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RRileyPM...aka Randy Riley

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  • RRileyPM...aka Randy Riley

    After a bit of discussion, the developers here at Freaktab.com decided to create this forum in an effort for you to get to know us just a little bit better. We must not forget that even though we only interact digitally, we are all a community of human beings who share the same interests. It's quite a pleasure for me to get to know people, literally from ALL OVER THE WORLD. I don't really know that I would ever have done that otherwise. It's quite amazing to text back and forth with friends in China, Russia, Germany, Barbados, Italy, Belgium, Spain, Australia, New Zealand, the UK and all over the US.

    We refer to ourselves as the Freaktab Team. And much of what we do is based on close collaboration.

    This particular forum is closed, so we can just devote the space to our developer's bio's. Feel free to comment elsewhere...use your imagination about where.

    I thought I would be the first to break the ice.

    Now, about Randy:

    First and foremost, I'm a husband and father of three. My oldest son is out of college and on his own...and as far as I know, I'm not a grandpa yet. I have a teeenage son and daughter, who are the two busiest kid's I've ever known. Between by son's baseball, football, basketball, track, band and school activities...and my daughter's cheer leading, music, Girl Scouts and school activities...we have something going on just about every day. With all of that activity, I must brag they are straight "A" students.

    Like many of the folks around here at Freaktab.com, I discovered this site by accident. I had just purchased an Arnova 10G2 tablet and I was looking for a custom ROM for it. It was March 2012, just a few months after Finless Bob created the site...and among Bob's first ROMs was for the 10G2. I followed every update and provided feedback with every ROM. While I already had some Archos tablets, that I couldn't find custom ROM's for...I was hooked on flashing new ROM's on my 10G2...I didn't invent the term "Flash-a-holic", but I am one. Yes, you can still read the old threads with me asking stupid questions...as I was learning...many of the same questions I'm having to answer as a developer, today. I was raised in a very brand loyal family, and while I found other sites with similar offerings, I've stuck with my friends here at Freaktab, and stick to the Freaktab style.

    When the Arnova 10BG3 came out, I had one ordered...and started flashing ROM's with it. Bob opted for a 3066 Yuandao N101 tablet, so Snakekiller and Neomode took the reins for the Arnova ROM's for a while...but through the process...Bob, Snakey, Neomode and my good friend Tattman65 tested and learned together the inner workings of ROMs. Much of my experience was through trial and error...bricking and unbricking a few times along the way...but always sharing my experiences with the community.

    After about a year of being a tester, Neomode (Ray) and 900Supersport (Brian) twisted my arm (if you can do so on the internet...hahaha!!!!) and I started to learn how to cook my own ROM's. While Brian concentrates on Cube products, I decided to take on the line of Pipo tablets, while the other developers drifted into TV Stick land. My first Pipo tablet was an M5 that I ordered from my friend Eric at Geekbuying.com. My collection of Pipo tablets has grown to include the M8 Pro, M7 Pro, M6 Pro and the U8. That's to go with both Arnova tablets, a Yuandao N101, and my newest one is a JXD Gamepad 3. Oh, I did also have a Cube U30GT2 for a while, but gave it to my brother-in-law, who absolutely HAD TO HAVE ONE.

    I must say that there was some tough love in the beginning from Bob and Brian, because they both wanted me to learn the basics...starting from scratch and manually making the necessary changes in the factory firmware to produce a custom rooted ROM. I had never touched Linux until then. I got stuck many times, and I thought I would never GET IT. My first ROM's were pretty basic...pretty much just rooted and debloated...not many extras added at all. As I was able to kick out 10 or so ROM's by hand...I learned how to use the Kitchen app to help automate the process. That's when I started really learning, because I could devote more time to the harder tweaks, like adding CWM Recovery and editing framework/UI settings. I currently use 900SuperSport's Freaktab Kitchen, with several customizations of my own. I've actually set up two kitchens...one for KitKat, and one for everything else. I run Ubuntu Studio in a VirtualBox on my Windows 8.0 laptop. The laptop is handy because I can drag it around with me between home and the firehouse, and still be able to cook ROM's.

    So far, I've created close to 300 ROM's for many different brands of tablets. Some have worked well, and others were dismal failures...but I've learned from my mistakes and have eventually gotten positive results after an update or two.

    I am one of the few developers who creates custom ROM's for tablets I don't actually have. It is a challenge for me to work things out, and I enjoy a good puzzle every now and then. Granted, those ROM's aren't quite as fancy as the ones I can test myself, but they seem to do what users need. The only problem with that is that it becomes more difficult to find time to support those off brand tablets...so I'm hoping for a new developer to help take on the other brands, someday.

    While I'm now in my early 50's...I have been kind of a computer junkie starting with the good ole Radio Shack TRS80 in the early 80's. My college room mate had one, and I used it to learn how to put together some bare bones Basic apps. I never even touched a computer in college...except for a stand alone word processor that required a 12" floppy disk to run. It wasn't until 1986 that I was exposed to my first PC. I learned more with Basic, but became a dBase programmer to write dispatch software for our 911 dispatch center. Those were the days before anyone sold a Computer Aided Dispatch program. Along with a fellow firefighter, we wrote our own fire and EMS reporting software...and we were too dumb to know that we could have made lots of money off of it. Now, I just kick out database apps with Microsoft Access...as the need arises.

    In high school and college, I was a broadcaster...working for several local radio stations. I was a DJ sometimes and a news director sometimes...and worked during college in that field. That was a fun career...hanging out with rock stars, and meeting VIP's. I could definately write a book about my experiences in those days. I have had many Forrest Gump moments in my life. I got to know one guy, Bill Clinton, who lived in Fayetteville at the time, which is my home town...when he was running for Governor of Arkansas...you might have heard of him...hahaha!!!!! I graduated with a Bachelor of Arts in Broadcast Journalism and Communications. Not only was I an air talent, I also served as Chief Engineer at some of the stations, so I'm quite familiar with opening the hood and looking around in these tablets.

    I live in Northwest Arkansas, and I really love this area...it's beautiful here, with plenty of outdoors activities. I found out pretty quick that in order to make a living as a broadcaster, I was going to have to move to a larger city. So to keep from doing that, on a whim, I decided to apply to work at my city's fire department. My dad was the Fire Chief of the next city up the road, and my brother had just gotten a job with the fire department down the road...so it runs in the family. Within a week, I went from being a hungry DJ, to driving an ambulance and fighting fires...with job security and a little bit bigger paycheck. That's where I've been, ever since. Today, I'm a station Captain and run on an engine company...acting as a Battalion Chief Shift Commander, a few times a year. I also went to paramedic school early on in my career...and as a paramedic, I took a part time job in the Emergency Room of my local hospital. Now I'm approaching 28 years on the Fire Department, and 23 years in the ER. For a couple of years, I was a flight paramedic for the Air Evac helicopter service.

    As I'm getting closer to retirement from both jobs, I'm happy to have found this unusual hobby. With a longstanding career in public service, I'm quite used to helping people out, and I love to teach.

    So, just keep in mind that if you need my support, I may be on an emergency call, working in the ER, at a ball game or at cheer leading competition...so be patient and I will eventually get back to you.

    My Current Projects

    I pretty much fly by the seat of my pants on my ROM's, because I never know when a factory is going to release an update. I try to make a new ROM as soon as possible after an official firmware is released...sometimes it's only a matter of hours...sometimes it's a matter of days. It depends on my family and work schedule.

    When someone posts a request for a rooted ROM on a Rockchip tablet that has never been rooted, I try to help create one. But certain features that I put in the tablets I can test are left out of those ROM's, simply because I can't test them.

    My Rules

    I only deal with two types of firmware. 1. Official Factory Firmware...or 2. Firmware obtained from a ROM Dump.

    I do not port firmware from other tablets to a device, and I don't mess with other developer's custom work. Likewise, I do not add apps or themes to my ROM's. Performance is my priority, not looks. That's up to the user to choose and mod...a main benefit of rooting. While I can't do much about shortcomings within the firmware, if I can find a work around or a solution, I will gladly add that to my ROM's. So, I listen to what you say and try to fulfill requests, if they are practical.

    When users donate to my Paypal account, I use the funds to purchase new tablets to develop, or equipment that I need for development. This is my hobby, and your donations help me to support it. Don't forget to give a little to Freaktab as well, to support the site and our other developers.
    Last edited by rrileypm; 01-23-2014, 19:05.
    Randy
    Freaktab Developer, Product Reviewer, Moderator and "Flashaholic".
    Read my BIO Here
    Be sure to donate to support Freaktab.com. If any of my development work makes a positive difference for you, please make a donation to support future RileyROM's.
    Donate here

  • #2
    Randy, this brings a tear to my eye's buddy.... I remember the history but your side of telling it is very moving to me.

    I am glad you are here buddy and as one of the first Dev's here, thank you!

    Realize I started this place only 2 years ago Jan 21. Randy was one of the first and it was damn fun building this place with him!

    As you see, we run this place very different than other places. Randy says he is "brand" oriented, but it's the love of the hobby and how we put our face forward that makes this place happen. I think that's also why Randy hung around and made a new hobby

    If it was not for Randy and the many other great Dev's and GREAT people here, this place would not be what it is today!

    Anyway, very nice BIO Randy. It's going to be hard to work on mine now that you have set the bar so high!

    Bob
    "Pzebacz im, bo nie wiedzą, co czynią"
    "Прости им, они не ведают, что творят"
    "Perdona loro perché non sanno quello che fanno"
    "Vergib ihnen, denn sie wissen nicht, was sie tun"
    "Vergeef hen want ze weten niet wat ze doen"
    "Pardonne-leur car ils ne savent pas ce qu'ils font"
    "Perdónalos porque no saben que lo que hacen"
    "Oprosti im, jer ne znaju što čine"
    "Forgive them as they know not what they do"





    Comment


    • #3
      My 9,000th post.......

      This marks my 9000th post here on Freaktab!!!!!!! So I decided to do a little reflection and some updates to my bio.

      It has been a pure pleasure helping folks out with their tablets since I became active here on FT. As of today, I have 493 Rockchip ROM's and 30 MTK ROMs in my FTP folder. That's a lot of work since January of 2013 when I became a developer. The transitions between ICS to JB to KK...and RK3066 to RK3188 to RK3288 have kept me pretty busy.

      Since I wrote this bio back in January, I've plunged into the MTK ROM world, and I've made quite a few ROMs for MTK tablets and phones. While the MTK architecture is quite a bit different from Rockchip in the way the ROMs are configured...all of the teaching I received from my buddies on the Freaktab Team made it really easy to expand my talents. Being the first developer to tackle an MTK ROM, here, was quite a challenge...but once I figured out how to unpack and repack the files, I was able to apply the same basic modifications I've done with Rockchip ROMs. The MTK world is expanding, and I see growing popularity in Mediatek devices.

      While Finless and the rest of the TV box crew have started RK3288 based ROMs, I'm the first and only one here making ROMs for RK3288 tablets. Rockchip has changed some things with RK3288 that kept me a little puzzled for a while...but things are running smoothly, now.

      Recently, I've gotten into trying out wearable Android devices. I have an Rwatch and a SmartQ Z Watch that I've been playing around with. Again, while the architecture is quite different from either MTK or Rockchip ROMs...I will soon try my hand at doing a custom ROM or two for them. Be "watching" for some reviews and ROMs for this new addition to the Android community. When I'm ready...I'll twist Bob's arm for a forum on wearable Android devices here on FT.

      Lately, I've been coordinating a project with Pipo to begin updating firmware for their discontinued tablets. Frequently in the forums you will see people campaigning to get source code from the manufacturers, which usually doesn't ever happen. I just emailed Pipo one day asking about the possibility of getting these sources with a convincing approach to provide continued support where they left off. Surprisingly, Pipo responded positively to my requests...and the Pipo-Project was started. That being said...we have a long way to go in translation because as of yet, I haven't seen any usable sources from them...but Pipo has promised to provide our developers what they need. We just need to catch them between Chinese holidays..... In addition to providing maybe one final firmware for at least the more popular Pipo tablets, Pipo has promised to keep me posted on their latest products. They've already sent me one P9 tablet to test/develop...so I'm looking forward to future devices from them.

      While I'm kind of known as the Pipo guy...I tend to branch out with other brands just to see what the differences are in build quality and features. I now have a couple of FNF iFive tablets that are very solid. Please understand that most of the tablets I get to test are paid for completely from your donations. There are a few brands I would love to try out, like Teclast and Chuwi...but donations are getting pretty sparse these days.

      Another project I've been supporting is the exciting new Freakbox project. Our TV box developers, led by Neomode, are about to release a box that is completely designed by the Freaktab Team.

      I hope everyone understands that this is my hobby. A very pleasurable one, but from time to time, it gets a little demanding. As you can see...I have plenty of projects going on right now. So if you notice me slowing down a bit, it's because I need to level out my time between my family, my career and my hobby. I'm looking for one or two people to start teaching this very interesting and rewarding skill/hobby to start taking care of some of the requests we get for custom tablet ROMs. My friend Brian (900Supersport) has written some fantastic tutorials on making custom ROMs...so you can use those as text...and feel free to contact me for guidance. Perhaps, someday...you too can become a member of the Freaktab Team!!!!
      Randy
      Freaktab Developer, Product Reviewer, Moderator and "Flashaholic".
      Read my BIO Here
      Be sure to donate to support Freaktab.com. If any of my development work makes a positive difference for you, please make a donation to support future RileyROM's.
      Donate here

      Comment


      • #4
        This marks my 10,000th post here on Freaktab...wow, it doesn't feel like I've been that busy. Time flies.

        This is another reflection post to look more to the future.

        The Pipo Project is now in full steam, since we now have many more sources from Pipo and Rockchip. It seems like D33 is doing most of the work, but we couldn't do this at all without him and the other members of the Pipo Project team. I'm playing the role of facilitator these days. Be watching for some really cool stuff.

        Because of my ties with Pipo, I accidentally stumbled across the Pipo X7 box which is a total game changer in the Freaktab world. Besides being the most popular review I've ever done...this box has earned itself a whole new section here on Freaktab.

        Finally, my old buddy Finless and I have a device in common again to tweak and discuss...just like in the early days of this site. I'm really looking forward to sharing and learning more as we get into Windows based devices.

        It seems that overnight, the ROM development has slowed down for the lack of any firmware updates from my usual sources...so I'm directing more efforts at product reviews for devices being sent to by my friends at Pipo, Geekbuying, Gearbest....and a few other places. This has been keeping me quite busy lately.

        Regardless of whatever direction we head for my next 10,000 posts...rest assured that I remain a passionate contributor to this fine community known as Freaktab.com. It is a total pleasure getting to know this worldwide family.

        Sent from my P9
        Randy
        Freaktab Developer, Product Reviewer, Moderator and "Flashaholic".
        Read my BIO Here
        Be sure to donate to support Freaktab.com. If any of my development work makes a positive difference for you, please make a donation to support future RileyROM's.
        Donate here

        Comment


        • #5
          Wow...a whole year has gone by since I last updated this BIO.

          After a long break from Freaktab, which I took for several reasons:

          1. Spend more time with my family.
          2. Worked on a time intensive project at my real job.
          3. Frustrations with Chinese factories locking down their ROM's to the point that I couldn't mod them anymore...and selling products containing too many bugs in their firmware that I couldn't fix them all.
          4. Introduction of inexpensive Windows based and dual boot tablets, which are far superior in quality and just as affordable than the Android only models.

          The thing about these Windows devices is they are just Windows....no rooting required, the same OS works on all of the devices, and you get updates directly from Microsoft. Yes, each OS has it's advantages...and I find myself switching back and forth for one reason or another.

          So, now I'm back.

          As the opportunity arises, I'm still trying to keep my ROM development skills fresh...but I'm running out of devices I can support...given that newer versions of Android are slowly becoming available that I will need to become more familiar with.

          My real focus starting this new year will be on reviewing new products. I have a few devices in the works for possible review when a couple of our sponsors start sending me products. We may have to wait until Chinese New Year is over before going full force with product reviews.

          Now that the new Freaktab system is becoming more polished every day...I'm as excited as ever to provide support and offer new information.

          Happy 2016!!!!!!!!!!!
          Randy
          Freaktab Developer, Product Reviewer, Moderator and "Flashaholic".
          Read my BIO Here
          Be sure to donate to support Freaktab.com. If any of my development work makes a positive difference for you, please make a donation to support future RileyROM's.
          Donate here

          Comment

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