Gary A. Donahue

Gary A. Donahue (GAD) is a working consultant, trainer, and author who has been in the computer industry for over 35 years. Gary has worked as a programmer, mainframe administrator, Technical Assistance Center engineer, network administrator, network designer, and consultant. Gary has worked as the Director of Network Infrastructure for a national consulting company and has been the president of his own New Jersey consulting company; GAD Technology, L.L.C. He currently works at Arista doing all sorts of traveling and training.

Having spent a great deal of time writing documentation for clients, Gary learned that it was this part of the job that he most enjoyed. After writing a successful book on Networking entitled Network Warrior, he has dedicated much of his free time to writing. Gary has written Cozy Tales, a book about his beloved Newfoundland dog, which has not yet been picked up by a publisher. Many of the stories about Annie in this blog are being assembled into a book entitled Tales of a Butter-Licking Ferret-Dog. In June of 2011, the second edition of Network Warrior hit the shelves. In October of 2012, Arista Warrior was published by O’Reilly and the follow-up Arista Warrior, 2nd Edition is due in June of 2019.

Being a teacher by nature, Gary enjoys the process of imparting new-found understanding to others. Gary has taught Tae Kwon Do, Photography and Astronomy, and Networking both informally and professionally. Being someone who disdains boredom, Gary has many hobbies including amateur radio, astronomy, bicycling, computers of all kinds, gadgets, guitar, hiking, home theater, martial arts, photography, SCUBA diving, chess, competitive shooting, and 3D printing & design. Many of these hobbies are reflected in the articles and reviews written on this site. Gary is the owner of the Newf-Net Newfoundland Dog forum and is the author of the Newf-L F.A.Q, He is also the owner of the LetsTalkGuild forum.

Sites of mine that are linked to this blog include:,,, and

All original photographs on this page are copyright © 2010-2020 Gary A. Donahue. Any non-original photos were carefully gathered from the public domain, usually sourced from Wikipedia. Reviews may include product photos taken from the original manufacturer’s website.

A note regarding reviews: Product reviews on this site are the result of me buying the reviewed equipment off the shelf or online. In the event that a vendor has provided a free sample for review, that fact will be plainly stated in the review and the vendor will be informed that I will post my true feelings, whatever they may be. Come to think of it, that may be why I don’t get many free items from vendors to review. Details about my guitar review standards may be seen here

If you’d like to reach me you can always email me at

25 thoughts on “Gary A. Donahue

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  3. Hi Gary–

    I write a blog about pet insurance in Australia.

    We just did a price comparison of over 100 breeds, and Newfoundlands ranked as the most expensive breed to insure, costing over $3,000 per year!

    I don’t have much firsthand experience with Newfoundlands, and would like to add a couple quotes to the article from a Newfoundland expert on why rates may be so high, what owners can do to keep the costs of care reasonable, and if anyone actually pays such sky high premiums for their dog.

    I’d very much appreciate if you’re able to share a few thoughts for inclusion in our article.

    Thanks very much!


  4. Gary, I saw your video on the Rigexpert 230 zoom. I am considering an antenna analyzer and trying to decide between the 230 zoom and the AA-1000. I would appreciate your input. Thanks.

    1. It really depends on your needs. I never do anything above the 70cm band, so the added range is lost on me. If you need the higher range, then the choice is made.

  5. Gary:

    I have a mint condition Guild S300A-D I am considering selling. I bought it new about 40 years ago, and it has been sitting unplayed in my closet for decades (bass is my instrument). Please contact me if interested. Thanks.

      1. Hey Konrad – sorry I didn’t put this together sooner. I now own the guitar that Michael was talking about in his post.

  6. Gary,

    Great site !! Very interesting to me as a Guild Guitar lover. I have a 1964 Jetstar as well as a 2000 Bluesbird. I once bought an early ’50s, (’52 or ’53 I think), X-350 which was incredible but I sold it to a friend who really needed a good guitar at the time.
    I play guitar in The Barn Cats,
    & The Crackers,
    as well as having a long career of being a music photographer,
    Thanks very much for all the information you have shared in such a pleasant manner.

  7. Hi Garry,
    Great site !! I’m new into Guild electrics and I found a lot of information here. I got one acoustic DV-4 which is great guitar and that let me to think about buying some Guild solid body. I consider buying S-300 and found somewhere in your posts that your review of S300A-D is coming. Is t? I don’t know what wood to choose. So, do you have any sound samples of your S300 A-D to compare with those in your S300 review?
    That would be very helpful.


    1. Yes a review of the S300A-D is forthcoming. No I don’t know when. As a result, I do not yet have samples of the S300A-D to compare. That may soon change depending on my other workloads.

  8. I enjoy your site. I just got my first Starfire (I once had a wicked Dearmond SF Special and vowed to get the real deal) , a Blonde 2000 SFIII with the mushy Fender pickups. I knew that when I bought it. I have a trusted shop guy who will rewind them for me. Are there any specs I should request on the rewind ? Thanks

  9. Hi Gary

    I am new to Arista and am watching ACE -Essentials videos,Please can you tell me how to enlarge that video of you talking in the slides ?


  10. Hi GAD,
    Thanks for compiling all the information on Guild Pickups! I have a1997 Starfire iv (blonde) and I want to tame the high frequencies and to reduce the pickup output. I’m thinking of doing a magnet swap and inserting an A2 in the bridge and A3 in the neck; have you ever done any magnet swaps with these pickups and, if so, what did you think of the results?

  11. Hi Gary,
    I’m a brand new subscriber, just saw your 2017 article on the Guild Nightbirds, and was surprised to see that apparently only 54 X-2000 Nightbirds were produced. I happen to have one, bought new in 1992, #CL-000013. Never knew it was so rare, although I certainly have never seen another on any stage. Several years back, I switched out the EMG pickups for Seymour Duncan SH-1 ’59s (I still have the originals, too), which brought a great guitar up to an ever higher level! As another multi-Guild owner (including an Artist Award, SF-IV, D-55, 2 D-40s, and several others), I loved your article – thanks!

  12. Big fan of your guitar reviews but wandered into your Newfie stuff. I must say it was very informative and valuable. Too many people buy puppies and have no clue as to what to expect from a particular breed….hell, way too many people buy dogs (or even cats) and have no clue and the poor animals end up in rescues or neglected or both. We had a Newfie mix from a rescue that was the most amazing dog one could ever dream.
    Through dumb luck Thor had all the good Newfie stuff but the shorter hair of whatever other breed genes were in there. Thor, like many Newfies was the ultimate Nanny dog and watched over our children like no other. He was their playmate, protector (but in that gentle Newfie way), herder and pillow. The ultimate family furry family member. Thanks for the Newfie stuff, it brought back some great memories.

  13. I’ve been reading your reviews of Guild Starfires all day, and I was pleasantly struck by how well written they are. I passed on a ’62 with dynasonics a few months back, and now I’m reasonably sure that I’ll never be happy again. As a Jersey boy, I’ve always been fascinated by Guild. It’s simply a matter of time before I pull the trigger, and your reviews contain exactly the kind of thorough, esoteric- perhaps borderline neurotic knowledge I’ll need to make the “right” choice. I was getting ready to head to the store and buy my first starter fountain pen when I saw that your site’s banner included a handsome nib. I thought, “wow, this dude sure shares at least two of my interests. I wonder why…”

    Tom Donohue

  14. Hi Gary —
    I saw your article about Guild Bluesbirds from early 2017 and I like the five that you have gathered. I have yet another variation — a Bluesbird that was made in 1985 with a very low BLxxxxxx s/n. It was actually called the George Gruhn Bluesbird, one of a small group made when GG was with Guild. Pretty obviously, this model went on to be the Nightbird. This one has a spruce top and original Seymore Duncan pickups, both of which are rare for this model. there is a write up about these in the 2nd edition of “Gruhn’s Guide to Vintage Guitars.” I have had this guitar for over 25 years but I am getting older and thinking about putting it on the market.

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