The lack of ad blocking options on iOS pushed me towards setting up a Privoxy proxy on the network.
The initial idea of having it on my work machine didn’t really workout as it meant having the beast turned on, and that tends to result in me getting sucked into work mode at “inappropriate” times. As running a filtering proxy is hardly a server scale task, i’ve got a Raspberry Pi, powered off the USB port of the router, doing the job.
[I’m not sure how powering it off the USB is going to work out – there are conflicting tales on the suitability of various power sources… at worst it can go back to using the wall wart, but it’d be nice to have it not really need that.
Edit: 9 months later, and i can report that there are no issues with drawing power this way. Perhaps if the load on the device was higher it might be a problem, but for this application USB power is super stable.]
It’s a cute little thing. Makes me think of a baby version of Orac… wonder if that was intentional – it’s culturally about right for the kind of people that would start a project like Raspberry Pi!
Getting it set up is nice and easy. The O/S is Raspbian (a port of Debian Wheezy, with fp support for the ARM chip), so it’s just a matter of getting a static ip address configured in /etc/network/interfaces, pkgadd’ing privoxy, fiddling with a few config files to get it listening for remote connections, and away you go. The default privoxy configuration is tied down pretty tight, and needs a little tweaking to deal with some japanese sites, but overall the experience is a great improvement.
Next i’d like to setup something like Hamachi / Logmein, but it seems that might not be applicable for iOS. It would be nice to have a secure VPN (other than the one that i have for work) that could be used when on public networks. Although it looks like many of them are trying to block VPN connections…