Block Ads and Other Web Nasties with a Hosts File

After getting fed-up of not being able to read sites in Reeder on my Mac without getting bombarded with ads I looked around for a good hosts file I could use to block the buggers at the network level, rather than rely on plugins such as AdBlock at the application level.

I tried a couple, but the file available at Someone Who Cares was the most comprehensive and most up to date I could find.

So what does it do? Basically it takes a (huge) list of known ad/spy/malware domain names and tells your computer their IP address is 127.0.0.1, i.e. your own computer, rather than their actual IP addresses, so their scripts/ads/viruses/trackers/etc won’t ever load. As a side effect, ad-enabled websites should load faster.

First Grey Knight Complete

Grey Knight #1 - CompleteGrey Knight #1 - Complete I finally managed to get him completed. I’m quite happy how he’s turned out, given it’s my first model in so long. There are a few things I’ll do  different in the next batch, but this is a good start to the first squad, and to one of my goals for the year.

Click the images to see the larger versions on Flickr.

Relationship Status

It's Complicated (film)
Image via Wikipedia

Relationship status? Single. Single, single, single, single… OK, maybe it’s complicated.

For a while it bugged me. After spending the last 10 years with someone, putting their needs before my own, having their constant company… adjusting to single life was unsettling. There days where the loneliness was crushing. Even though I’m living with my parents it would feel like I was totally alone. The friends I have left all have their own lives and families to look after so aren’t able to devote much time to socialising with the ‘Single Guy’. Needless to say I haven’t been out on the town much since the first couple of weeks/months.

But y’know what? I’m no longer caring about it as much. I’m not so much content as I am accepting. This gives me time where I don’t have to think about anyone but me. I can do what I like[/can afford ;-)], in-between when I have the kids. I can focus on some of my own goals instead of the shared ‘family’ set. I’ve lost weight; a lot of weight for most people, but for me it’s about half of what I need to lose. I’m fitter than I have been in years. I’ve taken up a new hobby (well, returned to an old one is more accurate), which allows me to step away from the computer now and then… I’m even thinking again about the books I want to write.

I haven’t dated in a while, and while sometimes I think I’d like to, at other times I just can’t be bothered with it. I haven’t seen D in ages. There was something not quite right there and it bugged me. It might have been because the times we did see each other seemed entirely just so she could get me into bed. We still keep in touch, and we went for dinner several weeks ago, but I’ve been keeping her at (friendly) arms length because I don’t want her to get the wrong impression, or be unfair to her.

And then there’s ‘P’. P is the ultimate in Bad Ideas, for a huge number of reasons. To describe the relationship between me and P as ‘complex’ would be a massive understatement. And yet I’ve found myself totally enchanted at times. We rarely get to see each other for more than an hour or two at a time, not very often, and there’s hardly ever any form of physical contact. At times our ‘relationship has seemed like nothing but an extra source of pain in my life. At others it’s been the only ray of light I can see. Like I said, It’s Complicated.

CM9 for the HP TouchPad is Almost Ready

I can’t wait for this; I bought the TouchPad in the ‘Fire Sale’ with the express purpose of putting Android on it, but Gingerbread just isn’t quite good enough for tablet use.