TUCOWS ARTICLE

What's on Brandon Staggs' Desktop

I am Brandon Staggs, the author of all of the programs sold by Akamai Software. I've been a hopeless computer addict since I received a Commodore 64 as a Christmas present when I was nine years old. The Commodore 64 had a built-in operating system that gave a comforting, glowing "READY" prompt when you switched it on. Even at that early age I enjoyed reading technical manuals, and dove into the programming book that came with the computer and taught myself how to program on it.
Published: Jul 31, 2005
Author: Michael E, Callahan
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I am Brandon Staggs, the author of all of the programs sold by Akamai Software. I've been a hopeless computer addict since I received a Commodore 64 as a Christmas present when I was nine years old. The Commodore 64 had a built-in operating system that gave a comforting, glowing "READY" prompt when you switched it on. Even at that early age I enjoyed reading technical manuals, and dove into the programming book that came with the computer and taught myself how to program on it.

Now I build my own computers and work in the Windows world. The Staggs' home has three desktop computers and two notebooks, and enough spare computer parts to build one or two more. My primary workstation is currently powered by an AMD processor, has one gigabyte of RAM, a CD/DVD burner and DVD drive, four hard drives (one of them external), and an Nvidia Geforce 6800 GT video card to help get me though those times when I just need to play some games. All of my computers, except a Mac Mini, run Windows XP.

We're making the switch to LCD monitors here in the Staggs' house. My computer has a 20-inch ViewSonic LCD monitor. I don't think I could ever go back to a regular CRT monitor! That's too much like sitting right in front of the TV, which I am sure your mom told you not to do.My Windows desktop has a simple brushed-steel background tile that matches the bezel of my monitor. I use the silver color scheme for Windows XP, also because it matches the monitor. One thing I always do on my computer is double the height of the taskbar and drop shortcuts to all of the programs I use regularly on it - since my desktop is almost always covered with Windows, the icons there don't do me any good!

I'm also experimenting with the Macintosh world and have a Mac Mini running Mac OS X 10.3, also attached to my ViewSonic monitor, and hooked to a USB switch so that I can use my Saitek keyboard (best keyboard I have ever used) and Microsoft IntelliMouse on both my Windows and Mac computers.

My Favorite Programs

Over the years I've grown dependent upon several excellent computer programs that I couldn't do without.

The Bat! is what I use for e-mail. It supports multiple e-mail accounts in a very manageable way and has more functionality than I have learned to use yet. It's also pretty much immune to malicious e-mail attacks.

I use Illium Software's eWallet to store all of my vitals - passwords, account details and the like, and it is synchronized with eWallet on my Pocket PC, an old iPaq.

Paint Shop Pro is my graphics editor of choice.

For instant messaging, I love Trillian Pro 3. It supports all of the major IM systems - MSN, AIM, ICQ and Yahoo, in one interface. That way I don't have to keep my tray filled with IM programs just to talk to all of my friends.

For Web site design, I am partial to Dreamweaver MX along with TopStyle Pro for editing style sheets. But if I had to trade one of them, I would keep TopStyle Pro. I could use any Web page editor as long as I had TopStyle Pro to edit CSS files.The Staggs' home has a ridiculously large collection of books, so we've become big fans of Book Collector from Collectorz.com.My favorite work-related software of all time is Borland Delphi. Delphi is what I use to design most of my software, and I feel very at home with it and know that I can program anything I need to with Delphi.

Picking a favorite game of all time is a bit difficult, because I like so many. But if I have to choose, I will say that Deus Ex. Deus Ex is probably the best game I have ever played. It was a bit of a "sleeper hit" and never got the popularity it deserved. If you can find it in a bargain bin somewhere, be sure to pick it up and give it a try.


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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