Pi-hole setup on Raspberry Pi Zero

by Patrick Connelly posted on February 11, 2019

If you’ve not noticed, ads on the internet are everywhere. On my personal machine, I run uMatrix in chrome and it works great for blocking things but that’s not really an option for all devices (like mobile phones) or for all users (like my wife and kids). This is where Pi-hole comes in.

Pi-hole is an application that runs a customized DNS (Domain Name System) server that whenever a system using it tries to look up the name of and if it’s on the Pi-hole’s blacklist it pretends that the host doesn’t exist. Thus your device can’t see the ad server and then can’t load the ad.

Turning off a warmer: An intro to home automation

by Patrick Connelly posted on March 11, 2018


Now this little warmer may look innocent enough, but it’s a disaster waiting to happen. If you leave it alone, it will kill your whole family without remorse. Ok, that may be a bit hyperbolic, but these things can be kind of dangerous. According to the National Fire Protection Association in 2013 seven people died each day in the US due to home fires. And half of those deaths occurred between the hours of 11 pm and 7 am. Now, how many were caused by this cute little scooter, probably not many. But devices like this can cause fires. This scooter is a wax warmer. It heats up a tray that melts wax and makes your house smell lovely. But if you leave it on too long (by lets say forgetting about it and leaving it on for 48 hours) you get a different result. This has happened more than once in our household, and that’s what leads me to my first real world application of home automation.