62 Tech Enthusiast or Tech Hoarder | DLN Xtend

On this episode of DLN Xtend we discuss when tech enthusiasm can become a problem.

Welcome to episode 62 of DLN Xtend. DLN Xtend is a community powered podcast. We take conversations from the DLN Community from places like the DLN Discourse Forums, Telegram group, Discord server and more. We also take topics from other shows around the network to give our takes.

00:00 Introductions
08:11 Topic- Tech Enthusiasm or Tech Hoarding
23:37 Host Related Interest
33:18 Wrap Up
34:14 Extras

Host Related Interest Links

Wendy- Mailfence

Matt- Persona 5 Strikers

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Contact info:
Matt (Twitter @MattDLN)
Wendy (Mastodon @WendyDLN@mastodon.online)
Nate (cubiclenate.com)


I have to admit I’m also in the “has a backup phone” crowd, and simply couldn’t go back to having only one phone. I bought a Nokia 1.3 a while ago, because LineageOS 17.1 had some issues on my Galaxy S5. I’ve since switched back, because 18.1 works perfectly, and I just love that old phone :upside_down_face:. I still have everything set up on the Nokia, so if something stupid were to happen, I could move my sim card across (or in the worst case scenario order a new one from my provider), and be back up and running without having to set up a bunch of stuff again.

I do the same with computers, I have two laptops with all of my stuff set up, even though I do most of everything on my desktop.


There is nothing like the security of backup devices! One thing I don’t have a backup of is my audio interface.


I still have the first computer, that I bought a second hand Philips P3105 (XT Clone) with a 20MB HDD. I still have the first computer, that I did build a 486DX66 with a 8MB RAM and a whopping 300MB HDD. Both have an Ethernet card (thin wire coax, 10 Mbps) and I still have the cables. Everything is stored in my cabinet.

My oldest computer, still used for 1 hour/week, is my 2003 headless backup server. The system is build from leftover parts and it has a Pentium 4 HT (3.0Ghz); 2GB DDR; 4 HDDs 1.21TB (2.5" and 3.5"; IDE and SATA-1; 250GB and 3 x 320GB). It runs FreeBSD 13.0 on OpenZFS 2.0. The case is a Compaq Evo Tower with Windows 98SE stickers.

From left to right; My Surge Protector; the Ryzen Desktop; The Pentium 4 Backup Server.

I retired 10 years ago and I moved my “work” to 5 Virtual Machines for

  1. Communication Apps (Evolution; WhatsApp Web; Transmission; KDE-Connect);
  2. Banking and PayPal:
  3. Multimedia;
  4. Try-out new stuff and
  5. Windows 10.

My desktop is a $349 Ryzen 3 2200G (16GB), that I did built in May 2019. My laptop is an off-lease i5-2520M (8GB) from Dec 2011. Both run Ubuntu 21.04 with OpenZFS 2.0. Both systems run the same VMs and my laptop is my second backup. Part of that backup are the changes to my VMs. Consequently I have exactly the same environment (VMs) at home and on the road,

I still have a 2008 HP dc5850 (8GB DDR2). I would like to install Proxmox, but I don’t have any acceptable HDDs left. The only ones I have are 160GB laptop HDD and a 80GB desktop HDD. Both have a throughput below 60MB/s and average seek times of 10 and 12 msec, so unusable. In desperation I might consider using two SCSI HDDs (10,000 rpm; 36GB +18GB) with average seek times below 4.5 msec. The CPU is a Phenom II X4 B97 (4 x 3.2 GHz), which is faster than the laptop i5 and 40% of the Ryzen speed.

Those SCSI HDDs have at least twice the speed of the others, so I might use them as a cache (L2ARC) for the slower disks or I could go the easy and boring way by buying a DOP2500 ($45) SSD of 120GB.


I love how you have this stuff still working! What virtual machines are you running?

My 5 main Virtual Machines are somewhat one sided:

  • Windows 10 Pro for the occasional Word or Excel documents.
  • Xubuntu 20.04 for the Communication Apps;
  • Ubuntu Mate 20.04 for Banking and PayPal, encrypted by Virtualbox and exclusively used for this purpose;
  • Ubuntu Studio 20.04 for Multimedia;
  • Ubuntu 20.04 for try outs, like running Linux games in a VM with 3D acceleration. It works fine with e.g. the Extreme Tux Racer at 1080p, 60Hz with an 75% load of the Host GPU. I also run Wolfenstein 3D and Winter, but I run that in DosBox in that VM. These Dos Games and WordPerfect 5.1 are started from the old DosShell.

Other Virtual Machines

I have 4 Ubuntu flavors of the 21.10 Development Editions; Linux Mint 20.2 Beta and the Zorin 16 Beta.

Screenshot from Nov 2020; Ubuntu 21.04 Dev.Ed. used to keep an eye on Virt-Manager/KVM developments.

The picture shows nested virtualization; Ubuntu 14.04 running in KVM/Ubuntu 21.04 Dev.Ed. and the Ubuntu 21.04 Dev.Ed. running in Virtualbox/Ubuntu 20.04. I now do the same with the 21.10 Dev.Ed. with KVM and the Host OS Ubuntu 21.04 with Virtualbox.

More Virtual Machines

I’m a collector so I have all Ubuntu LTS releases from 4.10; 6.06 to 20.04 and all Windows releases from 1.04 to 10, including the NT releases from the 90-thies. Probably I have to forget about upgrading to Windows 11 looking at the current Microsoft arrogance.

For the remainder I have Zorin Lite 15; Peppermint 10, 9, 7 and 3; OpenSuse 15.3 and 4 flavors of 12.1; Fedora 33 and 34; Deepin 20.2; Garuda; Manjaro XFCE 21; Various Ubuntu flavors of 20.04 and 18.04; Linspire 10; Linux Mint 20.1 and FreeBSD 13.0.

Mostly I only keep the most recent version of a distro or flavor, but sometimes if I really used it myself for some time or if I installed it for family members on their hardware, I keep more versions of that distro or flavor.


wow proper collector.

I once had Windows xp, Suse and Ubuntu running on vms with Mepis as the host. This was a 32 bit laptop with 4 GB RAM which was a lot back then I gave them 1 GB each. I had them each running on one side of a compiz fusion cube (I thing that what it was called) and rotated it for a different experience. It was just a bit of fun, not so impressive these days.

Great episode. When does tech hoarding become a problem? When it crosses a dotted line into “obsession”. If one’s behaviour could be identified by close family and friends as “obsessive”, that’s where personal relationships are almost certainly going to suffer.

Can one maintain emotional availability to all the important people in one’s life? Can one’s hobby be neatly packed away in a closet, or closed away in cabinet, behind a curtain, in a backpack, briefcase, etc, such that when “normie” people come in the room, they don’t get “wierded out” by a frightening mess? At least be able to close the door to a messy room, and don’t let “normies” in there! Sequester it, I say.

BTW: I personally have several spare gadgets, but I only keep one layer of backup, not several. Once I have multiple backups of some sort of hardware, then I’ll give the others away. Recently, for example, I had too many mice (I had a Logitech mouse fetish, it seems), and I gave away all spares except one.

I have a one backup Android phone (with no SIM card), BTW, where I have virtually no personal data on it, and I install the scummier commercial apps which I need to occasionally use, like Zoom, or Skype. This “partitioning” of apps between two phones is intentional, to try to keep my personal data a little more private.

That is an interesting approach.

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