Gary Kildall

iFolder Revolutionizes Internet Storage: I recently met Tom Rolander. I have wanted to meet Tom for a long time. Tom is a legend to me. Tom is one of the world premier programmers that understands redirection. Tom worked with and was a close personal friend of Gary Kildall (Author of CP/M and founder of Digital Research).

Tom is a systems programmer that has written nine—count ‘em—nine operating system redirectors in his life. He works for Novell. The most recent redirector by Tom and his team is the best so far. I predict it is going to revolutionize the thinking about Internet storage systems. His redirector is part of a new storage system product from Novell called “iFolder.” Here is how iFolder works.

iFolder is a personal Internet storage system. The iFolder system includes an iFolder server, and one or more iFolder clients for each iFolder account. Each iFolder server can manage up to 10,000 accounts simultaneously.

The iFolder server and clients work together to form what I call the iFolder “cloud.” Each person that has an iFolder account installs the iFolder client on each machine that is part of the iFolder cloud. This system of computers automatically shares the same files. The files are replicated on every machine that is part of the cloud through redirection.

For example, I work on three machines all of the time. I have a laptop, a machine in my office downstairs, and another machine upstairs in my bedroom. Before iFolder, managing copies of my projects between these three machines was impossible. With iFolder, it’s a snap.

After installing the iFolder client on each machine, I simply copy the files I want to be located on every machine to a folder named, “iFolder” located in the “My Documents” folder. The iFolder system automatically synchronizes replicas of my iFolder files to every machine that is part of the cloud. This way, my work automatically follows me wherever I go, and I don’t have to do anything to make it happen. This is the magic of redirection.

I open a document on the computer in my office. Later in the week, I turn on my laptop while on the road in my hotel room. After a few seconds of synchronization when I first log onto the net, there is the file I was working on. It’s right on my laptop, just like it is at home on the office machine. I make a few changes and save the file.

The changes are automatically recorded and replicated through the system. When I get home from my trip, I unpack and head for my bed. Since my mind is still cranking, I want to add a few thoughts to my document before I go to sleep. I turn on the machine in my bedroom. Voila! There is my file, with all the changes at my fingertips. I know any changes I make will automatically be replicated for me behind the scenes.

Ok. Enough said here. This is awesome stuff. Go to and try it out for yourself. You can also check out this page to buy it if you want to. iFolder doesn’t require NetWare. The iFolder server runs on NetWare, Windows NT, and Windows 2000. It is also included with NetWare 6. The iFolder client only runs on Windows today.

Congratulations to Tom Rolander and his team. This is good stuff! [Craig Burton: logs, links, life, and lexicon]

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