My dad put me on to a Raspberry Pi project called the PiHole. It turns your Pi into a DNS server- but it has a huge list of ad serving domains stored. When you request a webpage that makes a call to one of those ad-serving domains, this DNS box never makes the request. This is different than ad blocking- the ad never comes in this case, because it never calls for the data. It’s lovely- web pages are much nicer to use this way. And I don’t have to worry about browser plugins, or whatever else. AND anything on my home network automatically goes through this DNS- so it works on every device in the house. Obviously it’ll do white listing and all sorts of other fine tuning.
Because I’m me, I bought a kit to do this from Adafruit that had a Pi 3, an enclosure, and a tiny lcd screen. Strictly speaking, nothing but the Pi is critical. But the enclosure and the screen are pretty rad.
One of the oddball upsides to this has been to breathe some new life into my 10 year old computers. With all the less data/is/hot garbage to load, webpages are much lighter weight. Formerly heavy sites now load lightning quick. I’m a cheap bugger when it comes to computers, but I’ve fickle taste too, so there’s always a balance for me to strike when I pick up a new machine. Because I use Macs, my options tend to run towards the used market. My current daily driver is a Mac Mini (Early 2009) Core 2 Duo that’s got 5gb of ram and a SSD I’ve added. With the PiHole running, it’s totally lovely for web-based work. Video editing? Not so much.
Thought some of you might find it useful- either as a project for fun, or as a practical and inexpensive way to keep older computers relevant and useful.
[edit for clarity and flow]