Google and Facebook tracks you

Software like Brave and browser-based privacy plugins that block ads and trackers are wonderful – but protection is limited to your web browsing activity.

Trackers and beacons exist beyond your browsing habits. Apps on your smartphone and tablet are designed to connect persistently over HTTP and HTTPS with servers to collect analytics data. These data collection servers are hosted by companies like Akamai, Amazon, Facebook, Google, Crashlytics and many others.

How much is too much? You have to decide on that.

Filter Your Internet

Do you have a vacuum at home? Do you drive a car or take the bus to work? Does your home have centralized air? There’s one thing they all have in common: AIR FILTERS

Air filters are designed to capture a certain amount of particle “pollutants & allergens” for later disposal. These particles are tangible (something you can touch, feel and see with your own eyes).

In the realm of Internet connectivity, there are virtual “pollutants & allergens” let’s call it “noise” that is a bi-product of aggressive promotional advertisements, collection of analytics / behavioral patterns / app statistics that tends to get out of control and become invasive (like popups) and add more latency (due to persistent requests among other things). As a result, you end up paying your ISP (Internet Service Provider) for more bandwidth (speed) than you really need.

Instead of solely relying on Anti-Virus/Malware developers, ISPs, VPN (virtual private network) providers and certain types of 3rd-parties to perform “content filtering” for your devices, you can do it yourself using free & open-source software.

FreeBSD and Squid are examples of free & open-source software that can be used to to leverage content filtering at a local level – within your LAN (local area network).

If you need guidance or want more information, I can help. Please use the contact link on the top of the page for more details.

Quick Notes

  • a 2.5″ HDD with macOS High Sierra installed originally from an MBP Early-2011 does not boot properly when used with a MacPro5,1 – you’ll have to select the drive and run Startup Disk > Restart for the system to “bless” it.
  • Mac OS X Lion on a MacPro5,1 requires the DVD installer (Recovery errors out even with a valid iTunes credentials). Tried the date modification workaround but could not get that to work.

  • iLife ’08 = OS X 10.4.11
  • iLife ’09 = OS X 10.5.8
  • iLife ’11 = OS X 10.6/10.7

  • Adobe Photoshop 7.0.1 and Adobe Illustrator 10.0.3 = OS X 10.4.11 (iMac G5)

  • Adobe Photoshop CS6 and Adobe Illustrator CS6 = Windows 10

  • Adobe Photoshop CS6 and Adobe Illustrator CS6 requires OS X 10.6/10.7 will NOT run on OS X higher than 10.8 (Intel-CPU required) – also required is Java SE 6 which is provided by Apple.

  • Mac OS High Sierra 10.13.6 will not run older releases of Adobe Photoshop & Illustrator – check requirements before making any purchases.
  • when Windows 10 is installed on the primary drive (iMac, for example, Disk Utility is too soft when trying to nuke the data) solution: open Terminal and type: diskutil eraseDisk FILE_SYSTEM DISK_NAME DISK_IDENTIFIER
  • enable ACHI and UEFI for laptops/desktops that support both features before installing Windows 10

installing FreeBSD 7.3-RELEASE on a Toshiba Satellite 325CDS

The Toshiba Satellite 325CDS was sold back in 1996. It sports a 233Mhz Pentium processor, PCMCIA bay (2-slots), 3.5 floppy disk drive and a CD-ROM drive that doesn’t support DVDs. I was fortunate to acquire a well kept unit for about $25 – it had Windows 2000 installed on the primary 2.5″ IDE harddrive.

Via Twitter, @sheridancompute suggested FreeBSD 7.3 would be the highest version of the operating system this Toshiba laptop would support.

So I went ahead and pulled the hard drive out and plugged it into a PATA/USB adapter cable connected to my primary FreeBSD server. I booted off a FreeBSD 7.3-RELEASE disc, dumped a fresh installation on the drive and did a quick freebsd-update. Updated /etc/fstab to point from /dev/da0 (external USB) to /dev/ad0 (Toshiba) and plugged it back into the laptop. It worked like a charm. For now, no Internet connectivity until I can find a compatible PCMCIA-to-Ethernet card.

updating an iMac (21.5-inch, Mid 2011) to mac OS High Sierra 10.13.6

There is no direct software upgrade path to mac OS High Sierra (10.13.x) for an iMac (21.5-inch, Mid 2011). Besides that, major updates usually have BOOT ROM / SMC action involved. Can’t miss those! 🙂

Internet Recovery managed to grab OSX Lion (10.7), updated to the latest then my backup copy of Mountain Lion (10.8) to continue. Unfortunately, the App Store dropped an error every time I attempted to install Update 10.8.5 combo. The workaround was downloading Updates 10.8.1 through 10.8.5 and manually installing them one at a time.

After 10.8.5 installed, I ran Update using the App Store to get the latest 10.8.x updates but this time around, I didn’t encounter any errors.

Continued to run through mac OS Sierra (10.12) installer and rebooting several times to fetch the latest updates.

Finally, I hooked up a drive with an existing fully patched High Sierra (10.13.6) system using a SATA-to-USB cable (with power), rebooted and used it to format (APFS) the built-in 500GB harddrive on the iMac before dumping a fresh installation of High Sierra.

Just for fun, I booted off a drive with an existing fully patched Windows 10 (version 1909) system without using BootCamp Assistant. It worked as expected.

In the end, my trusty #FreeBSD server running off an old Dell Dimension 518 was a big help giving me access to storage/files i needed.

I’ve said this before and I’ll say it again, Apache/WebDAV still works. 🙂