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How peculiar, is this perhaps a strange curse? Why does this keep happening? ahem Pardon me, dear reader.

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What in Merlin’s name is going on here? This is preposterous! How is this relevant to me at this moment?

Ladies and gentlemen, knights and damsels, lend me your ears as I take you on a journey through the sprawling adscape of the internet – a realm riddled with more trials than even brave Sir Lancelot himself had to face, you have no idea…

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Ok, You know what? I don’t care that I have to break character anymore. Will you stop that? I’m trying to write a blog post here. It’s not easy to write in character, and you keep interrupting me to put those stupid ads, which just distract the reader from the content anyway, just get rid of them. I don’t want to see even one ad on this blog anymore or you’re fired.

Message from the editor
sorry, gotta pay the bills somehow, man

You know what? You’re fired, you’re just fired, go pack your bags!

Jeez, the audacity of some people… I’m telling ya.

Now, as I was saying before being so rudely interrupted four times… cough, cough

Ladies and gentlemen, knights and damsels, lend me your ears as I take you on a journey through the sprawling adscape of the internet – a realm riddled with more trials than even brave Sir Lancelot himself had to face, you have no idea.

Today, we find ourselves in the midst of an epic struggle, much like the legendary Arthurian quest for the Holy Grail, except our grail is a rather less glamorous one: a web experience free of intrusive ads.

Imagine King Arthur, navigating his way through the magical forests, not seeking the Holy Grail, but dodging pop-ups declaring him the one-millionth visitor. Envision him beseeched, not by spells or curses, but by autoplaying video ads that drone on about the perfect solution for baldness - as if a crown on his regal head wasn’t enough…

How dare you? Guards!!

My apologies, your majesty, I do not dare to imply you’re balding. The Pendragons are renowned for their wonderful heads full of hair, and you, Sire, are the prime example of your proud line.

This is your last chance, bard.

But fear not, fellow internet journeymen, because there is a shining beacon of hope on this digital horizon - Free and Open Source Software (FOSS), much like Excalibur itself, the mystical sword that represents unyielding strength and purity.

In this world evil sorcerers gone awry, FOSS stands as the antidote to the poison of intrusive advertising. Imagine a world where software comes to you, not with a hidden agenda, but with transparency and community spirit. A land much like Camelot, where justice and freedom reign, away from the tyranny of Big Tech.

FOSS, like Merlin, the great wizard, guides us with wisdom and foresight. It values our privacy and user experience more than monetary gain. Just like the Knights of the Round Table, it operates on principles of equality, inclusivity, and mutual benefit. Everyone can access, view, modify, and distribute the software, making us all knights on this digital round table, ready to fight the dragons of intrusive ads.

Consider a world where instead of facing an ambush from relentless ads on every virtual corner, you could modify your browser to better suit your needs, like Arthur modifying Excalibur to make the ultimate decapitation device. Too grim? Well, let’s just say His Majesty gave Excalibur a sharper edge or a shinier hilt.

In the realm of FOSS, you are the king, and your kingdom is without unnecessary distractions. You can work, play, and explore in peace, free from the buy-one-get-one deals or the latest in sock puppet technology.

So, fellow knights of the internet, it’s time to draw your swords against the scourge of ads, to protect your castle of peace and productivity. Let’s join together to make our internet a Camelot, a realm where software serves us, not the advertisers.

And remember, like Arthur, who pulled Excalibur from the stone to claim his rightful place as king, we too can reclaim our internet from the clutches of intrusive ads. Now, who’s with me for this digital quest?

Ah, my brave knights, we have not embarked on this journey unprepared! Hark! It’s time we delve deeper into the realm of defense against the dark advertising arts. Just as the Knights of the Round Table had an array of weapons at their disposal, so do we. I’m talking about, drumroll please…Ad Blockers!

We commence this journey with the most readily accessible weapon - browser ad blockers, such as ublock Origin, the digital counterparts of Arthur’s shield. These handy tools can be your trusty companion in the battle against internet advertisements, much like Sir Bedivere was to King Arthur. One click and ‘poof!’ Ads vanish faster than Merlin can say “Abracadabra.”

However, there’s a dragon lurking in the shadows. It’s named Manifest V3 and it’s been casting a troublesome spell on our beloved browser ad-blockers. This new policy from Google restricts the abilities of our browser ad-blockers, making them as effective as a sword made out of a baguette. Not the best tool to take to a dragon fight, I assure you, I speak from personal experience.

But fret not, because we’ve got an ace up our armor – DNS ad-blocking solutions. Picture this – instead of trying to slay every single ad with a sword, you raise a mighty fortress wall that automatically keeps the annoying ads out. This is what DNS ad-blocking does for you. It works at a network level to block ads before they can even think about storming your castle. Imagine it as the magical barrier Merlin conjured to keep Camelot safe. It’s like saying, “Sorry ads, you shall not pass!”

Now, I can hear you ask, “What if I want to build my own magical barrier?” Well, put on your wizard hats, because it’s time to introduce Pi-hole, a self-hosted ad-blocking DNS. This beauty lets you conjure your own Merlin-like protective dome against intrusive ads, right in your very own home. It’s like building your personal Camelot, impervious to the marauding ads on the web. What’s more, it’s free, open-source, and committed to protecting your web experience.

Running Pi-hole is like having your very own Round Table of ad defense. You call the shots, deciding which ads are banished to the distant lands beyond your kingdom. Moreover, unlike Sir Galahad’s chastity vow, Pi-hole doesn’t discriminate, providing protection against ads on all your devices, not just your trusty steed (or browser).

So there you have it, fellow knights of the digital realm. The tools you need to keep the ad dragons at bay. Just remember, the quest for an ad-free internet may be a long one, but like King Arthur, we too have the strength, the courage, and now, the tools to prevail.

What kind of bard are you? You can’t end the story like this.

Of course Sire, there’s is a second part, setting up your very own Pi-hole! And fret not, for no dragon is too large (or Linux too scary) when we’ve got each other’s backs.

The first task on this noble quest is to secure a Raspberry Pi, a charmingly small yet surprisingly powerful device, which not unlike Merlin’s mighty wand, you should not try to eat… Unless you’re into that sort of thing, I dare not judge his majesty’s preferences.

Once you’ve got your Raspberry Pi or server ready, it’s time to download the disk image of your desired operating system. The Raspberry Pi OS, once known as Raspbian, is a wise choice, much like picking Excalibur over a butter knife.

Now, to burn this disk image onto your SD card, you’ll need an app like balenaEtcher, which is as easy to use as Merlin’s spellbook is hard to decipher. Connect your SD card to your computer, select the downloaded image, select your SD card, and finally, hit “Flash!”. Poof! Just like Merlin, you’ve completed your first magic spell.

With your freshly prepared SD card, insert it into your Raspberry Pi, connect the necessary cables, and power it up.

Our next task is a bit like navigating the dark forest of Brocéliande – a tad intimidating, but filled with wonders. We’re going to connect to our Raspberry Pi. If you’re on Windows, you’ll need a program like PuTTY. Mac and Linux users can simply use the terminal, which, contrary to popular belief, is not a gateway to the underworld. I assure you that having seen a gateway to the underworld, the terminal is actually pretty friendly.

Type in ssh [email protected] and when prompted, use the default password: raspberry. Remember to change this password later for better security. You wouldn’t want a rogue sorcerer gaining control of your Pi-hole, would you?

If nothing happens, or the connection is refused, you may have to look into your router and check what IP has been assigned to your raspberry pi, then try ssh pi@IP

Now that you’re connected to your Raspberry Pi, it’s time to unleash the magic. In your terminal or PuTTY window, enter the incantation curl -sSL | bash. This spell summons the Pi-hole installation script and starts it. Much like how Merlin would summon a magical creature and…well, start it.

The script will guide you through the rest of the installation process, with you making choices like a king deciding the fate of his kingdom. When asked about an upstream DNS provider, you can choose one from the list or enter a custom one. This is akin to selecting your royal adviser. Choose wisely!

And just like that, you’ve set up your Pi-hole! Rejoice, for you have erected a bulwark against the dark forces of internet ads. To administer your new realm, simply enter http://pi.hole/admin in your web browser from any device on your network, and you shall be greeted by the Pi-hole admin interface, a digital throne from where you rule your kingdom.

So, brave knights, despite any trepidation, you’ve faced the beast and emerged victorious. You are now the proud owner of a Pi-hole, armed and ready to protect your kingdom from the invading hordes of ads. Remember, every great knight was once an uncertain squire, and every great Linux user was once scared of the terminal. Onwards to an ad-free future!

Bard, wait! Before you end your story, who invented Pi-hole?

Your majesty, Pi-hole is a community-built endeavor. The digital equivalent of a monument erected not by a single stone mason, but by the hands of many, working in harmony to create a sanctuary against the onslaught of unwanted ads. It represents the common effort of knights from all across the kingdom, who believe in an internet experience that respects us as users, not just as ad targets.

While Pi-hole itself is free, maintaining and improving this fortress of freedom does require resources. Much like how a castle requires a steward to keep the fires burning, the ramparts sturdy, and the moat monster well-fed, Pi-hole too needs our support to continue its noble duty.

If you find yourself enjoying the peace and quiet in your newly created Camelot, consider sending a few digital pennies their way. Even a mere copper coin can make a difference in keeping this magical shield against ads up and running. Donations can be made here:

If you’d rather have a physical token to celebrate your triumph against the ad-beasts, Pi-hole has a shop filled with mementos of your ad-blocking adventure. Take a gander at their collection of magical artifacts, such as mugs and water bottles, all sporting the mighty Pi-hole crest, available at Remember, every purchase you make also supports the Pi-hole project!

So, fellow knights, while we’ve slain many an ad-dragon today, let’s not forget the fellow champions who provide us with the tools to do so. Be it through a donation or a purchase from their shop, let’s continue to support Pi-hole, and ensure our kingdom remains ad-free. And remember, in the battle against ads, every copper coin, every purchase, every supportive comment counts.

Much like Merlin’s wisdom, or the unity of the Knights of the Round Table, every small contribution can lead to a larger impact. Be part of this noble cause, and together, we can continue our journey towards an ad-free Camelot. Now, go forth, dear knights, and make your internet experience a legendary one!

Long live the Pi-hole! Long live the FOSS Kingdom!

Wait, isn’t ad-blocking pirating?

Ah, the age-old query, sharper than Excalibur itself. “Isn’t ad-blocking akin to pirating?” To answer that, let’s first address what pirating truly is. It’s stealing, plain and simple. But what are we doing? We’re merely defending ourselves against an army of annoying, privacy-invading ads. It’s as if we’ve been accused of theft for merely shielding ourselves from a barrage of unwanted junk mail. Can you imagine, dear knights?

“Guards, guards!” cries the village idiot. “Sir Lancelot stole my precious stones!” And upon investigation, it turns out Sir Lancelot merely blocked a bombardment of rocks the village idiot had been hurling at him. The village idiot, always ready to cause a ruckus, must learn that throwing stones won’t make him a gem merchant anytime soon!

Now let’s address the elephant in the castle - or should we say, the dragon in the dungeon. Yes, websites rely on ad revenue. But have we, the users, ever been consulted about this arrangement? Have we agreed to barter our attention and privacy in exchange for content? Nay, we have not. It’s as if King Arthur himself forgot to include us in the grand roundtable discussion and made all the decisions while enjoying a jolly feast!

Hey you weren’t supposed to know about that!

Our noble battle against ads isn’t an attack on content creators, but rather a stand against an intrusive and oftentimes exploitative system. In fact, by using ad-blockers like Pi-hole, we’re not just protecting ourselves, we’re also sending a message to content creators that there’s a better way to sustain their work. We’re not pulling the sword from the stone; we’re freeing the internet from the shackles of unwanted ads!

“But how do we support these creators then?” I hear you ask. It’s as simple as a knight helping a damsel in distress. We can donate directly to those who provide us with the content we love. Why go through the ad middlemen when we can directly fund our favorite minstrels and jesters? It’s like tossing a shiny gold coin into the Bard’s hat instead of giving it to a sneaky tax collector. We, my fellow knights, shall be the patrons of mirth and creativity!

Think of it this way: would you rather throw a few copper coins to a bard singing a delightful ballad in the town square, or would you prefer to endure a long, convoluted tale from a merchant about why his snake oil is the solution to your every woe, knowing that the bard will receive but a fraction of a coin for your suffering?

So, brave knights, let’s slay the real dragon here - the idea that bombarding users with ads is the only way to support content. Let’s champion a system where we pay creators directly, respecting both their craft and our own user experience. Remember, we’re not pirates, we’re patrons - patrons of an ad-free internet. Now, raise your shields high, for the battle against ads is far from over!

Well what if I don’t want to contribute?

Aha! A challenging query indeed, fair squire. “What if I don’t want to contribute?” I hear you say, as defiant as a knight refusing to wear armor. Well, fret not, for in the realm of Camelot, even the most reluctant souls have a choice.

Imagine yourself in the court of King Arthur, surrounded by valiant knights and enchanting tales of the Round Table. Just like Sir Lancelot had the option to skip his morning jousting sessions (though I wouldn’t recommend it), you too can decide whether you wish to contribute. But fear not, for I shall regale you with a whimsical tale of a concept known as Value4Value, straight from the mystical land of Arthurian legends.

Picture this, my good friend: You find yourself strolling through the streets of Camelot, the aroma of freshly baked bread tickling your nose. Ah, the delight of it all! You step into a humble bakery, and lo and behold, the baker presents you with his finest creation - a delectable croissant fit for a king. But instead of demanding a fixed price, he flashes a mischievous grin and utters these magical words: “Pay what thou deemest it worthy.”

Behold, for this is the essence of Value4Value (V4V), a wondrous new way of trade where you bestow upon the creator what you believe their content is worth to you. It’s like a marketplace, but with a dash of Camelot’s enchantment. No haggling over prices like a medieval market, just pure and voluntary generosity, like Sir Galahad offering to slay dragons for the fun of it.

In this marvelous realm, transactions flow as smoothly as a knight’s sword through butter. No more casting your coins into a communal chalice, praying that the minstrel receives their fair share. Nay, my friend, you have the power to drop your coins directly into the minstrel’s cap. It’s as direct as a knight charging into battle, with no middlemen to vex thee.

The beauty of Value4Value lies in its lack of a demanding royal decree. A single copper coin is all you can spare? Fret not, for it is welcome! Feeling as generous as King Arthur himself and wish to bestow a gleaming golden nugget? By all means, go forth and be magnanimous! And if you prefer to contribute in non-monetary ways, such as sharing a jest or singing a merry tune, thou art most welcome! It’s all about what the content is worth to you, my friend, just like Excalibur in the hands of the chosen one.

So, fear not the prospect of contribution, fair squire, for in this realm of Value4Value, your choices are as vast as the tales of Camelot. Step forth, embrace the magic, and let the power of your appreciation create a wondrous exchange fit for the noblest of knights!

V4V, my merry companion, isn’t just another transaction model; it’s a gateway to a realm brimming with freedom, openness, connection, and the right to shout “free speech” from the turrets. It’s akin to a wondrous FOSS, a Free Open Source Society, where the power lies in the hands of the people. Picture it as a fortress built to resist the watchful eyes and cunning analytics of the ad-dependent model. It’s our way of ensuring that the vast realm of the internet remains a haven for open dialogue, rather than a bustling marketplace where our personal data is bartered away like enchanted trinkets.

So, dear squire, while the choice to contribute or not rests in your hands, I beseech thee to consider the marvels of the Value4Value model. Ponder upon the notion of supporting your beloved content creators directly, for it’s not about a burden of obligation but rather a celebration of admiration. Remember, the internet is a shared kingdom, and each and every one of us has a role to play in preserving its vibrancy, its openness, and, most importantly, its ad-free splendor. Onward, my friend, to a future that shines brighter, where the banners of advertisements flutter not, and the spirit of camaraderie reigns supreme!

A Quick Clarification

To clarify, if the sarcasm somehow wasn’t thick enough to be slices with a butter knife, we haven’t received any compensation to feature those ads you see here. Many of these “companies” are completely fictitious, and the real ones, such as those sponsored by Linus Tech Tips, are added for the sake of humor. No funds have been transferred; all the entities and individuals who have contributed, value4value, to our blog are acknowledged on our appreciation page, both now and always (thank you 🩷). We have not compromised our principles, and we absolutely refuse to host advertisements on this site, with the sole exception of thanking FOSS companies, projects and individuals on our dedicated page. We selectively consider organizations and open source projects that significantly promote FOSS and Linux and will never accept money from an organization that doesn’t believe in the value of FOSS.

For context, the advertisements you’re seeing are largely imaginary products from the TV shows Futurama and Friends, as well as a fictitious store (and art installation) named Omega Mart.