MIKE CALLAHAN, also known as "Dr. File Finder", was born in Highland Park, Michigan. A precocious child who excelled in school, he joined Cub Scouts at age 8 and remained in scouting until the age of 22. He became adept at wilderness survival, edible wild plants, canoeing, and rafting. For relaxation Mike Callahanhe would sometimes go into the wilderness for two weeks at a time with only a hunting knife. He also studied martial arts and achieved a 6th degree black belt in Kung Fu. At age 14 he started playing guitar and over the years was in several bands. After graduation from college he began a career in medicine.

In 1977, after a case of food poisoning, Mike's blood pressure became uncontrollable. He suffered numerous strokes, became disabled, and could no longer work. He now had time to develop an interest in computers (which were using the CP/M system at that time). As a stay-at-home Dad, he cleaned, did the wash, cooked all the meals, and played with his daughters, Melaina and Kadee. In 1981 he joined the online system that would later become CompuServe. During this time, his health problems persisted and there were more strokes, hospitalizations, and years in physical therapy.

When the PC was introduced, Mike was right there and ready to go. In 1982 he discovered Easy File by Jim Button and PC-Talk by Andrew Fluegelman. In 1983, he found PC Write by Bob Wallace and got caught up in the "cause" of shareware. He soon became a beta tester and promoter of all three products. As the shareware movement grew, he began downloading everything and wrote reviews which were posted as messages on bulletin boards. A joke between him and Bob Wallace resulted in Bob creating a little program that allowed "Doc" to keep track of how many programs he'd looked at.

Over time Mike's program reviews on bulletin boards around the country became very popular. In 1985 he started using the pseudonym "Dr. File Finder" and in 1986 had it trademarked. In that same year he created "Callahan Enterprises" as a catch-all company for his various endeavors: program promotion and marketing, software reviews, product testing, and so on. Since he was receiving disability payments, he did everything for free. If he promoted your product, it didn't cost you a cent. And he promoted a lot of products!

In 1989, John Dvorak called Mike and asked if he would help on the book "Dvorak's Guide To PC Telecommunications". The next year, he was asked to write his own book on shareware, "Dr. File Finder's Guide To Shareware". Then, in 1991, he was asked to take over Shareware Magazine and make it into a real magazine rather than just a catalog. After talking it over with his wife Carol, he accepted, and voluntarily gave up his Social Security disability payments.

Since then, he has written three more books, countless reviews and articles, worked for CNET, Tucows and Simtel, and has continued to be a very active participant in the shareware community. He runs Callahan Enterprises doing online PR and marketing primarily for software companies. Having celebrated his 27th year in shareware, no one has been involved in online marketing longer. He also finds time to be President of the Educational Software Cooperative, Chairman of the Shareware Industry Awards Foundation and still evaluates over 200 programs a week for software developers - for free.

Come and chat with him about software on ESC's newsgroup: news://esc.newsgrouphosting.com

Mike and Carol celebrated their 25th wedding anniversary in 2002, taking a trip to Ireland that they had planned 26 years ago when they said "When we're married 25 years we'll take a trip to Ireland!" Both of them are quite proud of keeping that promise to themselves. Carol is a Family Nurse Practitioner and has been in health care for over 30 years. Their daughter Melaina is married, a stay-at-home mom with three wonderful children, and works for the Callahan Enterprises. Their daughter Kadee works for the company full-time from their Colorado office.

Updated in 2009

Mike and Carol moved to Gallatin Tennessee where they have a new home. They like to spend time gardening, going camping, swimming, and spending time with their grandchildren. Mike practices Tai Chi, yoga, and does wood carving and Carol does quilting and other crafts. Each August they make pickles using the family recipe. And, in June, 2009, Mike and Carol will celebrate their 32nd anniversary.


  • 2008 - Started creating tutorials for butterscotch.com a division of Tucows
  • 2007 - Added more regular columns to Tucows editorial
  • 2006 - Continued Expansion of Tucows Editorial section
  • 2005 - Continued to improve editorial at Tucows
  • 2004 - Became Manager of Editorial Content on Tucows
  • 2003 - Worked with WUGNET on Microsoft User Group Database
  • 2002 - Dr. File Finder's Picks" on Simtel
  • 2001 - Worked with Simtel, created the "Simtel Spotlight"
  • 2001 - SIAF Board honor for 10th Anniversary of SIA
  • 2000 - ASP Hall of Fame inductee
  • 2000 - Worked with Tucows and created the "Tucows Kickoff"
  • 1998 - Worked with CNET on the CNET Premiere
  • 1997 - Worked with ZDNet on their "LaunchPad" event
  • 1996 - Worked with CNET to build Download.Com and created the "CNET Exclusive"
  • 1995 - Product Line Manager for FormGen, Inc. and Gold Medallion
  • 1994 - Assistant Manager of the Shareware Forum on MSN
  • 1994 - Review section on MSN called "Dr. File Finder's Picks"
  • 1993 - Shareware Industry Award for Lifetime Achievement
  • 1993 - General Manager of PC-SIG, Inc. Generated many new products increasing the number of CD-ROM products from two to twelve; took Shareware Magazine from a $100,000 per year loss to a break-even point.
  • 1992 - Created the Shareware Industry Awards
  • 1991 - Editor-In-Chief of Shareware Magazine. Created new features and columns, and established standardization in many sections of the magazine.
  • 1991 - Wrote "XTree Made Easy" with Nick Anis
  • 1990 - "Dr. File Finder's Guide To Shareware"
  • 1990 - Worked with PC World Magazine on America Online. Helped create PC World Online for America Online and CompuServe.
  • 1990 - As a Contributing Editor for PC World Interactive, wrote program reviews for PC World Online.
  • 1989 - Worked with John Dvorak and Nick Anis and wrote several sections of "Dvorak's Guide To PC Telecommunications".
  • 1989 - Made an honorary lifetime member of the ASP
  • 1987 - Launched "Black Bag BBS" - multi-line system for software
  • 1985 - SysOp of the IBMSIG on The Source Telecomputing Network
  • 1983 - Wrote first reviews of "Shareware" programs
  • 1982 - First ran into Jim Button, Bob Wallace, and Andrew Fluegelman
  • 1979 - First computer running CP/M

Some Of My Favorite Things:

    Books: Stranger In A Strange Land by Robert A. Heinlein , Atlas Shrugged by Ayn Rand and Siddhartha by Herman Hesse

    Drink: Pepsi! I'm seldom without one! I also collect Pepsi-related items -- posters, tins, and so on.

    Vacation Spot: - camping in the woods, with a fire going and a lake close by.

    Quotations: "The river flowed on and on, always different, yet always the same." Siddhartha by Herman Hesse

    "Sometimes my life it feels like fiction, Some other days it's really quite serene, I'm   living proof of all lifes contradictions, One halfs going where the other halfs just been ..." - George Harrison "Brainwashed"

    "There's a difference between knowing the path, and walking the path." - Morpheus, The Matrix

    "Wish I didn't know now, what I didn't know then" - Against The Wind by Bob Seger

    "I'm older than I once was and younger than I'll be, that's not unusual..." The Boxer by Simon and Garfunkel

    Star Trek: The original series and ST:TNG, all of which I've seen multiple times. I have all of the movies and also collect Star Trek ornaments and other items -- an Enterprise phone, phaser, posters, and more!

    Guitars: I've played for a very long time. I have a 1980 Les Paul Standard, a 1973 Martin D-35, a 1972 Harmony arch-top 6-string acoustic, a 2000 Fender 12-string, a Marshall amp, and a tenor banjo.


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by Callahan Enterprises
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