Pi-hole – Blocking Ads at Home

Pi-hole

Pi-hole is a DNS sinkhole that protects your devices from unwanted content, without installing any client-side software. The best part of Pi-hole is that it can work off cheap hardware such as a Raspberry Pi.

Last month, I bought a Raspberry Pi 3-MODB-1GB and a 16GB MicroSDHC (MicroSD) Memory Card. That was enough to run an Ad Blocker Service for the whole home.

Raspberry Pi-4

Raspberry Pi

  1. First, we need to set up a Raspberry Pi.
  2. Get a microSD card with a capacity of at least 8 GB. I suggest getting a 16GB one for some extra room, just in case. The price difference isn’t worth saving. Plug the microSD card to a desktop computer and follow the steps to Setup the microSD card and thus unzipping the Raspbian operating system content to the drive. Install the Raspbian operating system via NOOBS.
  3. Plug in the microSD Card, monitor, keyboard, and a mouse. That’s it. Power it up.
  4. Follow the on-screen instructions to finish setting up the Raspbian operating system. Restart and the Raspberry Pi is ready to setup Pi-hole.

Pi-hole

Pi-Hole

  1. There are three ways to install Pi-hole. Follow the one that works for you – Install Pi-Hole.
  2. Follow the on-screen instructions. You’ll just be pressing the RETURN key a lot.
  3. Pick your choices of options along the way. Do not forget to pause at the last screen and record the admin password and other details.
  4. The final step is to point your Internet Router’s DNS (just one, delete the others) to the Pi-hole IP (remember the screen from the earlier step).

Pi-hole have a really nice web-enabled Admin dashboard which can be accessed inside your Network via http://pi.hole/admin or //[Raspberry Pi’s IP address]/admin/ or http://raspberrypi.local/admin/.

Pi-Hole Dashboard

Pi-hole works pretty well without much fanfare that you might be left with a feeling that you’re missing something. I’ve been running Pi-hole as the Ad-Blocker for my home and seems to be working good so far.

Go, have fun.

Adobe & HTML

Honestly, I’m not really impressed with many things Adobe’s been doing lately. Actually, I believe that Adobe is going through some sort of an Identity Crisis. Nonetheless, you cannot really ignore some of the innovative and good things they’re spearheading, specially with open standards like HTML.

Recently, few of us were hurriedly called to the Adobe Bangalore office and we met with Paul Burnett (@pburnett), Adobe APAC Evangelist. I was unable to agree with few things that he showed us but was genuinely impressed with many other initiatives from Adobe.

What I don’t like.

Adobe fought back in many ways when the world was abandoning Flash, they even went ahead to say they love the company that fired the first lethal bullet to the Flash’s Kingdom. When Adobe realized that it was not winning the battle, they went ahead and try to re-create the reign they had with Flash in forms that does not necessarily pronounced “Flash” but doing very similar things that Flash did.

Flash is a good solution for the right purpose and still is. Actually, HTML5 is way behind when it comes to lots of capabilities what Flash can do. But that’s it, let Flash shine where it can and leave alone where it’s not its job anymore.

Edge Animate – really? This brings back unpleasant memories of the Skip Intro days. Do the web need to recreate what Flash did but with CSS? Adobe’s Edge Animate can help you create Flash-esque Animation and spit out CSS and Javascript. The very idea of spitting our machine written CSS and Javascript sounds scary to me – a web full of ‘blings, bells and whistles’ but done in ‘html5’?

I’m of the opinion that you don’t really need that bad to animate elements on a website. In case of websites that needs so many moving parts, they’d rather be doing it with specialized tools or Javascript Experts doing the job, not by a tool that spits out JS codes for you!

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Intel’s LibreOffice gives you Liberty

Intel – the iconic name in the computer industry has delivered a wide range of processors over the eons. As a matter of fact, processor plays key role in the performance of desktop or laptop. Processors developed by Intel are used by the majority of computer manufacturers all over the world.

Now, Intel has spread its wings to offer application programs in association with The Document Foundation (TDF). The open source product is available for distribution through AppUp store. AppUp store is meant for purchase of Ultrabook which was setup by Intel. LibreOffice which is distributed by Intel has the capability to pose a challenge to Microsoft’s Office products. No more customers are required to shell heavy price for the purchase of MS-Office products.

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Can Microsoft’s SkyDrive compete with iCloud?

There are many competitors to Apple’s iCloud – Amazon’s Cloud Drive, Box.net, DropBox, Microsoft’s SkyDrive and SugarSync.

Microsoft’s SkyDrive has unique advantage to grow more in the coming days. It can make great strides if it can offer a perfect platform that offer user friendly features plus skin that make the usage of SkyDrive not only compatible among Microsoft’s own products but also across various Operating Systems. iCloud is popular on Apple devices, SkyDrive is popular on Microsoft based products.

It is common that Apple tries to incorporate more friendly features for iOS based users just as Microsoft incorporates more friendly features for Windows users. Compatibility among Operating Systems and across products will create win-win situation for any Cloud based service provider in the market. Strong affinity to one segment of products and rigidity to move across other applications will be detrimental to the growth in the long run.

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Android ‘Opens Arms’ for Google Chrome

Google Chrome is one of the most suave and user friendly browsers. This browser is mostly used as a style statement due to its vogue user interface and themes. The good news for Chrome lovers and Android owners is that google has started offering the beta version of the chrome browser for the android users. On the flip side, the chrome browser is only available for the android devices that use Android version 4.0 or popularly known as the Ice Cream Sandwich. Currently only 1% of the Android population are on Ice Cream Sandwich Android devices.

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IBM’s Innovation – Open Source EGL Tools

IBM announced the release of Eclipse EGL Web Developer Tool version 0.7. It is the first open source version of its EGL development tool. EGL stands for Enterprise Generation Tools, which is developed by IBM. It is a programming tool deliberated to meet the challenges of new, multi platform application development by providing a common language and programming model across languages, frameworks and runtime podium. The language makes use of concepts familiar to anyone that uses statically typed languages like Java, COBOL, C, etc. On the other hand, the language borrows the notion of Stereotype from Universal Modeling Language, not usually found in statically typed programming languages.

EGL is not just another language. The philosophy behind was to build up a new platform without implying to learn a new language. EGL has many great features like Source editing, Visual Editing, Rich Widget Library, Debugging, IDE Test Server, Database Access, Web services and Batch Programs.

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Android Apps – Innovative Trend in HDR Photography

Today, most Android Devices have the best of cameras possible. In fact, your default Android device may not have a good app to take photos and share them. However, with a little help from some of the latest apps, you can transform it into a useful photographic escort. It can handle a wide range of photography related tasks. Android is the hottest mobile innovation by Google that is taking the mobile market by storm. This mobile platform is totally unlocked, allowing application developers a free rein to display their creativity; at the same time it gives the users the advantage to experience freedom of playing with new possibilities. There has been an overabundance of android phones in the mobile market recently and that effectively increases the amount of great photography apps in the marketplace.

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5 Reasons the Android Tablet is Better than the iPad

The Android tablet may prove to be better than the iPad in many aspects. Here are the top 5 reasons why Android Tablets will be challenging the iPad stronghold as the consumers’ preferred tablet. It’s important to keep in mind that some features that don’t matter at all to one user, might mean everything to another user. In addition, since the Android Tablet is newer than the iPad, it was able to function beyond design flaws that existed earlier. All of these devices are bigger than a cellular phone but not as bulky as a notebook computer.

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