Image will boot only if the disk on which it resides is Primary Master (/dev/hda). If you want it to be from anything else, mount the image after you have written it and change the boot device in syslinux.cfg.
You can use IDE-to-CF converter or USB CF reader, such as SanDisk ImageMate.
The syntax is:
$dd if=[image filename] of=[CF block device]
If you use IDE-to-CF converter, then your USB CF reader uses /dev/hd[a-z] device, if you use USB CF reader, then it uses /dev/sd[a-z] device (usually /dev/sda if you don't have any other SCSI devices). Look at /var/log/messages to find where it really is.
For example, if WISP-DIST image is in file wisp-dist_2397_img_wdist.bin and your CF reader is on /dev/sda, you need to type the following to copy the image:
$dd if=image-2002-05-30(2000).img of=/dev/sda
You can use PhysDiskWrite utility to write WISP-Dist images. You can download a copy of this utility from WISP-Dist's website.