Tag Archives: computers

Ad blocker on Synology Diskstation using named server

I had a particularly frustrating browsing experience earlier today with obtrusive adverts and it was the straw that broke the camels back. I decided that I needed to get rid of these irritating adverts once and for all. As I use a number of different devices including OSX, Windows, IOS and android using adblock plus (which is recommended) wasn’t an easy option. I needed a centralised solution. I had seen the press about the kickstarter project adtrap¬†which looked ideal, but I didn’t want to buy ANOTHER box to plug into my network, plus I knew it was just a glorified DNS server with a list of IP’s to redirect.

As I already have a Synology disk station on my network running 24/7 it seemed obvious to use this box as my homebrew ad blocker. I came across this site that explained how to use FreeBSD and named to create an ad blocking server but I was fairly sure I could get named working on my ARM cpu.

First I needed to install IPKG which isn’t straight forward. But I found various resources on the net which I eventually got working. Then I used IPKG to install named. Much easier than I expected it simply worked.

I copied the config files as per the topchan page and voila, a working ad blocking DNS server.

Last step was assign the DNS server to my clients by specifying it on my DHCP server.

Done. All devices now surf ad free. I get faster internet, less interruptions and the wife and kids have not even noticed the change other than there are a LOT less ads these days.

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Windows server 2003

I recently had an “opportunity” to install Windows Server 2003. Not 2008 or even 2003 R2, but plain ol’ 2003. It got me to thinking, what on earth do they ACTUALLY need this software for? File sharing? User accounts? DHCP? All in all, apart from the very base networking stuff, all the services traditionally offered by server OS’s have migrated to the cloud. In this particular instance there is nothing that the company would loose by moving all the workstations to chrome os. Yes they would need an ISP upgrade, but the saving on hardware would more than make up for that. User accounts are combined with email accounts and services like Google docs can replace file sharing.

The future will be an interesting place, and I wonder if Microsoft will keep up with the change or become the next IBM.

MacBook Air

Just watched Steve Jobs release the new MacBook Air along with OSX Lion. Not sure what I think about the MBA. Lion is an obvious evolution of the OS, I wouldn’t be surprised is OSXI came out in a year or so with parity across all devices so they share an app store. The only real difference is the screen resolution so why have separate apps and app stores.

Regarding the MBA, at the 999 price point it seems like an expensive iPad alternative. Great for those that create content instead of consume it. But to be honest if I’m creating content I want a screen bigger than 11 or 13 inches. If I’m not creating content then the iPad is a better device for consumption. That’s not to say I don’t think the MBA will sell… It’s lust worthy.