TUCOWS ARTICLE

What's on Dr. File Finder's Desktop

I'm Michael E. Callahan and I'm better known all around the world under my trademarked name "Dr. File Finder". I first started reviewing software on-line in 1983. I've been doing marketing for software developers since 1986 and I'm currently also the Manager of Editorial Content at Tucows.
Published: May 22, 2005
Author: Michael E, Callahan
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I'm Michael E. Callahan and I'm better known all around the world under my trademarked name "Dr. File Finder". I first started reviewing software on-line in 1983. I've been doing marketing for software developers since 1986 and I'm currently also the Manager of Editorial Content at Tucows. I've been in computers since late 1979 when I used a Texas Instruments TI 99/4 personal computer. The first operating system I really worked with was CP/M which pre-dates DOS. Having evaluated over 214,000 programs by this point picking out my favorite work-related program of all time isn't easy. I think I'd have to say WordStar because it made such a difference in the way one worked. Fingers always staying on the keyboard and doing everything you needed to do. As for my favorite game of all time, I'd say Wing Commander.

My primary computer uses Windows XP Professional with an Intel 3.4GHz processor and 1 Gigabyte of RAM. I've got a 19" flat panel monitor, a DVD player and a DVD burner. I also have a 160 Gigabyte Maxtor external hard disk which is just used for backups. This is the first computer I bought where I didn't have a floppy drive. My network is a combination of wired and wireless. Since I've had a wired network in place for some time, it didn't make sense to me to totally switch the whole thing right now. So, my desktops are connected on the wired network using a Netgear Router, and my laptops and PDAs are connected by wireless using a Netgear Wireless Access Point that plugs into my router. Right now I have 5 working desktop computers on my network along with 2 laptops. I also have a Dell Axim X-30 Pocket PC and a Palm Tungsten C. The Tungsten C has built-in wireless and I use VPN to connect to my network with the Tungsten. That makes it really handy for copying files, like music files, from my computer to my Tungsten. My Dell Axim X-30 also has wireless.

Working 12 hours or more each day at a computer I find that I like to have colors that are both relaxing and more muted. So, I don't use the default Windows color scheme, but a variation of it that's rich in blues and grays. I use a screen resolution of 1152 X 864 and I find that works well for me. I also use TuneUp WinStyler to give my entire system a different look. I really like the program because it doesn't draw a lot of system resources like similar programs I've tried. Desktop wallpaper is something that I don't think a lot about, but I have used both solid colors and pictures. I like to have a good contrast between the icons on my desktop and the wallpaper so again I tend to use shades of blue when I use a color. Right now I have a space-age picture of an alien planet that looks interesting. And in the past I've used things like a picture of fields on the Dingle peninsula in Ireland. I don't change my wallpaper very often.

Consider it a personal quirk, but I never have more than 22 icons on my desktop - two columns of 11. I keep my computer very organized, and I don't like a lot of clutter when I'm working. I guess it's a habit that comes from the early days, but even with gigabytes of space I always go around my hard disk and clean off files that aren't being used. I guess to some that might seem silly, but I remember a time when my hard disk was only 20 megabytes and every byte counted.

Favorite programs is a tough one for me, having looked at so many products. As with so many other things in life, at different times different programs were my favorites. But, since we're here in 2005 I'll just briefly mention some of my favorites, programs that are on my computers and that I use every day.

ClipMate, by Thornsoft Development, is a program I've used since it first came out and every computer I have has ClipMate on it. I truly wouldn't be without it. It saves things I copy and paste, I can organize clips into collections and it's just very useful. It's great for so many things when you're working with text, graphics, and lots more.

ActiveWords by ActiveWords, Inc. is another program I just can't say enough about. I use it to launch programs, go to Web sites, open folders, inserting text, and so much more. It corrects common spelling errors, handles contractions, capitalization, Windows commands, ASCII characters, and more. It makes things so much easier and saves me having to use a mouse all the time. My fingers can stay on the keyboard because ActiveWords lets me do so many things. I have a copy on all of the computers I use on a regular basis.

NoteTab Pro by Fookes Software is the text editor I use for everything. It's loaded with all the things you'd expect in a text and HTML editor plus it has some unique features. Its "clip" function lets you create great features of your own, insert text, and so much more. The program comes with hundreds of "clips" that allow you to quickly insert HTML codes, convert measurements, and insert acronyms, just to name a few. This is another program that's on every computer I own.

Other programs that I use on a regular basis include SureThing Photo Plus, Forte Agent, Showcalc, and Diskeeper. Keep a watch on my Dr. File Finder's Picks where I'll review some excellent programs and new reviews are posted every Thursday. I'll also reveal more of my Favorites.


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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