Charlie Kindel

Charlie Kindel ckindel Steep & Deep

Niner since 2004

I was an evangelist once. I also had something to do with COM, DCOM and ActiveX. I think I worked on IIS at one point too. I started what became eHome and Windows Media Center. Then I built Windows Home Server. Now my life is all about consumers. And phones. And developers. Developers, developers, developers.


  • Windows Phone Design Days- Templates

    Download the templates here:

  • Windows Home Server: PDC 08, New Features, Meet some of the Team

    Great interview CJ, Brendan, & Mark. Heck, even *I* learned somehthing Smiley.
  • Chris Gray: Windows Home Server ​Extensibili​ty Model - Building Add-Ins

    dahat wrote:
    ckindel wrote:
    So all you can do for now is sit tight and be patient for a bit...

    That's what you think

    When left to my own devices I tend to do anything bit sit tight and instead make new to make due... hence this latest post of mine about adding better intellisense support to the WHS development experience.

    You are sooo gullible.
  • Chris Gray: Windows Home Server ​Extensibili​ty Model - Building Add-Ins

    dahat wrote:
    Excellent video, although I'm a bit confused (and excited)...

    You said that there was going to be a client side SDK... only in your example you were using WHSInfoClass from Microsoft.HomeServer.SDK.Interop.v1.dll to add and remove notifications while completely on the server... to confirm... before to long you'll be shipping a similar ability that will work on the client side?

    Also... get to the blogging Chris! I feel lonely as I seem to be the only developer blogging about development on WHS.

    Chris sorta "mis-spoke" and "let the cat out of the bag" when he talked about the client-side SDK stuff.

    We are working on it.

    We have not announced when it will be released in pre-release form.

    We have not announced when it will be released in the product.

    So all you can do for now is sit tight and be patient for a bit...  Oh, and feel free to post ideas of what you would like to see in our SDK (client side and otherwise) in the Home Server Forums on

    Thanks for your support!

  • Windows Home Server

    Tharnax wrote:
    1.  If there are shared folders on WHS, such as music, videos, pictures, will the only way to access them be through a "media connect" compliant device?  Or as long as the device can see a shared folder in XP it will be able to see a shared folder in WHS?

    Any device or software that can access SMB shares will be able to access the shared folders on WHS.

    Any device or software that supports Windows Media Connect will be able to access the content via that mechanism.

    In addition, other media access stacks from 3rd parties could be enabled on a WHS server providing access to even more devices.

    Tharnax wrote:
    2. Since the WHS, is likely to be online at all times, is it possible to use the WHS to run a website so it is not necessary to have two computers running at all times?


  • Windows Home Server

    ckindel wrote:

    We have open positions for a senior Program Mananger and for Software Development Engineers in Test. 

    I'm probably breaking some rule about doing recruting here on C9, but I literally just discovered that we have on other open position: A very experienced developer who can twiddle bits at the lowest level but can also deal with huge algorithmic complexity.
  • Windows Home Server

    dahat wrote:

    Arg... on the way out of my day job I had a couple of questions come to mind... which lead to others which lead to still more... Sorry to bother Charlie but I’ve got to ask...

    1. The on10 video told us that WHS was able to keep up to date and inform you of the security status of the machines in your house with tidbits such as the status of the firewall, Windows Update and what not... does WHS get involved with anything more than monitoring of those subsystems such as... being central repository for in-house WU downloads (ie so only a single copy of each patch is required)?

    1a. If it is able to be more involved in the updating and management... how much control can it grant/restrict to the desktop? Can a WHS user/admin choose which updates to apply to which PC's?

    We provide monitoring of those 3 things currently. Our roadmap expands to some of the other things you suggest though.

    dahat wrote:
    2. Given the relationship between 2003 and WHS... is it safe to say that the same will be for vNext and Longhorn Server? Will the WHS SKU be available around the same time?

    It is waay to early to speculate on things like that. I like to think my team is pretty bright and forward thinking though Smiley.
    dahat wrote:

    3. 2003 comes with support for numerous different servers out of the box like HTTP, FTP, DNS, DHCP... will a Sam using WHS have the same control over them that he/she would on a 2003 box today?

    Some yes, some no. We look at it like this:

    Our #1 goal is to nail Peter's experience.  If Peter always acts like a Peter we do everything possible to guarantee that he/she(?) has an "appliance like" experience of simplicity, consistecy, and reliability. 

    Sam wants what Peter gets, but also wants to be able to "play" some. Sam needs to undertand though, that, his/her playful nature carries some risk depending on how hard he/she plays.

    Some things will definately break Peter's expereince ("net stop whsbackup" or running Disk Manager and changing properties of drives WHS is managing for example).  Some, *might* break Peter's experience...we can't (and won't) test every server application out there that runs on W2K3. Or every built-in W2K3 service that WHS is not natively utlizing for that matter.

    dahat wrote:

    4. Given that WHS will likely be updateable automatically via WU or manually through a separate download or WU... what sort of recovery/troubleshooting mechanisms does it have built in/support in case failed upgrades or other software/hardware issues that render the unit unable to boot to a normal state where software based troubleshooting (ie event log, gui, etc) could begin?

    We have a recovery mechanism. It will not be in Beta 2. Can't say more than that at this time.

    dahat wrote:
    5. So as to extend the lifetime of the hard drives, does WHS support hybrid drives?

    We do nothing to NOT support them.
    dahat wrote:

    6. What kind of (if any) network/application limitations (other than raw bandwidth) exist to prevent a user from setting up their desktop with a remote WHS?

    No comprende your question. Sorry.

    dahat wrote:

    7. Is there any in box support for backing up and recovery of the archive of the WHS to some external device such as a tape or another WHS? Mmm... WHS on WHS.

    Maybe. Smiley

    dahat wrote:

    8. Are there any built in artificial limitations to WHS to keep it from eating away at current/future business/enterprise servers that accomplish a similar task? Limitations such as # of desktops that can use a given WHS, maximum disk space, backup age, backup count.

    Duh. Do you think I'd get this project approved if we hadn't thought that through? I'm not prepared to discuss details right now.

    dahat wrote:

    9. Assuming a user is say... backing up nightly (and disk space is infinite), what kind of depth of history does a user have available to them at restore time? Rather than restoring to the last backup... can they recover to the day before last? Last week? Last month? (again, assuming HD space is infinite).

    I think if you go view the screenshots that are floating around (Paul Thurrott's site has some I believe) you'll see a server settings screen that will illuminate this for you.  (Short answer: yes).

    dahat wrote:

    10. Is there any support for federation between multiple WHSs so as to further extend the reliability?

    No comment at this point in time.

    dahat wrote:

    11. What sort of protection exists (aside from WHS password(s)) to prevent malicious access to backup data via open wifi connection or screwdriver?

    Trying to make people's home secure (either physically or just with wireless networks) is a bit like tyring to boil the ocean.  As much as we'd like to be able to, we can't force people to not be stupid about how they configure things (not securing their wireless or leaving their front door unlocked).  We're confident that as long as someone does not have physical access our solution is solid.

    dahat wrote:

    If you can't tell... I'm psyched and believe you me... it doesn't happen all that much.

    Given that my mind is still racing with ideas of how to exploit and extend (in good ways) such a device I'm going to ask just one more question before digging into a few ideas.

    So last but not least...

    12. Is your team hiring? How about in July? (I've got a bit of indentured service due to tuition reimbursement until around then).

    We have open positions for a senior Program Mananger and for Software Development Engineers in Test. 
  • Windows Home Server

    eddwo wrote:

    It seems like the PC Backup feature is rather separate from the shared folders feature.

    User --------- Client PC  -------------- WHS ---------------- Remote Access
    Peter <----------------------------->  Shared Folders -------------> Peter
    Paul   <-----------------------------> (Previous Versions)
                                                       (Data Redundancy)
                                                       (User Access Controls)
                       Peter's Machine ----->PC Backup
                       Paul's Machine   ----->(Single Instance Storage)
                                                          (Data Redundancy)
                                                 <-----(Complete PC Restore)

       1. Only files stored in shared folders can be accessed remotely.
       2. Only files stored in shared folders will provide previous versions.
       3. Paul cannot access a file backed up from Peters machine that is not in a shared folder.
       4. Only the most recent backup can be restored?
       5. Users can restore individual files that have been backed up from their PCs?

    Good breakdown. You grok it.

    On #4: Any previous backup can be restored (modulo the mechanism that ages out backups in a mostly automatic *can* mark specific points in time as "don't delete"). 

  • Windows Home Server

    Evoroth wrote:
    Will it have the ability to put the machines on a domain and control user accounts via group policy? Because that would be the kind of thing I'm looking for at home at the present.

    WHS will not be an Active Directory doman controller in the first version. The scenario you describe is absolutely on our roadmap but that is a mountain we choose not to climb in v1.

    (I view building products as a series of adventures up huge mountains. With the amount of time available, the resources, and other factors a product team has to carefully pick what mountains to climb for a particluar release. Pick to many and you may not get to the top of any of them. Pick too few and you are not being ambitious enough.)
  • Windows Home Server

    trafficreport wrote:
    I have an extremely technical and on-point question:

    What was the little video screen on the left of his monitor, um, monitoring?

    I wanted to pull it up like they do on all the shows these days and instantly see a pixel perfect view of it just by selecting it, but I don't have the make believe application that does that.

    Very cool vid btw.  Please send a WHS to my home address as soon as it is available.

    That's my VAIO VGN-TX770G notebook. Running Vista with the Bubbles screensaver.  My desktop background is Hugh MacLeod's Blue Monster (  In the video the screen saver is running over it obscuring it.

    Aren't you glad you asked?
  • Windows Home Server

    Bas wrote:
    So, is there any chance that we may see drive extender in future versions of windows, or as an add-on? Sounds like this is a great way to ensure data reliability on your client PC's, too, without the need to get into RAID.

    Perhaps someday. What I do know is that this is something we're going to get right for WHS and not try to boil the ocean with. "Innovate then Integrate".
  • Windows Home Server

    Vince 15 wrote:
    I do have a question about the way WHS ensures reliability of data. In the video you say it doens't actually use a raid, but something easier. The question is... how much space doesn't it use for redundancy? Does it waste half the space, or it is smarter like a raid5? I think this is a very important issue, that can bring real geeks to use WHS instead of building a NAS by themselves.


    We've built a new technology as part of Windows Home Server we call "Drive Extender". Drive Extender is a file based replication system that provides three key capabilities:

    - Multi-disk redundancy so that if any given disk fails you do not loose data
    - Infinite and flexible storage expansion by supporting any type of HDD (SATA, USB, 1394, etc...) in any mixture and capacity
    - A single folder namespace (no drive letters)

    DE was designed specifically for consumer storage scenarios and radically reduces the number of concepts users are exposed to.

    Users (specifically, "Peters" who configure a family's home server) deal with storage at two levels: Shared Folders and Disks.

    The only concepts relevant regarding disks is whether they have been "added" to the home server's storage pool or not and whether the disk appears healthy to the system or not.

    Shared Folders have a name, a description, permissions, and a flag indicating whether duplication (redundancy) is on or off for that folder.

    If duplication is on for a Shared Folder (and it is on for all shared folders by default on multi-disk WHS boxes) then the files in that Shared Folder are duplicated.

    What this means is that, by default, all of the files stored on a Windows Home Server are duplicated and you (effectively) have a 2:1 storage ratio. However, in many scenarios there is data a consumer may NOT want duplicated (e.g. TV shows that have been archived to a WHS server from a MCE machine)...  DE gives you the flexibility to not duplicate stuff if you have capacity problem.

    However, because it is so insanely easy to add storage to a Windows Home Server, and the cost/GB of HDDs is so rapidly going down we believe that the point is relatively moot to begin with.
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