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finefiles Finder (experimental)Introduction

The finefiles Finder is a experimental file management tool, currently under development. In a forthcoming version it will bring back the Sidecar management functions, stay tuned.

The Sidecar-concept

The term “Sidecar” fits perfectly for what these files are: additional, invisible files always following the main file. The content is independent of the main file, which makes it possible to store information like a hash and other files like images or documents beside the (unchanged) main file. NTFS automatically copies these files with the main file until the NTFS base isn't leaved.

Sidecars are not simple data files, instead they are designed to be like some kind of a “file container” to make them embed a variety of different files of any kind. Because of that they have, like a floppy disc or a USB stick, a directory with entries for each file they contain. You can use the handy Sidecar Explorer to access the files stored inside the sidecar, it features simple drag & drop operations to add any file you like. You can embed up to 50 additional files in the sidecar if you have a reason to do so.

Warning

Always keep in mind that Windows does not support streams in its user interface well. Windows Explorer and Command Prompt are completely unaware of streams - they will not show you file streams, they will not even show you the size they occupy.

You should not use sidecars for storing any critical files. Older file systems are still widely used, unfortunately they don't support the advanced NTFS features sidecars are based on. If you copy a file with a sidecar to a USB drive formatted with FAT32, a CD-R/RW, flash card or any other non-NTFS drive the system will copy the main stream only and will ignore the sidecar. The same happens when transferring via FTP/HTTP. No system warning is given and you may get a nasty surprise (note: this has changed in Windows Vista: at least the system now warns you if you copy a file with ADS to a volume that does not support streams). So sidecars are useful and secure if you do not leave the NTFS base only.

Please note: Sidecars cannot be created for write-protected files.

Portable

The program will run straight out of the box, no installation required, no system libraries or system preferences are altered. It is truly a so called "portable application" and can be carried on a USB stick, for example. The finefiles Finder is freeware and runs on Windows Vista/7/8/10 only.

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I am committed to providing quality, bug-free software. If you experience any problems with my software or find any bugs, please don't hesitate to contact me. Please provide a detailed description of your problem. Be sure to include which operating system you are running and the current version of the program.

C/C++ Speed

The finefiles Finder was written in true, pure, lovely C/C++, accessing the Win32 API directly, with no use of MFC code and no libraries required. For this reason, the processing is extremely fast.

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