The love for gadgets ever since I got a little single game LCD device from sint nicolas (thank you st. nicolas!). My own little world of catching apples and evading birds. I’m not sure where it is but it’s lost now. Playing the little game over and over again was sometimes boring, but then I just switched to counting cars or reading the encyclopedia.

Later on I acquired through my student time a LCD toshiba laptop, got an Apple Newton 110, a Compaq Aero 1550 wince/pocketpc pda, a Toshiba E755 pda with usb host controller. I dabbled with the Psion Revo and the Nokia S90 j2me compatible platform and later on in my career when I had more money to buy something new instead of second hand - the ultimate and top of the line gadget: the Samsung S21 ultra with pencil. I could run linux applications on it, I could access the cloud, sketch notes or drawings, I could use mobile social VR or SteamVR (with an Oculus Go) through streaming with 5G, I could stream and download youtube video’s, sent video’s, use social media, update my blog, use it as a workstation with Samsung Dex, play app implementations of favorite boardgames, use it as a flashlight. It was a veritable swiss army computing knife.

That last adventure lasted 1 and a half years until I dropped it, near fatally. Screen almost unusable. No 1000 euro’s in the bank to replace it with the marginally better S22. Seeing my desperation, my partner kindly offered to give me my next cheaper smartphone as a birthday present so I wouldn’t be as lost, but I should take her out within the next few weeks and clean my room. A good deal.

I was doubting to ever become dependent on a smartphone with Android again.

Perhaps I should go cold turkey and stop using a phone? I am not sure. Life was somehow more tranquille in the age before the phone and smartphone. “I have caring responsibilities, I should be reachable” I think. (should we be reachable at any time?) I was thinking of the concept of a dumb phone.

The new retro style Nokia 8210 with the S30+ realtime OS I especially like in this regard, a removable battery 1450 mAh. Some basic fast loading apps and games, a simple browser, fm radio, calendar, alarm, voice recorder, calculator, torch and music player. There is a hint that you can develop and load your own VXP executables.

But then I wondered, what if someone want to chat over telegram, what if I have a video meeting and I am not in the office yet? What if I have to check the network with nslookups, traceroutes and pings, what if I need to lookup something, what if I need to drive somewhere… and I thought - I must have an android device again. But just do not install or configure the features I consciously decide not to use.

  • Use grayscale mode and have a easy to use color switch if needed, no blue light in the evening.

  • Memorize a map or route before hand instead of using google maps blindly. Just store the jpeg instead of using the app.

  • Use one digital board game install each 2 weeks (next to the default set of: hive, 7wonders duel, lichess and simon tatham’s portable puzzle collection).

  • Use one interactive fiction novel each 2 weeks (unless still playing)

  • Use two books each week, unless still reading (next to a little canon of books I want to be able to read always) with PocketRead

  • Use the Glider HackerNews app to read HN threads, use Disqus, Reddit and Discourse to follow select groups. A gemini client with a gemini feed reader. A feedreader.

  • Use a few select podcasts, 7 maximum.

  • Use a few different playlists with dedicated music or talks: religious, meditation, dharma talks, piano music, cello music, favorite songs, high energy songs

  • Tune the FM radio to a select few local stations and keep the program list somewhere.

  • Configure it in linux workstation mode with termux for emergencies or backup workstation with the foldable bluetooth keyboard.

  • No social apps

I chose the Xioami Note 11 Pro Plus, it’s still a lot of money, but it was worth it.

The battery life seems to be better and it has an FM radio. Android will be around for a few more years, so it’s good to standarize on it, and streamline a conscious relationship with the installed apps to make use as minimalistic and dedicated to functional processes as possible. Also I should think of using non-electronic alternatives to the use cases, pen and paper games, paper note taking, using regular books or just use my computer during fixed time periods. Less is more. I used to play on a 386 running on 25 Mhz running Windows 3.11.

Chipset: MediaTek Dimensity 920 5G, manufactured with the 6nm process.

CPU: ARM Cortex A78, Cortex A55. Octa Core: 2.50 GHz

GPU: Mali-G68 MC4


It’s a bit slower then the samsung s21, but not significantly. Did I use that 6 GB of extra RAM memory? I could have used it to simulate a network of a few linux computers more. Chipset: Samsung Exynos 2100, manufactured with the 5nm process. CPU: 1* 2.9 GHz – Cortex-X1, 3* 2.8 GHz Cortex-A78, 4* 2.2 GHz, Cortex-A55 (5nm) GPU: Mali-G78 MP14 (14 cores) (Vulkan 1.1, OpenCL 2.0, DirectX 12) RAM: 12 GB