TUCOWS ARTICLE

What's on Paul Mayers Desktop

I'm Paul Mayer, the President of ZPAY Payroll Systems, Inc. and Vice President of Software Development for Infinisource, Inc. I've been a self-taught software developer since 1976 and am one of the early pioneers of Shareware. My first computer was a Heathkit H8, and I built my first six computers before they came out with the first IBM PC which I bought with serial number 0000000045.
Published: Apr 13, 2005
Author: Michael E, Callahan
Software that can help Good for Cow Rating
Skype 6.6
Freeware
Download Skype is software that enables you to make free calls anywhere in the world.
WS_FTP Professional 12.3
Demo
Download WS_FTP Professional is quick to install and very easy to use.
Trillian Astra Beta 5.0.0.29
See Home Page
Download Since 2000, Trillian has been a powerful part of the effort to bring interoperability to...

I'm Paul Mayer, the President of ZPAY Payroll Systems, Inc. and Vice President of Software Development for Infinisource, Inc. I've been a self-taught software developer since 1976 and am one of the early pioneers of Shareware. My first computer was a Heathkit H8, and I built my first six computers before they came out with the first IBM PC which I bought with serial number 0000000045. The First OS was HDOS a predecessor to DOS and took a step back to CP/m as there was more quality software for it at the time. When Windows came out I jumped on it immediately and was in the Microsoft beta tests from Windows 3.11 up through XP.

I'm a past President of the Association of Shareware Professionals, a Shareware Industry Awards Foundation Hall of Fame Inductee in 1997, an Association of Shareware Professionals Hall of Fame Inductee in 2000, and received the Shareware Industry Award for Lifetime Achievement in 2002. I was the person that created and managed the Microsoft Network On-line (MSN) Shareware Forum from 1994 through 2000 when MSN decided to get out of the content business. During that time alone, I reviewed over 80,000 Shareware programs. My favorite all time work-related tool is Microsoft Access as I'm a data man and use it for just about anything. My favorite all time game has to be the SIMS that I play with my granddaughter when I have time and has to be the best tool to learn about life.

My primary computer is a Gateway, using Windows XP Professional with an Intel 1.8GHz processor and 1 GB of RAM. This if funny when I have several other computers that are much faster, but this has been my favorite for several years now. It has a 19 inch Gateway CRT monitor an 80 GB hard drive with an external 300 GB Maxtor hard drive for backups. It has a 3.5 and CDRW drive and I have a USB ZIP used to move data to computers outside of my network. I have eight computers in my two offices with one being a notebook. Two are dedicated servers, one running NT 4.0 and the other running Windows Server 2003. Both of these are Internet Servers as in addition to housing my own websites, I'm a volunteer with the U.S. Coast Guard Auxiliary and maintain a number of their interactive database driven websites on my servers. The other computers range from an old Windows 98SE machine used for testing purposes, one with Windows 2000 and the rest are Windows XP machines. All are Gateways with the exceptions of the HP 98SE and the HP Notebook. I do not have a PDA but do love my Blackberry cell phone which is synched up with Outlook on my computer.

I use the default color scheme on all of my computers. Hey, in my opinion, Microsoft got it right for the most eye appealing theme right out of the box and I'm in front of the CRT all day and many nights and need something that is not distracting. My resolution is set at 1024 x 768 which is easily readable and yet allows me to multitask with many windows open at the same time. I use a plain dark blue wallpaper so not to be too busy on the eyes. I used to change wallpapers in the past but have been consistent with the blue for a number of years now. Icons on my desktop gets out of hand at times. I use the Desktop to drop temporary files when I'm working and at times, if I can't get to these items right away, it may be weeks and during that time I drop other items there. I have been known to have a full screen of Icons and then drop everything and work my way out of the mess.

My Three Favorite Programs

Right now, the three most often used programs on my Desktop are Skype, Trillian, and WS_FTP Pro. You will see that communications is important to me and even though Outlook Express is my number one tool to sift through hundreds of emails each day, there are other ways to communicate.

Skype:Think of Skype as a free telephone. It's from Skype Technologies and is a freeware program that allows you to talk to anyone in the world, for as long as you want at no charge. The best part is that it has low bandwidth and very high voice quality, it actually sounds better than a regular telephone. I use it every day to talk with my developer in Singapore and it's hands free and as if we were sitting in the same room talking with each other. I have just a simple microphone, lapel clip type, clipped to a pencil in a cup to the left of my monitor and use the regular computer speakers. We used to call only when necessary on the phone which can get very expensive from Florida to Singapore. With Skype, we can actually work with each other in real time and you almost forget the distance between you. You can actually have up to four people in a conference call too which is cool for small workgroup or even friends across the country getting together. And if you want a large meeting, you can even have a text Chat window with up to 48 people in it. Skype also has SkypeOut where you can use Skype to call to telephones around the world at local rates like 1.7 Euro cent per minute. So if you have a relative in Europe as an example, and they don't have a computer, you can talk for pennies with Skype.

Trillian:I'm sure many readers are familiar with ICQ, MSN Messenger, AOL Instant Messenger, Yahoo Messenger, IRC and Rendezvous. Well Trillian is an instant messenger that works with all of those services so you don't need to have six different programs on your computer, just one. I have friends and people I work with that use these different services and can easily be in instant communications with them with Trillian. Trillian has a freeware version and a Pro version and I used the free one for about a year before upgrading to the Pro. There are plug-ins that you can get for various neat functions such as the weather plug-in that you can monitor the weather in different cities as well as see the time. I installed that plug-in so I'd know what time it was with my overseas developers and it really came in handy during the hurricane season last year when we had to evacuate. I added cities throughout Florida so I knew which way to run when the time came. It worked great. But for instant messaging, this is my tool of choice.

WS_FTP ProMany might not know what a program like this is, but for us that work with websites and have to transfer files from our computers to the Web servers, they know this tool. Not only do I use this for my Web design work to transfer files to the servers, but I use it along with Skype and Trillian. My developers have access to a Web server with FTP access and when I need to show them a visual of what we are discussing such as a change needed on a screen in a program, I can quickly make a screen capture with a program like Paint Shop Pro, mark up the changes and using WS_FTP Pro, upload it to the server and have the developer download it instantly and make the changes. The developer would then upload the newly modified program and tell me to grab and test it and as I said above, it's like we are in the same office working together as seamlessly as possible.


About Michael E, Callahan

Michael E. Callahan, known around the world by the trademarked name Dr. File Finder, is regarded as the world's leading expert on shareware. Dr. File Finder works with software programs and developers full-time, and in the average year he evaluates 10,000 programs. Since 1982 he has evaluated over 250,000 software and hardware products. Mr. Callahan began evaluating software online in 1982 and no one has been at it longer. He currently works doing online PR and marketing for software companies, and is the Senior Content Producer for Butterscotch.Com.

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