Hello Geeks and welcome to another edition of the PPCGeeks Spotlight where we get enlightening perspectives and great insight from well known community members, developers and leaders. In this edition we highlight a highly respected, well known and talented windows mobile ROM & Kitchen developer here at PPCGeeks.com, O.a.T.

Take a moment and review the following biography and q&a with O.a.T to get a taste of how PPCGeek members, developers and staff make this one awesome, information filled forum.

Bio with O.a.T

I’m 58 years old, live in Albuquerque, NM, and am retired after working 29 years in the computational mechanics/physics area. I’ve coded in many languages incouding Assembler, Fortran, C, C++, Perl, Java, etc., but now I mostly code for fun. I am an avid fly fisherman. I’ve “modded” almost every piece of smart electronic equipment I’ve purchased over the last 5 years. Maybe more interestingly, I’ve always had an interest in medicine, but absolutely no background, so for the last few years I’ve really enjoyed working with the local medical school and their entering med students.

Q&A with O.a.T

How did you find PPCGeeks.com?
When I first got an HTC touch several years ago, I googled that term along with modding and out came the typical long list of websites, including, of course, PPCGeeks.  PPCGeeks quickly became one of my go to sites for information and has continued to remain so through the ownership of my newer HTC Diamond and now my LG Optimus S.

Where did you get started in developing? Was it with ROM’s or kitchen’s first?
I started out first by developing some simple apps.  But that quickly evolved in a short time to what I would call ROM mods, and then finally full ROM customization via the use of Kitchens.  That is where I continue most of my efforts today.

What type of simple applications have you developed or experimented with?
At one point, I spent a lot of time developing and refining a card counting strategy simulator that would allow you to change the number of decks, the number of players, the house rules, and the card counting and bidding strategies for blackjack. I could then use that to simulate an experience at a given live table or a machine. The results were interesting. I also developed a very basic version of “Whack a Mole” for my grandson to play, as well as what I would call a finger physics simulator involving rolling balls on inclined planes made of different materials (friction) with the goal of getting the ball into a hoop. In regards to the latter two, there are some much better games out there now than I ever achieved, both graphically and in terms of sophistication.

Were there any members who guided you along the way when building your kitchen?
For both the HTC Touch and the HTC Diamond I was able to find working kitchens, which was a huge head start.  Most notably and most recently, OMJ’s kitchen served as the basis for what became O.a.T’s Diamond Kitchen.  Then, over time, with a lot of searching and reading, I learned to add and customize individual packages within the kitchen.

Can you tell us about O.a.T’s Diamond kitchen? Is it still being used today?
That in itself is an interesting story. I originally never intended to release my Kitchen for various reasons as stated in my Diamond threads.  But as I transitioned to Android and my new Optimus S, it became apparent that there really was one last thing I could do for the wonderful Diamond community here at PPCGeeks.  So I spent some time cleaning and organizing it and finally posted it.  Whether or not it is actually being used today I can not honestly say, but I can say that even given the ever decreasing size of the Diamond community there have been almost 100 downloads of the kitchen.  So, hopefully, someone out there with a Diamond is still using it productively.

Have you had help from any specific members or been given insight on how to develop ROM’s?
Its hard for me to point to any, primarily because my emphasis on ROM development has always been on the lean and mean side allowing users lots of opportunity (memory) for apps as well as their own and other’s themes.  That appears not to be the emphasis of many ROM chefs.  So from that perspective, my ROMs may be easier to construct since I am always looking at taking things out while having the bare minimum needed to make a ROM functional, fast, and easily upgradeable without the need to flash anything.

Do you currently develop ROM’s for more than one operating system? If not, why?
No, I am currently only developing ROMs for Android, because that is what my family and friends are using.  I am developing for both the EVO and the Optimus S, but I have not released either of those ROMs publicly. That was the case for my HTC Touch ROMs, and was the case for about a year with the HTC Diamond.  Only when there were very few developers left for the Diamond and when there were some significant improvements available did I start publicly posting and supporting my work.  If and when that situation arises for the EVO or the Optimus S, I will consider again making my ROMs publicly available.

Have you made a series of ROM’s for the HTC Diamond? If so, how do you name them or categorize your ROM’s?
The only ROMs that I publicly released and supported were my O.a.T. Lite Diamond Series. The series tried to keep up, more or less, with the then latest versions of WinMo and HTC Sense, and were named accordingly. I also supported Maxycy’s proprietary MaxSense UI. The only cleverness I attempted was a play on my nickname (O.a.T.) and Lite in the thread title, i.e., “because O.a.T.s and Lite are Good for You”.

Are you still supportive to the users of your Diamond ROM’s here on PPCGeeks?
I try to by checking back at least once a week and responding to the new posts on either my threads or on other’s threads where maybe I can be of help. But there just isn’t as much action as there were in the old days when the Diamond was one of the hot new PPC’s. Also, I am feeling like I’m loosing my knowledge/expertise of WinMo, Sense, and the Kitchen after being focused on Android for the last several months. Of course, all of that is to be expected.

Do you get a lot of feedback from the users here as well as appreciation from the ones who support your work?
I did, for the most part. And I really want to encourage the user’s of the forums to remember to “hit the thanks” button be it for a developer, or a chef, or someone answering a question that interested you, when you feel you’ve been assisted, as part of the feedback process. It’s amazing how simple an act like that can contribute to the mood of someone, and thus encourage a lot more output. At least, that was the case for me. Along those lines I’d like to offer a huge, public “THANK YOU” to GeoHot for his efforts in resiting what I would simply characterize as Sony’s bullying attempt. As a consumer I can vote with my dollars, and this action by Sony will forever cause me to resist buying another of their products. I’ll get off that soapbox now.

Geeks, that’s the end of the spotlight with O.a.T and we hope you gained some insight or found answers to questions you may have had before reading this. Have you used his ROM’s or kitchen before or are you still using them? If so, leave some comments and share your appreciation with him below. If you haven’t tried one yet, what are you waiting for? If you are wanting to try his Android ROM out, just be patient, when he’s ready he will have a nice surprise for you I’m sure. For now, leave your comments in the boxes below.