Galaxynet :: About the Staff
To be published soon
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
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
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
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?
To be published soon