Tom Richards is a progeny of the Western United States. He was born and raised on the foothills of the Rocky Mountains in Boulder, Colorado where he spent his childhood building forts, hiking, attending CU games, and causing a constant ruckus. He later moved to Reno, Nevada for High School, and then hopped over the Sierra Nevadas to Davis, California where he went to college. After graduating, Tom moved to Merced, CA for employment, and later to Seattle, WA. He continues to reside in Seattle.
Tom works as a standards-focused web developer at Ramp and as both a developer & designer for the IT department at UC Merced. He has been known to dabble in freelance work when the right job presents itself.
His primary interests in web technology include web standards (CSS, XHTML, and DOM scripting), cross-browser compatibility, intelligent lightweight design, microformats, usability, software development best practices, and accessibility. He believes that everyone associated with web development - from the database administrators and programmers to the designers and usability gurus - should be knowledgeable and have experience with every facet of the development process. The time of programmers throwing their websites and web applications over "the wall" to the designers has long since passed.
Using standards-based web design philosophies, Tom does his best to insure that all websites he creates and maintains have valid CSS and XHTML. You won't find any nested tables or inline styling here.
If you happen across anything on OrbyOnline that isn't validating or working properly, please let him know.
He has a number of hobbies, most of which involve being outside, playing with gadgets, or a combination of the two. These hobbies include backpacking, photography, fly fishing, gaming (of the video variety, not slot machines), cycling, and running. A number of his photos can be found in the photography section of this website.
About the Site
OrbyOnline was created on February 18th, 2002, back when Blogger wasn't owned by Google, Movable Type was free, and the news media didn't even know what a blog was. Like any other blog created during that time, this site has gone through a lot of changes.
Graduating from college and Tom's subsequent entry into the labor force caused him rethink the purpose of this site. OrbyOnline originally served as a public journal and college humor website, but has been gradually making the transition toward focusing on photography, web technologies, and Mac use. Lately, the photography section has seen infinitely more attention than the blog.
Please contact Tom with any requests for code from the site. He will usually provide it, if you ask nicely like your mother taught you to.
How to get in touch
If you'd like to get in touch with Tom, email him at or get in touch with him on AIM at trmtnbike. If for some reason you don't hear back from him within a week, please don't hesitate to send another message - his spam filter has a tendency to become overzealous at times.
The words, views, and opinions expressed here are solely those of Tom, and do not necessarily represent those of his employers, or even himself.