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Galaxynet :: About the Staff

Marcy Lawless

To be published soon

Thom Lawless

Thom Lawless came to Oak Harbor on January 1st 1976. Then, a young Marine doing his second tour, this time in aviation instead of Marine ground units. He immediately fell in love with the northwest. Having lived in most of the central, southern and eastern seaboard states growing up, Thom found all the charm these areas offered here in the northwest on Whidbey Island.

Thom finished his first aviation school 'C' school, ballistic/fire control computer systems, in the spring of 1976, and was 'bitten' by the computer 'bug'. Upon return to his normal duties he immediately started taking college computer science and electrical engineering courses. In the spring of 1982 Thom graduated with a Master of Science Degree in Electrical Engineering and went to work for the Grumman Aerospace Corporation.

Thom, being an avid traveler with his eye always on Whidbey, took an assignment to Japan in 1982. There he exchanged his TRS 80 for the newest Atari machine, the then top of the line Atari 800 with 48 kilobytes of RAM. Shortly thereafter Thom also added a PC type computer to his stable. An 8088 running at 4 Mhz CPU with a 5 megabyte hard drive. At the time, one of the fastest machines available. Thom continued with his educational efforts while 'hands on' learning the latest in computer languages and technologies.

In 1986 Thom returned to Whidbey from Japan. This same year he was published in Byte Magazine, and The Computer Shopper for the hardware memory upgrade for the Atari 'XL' series of computers. His upgrades allowed the Atari computers to have up to 1 megabyte of RAM! Quite a lot of RAM in 'those days'. Later in 1987, Thom was also published for his software video compression routines and memory test programs which he also gave freely to the public.

In 1987 Thom also set up the 'Freelander' Bulletin Board System (BBS). This BBS carried software for all types of computers and had what we call today a basic 'chat' room which Thom designed himself. It was all run on a 'souped up' Atari 130XE. The computer was running with the latest offering from Motorola, a 16 Mhz 680X type processor, 1 megabyte of ram and eight 720k floppy disk drives. This allowed Thom to rotate the software offerings regularly. In the fall of 1994 Thom finally retired the Freelander BBS just before the advent of the public Internet.

Thom's thirst for knowledge, having never quite been quenched, continued his formal education throughout the years. Graduating with Bachelor and Master of Science degrees in Computer Science, Cum Laude in 1992 and 1997 respectfully and a Bachelor and Master in Business Administration in 1994 and 1998 respectfully. He continued to write software and computer related articles along with several other technical articles published within the government services. During this time he also ran a successful computer software consulting and custom application development firm.

Thom also gave freely of his time to the community. He trained volunteers, and provided free consultation services to Help House and the United Way of Island County. He also coached softball for several years in his free time.

Thom resides in Oak Harbor with his wife and twin 'high school' sons. All have computers, the entire home is networked (and I mean networked!) with some of the latest gadgets and computer hardware. Thom is an active member of the North Whidbey Lions Club, the Oak Harbor Chamber of Commerce and the Central Whidbey Chamber of Commerce. Thom is the Business Manager for L. M. Thomas and Galaxynet. In his spare time (who are you kidding, what spare time? Twins, a couple of daughters-in-law, and grandchildren...). He is also an avid coffee drinker, I wonder why?

Dan MacDonald

To be published soon