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Raspberry Pi Gatekeeper

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Advertisements! I hate them, you hate them, we all hate them. What if I told you there was a way to block ad traffic from ever entering your network? Actually, this happened to me a few days ago by a coworker. I learned about a software called Pi-hole specifically designed for Raspberry Pi's that blocks all ad traffic. Sounds good, right? Now, how are you supposed to set it up?


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I haven't written in a while, so I must get something in the books. It's also very late so I'll keep this short. This is an update from my online presence minimization story. I'm now down to just 3 Gmail accounts, I'm still stuck with the one with the Google Play balance. I'll just hang on to that one until I figure out what to use it for. This story was going to contain 2 (short) parts: cool Gmail features that allow you to really expand your inbox, and a frustration I just found out about UC Davis's student email addresses. However, once I started writing, I couldn't stop, so I decided to split it into 2 posts. So, today is a twofer!

UC Davis Atrocities

My university and graduate school, the University of California at Davis, has made possibly one of the worst decisions imaginable regarding their email service. You can read all about it here!

GitHub Repository Cleanup

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In this fourth organization story, I will talk about a coder's paradise, or hell: Github! Github is the web interface for a program called Git, which is a version control software designed for code projects, but can be used for other things as well. I have a link to my GitHub user nicfv at the footer of each page on this website.

Online Presence Minimization

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Remember in my last organization project story, I mentioned I have hundreds of online accounts? Well, there's not that many that I actually use. Especially Google accounts, I have way too many for 1 person. Over time I have accumulated not 2, not 3, but 8 Gmail accounts! This is because every time you get a new Android phone, you have to link your Google account to gain access to a bunch of features. In the past, I primarily used a Comcast email address, and Gmail was an afterthought. So, I would just create a new (unused) Gmail account every time I got a new phone. This story is similar to other stories for why I have accumulated so many online accounts, and I have been working on a major cleanup for the last few months to trim down all this extra digital fat.

Managing Passwords

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Here is the second story in my series on getting digital things organized... although, I have been working on this project for the past year. That means, this series is not in chronological order. Oh, well! So here goes the evolution of my passwords. If you're a wannabe hacker trying to crack open my accounts, don't waste your time here. No passwords are revealed in the making of this story. ;)

Raspberry Pi Backup Server

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I have been working on getting more organized in work and life. When things are messy, I can get stressed out and do less things during the day. I think this will be the first post of several about my 2024 organization strategy. Mainly to serve as a knowledge dump for myself, but maybe someone out there will find it useful, painfully boring, or somewhere in between!

Anyway, this is the story of making a backup server for all my personal computer files. It's good to be secure with your online presence, but also good to have security for your offline presence as well. Computer hardware nowadays is pretty robust, but things happen. Maybe you drop your computer. Maybe you spill your coffee all over it. Or god forbid, one day the battery explodes. I have a few old backup drives, but this post is all about my more permanent solution.

Contributing to my Favorite Open-Source Project

(And how I almost contributed to my least favorite!)

I've made my first* contribution into a major open-source project!

* Well, actually, I did make a minor contribution into an open-source project called Psychrolib - which my Psychart application is dependent upon, but that could be its own story. Based on the number of watchers, forks, and stars, this next project dwarfs poor Psychrolib in comparison, despite how important Psychrolib is for my work.

Website Updates

Over the last week or so, I've been working on updating my website to make it look prettier, easier for a visitor to navigate, and easier for me to maintain. One major (but surprisingly simple!) project was to redirect my "permanent" domain to my "common" domain. Another major update was consolidating all my "main" websites as subdirectories under my common domain instead of using subdomains, which helps greatly for maintainability and uniformity. Lastly, the idea of setting up an Instagram account came about when encountering file size issues in my photography website.