Archive for the ‘General’ Category

Stop almost all YouTube and internet ads in less than 30 minutes using a Squid Proxy Server

October 17, 2015 Leave a comment

no andsI use Adblock or Adblock Plus in all my web browsers so I hardly ever see an ad but when I’m using the web however when I (or the family) use Apple, Android or XBox devices to watch youtube content online or browse the internet I’m constantly reminded how annoying ads actually are.

Someone in my family (not me) was trying to watch Channel 10 catchup TV today day and before they could start watching the show they had to sit through 2 ads and then there were more ads (up to 4-5 ads at a time) throughout the broadcast as well.

That is a rubbish experience & I knew I could make it better.

I’d been putting it off for a long while – mostly due to time constraints – but when I actually focused on enabling ad blocking via my Squid proxy it took less than 30 minutes to block approx 95% of all ads supported by adblock plus including youtube, google, etc and for right now – my family is happy that they can watch Channel 10 catchup TV without any ads & with no other counter measures in place approx 95% of all web based ads (including youtube ads on apple devices etc)  have been blocked on local apple devices using the proxy.

If (like me) you already have a Squid server running – I highly recommend – – just make sure you put their recommendations at the top of your squid.conf file – otherwise it didn’t work for me.  I also had to add a few additional domains to the ad_block.txt file to block some of the local advertising.

The main reason I’m excited about this is that I can apply a single rule to ignore a new ad server and have it apply across all the devices on my local network that didn’t have any adblocking capability previously.

I’m also aware that there are many ways to circumvent this this type of blocking – however – until then – everyone on my lan is enjoying ad free browsing.

I’m thinking about proving a Raspberry Pi turnkey solution as a side project, would you be interested?

Categories: General, Technology Tags: ,

Kubuntu 12.04 LTS on a Dell T1600 with Nvidia Card

July 17, 2012 1 comment

I’ve been trying to install Kubuntu 12.04 LTS on a Dell T1600 for about 45 minutes now.  Each time it boots off the CD it ends up on a blank screen with a cursor flashing in the top left corner of the screen.  The install has obviously hung but there is no feedback. I also burnt a new CD incase it was the issue but still no joy.

So, as always, Google is my friend and I’ve found several other people (even with different distros) having the same problem and it appears to be related to the nvidia card in the system and the open source drivers.  Using the open source nouveau driver will cause the install to hang.  There is also some threads mentioning that it may be a kernel bug.

There are a couple of solutions I’ve seen for this so far.

Use the nomodeset option in the boot options to force the system to use VESA drivers  – more info at – time is of the essence for me so I didn’t try this but it looks like it may work.  You will still need to fix the Nvidia driver after you have completed the install.

My system has an additional Nvidia card so it can be used as a multi display system. As I’m building this system as a headless Splunk server I don’t need multi displays on this system so I just removed the card and used the default (on board) VGA display.

For me, this solved the problem and I was immediately able to boot the X64 live CD and start the install.

I have another box with the same config that I will need to configure multi display.  I have more time to build that box so I will dig a bit deeper into the cause of the issue and hopefully be albe to resolve the issue.  I’ll post what I discover.

As alway comments and questions are welcome.

Categories: General Tags: , , , , ,

Wireless-N Upgrade – Thinking about a Christmas Treat

December 23, 2010 Comments off

Why Not?

Lately I’ve been looking for a bit more bandwidth in my home network to be able to stream HD video over wireless and moving to N seemed like the logical choice.

For the last 3 years I’ve run a Linksys WRT54GL with DD-WRT firmware and it has been solid as a rock – best wireless I’ve ever had and will be a very hard act to follow.

My “new” work laptop supports Wireless-N and I get about 150MB/s at the office (which is faster than my wired lan at home) so I thought it could be a potential solution to my bandwidth problem.

So needing a bit more wireless bandwidth – the search was on for a new DD-WRT compatible wireless solution.

I’m currently considering the ASUS RT-N16 – seeems to have excellent specs – plenty of grunt, 2 USB ports and supports either DD-WRT or Tomato firmware.  From what I’ve read the ASUS firmware is flaky and results in wireless dropouts but those on Whirlpool that have upgraded to either Tomato or DD-WRT are reporting good performance.  In addition the RT-N16 has a fast processor (480MHz stock + ability to overclock), 32 MB Flash (which is huge – even the biggest installs of DD-WRT are only just over 8MB) – to me this seems like a really fast piece of kit capable of running DD-WRT.  The 2 USB ports bring into play usage as a torrent box plus a printer hub.

The ASUS RT-N16 seems to have a hugh amount of potential – I think I’m going to have to get one and see how far I can stretch it.

Anyone else have experience with this model? Other thoughts?

Don’t let your hats gather too much dust

May 12, 2010 2 comments

Ht image by Ds69Which of your hats have been gathering too much dust lately?

The last few weeks at work have been extremely hectic, lots of late nights / early mornings, project planning and re-planning, bubble diagrams, gantt charts and technical strategy along with the many other daily distractions that make life in Information Technology very interesting to say the least.

Finally, I’m sitting here at 11:00pm waiting to verify some new changes in production after midnight and I’ve finally found time to sit down, open Google Reader and start to catch up on the multitude of blogs and alerts I’ve been neglecting lately.

I came across this one post that really resonated with me.

  • RIP Dr Seuss (Mark Cohen) – It’s not just about missing out on finishing your book – it’s also about making the most of the time you have.

That got me thinking about what I have been doing lately, how caught up in work I’ve been and then I remembered.

A wise mentor once told me that each day we all wear many hats – manager, employee, mentor, supplier, customer, educator, student, husband, father, son, and many, many more – some hats will always demand to be worn more often than others, some hats we don’t want to wear, and some hats we should wear more often than we do.

I still remember my mentors words of wisdom to this very day – “No matter how many hats you have, don’t let any of them be too demanding or gather too much dust – and pay special attention to the ones related to family”.

Time for me to dust off some of my less worn hats – how about you?

Categories: General Tags: , ,

Tech posts to come…

January 3, 2010 2 comments

I’ve had a few days to play and in that time I’ve built a MythTV player and started to understand a few things about setting up a Bose surround sound system – yes, speaker placement is evereything… I’ll post some more info soon – both are challenging topics and require unique posts… stay tuned…

Categories: General

The Perfect Gift For A Man – Compiled by Gavin Heaton and Mark Pollard

November 11, 2009 Comments off


Question: What does it really mean to be a man?

The Perfect Gift For A Man


The Perfect Gift For A Man goes a long way towards helping us understand this question and a fair way towards answering it.

Personally, I think, the book is a must read for every man.  If you don’t believe me – just start to read the first couple of stories in the book – then decide.


Where did it start?


Gavin Heaton (@servantofchaos) and Mark Pollard (@markpollard) put a call out asking for help to compile a book about “becoming a man” after their efforts around the Inspire Foundation’s #Manweek campaign and the feeling that they both wanted to try to do more to make a difference.  The result is an outstanding book that contains 30 stories straight from the hearts and souls of everyday men and women like you and me.


Is it a good read?


Reading through the text, I became thoroughly engaged by the openness,  honesty, emotions and insights that each of the personal accounts bring to the book.  Each of the stories bring something new; a new or different way to think about a situation, something that you can relate to or the realisation that sometimes Read more…

Categories: General Tags: , ,

You Can search for almost anything on YouTube, but should you believe the result?

September 21, 2009 Leave a comment

In a world where almost every event is accessible online, if it was captured in visual format, you can search for it on YouTube – but should you believe the result?

I’ve been using YouTube for years and regularly watch everything from people being catapulted over pools to 2hr long conferences that I wasn’t able to attend.  I also regularly share YouTube videos with friends, but I’d never really thought much about YouTube as a search engine.  Using a very quick – non scientific test – based on my semi random input, I thought I would put this to the test and see what I was able to find. 

The Non-Scientific Searches
First up – the band Kiss and the song God Gave Rock and Roll To You – This is what really kicked off this random thought Read more…

Categories: General Tags: , , ,