Posts Categorised: Computing

0Optimising WAN MTU for BT Infinity

Since switch­ing from my BT SmartHub to a pfsense router I’ve had a few minor teeth­ing prob­lems. One of which has been the squid proxy ser­vice caus­ing a prob­lem where I can’t access the BBC web­site with an error. Whilst I did even­tu­ally fix this through a slightly strange meth­od, I encountered a pos­sible source of the prob­lem which was worth fix­ing on it’s own
Read Full Art­icle

0Fixing a slow Amazon Fire HD 8

A couple of xmases ago I bought my bet­ter half an Amazon Fire HD 8 tab­let as she wanted a budget tab­let to read books on at night, and to play free android games like clash of clans. The Fire seemed an ideal option as it would link into her Kindle account without any hassle, and is also android based. It was also pos­sible to get a good sized device with­in the price lim­it we set each oth­er.
Read Full Art­icle

0BT Mesh WiFi

After repla­cing my BT SmartHub with a pfsense router, I’ve been look­ing to upgrade the house WiFi as well. Most devices are wired as most rooms have wired con­nec­tions I fit­ted for my par­ents years ago when wire­less was barely a real­ity. How­ever phones, tab­lets, e-read­ers, and laptops really do work best with wire­less (or only with wire­less in some cases), and to work well need a wire­less sys­tem that enables mobil­ity.
Read Full Art­icle

0Replacing the BT Infinity SmartHub with pfsense

When I moved into a new home a year ago I was finally able to join the 21st cen­tury and ordered BT Infin­ity which is sup­plied with a SmartHub. The SmartHub is actu­ally reas­on­ably decent kit con­sid­er­ing it comes for free, but as with most ISP sup­plied devices it is locked down in some ways, for example you can’t use your own DNS serv­ers which I prefer to do. In the early days of ADSL (circa 2001) I ran a smooth­wall box in place of a router, and for a range of reas­ons (includ­ing inter­net fil­ter­ing con­trolled by me, rather than an ISP) I decided to go back to a linux-based fire­wall router.
Read Full Art­icle

0WordPress Local Gravatar cache

I like to have avatars shown for people who com­ment on my blog. Word­Press sup­ports the gravatar ser­vice nat­ively so enabling this is very easy. How­ever it comes with a cost — access­ing extern­al files from anoth­er domain adds lots of extra load time in the form of new DNS look­ups, new SSL con­nec­tions to make, etc. Wouldn’t it be nice to have gravatars stored loc­ally and served from your own serv­er. Well that’s what I’ve been doing for some time now, if you’d like to know how, read on…
Read Full Art­icle

0VPS Tweaks to improve web performance

Whilst I haven’t writ­ten many new art­icles recently I have spent con­sid­er­able time updat­ing and revis­ing the behind-the-scenes side of things, namely vari­ous secur­ity (TLS) set­tings on my VPS that hosts sev­er­al sites includ­ing this one.  Anoth­er thing I have also worked to enhance recently is to improve my use of gzip, and a new format called brotli

Read Full Art­icle

0Google Photo Sync limits

Google have released a new tool to replace drive sync and pho­tos backup.  The new app, called Backup and Sync provides the func­tion­al­ity of both in a single app.  It is also claimed that it will sync folders as albums for pho­tos, some­thing the pre­vi­ous backup app did not do.  A couple of lim­its remain how­ever.

Read Full Art­icle

0Localisation of Amazon Affiliates links

I occa­sion­ally ref­er­ence products on my vari­ous web­sites, and usu­ally link them to Amazon for any­one inter­ested in buy­ing them. A long time ago I used to link with an amazon affil­i­ates link but nev­er earned any­thing from it as my typ­ic­al read­er­ship is well dis­trib­uted around the world. Unfor­tu­nately Amazon don’t provide a way to redir­ect vis­it­ors to their loc­al amazon site whilst retain­ing to affil­i­ates pay­ments. There are vari­ous solu­tions out there but all the ones I found had issues with them, so I developed my own.… Read Full Art­icle