The Life and Times of Tom Gray (Introduction)

Blogging is a fun interactive way to build a community and share like minds with fellow members, and this is an opportunity for me to share a little of my life to my fellow community members.
Get to know your writer, so people can better understand who's behind some of the +Android Coliseum articles.

This is the story of Thomas Gray, the junior blogger.


My full name is Thomas Alexander Gray, born and raised in Surrey B.C Canada. Since an early age I've always had a fascination for technology, and I've had many mentores in my life to guide me along.

When I was age 12, I got my first real job at a shop called Hackers Computers in WhiteRock B.C, this is where I got my feet wet in the world of computers. I got to take apart computers and monitors of all kinds and build them from the ground up. Having access to this was and eminence learning experience and inspired me to drive further. Years later the computer age is challenged by smartphones now flooding the market and taking it by storm, of course I had to get my fingers one them. So began my mobile phone era.

My Phone History:

My first phone was the Telus HTC P4000 aka HTC Mogul, a Windows Mobile 5.5 phone with the slide out keyboard.
I said it in our live Friday Night hangout #10, I've always been the guy saying, "Yeah, It's a phone, what else can it do?". So when I got my hands around this, it was my duty to push the phone far beyond what it was originally programed for.

I learnt how to use RegEdit for modifying scripts and tweaking apps to make them perform better, or even making incompatible programs run on your phone. This phone was one of the building blocks that set me on the path I'm on today. That being said, I'll always have a little respect for this kind of phone and it's open environment that allowed me to be creative.

I decided to go a different direction shortly after the Windows Phone. Before iPhone, RIM's BlackBerries were the cool kids on the block at the time and all my friends had em, so of course I had to jump on the bandwagon. My fascination kicked in shortly after and once again I found myself asking, "This is all it can do?!?! What else can I make it do?". So I began flashing custom OS's and Leaked firmwares. I decided to take it a step further and contact RIM directly, I inquired about wanting to work for them. After some discussion, they opened and developers account for me and started sending me applications and devices that were not available to the public market. I had been enrolled in their Beta & Dev team, and as reward I got to keep multiple devices and software months before they hit the market.
I did this for 2-3 years.

iPhones were becoming big in the mobile world in 2007 - 2008, naturally my curiosity got the best of me and it wasn't long until I had my imported iPhone 2G in my hands, as they weren't available in Canada their first year.

Once again just like RIM, I had my BB contacts get me in touch with Apple and I began my Beta and Dev work for Apple and RIM at the same time. Apple provided similar service benefits as RIM, Free iPhones and OS's before release.

iPhone is where I got really serious about themes and modified software. You can see some of my projects within my photo albums in my Google+ Profile.
I rolled with iPhone for nearly 3 years before moving on to other projects.

In 2010, Androids started catching my eye. I was sitting at my desk with 4 BlackBerries and 7 iPhones and I figured it was about time I tried a different style, so off I went to FutureShop to purchase my first Android.

Android offered me a wide open world, just like the one I fell in love with on my very first HTC P4000 Windows Phone. It was a very hard learning curve for me, as all I knew at this time was BlackBerries and iPhones which are very simplistic, Android felt overwhelming to me and I wasn't sure if I liked it.

Back then I was a huge Apple fanboy, I even waited in a 8 hour lineup to purchase the iPhone 4 on its release date. Now I look back on those days and just laugh, as my Android kills any form of competition today. What I love about the Android platform is when I ask, "What else can it do?" I just head over to XDA and I'll easily find something to fill my addiction.

I bought myself a Lumia 900 as Windows was boasting big about their new Windows Mobile 7/8 platforms. Sadly after weeks of use, I found this phone to be a complete waste of time, and I was disappointed in Windows as this was no longer the open world I experienced with the older classic version of Windows Mobile. I felt their new 7/8 platform was locked down tight, and there was little to no room to get beyond its borders which lost my entire interest. However, this was the last piece of the puzzle for me to experience all four corners of the mobile world and I don't regret it.

Present day:

After trying all these phones I found my home with Android, and I don't see myself leaving anytime soon. I've become a member of a great partnership with a group a great people on +Android Coliseum, and actively write on our blog together that we just started up.

Through the travels of my mobile journey, I met +Ryan Moore who'd played a big roll in guiding me in the ways of blogging as I practically knew nothing when I first started. Bouncing ideas off each other is a great deal of fun and in him I've found my new mentor.

So this is a small peak in to my life of technology, but their are many blank pages to be filled. That being said, It's time to get back to work. It's been fun getting to know all of you and I hope it continues and grows.

In the mobile world, strangers are just friends you haven't met yet. Some people you bond with so well that you'll develop a partnership that will last the tests of time, and when it all falls apart we'll walk away together as brothers and sisters.