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Remembering ReiJane Huai Featured

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In 1989, while working at Archive, the world leader in quarter-inch tape drives, Bernie Wu and I handed over a floppy disk and a QIC-02 controller to an obscure company in Roslyn, New York. In two weeks' time, a young developer named ReiJane Huai, integrated that code with his invention and delivered to us the world's first client/server tape backup application.

While Bernie and I continued to struggle with engineering delivery schedules at Archive, Cheyenne Software and ReiJane exceeded our expectations and rapidly turned ARCserve into a viable tape backup solution.

Little did I know that this rapid engineering development style was the hallmark of one engineer and a harbinger of many events to follow. In the early years of my time at Cheyenne, an amazing pattern emerged. I would visit prospects, secure requirements, and Rei would turn the code around often before I left the customer site.

On one occasion, Tecmar indicated that the only way they would license ARCserve was if our data throughput was equal to their native application. Drivers were uploaded to Rei via a 1200 baud modem, and on the next day I downloaded the new and improved drivers from Rei for customer test. The throughput exceeded the company's native driver, and I left with a committed customer in place.  

Rei was our secret weapon. There was no company on the planet that could hope to compete with us in regard to rapid turn around and customer support. We added Gigatrend, HP, Compaq, Irwin, and in time IBM and arch enemy Emerald Systems. In all cases our engineering prowess made it possible for us to present something a little unique to each customer.

It was common for code drops to have timestamps that read 3:00 or 4:00 a.m., something that rarely went unnoticed by customers. Suffice it to say that a business development man never had a better partner than Rei and his engineering team.

As the business grew so did Rei's view of the industry and his understanding of our role in it. There were many debates about strategy and direction that continued even after Rei rose to the position of CEO. Most times we would agree, and sometimes we would agree to disagree. In the end we all worked together to build a wonderful company and a company that has made a big difference in many, many lives. My work with Cheyenne and with Rei set the course for my career, and for that I am forever grateful.

Rei was a serious and dedicated professional who also had the ability to take the time to talk about family or share in a joke. It is extremely rare to find a technical person who can see the big picture, take in all the data, process it, and deliver a sound conclusion.  His efforts and vision helped to create two successful software companies, which in turn supported thousands of individuals, families, and customers. If the goal of one's life is to leave the world a better place than we found it, then I can say with great sincerity that Rei has done this exceptionally well.

Like so many of the projects I worked on with Rei in the past, I am sad to say that he finished the most significant one of all substantially ahead of schedule.  I am thankful for having known Rei, and I find myself a wiser and more prosperous man as a result. He will be sorely missed and fondly remembered. My thoughts and prayers go out to all of you who, like me, will miss Rei.

Today more than 500 of us are dedicated to building on Rei's vision and honoring his memory. Rei's style and philosophy continue to be part of FalconStor and our culture. I can think of no better way to honor his memory than by working together to build his legacy.

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