SftpDrive becomes ExpanDrive for Windows

In January of 2009, [Magnetk LLC](http://www.magnetk.com) reincorporated as [ExpanDrive, Inc](https://www.expandrive.com). While we liked our unpronounceable, vaguely memorable, certainly misspelled moniker – it was time rebrand around a better name that better reflects the direction we’re headed.

expandrivesplash

It will be a little while longer before [ExpanDrive for Windows](https://www.expandrive.com/windows) supports more than just SFTP and achieves parity with [ExpanDrive for Mac](https://www.expandrive.com/mac), but we’re committed to co-developing these two products, and at some point, releasing a Linux version.

Today we’re releasing version 1.8.2 – the first major revision in about a year. Full release notes can be found [here](https://www.expandrive.com/windows/release_notes.html). We apologize for how long it took to make this revision – our development on [ExpanDrive for Windows](https://www.expandrive.com/windows) was slowed while we got our Mac client out the door. However, as 2009 progresses, we aim to consolidate the two products further and work towards feature parity. We’re not going to announce a timeline for the work, but it certainly is a top priority.

[Version 1.8.2](https://www.expandrive.com/windows/release_notes.html) adds many important features and fixes

  • Renamed SftpDrive to ExpanDrive for Windows
  • Fixed major issue where Windows Explorer would sometimes crash while SftpDrive was loaded
  • Dramatically improved performance of interaction+save with all MS Office Applications
  • Support for Window 7 and Vista 64
  • Fixed major bug where some applications, notably Emacs, would suspect a file had been modified on disk, but hadn’t
  • Updated licensing to match ExpanDrive for Mac
  • Update Network Provider component for much better interaction with environments with DFS
  • Many performance and stability improvements
  • Fixed issue where some licenses would not correctly get installed

Using SftpDrive to access your iPhone

For Windows users who saw Cosmo’s [Turn Your iPhone 3g into a Wireless Hard Drive](https://www.expandrive.com/2008/07/22/turn-your-iphone-3g-into-a-wireless-hard-drive/) and were wondering how to do the same thing on Windows, check out a good post from [David Learns Games](http://www.davidlearnsgames.com/?p=3). It describes in detail how to accomplish the same task using [SftpDrive](https://www.expandrive.com/sftpdrive) on Windows, and also enters quite a bit of detail about how to setup the networking and get your phone configured [ample screenshots]. This could come in useful if you’re having any trouble making Cosmo’s instructions work using your Mac.

SftpDrive: Automatic License Install

We need to do a better job about posting helpful hints for our SftpDrive users. Thus begins a series of posts aimed at that.

#### Automatic License Distribution & Installation
To help ease the task of installing SftpDrive for large groups of users we’ve introduced a method to easily package your license key such that it is automatically installed.

As of version 1.7.9 of SftpDrive you can easily package and install your license by creating a file named SftpDriveLicense.txt that resides in the same directory as the installer. Paste your license key into that file and it will be picked up by the installer and automatically installed. This saves you the trouble of having yourself or users enter the serial number during the first run.

Get Satisfied

Along with making awesome software, we strive to provide the highest quality support to all of our customers. From the beginning, we’ve done 100% developer based support. We, the developers, are held directly accountable and are pushed by our users for new features and fixes.

For the first year, all support traffic ran through [email protected]. You could usually expect a response within a few minutes [or worst, a few hours]. People love a quick response from the lead developer of a product they just shelled out $39 for. Predictably, as the volume of e-mail grew, we had to switch over to some method that would allow us to consolidate some of this effort.

Next came the Magnetk Support Forum. Forum-based support works great. We avoid answering the same questions by making public all our previous support interactions. Users help each other and answer questions for us. Some users really buy into the forum and provide all sorts of interesting tips and tricks that we wouldn’t have thought of on our own. That’s awesome. In addition, a forum builds a searchable ad-hoc-knowledge-base, where anyone can search for an answer without ever having to ask the question. But it’s not some super-lame knowledge base where some chump in the “support” department decided what questions you wanted answers to. Man, I hate corporate knowledge bases.

Still, the forum isn’t perfect. The idea of a message board really turns some people off, and it is hard categorize or organize support in any meaningful way. Enter Get Satisfaction. Get Satisfaction is a great small company who is squarely focused on helping companies like Magnetk provide support to their customers. Get Satisfaction reduces the amount of friction required for a user to ask a question and makes it even easier to receive notifcations of a response.

Now our users can also quickly follow the responses and progress of a problem they also have by clicking the “I have this problem, too!” button. Get Satisfaction also excels in helping categorize Questions, Ideas, Problems, or pure discussion. In addition, it provides some more of that modern-web-2.0-application feel that most of our customers have come to really appreciate in other places. I must admit, it’ll be nice to be able to tag posts with meaningful information so we can help build up a good search index later on.

Get Satisfaction is being used successfully by hundreds of companies: Timbuk2, Twitter and Pownce are just some of our favorites. They have a huge number of active users providing support to each other and to the companies. I have a feeling this will work great.

ExpanDrive and SftpDrive screencasts

We’re compiling a use-cases section for our web site and we’d love some help showing off why ExpanDrive and SftpDrive are awesome.

Both ExpanDrive and SftpDrive allow for many unique workflows involving secure access to remote files, and we’d love to have our users help show off some interesting or unexpected tasks they can now accomplish. The best 5 screencast submissions that we receive by May 9th will be rewarded with a 5-pack of free licenses.

E-mail [email protected] with any questions.

ExpanDrive for OS X

Magnetk is thrilled to announce the release of ExpanDrive for OS X, our second product. We’ve been working for a long time on ExpanDrive, and are very proud of the result. Our early adopters seem quite pleased too.

ExpanDrive builds SFTP support right into the core of OS X – just like SftpDrive builds SFTP support into Windows. Now any application on your Mac can read and write remote files as easily as if they were on a USB drive plugged into your computer. ExpanDrive even brings SFTP right into Finder, letting you manage your remote server as easily as your MacBook. We’ve already pushed two updates in response to user feedback in just the first week of open release, polishing the UI and improving user experiences all around. In the coming weeks and months ExpanDrive will expand beyond just SFTP, letting you access a wide variety of data through the filesystem. Keep an eye on this blog, as well as our Twitter feed, to keep track of the developments.

Lock an SSH user to their home directory

Many of our users have asked how to restrict a user to a particular directories using OpenSSH. Here is a post from one of the OpenSSH devs describing how you can use the new ChrootDirectory feature to set that up. There are a variety of other ways to accomplish this using more traditional methods – if you’ve had success, please post in the comments and share.

SftpDrive 1.7.8 released

SftpDrive v1.7.8 is out- wrapping up a variety of bug fixes and enhancements – most importantly some connection robustness and convenience features. Check the changelog for details.

If you’re running anything that is previous to 1.7, this a highly recommended upgrade. We’ll be better in the future about notifying version bumps via this blog.

SftpDrive for OS X beta test

Interested in helping us test SftpDrive for OS X?  Email [email protected] to sign up. Please include a bit of info on your hardware along with you’re hoping to use it for. Thanks!

SftpDrive 1.6.5

SftpDrive has been under quite heavy development over the past couple months, as you might’ve noticed. We’re releasing version 1.6.5 today. It includes:

  • Automatic update support. SftpDrive will [optionally] check to make sure you’re running the latest version and notify you when upgrades are available
  • Much improved Vista support
  • Important fixes for UTF-8 support and international filenames
  • Speed improvements along with many small improvements to increase application support and speed

Also, it’s worth noting that the Mac client is still under heavy development and will be the subject of more news on this blog in the coming month or two.

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