RPi resurrection – Pt. II – NFS

The second good use you could put your Pi, more so if you have unused external HDDs lying around, is to make an NFS out of it! I’ll spare mirroring the details here, there are many good references on how to go about creating a Samba server. For example, this one.

Since my laptop’s storage is limited, oftentimes it started complaining, as soon as any space-consuming operation started. At that point, I often had to make some hard life choices! :), you know, of the “shall I keep the big file or zap it!” kinds.

On top of that, I am not sure about others, I have realised that OSX has made working with an external HDD as painful as possible! A FAT32 formatted HDD takes forever to be recognised! To top it all, there’s that eternal irk of having to “safely removing the drive”. I mean c’mon. Windows has done it — how long will OSX take??

Anyway, so those were the reasons. But, I guess, the basic reason was: because I wanted to. 😀

Once, your NFS is in the network, on Mac, it’s just a few more steps to make your new storage available, and ready to use!

The HDD did need to be formatted, as the original format of FAT32 did not go too well with the Raspberry Pi OS (erstwhile called Raspbian Buster) — in that the auto-mount used to fail. I formatted it as FAT to keep it OS-neutral, even though there are trade-offs but the benefits outweighed!

So, yes, that it.

RPi resurrection – Pt. I – Pi-hole

Couple months ago, got to know about the Pi-hole project. It’s an ad-block server that can you can configure at the network level. That is, it can be configured as the DNS in your home router.

Of course, the benefit of network-wide ad-blocking is that it does its job in all of your home devices. If however, your router does not allow configuring a DNS — then you’d have to configure the DNS on a per-device level. While it may sound painful, but trust me, it’s worth it!

Thanks to online advertising — reading even a simple news article has become painful. While a lot of people use ad-block plugins, these plugins are, limited to browsers. How do you deal with ads on devices where one does not use the browser — e.g. while playing games, etc? That’s where a network-level ad-blocking gets an upper hand!

Okay, I just realised that I haven’t talked about why is “RPi” there in this post’s title. The thing is, I came across a post on Pi-hole as I was looking for a better (read: any) use for a legacy Pi2 — which was lying about mostly unused — thanks to it being trumped by newer Pis that I got later.

Seems being a Pi-hole server is one of the best uses that I could’ve put it to! The admin console is a rich and responsive UI, which allows your to further tweak the Pi-hole server as per your needs, for example: for explicitly allowing/denying any ad server, blocking specific keywords, etc.

Pi-hole Admin Console

Depending upon your privacy requirements, there’re also options to not log, or enable data masking/anonymise the data that is logged.

Anyway, as Apache Indian would have put it: ‘nuff said! Do go ahead and try it out this amazing project and may you bask in the glory of an ad-free world! And oh, btw, one doesn’t really need a RaspberryPi for Pi-hole — you can potentially install it on anythingandd…there’s a Docker image as well!