Raspberry Pi / Privoxy Proxy

raspberry piThe 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…

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Lord Dunsany

…or, to give him his full title, Baron Edward John Moreton Drax Plunkett Dunsany is often cited as one of the influences H. P. Lovecraft. His writing feels different, less supernatural or psychological, mostly with classical western themes, drawn from pagan and classical mythology.

The book of short stories (and some of them are really short!) ‘Fifty One Tales‘ covers themes of love, death, nature, art, etc.

A MISTAKEN IDENTITY

Fame as she walked at evening in a city saw the painted face of Notoriety flaunting beneath a gas-lamp, and many kneeled unto her in the dirt of the road.

“Who are you?” Fame said to her.

“I am Fame,” said Notoriety.

Then Fame stole softly away so that no one knew she had gone.

And Notoriety presently went forth and all her worshippers rose and followed after, and she led them, as was most meet, to her native Pit.

Some work better than others, but they’re all worth the effort. Especially as they’re now in the public domain, and free to download / browse.

WHAT WE HAVE COME TO

When the advertiser saw the cathedral spires over the downs in the distance, he looked at them and wept.

“If only,” he said, “this were an advertisement of Beefo, so nice, so nutritious, try it in your soup, ladies like it.”

Junk

Junk is the ideal product . . . the ultimate merchandise. No sales talk necessary. The client will crawl through a sewer and beg to buy. . . . The junk merchant does not sell his product to the consumer, he sells the consumer to his product. He does not improve and simplify his merchandise. He degrades and simplifies the client. He pays his staff in junk.

— William S. Burroughs

Feels like it might apply more widely…