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The Tato Series: An Interview With InsaneNemesis Of Shadow ROM

HOWDY D-L! Hope everyone is having a great week!

So I have had the chance recently to sit down for a bit with Aaron aka “InsaneNemesis” (definitely the most brutal Dev name so far). I’ve been following him personally for a while and have passed a lot of cool stuff on to Kellex and even demanded he post this all the way back in July! He complied….

When I heard Aaron (17 year old whiz) was working on a new project I knew I just had to catch up with him and have him give me the scoop and how this young dude got into all this! I give you the 4th installment of The Tato Series!


Tim-o-tato: Hello sir! Mind introducing yourself for anyone  who may not know you?

InsaneNemesis: Hello my name is  Aaron (InsaneNemesis) and I develop for ShadowROM. I am 17  years old and am currently a Senior in High School.

Tim-o-tato:Wow! How long have you been developing  for the community?

InsaneNemesis: About a two months…

Tim-o-tato: ShadowROM….there has been lots of talk about it. Mind letting us in on the hype? Whats it all about?

InsaneNemesis: Well it is a highly source modified CyanogenMod based beast! There are some never before seen things, some features utilizing some of the less noted parts of CyanogenMod. Billygalbreath and I both hope this is our best release and we have certainly put lots of effort in it.

Tim-o-tato: So let me get this straight: You’re a Senior in High School? And you’re building “beastly” ROM’s?!? That is not what I was doing in High School! What got you into all this?

InsaneNemesis: I’ve always liked to mess  with things and since Android is open and free I thought it would be a  good way to start. When I got the Droid back in January I was just a normal user. Didn’t know what a ROM was, and had no prior Android experience. Actually before Android I had never used Linux or even coded. I was scared to root as were a lot of people. I was un-rooting and rooting trying to decide. Then I started thinking what I could do to make my Android more likable (not that Android isn’t awesome) but I wanted something more custom. So I started with live wallpapers and moved on to themes. It wasn’t what I really wanted to do. So I decided to make the jump to full ROMs. I decided if I was going to do a ROM, I might as well start off in the right direction by building from AOSP. I met ‘billygalbreath’ and it seems we have the same views on a lot of things. So we decided to start ShadowROM! Besides 2 devs is a lot better than one. Billygalbreath is an awesome Dev. He knows a lot about stuff I’ve never learned before. And over the time I’ve worked with him and have learned more than I could ever imagine. *Woo, that was a lot*

Tim-o-tato: Well that’s great! So not just anyone can say, “Hey I wanna Dev!”. How were you able to learn the coding aspect of it? Any background in that??

InsaneNemesis: Well I am not in any respect good at coding lol. I can do the stuff that’s needed but sometimes I need help. That’s where having a team member is great! You are able to learn and help each other. It’s really not that hard to learn some java. A lot of it is close to English in androids form of GUI. Other than that you need to learn the basics and then you can use the android docs for the rest 😉

Tim-o-tato: So before you met up with Billygalbreath what were you doing ROM wise?

InsaneNemesis: Well I was working on my own ROM Insanely Clean which was going well and I had a lot of users and stuff. Then I wanted to branch out and work as a team. Me and Billygalbreath started ShadowROM and since then that’s been my first priority.

Tim-o-tato: What are a few words you would  attribute to your work with ROMs?

InsaneNemesis: Clean, fast, simple, and  unique.

Shadow on D-Incredible

Tim-o-tato: Excellent! Now we’ve mentioned your age a bit. Does any of this  sometimes get in the way of your schoolwork at all? Or social life in  general?

InsaneNemesis: Not during the summer. When school starts up I plan on studying and  doing homework then Android stuff. Then while I’m at school my laptop  will compile for me everyday at 8AM if its on and in Ubuntu.

Tim-o-tato: Haha Nice! It’s good to know we have people out there taking the time to do all this amazing work  that benefits the Android Community!
Whats the future looking like for you? Big aspirations? 🙂

InsaneNemesis: Well I want to go to college and eventually go into the field of engineering.

Tim-o-tato: Excellent! Can’t go wrong there!  Are there any other Devs you’re keeping your eye on?

InsaneNemesis: Cyanogen and his team of 300 Spartans! lol

Tim-o-tato: So do you think anything is missing then from the community?

InsaneNemesis: Not really. I think we have a solid community with lots of devoted Devs and users and it growing more and more each day 🙂
Android as an OS has gotten more user friendly every time they release a new version. The community is great but not perfect. There will always be bad apples. But other than that I think people in Androids Community help each other are devoted and are respectful to other users.

Tim-o-tato: OK, now is my time to ask you silly Q’s! My favorite part! lol

Task Killers. What are your position on them?

InsaneNemesis: Hate them. Useless. Pointless. Are we doing word association here?? lol

Tim-o-tato: But they’re the most downloaded app in the market! How can they be worthless? 😛

InsaneNemesis: Verizon tells people to get it cause it’s a good idea. I can confirm about 10 times they have told me that. I always say back, “NO IT’S NOT!”

Tim-o-tato: So, Mr. Steve Jobs personally writes you and says, “Please work for us!”. What would your honest answer be?

InsaneNemesis: No.

Tim-o-tato: Just “No”?? This is Steve Jobs we’re talking about! lol

InsaneNemesis: Yeah…..”No” lol

Tim-o-tato: You’re very well spoken. Well in closing…is there ANYTHING you wanna ask the community? Now is your chance to get some good user feedback or to see what the people want! Any Q’s for us???

InsaneNemesis: Suggestions for features is what I want people to tell me 🙂

Tim-o-tato: Is basically anything fair game?

InsaneNemesis: Sure! lol Not saying everything will be put into effect, but ideas are good!

Tim-o-tato: Well Aaron, as always it has been a serious pleasure. We all look forward to playing with Shadow. We wish you the best! Hope to see you soon in the forums!

InsaneNemesis: Yeah it’s been fun Tim! Thanks!


It’s good to know there are people (let alone young people) who will become the “future of rock n’ roll” and carry the flag for development of things like this! A huge plus one to young people who are smarter than me! Yay!


Stalk InsaneNemesis on their IRC Channel.
Pick up their brand new
And of course…feel free to check out my band
Abriel. Like “Gabriel” without the “G”

Submit questions in the comments for our next interview with LauncherPro creator, Federico Carnales!

  • i wasnt necessarily even talking about blackdroid.

  • jxcgunrunna

    I do not agree with Barry at all and him questioning you is disrespectful, but if you want to be taken seriously as a dev and an adult, have a bit more professionalism. You mentioned bad apples in the dev community and while I assume you are talking about Blackdroid, your response is as bad as the way he responded to Cyanogen when all that went down. It's the internet and every hater and naysayer is out here.

    (P.S. I think blackdroid does amazing work. A lot of the stuff he does it right up there with jrummy and koush)

  • Drew_VA

    Wish I didn't have to reboot to have the notification bar switch color. Still pretty sweet though. Also more a fan of the BB battery% notification bar indicator. Does seem to be running very smoothly though at only 800Mhz. Can't wait until they release the version with the menu that lets me set custom notifications. All the extra options for power widget is sweet too. Just a ton of customizing built right in. Changing screen colors is fun to mess with. Haven't explored all of the options yet. Killed my battery backing up, installing ShadowROM, reinstalling a massive amount of apps, and then messing around on it for awhile. Also seems to work better with LauncherPro than BBv0.4 did.

  • NorCalGuy

    I don't know if anyone else has gotten this rom, but I was wondering if one developers kernel works better on this rom than another. Its stock at 800mhz but I want to get it up to 1ghz

  • First question is have you done an interview with Jrummy and/or Cyanogen if u haven't could u??? You guys do a fantastic job(everyone in the droidlife staff

    • fattyj

      +1 on the Jrummy and Cyanogen interviews!

  • str8havoc

    I would love to have more options with the lock screens.

  • Barry

    How about “what makes you think you can improve on CyanogenMod?”

    Also: Where is your source code repository so people can actually diff your code against CM to see these code changes for ourselves?

    The idea that a 17 year old with no prior programming experience is going to be able to produce a Droid ROM better than what highly skilled professionals working for Motorola (not to mention the highly skilled non-professionals working on CM) are producing is… Insane.

    • !MMUN3

      Out of curiosity…what ROM(s) have you developed for?

    • http://github.com/ShadowROM

      thanks for the support..

    • also i can see from your other comment you nothing but a troll. so ill be talking to some people about you. thanks

    • Obviously you must ****ing hate open source and are a stricly windows user. Why don't you go back and give away your phone you don't deserve it. Anyways, all I want to do is move CM along even more. They know I'm working on this and all the source is up. So if they want to pull something in I'm not stopping them. I would appreciate it if you would respect other devs cause you ****ing disgust me talking about other devs like cvpcs. If you were a real man and had something to say you could present it in a better manner. My advise to you is to just take your droid and return it and get a flip phone cause someone that acts like a little kid to people trying to make android better doesn't need a big boy droid.

      thanks and **** you barry have a nice day,

      • jxcgunrunna

        I do not agree with Barry at all and him questioning you is disrespectful, but if you want to be taken seriously as a dev and an adult, have a bit more professionalism. You mentioned bad apples in the dev community and while I assume you are talking about Blackdroid, your response is as bad as the way he responded to Cyanogen when all that went down. It's the internet and every hater and naysayer is out here.

        (P.S. I think blackdroid does amazing work. A lot of the stuff he does it right up there with jrummy and koush)

        • i wasnt necessarily even talking about blackdroid.

  • Great interview as always!

  • Scotty89

    when i was in high school…i was looking to bang some chicks….maybe I shoulda been playing on my computer more. lol.

  • Schmidtty

    Can someone tell me, in layman's terms, why are task killers NOT a good idea? Gracias en advance

    • skltr21

      Android is hard coded to automatically kill a task when more memory is needed.
      Android is hard coded to automatically kill a task when it’s done doing what it needs to do.
      Android is hard coded to automatically kill a task when you haven’t returned to it in a long time.
      Most services (while possibly running in the background) use very little memory when not actively doing something.
      A content provider is only doing something when there is a notification for it to give. Otherwise it uses very little memory.
      Killing a process when it isn’t ready only causes it to have to reload itself and start from scratch when it’s needed again.
      Because a task is likely running in the background for a reason, killing it will only cause it to re-spawn as soon as the activity that was using it looks for it again. And it will just have to start over again.
      Killing certain processes can have undesirable side effects. Not receiving text messages, alarms not going off, and force closes just to name a few.
      The only true way to prevent something from running at all on your phone would be to uninstall the .apk.
      Most applications will exit themselves if you get out of it by hitting “back” until it closes rather than hitting the “home” button. But even with hitting home, Android will eventually kill it once it’s been in the background for a while.

    • NorCalGuy

      Because it does it automatically… in layman's terms

  • 1bad69z28

    We are going to have to get Tim A Tato on Youtube, with some facial experssions conducting his interviews lol

    • TechDeft

      What you really wanna see is everything that we(well…he now, I'm busy and haven't been helping :/) edit out of the interviews….


  • Aleksmilosevic96

    Who named fede

  • Corycapaldi

    What's wrong with task killers? Just wondering

    • if i had to take a guess(no expert here) they kill alot of processes that take even more energy to start back up and run more intensely for a little while especially if you use one very often

  • RoadsterHD1

    You da man Tato!!! Can't wait to see the ROM comparison deal you said you were going to do. Hey where can I see some images of Shadow ROM?

  • BigFonz

    The next one will be good. I'm interested to see what Fede has to say.

    Ask him if he can put more than 3 scrolling docks in LP. That's what I find most usefull about LP. I don't have anything on my 1 homescreen except for 2 widgets, Fancy Widgets and No Lock.

  • Good stuff!

  • Timotato is turning into Katie Couric with all of his custom rom developer investigational reports.

    • She ain't got nothin on the tato 😛

      • 1bad69z28

        Another great Interview from the Tato, good job man!!!!!!!!!!!

  • yeahh