Jul 02 AT 10:42 AM Brooks Barnard 41 Comments

Meet Android and Me: Brooks Barnard

Brooks Banard Fam

Hi AAM friends. I’m Brooks Barnard. I’m a graduate student at Washington State University. I’m married to a beautiful wife and we have two kids together. I enjoy watching sports, especially Formula 1 and BYU football.  I also really really like me some Android.

Brooks Barnard bio 1

I was born in San Diego, CA. During the time I spent there, I loved playing on the beaches and competing in BMX. When I was seven, my father picked up a job at this company named Microsoft and moved us to Redmond, WA. So, I don’t really claim California as where I’m from. I grew up in Redmond and it was pretty good to me.

197323_10100124334426544_1043184426_nWhile in Junior High, I met my wife. She wasn’t my wife at the time; we got married several years later. Those years I was more interested in skateboarding and punk music than anything else really.  My wife and I dated all through high school and got married while I was working on my undergraduate at Brigham Young University.

It was during this time that I purchased my first smartphone. I had always resisted having mobile phones. In high school my parents gave me a phone that was my dad’s old work phone but I “accidentally” lost it because I didn’t want my mom to always be able to get a hold of me. While at college, I finally gave in and began carrying a flip phone. My wife was way into phones, and when our contracts ended on our parents’ plans we obviously began shopping around for phones and providers.  I can’t remember where we read this exactly, but I specifically remember reading around 2009 to basically stay away from any smartphones that weren’t iPhones or BlackBerrys. We were planning to switch to T-Mobile, and I remember a rep trying to sell me on a G1, but we passed. My wife was set on the BlackBerry 8900 and had to beg me to get a smartphone. She convinced me to also pick up an 8900, and the joke’s on her, I basically became obsessed with mobile technology after that.

About a month before I graduated with my BS in Mechanical Engineering, we had our son. Our son will choose watching Myth Busters over Yo Gabba Gabba any day (I’m the one that likes Yo Gabba Gabba), and I’m sure he’s another engineer in the making. His current favorite things to learn about are volcanoes and dams. He tells everyone he’s a vulcanologist and is pretty sure he knows EVERYTHING at the ripe old age of four because “he’s a scientist.”

Brooks Barnard Bio 2After graduating from BYU, I left to pursue a graduate degree in Materials Science and Engineering at Washington State University. I’ve always had a passion for aerospace and, later in life, a passion for auto racing. So, I pursued an education in advanced materials. I currently research aerospace materials, which keeps me pretty busy. I basically try to come up with new materials or processes, make the materials and then burn or break the materials and try to learn about them. It’s not a bad gig.

I mentioned I also have a daughter. We had her about 22 months ago and she’s a perfect addition to our family. She’s all girl. She loves wearing necklaces and pretty shoes. She’s a little firecracker and we love having her around. Her current favorite things are: Not letting me help her climb or descend stairs anymore and pretending to change her doll’s diapers.

While I was on T-Mobile and was looking around for my next device after the 8900, I stumbled upon TmoNews. I followed David’s blog pretty religiously and bought my first Android phone on T-Mobile the day it was released, the T-Mobile G2x made by LG. I actually strongly disliked that phone, but it didn’t stop me from sticking with Android

Then one day, David was looking for some interns at DroidDog and I applied. This was a little over a year ago. One of my favorite things about writing for an Android news source is sharing apps and ways to improve the Android experience. It really makes my day when I’m able to help and interact with you. This is what makes this job really fun.

What I’m most excited about

I’m really excited to be writing for Android and Me. This is an amazing Android site with a great crew of writers. Coming over here has made me feel like a novice all over again, but I enjoy learning and I’m excited to learn how I can best contribute here. I’m super excited about the future and interacting with you though posts, comments and threads. The Android and Me readers love to comment and interact, and I couldn’t be more excited. At DroidDog we didn’t have a forum, and I’m super excited to have a forum to ask and answer questions. I recently wrote a post about improving your experience with your Nexus 7, and it was clear to me that there are plenty of readers here who are very technical and know their stuff regarding Android. I’m excited provide help and ideas as well as get help and ideas from you friends. I’m way excited to be here.

What I’m going to do here at Android and Me

For now, it looks like I’ll be contributing with a little bit of everything. I’ll do a little news, editorials, reviews, and I’d like to get some more polls going with AAM. I’ll be sharing my opinions that will be my own. They may or may not be the same as other writers on the site. Additionally, as I already stated, as I find out awesome things to do with my Android devices I want to share them with you. I want everyone to have a rad experience with Android. I think Android is awesome.

What devices have I owned?

I’m just going to list smartphones here (in order): BlackBerry 8900, T-Mobile G2x by LG, Samsung Galaxy SII Epic 4G Touch, Sprint Samsung Galaxy Nexus, GSM Samsung Galaxy Nexus and a Nexus 4.Brooks Barnard Screen shot

Tablets (in order): Vizio Vtab1008 (I obviously pick my first Android devices wisely #sarcasm), Nexus 7, I owned 2 different Samsung Galaxy Tab 2 7.0s at different times, and a Samsung Galaxy Note 10.1.

What phone do I daily drive?

I’m currently using the 16 GB Nexus 4 on AT&T. I’m running CM10.1 stable build and I typically run the stable Franco.Kernel. I basically run this Rom-kernel combo because I’ve been really lazy about modding my device lately, and these offer the customization I want with stability and little effort. However, lately I’m dealing with this issue where my Nexus 4 won’t charge beyond 85% and I’m trying to work that out. This device may be going back to warranty soon.

Facts about me

  • I’m not vegan, but I pretty much eat a vegan diet. When I cheat I go out for BBQ and have a pulled pork sandwich.
  • My favorite beverage is water. I really love to drink a lot of water.
  • I played bass guitar in a punk band in high school. I later had a solo act with my acoustic guitar where I wrote songs about items on the Taco Bell menu.
  • I once won a Vespa in a drawing at Target.
  • My wife thinks she’s hilarious.
  • I wore braces for 7 years. I think I got them on when I was in 4th grade and wore them until my junior year in high school.
  • I’ve pretty much been going to school full time since the fall of 2006 (summers included). I took off half a summer in 2009 before starting grad school.
  • I never watch or go to the movies. My wife and I like to spend our evening watching or re-watching sitcoms. We’re big fans of Arrested Development, Parks and Rec, 30 Rock, etc.
  • I once worked for an iPod repair company but I quit around the time the iPhone came out, so I’ve never repaired one of those. I was pretty handy at repairing those old iPod Videos, Minis, 2nd gen Nanos…  That era.

Well, that’s probably enough about me. Let me know if you have any other questions. I’ll try to be around as often as I can today to answer back and comment. You will most likely find me on Twitter, and I’d love to talk to you there. I also have neglected Facebook and G+ profiles. THANK YOU for the warm welcome here. I’m super excited to be a part of your community.

Brooks is an engineer living in the Bay Area recently dislocated from the Great Northwest. He's an Android enthusiast who decided to start doing something (productive?) with his countless hours surfing the interwebz and addictive ROM flashing and began writing. He has a hot wife, is a father of two, an avid F1 fan, and enjoys watching sports when he can. His current devices include the Nexus 5 and 7 (2103) both running stock roms rooted and modded with Xposed Framework (but this is subject to change). You can follow Brooks on Twitter @Brooks_Barnard.

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