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What's on Tom Guthery IV's Desktop

My name is Tom Guthery IV and I'm the president and founder of FLIX Productions. We specialize in computer animation and educational software that's animated. I've been using computers for 30 years and my first computer was a CompuAdd XT that used DOS. I guess my favorite work-related program of all time is 3D Studio Max and my favorite game program would be just about any kind of pinball program --- I don't like to think when I play a game.
Published: May 29, 2005
Author: Michael E, Callahan
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My name is Tom Guthery IV and I'm the president and founder of FLIX Productions. We specialize in computer animation and educational software that's animated. I've been using computers for 30 years and my first computer was a CompuAdd XT that used DOS. I guess my favorite work-related program of all time is 3D Studio Max and my favorite game program would be just about any kind of pinball program --- I don't like to think when I play a game.

My current main computer has dual Xeon processors running at 2.6GHz and I have 1 gigabyte of RAM. Because my work takes up so much space I have a 400 Gigabyte hard drive, a DVD drive, DVD burner, a 16x floppy drive and a 250 gigabyte hard drive for backups. I use 19" CRT monitors and right now I have 4 computers.

I pretty much leave Windows the way it comes so I use the default colors and I don't use anything to change the "look and feel" of it. I keep my screen resolution at 1024 X 768 and for wallpaper I tend to use seascapes to remind me of where I would rather be than behind a CRT. And as for icons, I have anywhere from 2 to 47 at any given time. My favorite programs are all "commercial" programs, but they are all marketing using shareware, with 30 day demo versions. "One day all software will be sold like this" - is the defacto standard. Shareware won!

3D Studio Max from Kinetix is my main 3D animation program. I started using it when I started with 3D 15 years ago. I worked with traditional hand drawn animation for 15 years before that. I knew that whatever package I choose I would probably have to live with for a long time due to the extensive learning curve. I chose 3D Max (was 3D studio in the DOS days) because it had an open architecture - tons of shareware and free extensions. Need to do realistic grass - there is a plug-in for that, need to do lightening, there are several for that. I have started using Poser for realistic figures, but I import them to Max, using a plug-in.

I use Photoshop, for all sorts of stuff, from building web sites to creating textures to apply to 3D objects. Another case of being "married" to the software - since I am well over the learning curve I can work very quickly in it. It helps that it is the "industry standard".

I use Adobe Premiere for video editing, in conjunction with 3D-it! For DVD production. The main reason is that SE versions came with the PC I bought for video production. I was able to upgrade them to pro versions after getting a chance to try them free.

I had been tracking DVD-R technology ever since it came out in $10,000 drives. A bit steep for me, but when they dropped down to $500 I got one (1x speed). I tried using it in my existing PC, but the OS (Windows NT) didn't recognize it. When I took the drive back I noticed that they had a Sony VAIO with a DVD-R installed, I figured for an extra $500 I could get a PC that would be guaranteed to work with the new DVD-Rs. Even though the price of drives have dropped, I still made more than my investment back doing commercial work (medical animation - www.medflix.com) on the hardware and software.

The same thing happened when I was an early adopter of CD-Rs - $1500 for a 1X mini tower drive running DOS. Being able to keep up with the technology let me get in on retail CDs early with a line of children's software and do well.The price of the software/hardware tools are not my primary concern since I use them to make money - I just want the best tools.


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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