I want to start with the Crucial SSD Firmware Update and copy the ISO to a bootable Mac USB stick, using a minimal set of tools. I hope that means using only built-in Mac software, such as Disk Utility and Terminal for commands. If necessary, I will reluctantly use a commercial tool. (As of this writing, the latest is Crucial_m4_040H-04-00.zip.)
I've have waded through a muck of articles about how to copy an ISO to a bootable USB stick, but I have not found a solution that works and that I'm comfortable trying.
For example, I read How do I burn an ISO on a USB drive on Mac OS X? and followed the steps. The steps seemed to work, but the resulting USB stick would not boot. I tried two different sticks to reduce the chances that it was a hardware issue.
I've also read Updating firmware on Macs without a superdrive too. One part recommends using rEFIt-Syslinux.dmg_.zip. But how do I know if that DMG is up-to-date, reliable, and trustworthy? Even if it is, that route seems unnecessarily complicated. Why is there not a simpler option?