Season’s greetings. I’ve been hanging around for the past two months, so it seems time for a proper introduction: My name is Jason, obviously. I currently work in a corporate communications role during the week and enjoy the privilege of writing for this site Saturday and Sunday mornings. Some of my earliest memories of technology involve an IBM PS/2 and a Robie Junior. What brings me here is my fondness for the world of Android, which began when I soft-bricked my Nexus 5 in January 2014.

Before I get to that, I should say that my Android initiation came in the form of the HTC ThunderBolt in 2011. It felt pretty neat to have that bleeding-edge 4G LTE, but with it came comical battery drain. After about two weeks of owning the phone and hunting for tips (which was sort of fun, in a demented way), I emailed HTC about my displeasure with the device’s battery life and scoffed at their response (TL;DR: turn off 4G, Bluetooth, GPS, mobile data, Wi-Fi, and notifications; decrease screen brightness; and enable power-saving mode).

The random reboots, overheating, and screen-on time measured in minutes eventually became too much to bear. So after persevering for about a year, I committed some light treason and hopped to an iPhone 5. That was a fine experience, but one that felt boxed in. When I eventually convinced my family to flock to T-Mobile with me, I used the opportunity to get back on Android with a Nexus 5.

As soon as I brought that phone home, I girded my loins and attempted the whole root thing for the first time. It didn’t take long for me to flash the wrong version of Franco kernel, which rendered my Nexus 5 unusable. After reaching out to a friend and frantically consulting XDA Forums, I managed to unbrick it and soon became giddy at the realm of customization and control I had found myself in. That emotional roller-coaster turned out to be a gateway drug. For the next year and a half, I was a flashaholic (I always returned to Cataclysm ROM and ElementalX kernel; atl4ntis and flar2 were basically celebrities to me), and I’ve been hooked on Android ever since.

Since then, I’ve spent time with the Nexus 6P, Samsung Galaxy Note 5, LG G4, S7 edge, and Moto G5 Plus. For the moment, the Pixel 2 XL has palliated my what-should-my-next-phone-be-itis, which is no small feat.

I write my posts on a refurbished 13” MacBook Air (2011), though I’m secretly hoping it’ll fry soon so I can try something new. I still use my first-gen Pebble (for which I once designed a watchface that got, like, 14 installs) to track my sleep cycles and monitor notifications while I’m at home. When I’m not refreshing r/Android/new, you can find me planning my next fantasy basketball roster move.