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Faces of 4Site - John Shortess, Director of Technology

Quad VTR

In this series, we will be featuring the different staff members of 4Site Studios. We asked each member of the team to answer a few questions about themselves to give you a sense of who they are. This week, we interviewed John Shortess, our Director of Technology.  

1)  In 250 characters or less, tell us your life story. 

When I was a kid, everyone assumed I’d “go into computers” when I grew up. Even back then, most computers weren’t big enough to walk into, so I’m not sure what they meant. But I surprised everyone by majoring in music.  So what did I end up doing after college? Computers.

2) When/why/how did you get involved professional with digital technology and design?

My first job after college was as an audio engineer at a public television station. From there I started working in video, and then in 1995 I created the station’s first website as a side project. Six months later, they created a new “webmaster” position. I’ve been working full-time on the Web ever since.

3) What expression or quote would best describe your personality?

“The fact that we live at the bottom of a deep gravity well, on the surface of a gas-covered planet going around a nuclear fireball 90 million miles away and think this to be normal is obviously some indication of how skewed our perspective tends to be.” -- Douglas Adams

4) What is your favorite piece of digital technology and why?

There are so many, but probably my iPad. It’s a lot easier on my back than all the dead-tree books I used to carry around everywhere!

5) What is one topic you know way too much about?

How to calibrate an Ampex 2-inch quad videotape recorder. Those big old VTRs were probably my favorite piece of analog technology. They were huge, and noisy, and awesome.