Quick site update

So I’ve not posted anything on my blog for a while. Life has been busy with the arrival of both another beautiful baby girl and the very recent furry baby girl. The family life has been fairly hectic. I have though been pressing on and doing a lot of cool Mikrotik oriented stuff, policy based routing, dynamic hairpin nat and I’ve also recently stepped over into the wonderful world of virtualisation and started my own CHR instance!

I’ve also had a huge internet service upgrade (thankyou so much to my ISP).

I have a few tutorials planned out and that are starting to hit the paper/screen and getting ready for polish. Tie that into a complete man cave rework and total redecoration and move around to try and enable me to make more and better video and streaming content.

Good stuff to come!

Adblocking done well with Pi Hole on Ubuntu Server 16

Adblocking is a bit of a love or hate thing on the internet. Ads do drive some companies and make websites viable and as users most prefer not to be bombarded by adverts for thing you’ll never use. Pi Hole is a brilliant little piece of software designed for blocking those aggravating adverts at DNS level so they never actually download to your PC. This is marketed as making your network faster but in all honesty, it just makes for a cleaner browsing experience.

I installed Pi Hole onto both my actual Ubuntu Server as well as my Virtual server so I have both DNS 1 & 2 running an adblocking service, I can tell you, it helps immensely on certain websites that have lots of pop ups.

Installation is ridiculously easy to do however just in case it’s detailed below, please note this is for a Ubuntu Server installation, mine being the 16.04.1 flavour;

curl -sSL https://install.pi-hole.net | bash

How difficult was that? You will need to make some more minor adjustments though;

Password to the web admin page;

pihole -a -p yourpasswordhere

Log into the web admin page at http://PIHOLE.IP.ADDRESS.HERE/admin and choose your DNS servers, I am using my ISP’s for mine as they are naturally the fastest to respond but you can use any of the preset options such as Google or OpenDNS or use your own custom option.

Change your DNS options, this can be done either at router level so all of your DNS traffic goes here or alternatively you can specify it manually from each device you want to have an ad free experience on. I’ve personally gone down the DHCP option as this gave the most hands free approach to deploying this.

Updating Pi Hole is also a nice easy 1 liner at the command line;

pihole -up

I’ve also taken this 1 step further by adding it to crontab to be run weekly;

sudo crontab -e

@weekly pihole -g

A clean and ad free internet experience without any serious tinkering, also a snazzy web interface to view your statistics.

A good TRMR molle pouch

Shortly after buying my first airsoft grenade, after marvelling at its beauty and thinking to myself “why on earth would I throw this away from myself?” I quickly found that carrying my TRMR was going to be a problem, it’s heavy and generally a well engineered cylinder shape that is significantly smaller than most pouches I could find.

I’ve worked my way through a few pouches trying to find something that would fit the bill really well. I tried the Viper smoke grenade pouch but it was massive, so big it would probably be a little loose on a BFG, the genuine army smoke grenade pouch which also whilst not as big as the Viper, still didn’t fit very well. I opted to do a few skirmishes with the grenade in a horizontal general purpose pouch but it just didn’t feel right. I then came across 40mm grenade pouches, these looked to be OK but I was a little cautious due to my previous failures.

I opted for the “TMC 40mm Grenade Single Molle Pouch Multicam”. Absolutely the perfect pouch which feels like it was made for the TRMR. A snug fit, built solidly with good stitching and a really robust won’t rip feel, both velcro and press stud for fastening as well as an elasticated bottom to help give it a bit of a push upwards when you rip the top off ready to deploy. So far I’ve skirmished it around 4 times and deployed the TRMR probably around 10 and each time I’ve felt confident that it would be there and not lay in the woods somewhere and secondly that it wasn’t about to drop off my battle belt as I ripped it open in a hurry.

A quick guide to UPnP on MikroTik Router OS

I’m sure there are vast amounts of write ups on this out there however I thought I’d add my 2p. UPnP is being used increasingly more to poke holes through firewall and NAT to allow services such as online gaming access to the wider world whilst retaining the “easy” aspect of not having to go for static LAN IP’s and port forwarding. Whilst forwarding (or dst-nat) is always preferable UPnP can be used as a “quick” fix to get that “open nat” setting.

To do it correctly within a MikroTik device you will need to use the following but slightly alter it to your use case. Note the external interface in my example is for a pppoe client, this could easily be changed to a hardware interface (such as ether1) and that the internal interface is bridge1, as a general guide line, external should be whatever interface your WAN IP resides and internal should be whichever interface your LAN IP resides.

/ip upnp
set enabled=yes
/ip upnp interfaces
add interface=pppoe-out1 type=external
add interface=bridge1 type=internal