retail release of ISOstick?


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#26 Wonko the Sane

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Posted 27 November 2012 - 06:25 PM

Well that 2-3 weeks mentioned before ended up doubling (as it tends to do).

I guess you are not familair with "latin time".

Definition here ;):
http://reboot.pro/to..._200#entry16103

:cheers:
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#27 elegantinvention

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Posted 27 November 2012 - 06:32 PM

I guess you are not familair with "latin time".

Hah, reminds me of Valve Time: https://developer.va...wiki/Valve_Time

#28 Overkill

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Posted 12 December 2012 - 09:02 AM

Hah, reminds me of Valve Time: https://developer.va...wiki/Valve_Time

Coming Soon™ - Blizzard (http://www.wowwiki.com/Soon)



#29 pktman

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Posted 20 December 2012 - 07:23 PM

Hello, I'm from Spain
I want to buy a unit, but Amazon will not let me for address restrictions.
How I can buy it? You can not buy from Europe?


#30 RedApollo

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Posted 20 December 2012 - 10:02 PM

I've noticed the same issues shipping to the UK. Does anyone know a work around or other way around this restriction? Cheers.



#31 elegantinvention

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Posted 21 December 2012 - 12:46 AM

My apologies regarding shipping outside the US. Amazon has, for unknown reasons, restricted isostick to US-only. I have opened a dialog with them and am currently awaiting a reply.

 

Unfortunately I do not have any isosticks on hand, so I cannot sell directly at this time.

 

If Amazon.com cannot resolve this, I will look into listing it on Amazon.co.uk as well, although I need to check out the tax implications of that first. One way or another, isostick will be available to customers outside the US as soon as possible.



#32 jpwise

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Posted 21 December 2012 - 12:49 PM

OK, not just me on the shipping issue then - New Zealand.

 

Looking forward to the update once they get back to you. :)



#33 jpwise

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Posted 30 December 2012 - 09:31 PM

Good morning, I appeciate you're probably having a bit of a break over Xmas, and Amazon is probably reduced staff too, but just wondering if you'd had any sort of response from them about the international shipping issues?

 

Thanks.

Jp.



#34 elegantinvention

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Posted 31 December 2012 - 12:20 AM

Latest update is: Amazon Fulfillment refuses to ship them internationally. Apparently they review these on a case-by-case basis, and they told me there is no way to request that isostick be evaluated.

 

So, I have set up an account with Shipwire and will be using them for fulfillment in the future. About 700 isosticks are headed to a Shipwire warehouse right now. I expect international shipping to be available again in less than 2 weeks.

 

Sorry for the delays, but at least things are moving along now :)

 

I am also working on adding a cart directly at isostick.com so people without Amazon accounts can buy easily, but no specific timeline on that yet. Either way they will remain available on Amazon, fulfilled by Shipwire to prettymuch anywhere in the world.

 

EDIT: Forgot to mention, the cart on isostick.com would allow backorders, whereas Amazon does not.



#35 jpwise

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Posted 31 December 2012 - 03:43 AM

Sweet, thanks for the update. If you can link us to the shipwire shopfront once it's up I'll check it out.  I assume the price should be comparable to Amazon?

 

Thx.

Jp.



#36 elegantinvention

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Posted 31 December 2012 - 04:44 AM

Will do :) And yeah, pricing will be the same (USD$99 each).



#37 elegantinvention

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Posted 09 January 2013 - 12:42 AM

The storefront is now live, and you should be able to buy isosticks here: http://shop.eleganti...oducts/isostick

This is my first time running a Shopify storefront, so please let me know if you encounter any issues.

 

These orders are fulfilled by Shipwire and should ship anywhere in the world. All shipments are insured.

Shipping should happen within 24hrs of your order, but there may be some delays in the next few days while everything settles.

 

Payment via credit card or PayPal is accepted.



#38 jpwise

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Posted 09 January 2013 - 09:54 AM

Sweet. International shipping from the US is always frustrating ($22!), but i've picked up a couple to play with.  Really looking forward to when you get the firmware for writing going. ;)



#39 jpwise

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Posted 09 January 2013 - 11:52 AM

PS; the confirmation email doesn't seem to list the company field for shipping/billing from the order? not sure if it's a shipwire issue or just with the confirmation email. FYI.



#40 elegantinvention

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Posted 09 January 2013 - 02:54 PM

@jpwise, Thanks for the purchase :)

I looked up your purchase in the warehouse and the company information is in the shipping address, so it must just be the confirmation email. You should get tracking information tomorrow.

 

:cheers:



#41 jpwise

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Posted 25 January 2013 - 08:48 AM

My isosticks arrived today, not sure how long they were waiting at the post office, but ~2 weeks from America to New Zealand isn't too bad.

 

Could be worth talking to Shipwire about their packaging though, there was no damage, so it's just general feedback so you're aware, but 2 loose units inside the box left a fair bit of room to rattle.  Some foam, bubble wrap, or sending them in a bubble envelope would make it a bit less likely to suffer damage in transit.

 

oPuBh2Y.jpg



#42 ambralivio

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Posted 25 January 2013 - 12:54 PM

  @ elegantinvention,

 

I'm very interested in ISOSTICK but there are some important points I'd like to have more clear.

 

Certainly I might have missed some important points with ISOSTICK but, excluding its inherent small size (and related portability features), really I do not understand what are just the exclusive PROs of ISOSTICK compared to those of well known storage systems/cases/virtual drives (Zalman-like).

 

At first I see a great difference in price (90 $ for Isostick vs. about 50 $ of, for example, Zalman ZM-VE300) but, additionally I can see that most of the features/characteristics in Isostick cannot be absolutely compared to those of model ZM-VE300.

 

Can you help me in understanding and better compare those two alternatives ?

 

Thanks,

ambralivio



#43 elegantinvention

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Posted 26 January 2013 - 05:28 AM

Could be worth talking to Shipwire about their packaging though, there was no damage, so it's just general feedback so you're aware, but 2 loose units inside the box left a fair bit of room to rattle.

Thanks for pointing this out, I'll shoot them an email about it.

 

Can you help me in understanding and better compare those two alternatives ?

As you mentioned, small size and portability are the two main points.

 

Several friends and customers have told me about Zalman devices being DOA or failing in the field. Indeed, of the two Zalmans I have purchased (ZM-VE200 and ZM-VE300), the ZM-VE200 had a solder blob which made it impossible to use the jogdial in one direction (photo).

I don't mean to trash-talk the competition, however!  :whistling: I also know plenty of people who love the Zalman devices, and if you need more than 64GB of space or can't fit isostick into the budget, it does seem like a decent alternative.

 

In terms of CDROM performance they are about the same from what I have seen. The Zalman of course wins on HDD throughput, with isostick being limited to around 12.5MiB/s (some cards may be slower -- Class 10 cards are recommended). Here's the Tested Cards wiki for reference.

 

Probably the major differentiation is isosel. With it, booting from the isostick CDROM gives you a list of your ISOs. Picking one reboots your computer and then you can boot into that ISO. This, in my opinion, is much more convenient than having to grab the device and flip through a menu on a tiny screen -- you already have a screen and keyboard, why not use that?  :D

 

Isosel is not without its problems, however! Not to dissuade any potential buyers, but there are compatibility issues to be aware of which are still being worked out. The isostick is still a very new product, and there are a near-infinite number of computers out there. Toss in all the different BIOS and EFI versions and things get even messier.

 

The Tested Hardware page is a good reference.

 

In summary, I would say that isostick competes on convenience with its small form-factor, ease of use, and isosel boot menu. The ISO Manager software also makes it easy to manage, and is coming soon to MacOS X and Linux. It is worth noting that almost all isostick problems at the moment boil down to two things: EFI and the lack of optical-drive-only mode. Both are being actively worked on  :thumbsup:



#44 ambralivio

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Posted 26 January 2013 - 09:54 AM

@ elegantinvention,

 

thanks for your comparison review; it confirms my first impression about the point that only size and portability are the significative PROs.

Anyway, these PROs need to be compared with the important CON about price (90$ vs. 50 $).

 

Nevertheless, a more carefull reading of your comparison highlights that the other mentioned isostick features are not comparable (and even worse) than Zalman's ones.

As an example, the statement about using your screen & keyboard for selecting and booting the right ISO is completely misleading the reader :yammer:   :ranting2:  because, in order to effectively use the isostick the system need to be already booted; oppositely, grabbing through the tiny screen permits you to choose the image to boot, just before firstly booting the system :innocent:

Say nothing of all the limitations you refer about compatibility and the lack of optical-drive-only mode.....!

 

Therefore, if we take into consideration all these additional CONs and, mainly, the great difference in price, I think that globally the comparison between the two systems under consideration is greatly and still going toward a detriment of isostick.

 

Anyway, isostick is surely an interesting thingy and I absolutely do not want to block new ideas and developments, but I'd like to be sure that my comments will be not misconceived.

 

My only message here is that isostick price is too high and this is not certainly playing in favour of its deploying, today, and its future development . :nuke: :nuke: :nuke:

 

ambralivio



#45 bblaauw

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Posted 26 January 2013 - 10:23 AM

@ elegantinvention,

 

thanks for your comparison review; it confirms my first impression about the point that only size and portability are the significative PROs.

Anyway, these PROs need to be compared with the important CON about price (90$ vs. 50 $).

 

So what do you put inside the Zalman unit? a harddisk or an SSD? Personally I prefer quiet operations so an SSD goes inside. Compare the SSD and microSD cards. All in all I think it's a pretty equal price range for [Zalman device + 32/64 GB flash storage] compared to [Isostick + 32/64GB flash storage]. Ofcourse the Zalman unit can get up to 300MB/s (unfortunately stuck at SATA-2, even for latest Zalman VE400).

 

The flash storage unit is also a lot easier to take out (and replace by another) with the Isostick. Not that many people will have multiple HDDs/SSDs lying around. Then again, if you do have multiple 2.5" devices lying around, multiple Zalman units are a nice solution instead of exchanging their content.

 

To keep this comparison fair: Overall the Zalman is better but the isostick is more convenient. I own both but prefer the isostick for its size/portability.

 

With the Zalman unit, I've wondered: how do you change the ISO when the system is powered down? My computer first needs to power on before giving juice to the USB controller on which I've attached my USB3 SSD, so changing isn't possible yet anyway.



#46 ambralivio

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Posted 26 January 2013 - 11:26 AM

@ bblaauw,

 

OK, let's focus on the overall price for both the systems, then.

 

In both cases, you need a case/drive + a mass storage. Without exagerating with an SSD, please follow this comparison :

 

Zalman  --> Case/drive (~ 50 $) + 2.5" HD, 320 GB (~ 50 $) = roughly 100 $

Isostick -->  Case/drive (~ 90 $) + 64 GB microSD card (~ 50 $) = roughly 140 $

 

and I do not think, as you said, that this is a pretty equal price range for them !!!!!

 

Besides, the comparison unbalance between the 2 systems is even worse if we take into account the overall performance & the better functionalities of the Zalman system.

 

So, at the end, I'd not have any doubt that just the convenience of Zalman is definitely superior.

 

A last, (not so much) side note on your comment about booting system/power off : also here I see some misleading points.

In fact, at first, also with isostick you need to power-on it, as with Zalman.

On the other side, power-on the system is different from booting it.

In this context, with Zalman you first power-on the system, then choose the ISO and then boot from ithis.

Whereas, with isostick, you power-on the system, then you boot it, then you choose the ISO and then you need to re-boot..

Cleary, a time-waste process and not so flexible.

 

ambralivio



#47 bblaauw

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Posted 26 January 2013 - 11:44 AM

Ah I think I see what you mean about the booting process on Zalman, thanks for clarifying it and giving some new tricks:

1) press the keyboard key intended for selecting boot device

2) see the BIOS/UEFI menu and select CD without confirming

3) select the ISO on Zalman menu.

4) confirm booting from CD, and boot into the newly selected ISO

 

My old method consisted of entering BIOS, then changing ISO on the zalman unit (which is below my desk, short cable, so inconvenient) then rebooting.

 

I see what you mean about price for Zalman + hdd versus isostick + sd-card. You're aiming at pure sequential reads? And high capacity? I'm using the isostick for bootable (operating system) CDs, not for data/software installation discs for Windows, thus valueing random access time (and total silence) a lot more, thus going for flash storage based on either microSD or SSD.

 

If settling for a harddisk on Zalman, I'd go for a 2.5" one, preferably 1 TB (current maximum) or the hybrid ones that have a little bit of flash. Wouldn't mind an msata-version of the zalman unit, lots smaller :)

 

I think we'll all agree on the drawbacks for current version of isostick. I don't know if it's possible (or desireable) for the vendor to drop the price.

I also don't know if you'd find an improved version of isostick (USB3? better controller?) worth the current price, or consider the price too high anyway for a USB storage device. If so, stick to Zalman drive, or a flash drive with GRUB or Syslinux on it (if using for bootable purposes).

 

I'm wishing for an improved version of isostick as well as improved versions of the Zalman 300/400 unit (for example sata 6/g, firewire400/800, esata, thunderbolt)



#48 ambralivio

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Posted 26 January 2013 - 11:59 AM

I'm seeing you're disregarding the main focal point here : the high price of isostick, not at all justified, even consideing the higher isostick portability.

 

Anyway, I'm also seeing we have two completely different viewpoints. For example, there is no chance for the boot speed comparicon between microSD and Sata HD, being HD always faster.....

 

ambralivio



#49 bblaauw

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Posted 26 January 2013 - 12:21 PM

Boot speed of what? A Linux distribution might boot faster from the correct microSD card than any harddisk. Operating systems are all about access times, not sequential reading speed.

 

The isostick's bottlenecks for speed you'll encounter when taking them away one by one currently are:

1) the SD-card, if it doesn't even perform between 10 to 12MB/s in sequential reads and writes

2) the Isostick controller, being limited to 12MB/s

3) the SD-card, if performing under 40MB/s

4) the USB-2.0 interface

5) possibly the isostick controller once again

6) the SD-card (being limited to 90MB/s or so)

7) the USB-3.0 interface (being limited to 500MB/s or so)

(I guess usb2-interface on computer also counts as a limitation)

 

The zalman VE300 bottlenecks for speed you'll encounter when taking them away one by one currently are:

1) the hosts's USB controller, if it's USB2-only

2) the harddisk or lousy SSD inside, limited at about 150MB/s or so at most

3) the controller inside the Zalman unit, being limited to sata-2 (300MB/s)

4) the USB3 interface, being limited to 500MB/s

5) the excellent SSD inside the device, being limited to 500MB/s

 

As mentioned, if you find the price of isostick high: don't buy it. You're trying to convince the seller to lower the price for the item, which ofcourse you can try. Problem of lowering the price is the seller might then sell at a loss, or not enough profit. Or ofcourse, as most of us prefer, accept a lower but still high enough profit per unit. The usual alternative for getting stuff cheaper is mass-production.

 

To make a long story short: in my opinion the price is worthwile for the product, even if not justified by its abilities. Same goes for a Ferrari I guess. It makes a lousy car for getting groceries with all those roadbumps :)

You're welcome to propose (or negotiate) a fair price for what most consider a luxury item and few consider an essential productivity item.



#50 Wonko the Sane

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Posted 26 January 2013 - 01:53 PM

@ambralivio

If you divide the money by the weight of the thingies, you will also find how the Zalman is  priced per Kg MUCH lower.

 

What gives? :unsure:

 

On the Zalman you read on a display then press (jog/whatever) a control on the device before booting.

There are no technical issues (if not the added cost :unsure:) in adding a LCD screen to the Isostick and a set of controls to it.

The issue is the weight of the magnifying glass you will have to carry with it :w00t: in order to read the tiny-tiny screen and the stylus needed to push the tiny buttons (as you will lose the stylus in no time).

 

Come on. :)

 

They are two completely different products, with a different set of features, you get the one which features seem to you more relevant for the use you intend to make for it (or choose the poor man's way of a plain stick or USB HD with grub4dos and/or similar bootmanagers).

 

Everyone is a good choice, and everyone has it's own drawbacks, but as long as you do not whine :ph34r:, it's perfectly OK.

 

Now, find a technical forum where Mr.Marchionne takes part and go telling him how the price for the FIAT Idea is outrageous and that both Volkswagen and Ford offer better cars for a lesser price. :whistling:

 

:cheers:

Wonko






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