Gadget Makers Learning to Lose the Install CD

New devices load their own software over a USB cable.

The Tornado logo

A trick is emerging that makes life a little easier with new tech. Gadgets are arriving without installation CDs.

I first saw it in a product called the Tornado. Plug it into a USB port, and it loads its own software for syncing computers. Now I've seen the same thing with two newer products: the ZvBox for Web video and the Palm Treo Pro. Plug them into a USB port and they load their software, after a few mouse clicks.

There's no CD to lose, scratch—or throw across the room in a fit of frustration.