Hi! I’m Tom Simondi, the person behind Computer Knowledge, Fables of Aesop, and this, my personal photos Web site: Tom’s Fotos. Welcome to my world.
I started Computer Knowledge in 1984 upon leaving a 20-year career in the United States Air Force. The Computer Knowledge flagship product, Tutor.COM, was a DOS-based minicourse about microcomputers. It was written to help students study on their own as part of an introductory microcomputer college course I was teaching. The product held up for a dozen years (its basic information is still part of newer versions) and continues to be valid today; though horribly out of date. (For further information on this and other computer tutorials, please go to the Computer Knowledge Web site.)
To give you a quick history, I grew up in Los Angeles and attended Loyola High School. Upon graduation I attended the University of Arizona and in 1964 I started as a 2nd Lieutenant in the United States Air Force. First assigned to Eglin AFB in Florida I tested electronic countermeasures equipment. From there the AF sent me back to school at the Air Force Institute of Technology in Dayton, Ohio and I graduated with a Masters in Electrical Engineering, with a specialty in Biomedical Engineering. From Dayton the AF moved me to Brooks AFB in San Antonio, Texas for some medical research and then to Headquarters, Air Force Systems Command outside of Washington, DC. It was there I learned to really hate bureaucracies. 🙂 As quickly as possible, I left Washington in order to spend a wonderful four years teaching at the US Air Force Academy in Colorado Springs, Colorado. A quick trip across the country to attend Armed Forces Staff College (now Joint Forces Staff College) in Norfolk, Virginia was followed by a tour at Space Division in Los Angeles, California; my home town. There I worked on the Space Shuttle development as it applied to the Air Force. While there I attended night classes and graduated from Pepperdine University with an MBA. Another quick trip across the country to attend the Defense Systems Management College at Fort Belvoir, Virginia and then it was back to Space Division to take over the Space Laser Communications system program office (which had a dragon as a logo accounting for the dragons you see associated with me). After a short time I also became Deputy Director of Advanced Space Communications and that’s where I retired as a Lieutenant Colonel after 20 years.
On leaving the Air Force I both started Computer Knowledge and began teaching part time for Los Angeles area colleges. I wrote Tutor.COM during this period and used Computer Knowledge to market it via Shareware. The opportunity to work in the Computer Information Systems area of a major aerospace company arose and I then started a second career in computer support. I took over their corporate computing newsletter and published that for nine years until they decided to save paper. I retired from aerospace the start of 2005 and now concentrate my efforts on my other sites (Fables of Aesop, and this site).
In 1997, as a result of my work on behalf of Shareware over the years (I helped start the Association of Shareware Professionals [now the Association of Software Professionals] [ASP] and volunteered many hours to the organization as one example) I was inducted into the Shareware Hall of Fame (no longer active). In 2001 the ASP inducted me into their Hall of Fame. More recently the ASP has also ceased operation.
I moved from Los Angeles to Santa Maria, California (about 175 miles north) shortly after the 1992 riots in LA and lived the relaxed “country” life until 2010 when my Mother passed away. I then moved to Thousand Oaks, CA which is closer to LA but still well away from the hustle and bustle of the city. I have a nice place in University Village of Thousand Oaks which suits me just fine as I no longer have house maintenance and other mundane things to do. I’ve been concentrating on my photography and helping around the facility.