October 16, 2019 Community

An Interview with Spaceinvader One

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As most of you know, the Unraid Community is one of our proudest achievements as an organization. The amount of support, enthusiasm, and positivity from you all is one of the reasons why we are happy to come to work everyday. Most of you are familiar with Spaceinvader One and the wealth of information he shares in his excellent videos. We are so incredibly appreciative of his work, so we spent some time getting to know Ed (aka Spaceinvader One 👾) on a deeper, more personal level. We polled the community for questions, and put together this Q&A to highlight some of our favorites.

If you enjoy Spaceinvader One's video tutorials and content as much as we do, please be sure to subscribe to his youtube channel and consider becoming a patreon or donor to help support his efforts. We hope you enjoy this interview as much as we did!

Hello and thank you for sitting down with us. First off, where are you from?

👾 As you guys can tell from my accent in the videos I am from the UK. I currently live in the Southwest of England on the outskirts of the city of Bristol.

Great. Could you tell us a little bit about yourself?

👾 From as long as I can remember I have always loved Scifi and technology. So naturally, I got interested in computers at an early age getting my first computer way back in the 1980s. As a child having watched movies like Wargames, the thought of having a home computer was just the coolest thing ever. So I kept begging my dad to buy me a computer telling him how great it would be for learning and for school.
It took a few weeks for me to wear him down and he finally agreed that if I did well in school that term then he would buy me a computer. So at the end of term I presented my school report to dad and he said: “Ok that’s not bad, so this computer, what type do you use at school ?” Well at my school we had one computer: a BBC Micro that was closely guarded by the science teacher. I really didn’t want that type of computer. The type that they use at school……come on, really? I really wanted an Atari 800xl. It had 256 colors and 4 sound voices, to me it was the business. So I replied, “We have an Atari 800xl at school dad.” Well, of course, he didn’t believe me as people thought of Atari as only making games consoles. However when he saw the price of the BBC Micro compared to that of an Atari 800xl he bought me the Atari. Hey, the Atari slogan back then was “Power without the price”!

So that’s how I got my first computer. I started using it by typing in programmes from computer magazines. I didn’t have a disk drive or cassette recorder at first so I had to try and leave the computer powered on as much as possible. But Mum had different ideas. She would come into my room at night and if I had forgotten to throw a jumper over the computer, she would see the little red LED on the Atari and switch the computer off telling me it was wasting electric and could cause a fire!! In fact even today in her house she switches everything off in the house before she goes to bed including the wifi router. Just to wind her up last time I visited her I asked her “Mum, why do you trust the refrigerator so much and not the router!” Well anyway, the upside to not having a disk drive and a mother who was scared of fires, made me learn basic quite quickly. I played around with little projects such as putting wires going from the doors in the house to the terminals on the joystick ports so I could see which doors were open and closed.

So that's how I spent my childhood outside of school, messing with various 8 and 16-bit computers. In college, I still liked computers but found I equally liked motorbikes beer and girls (not necessarily in that order!)

Then onto being an adult, I have mainly worked in various IT jobs finally settling on running my own business.

Haha, what a great story. That leads us nicely to your own business, I'm assuming it's in the IT sector?

👾 I run a small IT support business. We focus on supporting small and medium-sized businesses whilst trying to use open source solutions to meet customers needs wherever possible.

Interesting. What do you like to do for fun?

👾 What are you trying to say, that people do things other than using a computer and Unraid for fun?

So I guess the question is what do I do for fun that doesn’t involve a keyboard and mouse!
As many of us do, I enjoy just chilling out with my family. Eating nice food and watching movies and various TV shows.

We have 2 Siberian Huskies and I love taking them out for walks. My favourite time for this being in the summer months at around 6 am before I start work. I have to start early because as any of you guys who know Husky dogs will agree, they don’t always like to come back when you call them if they are not ready, so they can easily make you late for work!

I have always enjoyed working out at the gym and dabbling in boxing and martial arts but I don’t get to do this so much nowadays. That all started from watching Bruce Lee and Jackie Chan films as a teenager. Hum so doing this interview I am beginning to realise that watching movies has had quite an influence in what I like to do. Oh dear!

A strange kind of a hobby of mine has always been building new tech inside of old hardware. For example currently, my pfSense router is an i5 machine built inside an old Atari 800xl!

Atari 800xl pf Sense

So what else do I do for fun? Well, I can tell you what I don’t like doing. Shopping. I leave that to the Mrs and the kids. They can go to the Mall and do all that. I prefer cracking open a beer and firing up the Airsonic container on Unraid and listening to some music louder than I should. I know I said earlier things I do for fun that don’t involve a keyboard and mouse ….. well, I use my phone to start up airsonic, so a touchscreen isn’t a keyboard so therefore doesn’t count!

Haha, fair enough. When and how did you originally hear about Unraid?

👾 So, I kind of stumbled on Unraid a long time ago. I was looking for a NAS and was thinking “should I buy a NAS or build my own? That’s when I read about Unraid and it seemed really good. That was in the days before Docker and KVM were added to Unraid.
Now, in fact, I didn’t actually choose Unraid at that time. I choose instead to buy a Buffalo 4 bay NAS. This was because of my little hobby of wanting to build new tech into old tech. The Buffalo NAS looked like a similar size to the old G4 Mac Cubes and I figured that I could rebuild the Buffalo inside the casing of the Mac Cube.

G4 cube

I found a deal online that had the Buffalo with four 250 gig drives inside. I needed more space than that. But the same NAS with four 1TB drives was crazy expensive so I ordered the smaller one, planning to swap out the drives.

When the NAS arrived I took the drives out, reformatted them and put them for sale on eBay, selling them on the same day. Then I found four refurbished 1tb drives also on eBay and ordered them. I was very pleased with myself thinking how much money I had saved. Whilst waiting for the drives I took apart the Buffalo and rebuilt it inside of the Mac Cube.

So the 1TB drives arrived and I put them in the NAS. I was ready to start it up and create a raid 5 array. But it didn’t start. Had I broken it when putting it in the cube? So I called Buffalo support and they told me the OS from which the NAS boots is kept on the drives in the NAS. So with a wave of nausea going through my body, I quickly realised that without at least one of the original drives I was f*&@3d .... Luckily the lady on the support (I think she could feel my pain) told me that although she wasn’t allowed to, that she would email me a file that I can use to install the OS, using TFTP. I did that and got the NAS working. But at the time I promised myself I would never buy another NAS again and when it was time for a new one I would build my own.

A few years later the NAS was full and I needed something else. So I thought I would look at Unraid again. So I went onto the website and saw that now Unraid had added Docker and VMS. So this was a no brainer. Unraid it was!

Wow, thank goodness for that support person! What made you decide to start making videos about Unraid?

👾 Well, again that wasn’t planned as such. My daughter enjoyed watching all those Youtube channels that young girls like, for hair and makeup etc. Then one day I overheard her saying that she would like to make a vlog on Youtube but was too nervous. So I said to her that I would make a channel if she did. So I set up my channel and made my first video. Not actually about Unraid but about fitting a liquid cooler on a GPU.

So about a week later my daughter’s interests had moved onto other things and she never made a channel.

But I found that I quite enjoyed making videos. I also enjoyed Unraid and had been running it for a while now. I thought that a good way of me contributing to the community would be to make tutorials for setting up various things on an Unraid server. And here we are just over 3 years later and I am still enjoying it. But hopefully, the quality of the videos is better now. I cringe when I watch some of my early videos!

Ah, don't be so hard on yourself! What hardware and software do you use to make your videos?

👾 I make my videos on a Mac OS VM on Unraid. I like the software Camtasia which was suggested to me by one of my oldest supporters Joe over in Kansas who had used it himself in his work. He also kindly sent me a Blue Yeti microphone for the sound which I still use until this day. So if you are reading this Joe, thank you so much.

Talking about sound, I have always found getting the correct sound in videos is the most difficult thing. Whether it’s the noise of my servers in the background or being a different distance from the mic when recording so the levels changing. It's always challenging for me.

Even outside noise can be a problem. Something such as a neighbour mowing their grass can mean I can't record sound until they have finished. But to help with that sort of thing I use Audacity to clean up the sound.

What would you like to see added to Unraid? Any changes, new features or additions?

👾 One thing that I would really like to see is sound drivers put in Unraid.

I would like to be able to connect my speakers to the Unraid motherboard’s onboard sound. This might seem a strange thing to want.

But what it could bring to the table is being able to pass through sound capabilities to a docker container (just by adding --device /dev/snd ).

This would be cool for an airsonic container as then it could run in jukebox mode.

Secondly, we could use this with VMs. We could add a working virtual sound card to a VM. That VM it would be able to output sound from the virtual sound card straight through to the speakers connected to the Unraid motherboard. Great for OSes that might not have drivers for the sound card in the server if passed through. OSes that come to mind are not only old OSes such as Windows 98, XP etc but also newer ones such as MacOS.

Also talking of VMS I would love to see the qemu Arm package being added to Unraid. Then, we could emulate Arm CPUs to run some Arm guests. That would be awesome.

Lastly, the ability to change a couple of things that we can only currently do by editing the VM XML. Being able to select different NIC types from the template would be good. Also having the ability to choose the type of emulated CPU that qemu supports such as Pentium, Sandybridge etc would be nice.

Those are all great suggestions. I'll be sure to pass them along to the rest of the Unraid team! Could you give us a quick rundown of the current hardware you’re running on your Unraid server(s)?

👾 Sure. I get asked this a lot and so I am planning a video showing my servers and hardware soon. In fact, I have toyed with the idea of people sending me in pics, videos and specs of their server and having a show me your rig video series once a month. Let me know what you guys think?

So the hardware that I am running right now. I currently have three Unraid servers in use.

My Unraid Servers


Runs Unraid's latest stable version.

CPU is a Ryzen 3900x (I think this is a great CPU. It has 12 cores which I think is a sweet spot for an Unraid server. Why? Well, the cores are fast and there are 12 of them! So you can have all of your docker containers pinned to the first 4 of these 12 cores. This is enough horsepower for most people. However, if you are using Plex or Emby and have a lot of clients transcoding then pin Emby or Plex to the first 6 or even 8 cores. So then the last 4 or 6 cores use that for a gaming vm. 12 cores I really think is a good number of cores)

RAM: 64 gigs – overkill for what I need.

GPU: GTX 1050ti


  • Cache 1tb SATA SSD
  • Parity 1 x 8tb
  • Data 4 x 8tb

Unassigned disks:

  • Samsung 970 Evo Plus 1TB
  • Spinning 3tb drive

This server holds all of my data and runs all of my docker containers. So, it's powered on 24/7. It serves all of my media for the house. I use Emby to serve media to various clients in the house. This server also records all of my home CCTV footage.

This server runs ‘my stable non-changing VMs’. These VMs are what I call my long term VMs. Things that I use daily that don’t change much. For example, the MacOS High Sierra VM that I use for making the videos is here. My work-use VMs (few Linux and windows VMs) but nothing for gaming.


Runs the latest RC version of Unraid and can also boot bare metal Arch Linux.

CPU is a Threadripper 2950x with 16 cores.

RAM: 64 gigs - Again overkill.


  • Parity - None
  • Data and Unassigned – Various SSD/nvme drives

GPUs: GTX 1080ti and an RX 570.

This server is only turned on when I need it. It doesn’t hold any important data. Hence no parity. It only runs VMs and occasionally the odd docker container when testing things.

VMS that you would find on this server would be various Gaming VMS running off the 1080ti (Windows and Linux) and newer macOS systems running off the rx570. I don’t really mind what happens on this server!

This server is connected to the main server by a fast 10 GBE network connection. Shares are mapped between servers by NFS rather than SMB.


This is a gen 8 micro server which runs Unraid's latest stable version.

CPU: Xeon E3-1240 V2 (4 core)

RAM: 8 GB.


  • Cache 500gb SSD
  • Parity None
  • Data 4 x 3tb

This server is mainly just for backups of the most important data on my main server. Things that I don’t want to lose. This server is normally in sleep mode and is woken by the main server when needed.

Excellent, thanks for the rundown of your personal Unraid setup. Is there anything that you would like to achieve with your tutorials or for the community that you haven't yet already?

👾 Yes, something I have been working on lately is making some docker containers that we don’t currently have for Unraid.
The first of which I will be releasing sometime in October along with a companion video. I am not going to say what the container is right now but I think it's quite cool and I am looking forward to sharing it with you.

Also, I want to organise all of the videos that I have made over the years. There are so many now that it can be difficult for people (especially those new to the channel) to navigate through. So that’s something that I will be tackling.

Exciting! Be sure to let me know about the new container and video and I'll be sure to inform the rest of the community. Speaking of which, is there anything that we (Unraid and the community) can do for you to help you out?

👾 Well, I just want to say that the Unraid community is truly the friendliest and most supportive community that I have found online. And I feel extremely lucky to be apart of this great community.

Um, so what can people do to help? Well, if when you read the comments in the videos and people ask questions, if you can please try and help answer them if possible. It is difficult for me to answer all of the Youtube comments myself. I do try to read and answer as many comments as possible but it's not always possible to answer them all.

Something that I would ask anyone who watches my videos (and likes them) is to click the like button. I know everyone asks for this on Youtube but it really does help the Youtube algorithm to get the videos more promoted on Youtube so people can find them. Also sharing the video with others massively helps.

Yes, Unraid community, please be sure to subscribe and consider becoming a patreon or donor to help fund all of this great work. Do you have any plans on doing live Q&A webcasts, a podcast or some other form of interactive media?

👾 Yes, I think that is definitely the next step forward. I really would like to be able to interact with the community more. I plan on doing a non-tutorial video every month answering questions from the video comments. So whilst not live, it will be speaking back to the community. Also in this same monthly video, I am thinking of going through new things happening in the Unraid world such as new Docker containers that are on community applications etc.

I have also toyed with the idea of a live stream but I am not sure yet-- maybe if enough people tell me that they would like to see that then I will start doing them.

That's great news. What exactly is your top score for Space Invaders? :-P

👾 My highest score is 1, why do you think I call myself Spaceinvader One? Lol

No, seriously, I wasn’t sure when I read this question. It is years since I have played. So I fired up an emulator and spent a few hours playing. So in 2019, my highest score is 4560. Not the best but I was just happy destroying the score that my kids could get!

Haha, very nice! With that, thank you again very much for taking the time to do this. Do you have any closing thoughts for the Unraid community at-large?

👾 So to all of the Unraiders who got to the end of this interview then: thanks for taking the time to read it. I enjoyed answering all of the questions that you guys had for me. So as I say in my videos …. So, it's time for me to go but whatever you are up to for the rest of the day, I hope its good and I will catch you in the next video …………..

Keep the conversation going

Let us know what you think of this interview in the forums!