Tag Archives: Linux

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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Ubuntu 10.10 and the future of computing

I’ve been playing with ubuntu 10.10 recently whilst waiting for the “real” version to escape beta, I have to say I’ve been very impressed with the quality of the build. Linux continues to go from strength to strength and ubuntu has played a big part in that.

I’m slowly coming to the conclusion though that the future is solely in the hands of “cut down” operating systems like iOS and Android, although it can be argued (and is!) that these are Linux derivatives at heart. Microsoft really has had it’s day and whilst windows 7 has been a great success I doubt that this success will be shared by windows 9 and 10. By the time windows 9 is rumoured to be in alpha the likes of the iPad and other tablets will be well and truly entrenched. The sticking points will be well resolved (like photo editing and content creation) and most people will realize that 99% of what they want a PC for can actually be accomplished with a smaller, more efficient device than a laptop or pc. Most consumers do just that – consume not create.

Yes there will still be a requirement for “full” operating systems for business and developers but as a percentage these are likely to be fairly low (and most apps will be moving to the cloud regardless).

All in all ubuntu shows great promise but I honestly believe that this tangent will always be a niche market with the mainstream being filled by mobile devices. It will be an interesting 5 years ahead, and I’m looking forward to seeing it.