Setting up a Pi Hole for whole-home ad/tracker blocking

Pi Hole - Admin DNS query request dashboard page in Safari

Pi Hole is a nifty open source project that allows you to offload the task of blocking advertisements and annoying (and often malicious) trackers to a Raspberry Pi. The installation is deceptively simple (a curl | bash affair), but I wanted to document how I set up mine headless (just plugging the Pi into power and the network).

Set up Raspbian Lite

I bought a Raspberry Pi model 2 B along with the official Raspberry Pi foundation Case. Then I bought a Samsung Evo+ 32GB microSD card (which comes with a full-size SD card adapter), and did the following steps on my MacBook Pro to set up the Pi's OS:

Removed Leaderboard Ads over Articles

Over the past 10 years, I've tried many different ways of monetizing this website; I've run Google Ads (using AdSense), adding tip jars (accepting donations through PayPal), and adding particular ads and revenue-generating links (like affiliate links).

The most annoying monetization is always a glaring, leaderboard or sidebar (or even worse, in-content) ad. Therefore I've decided to simply remove all leaderboard ads on this site; the only places where you'll see ads anymore are either in the top of the right sidebar, or in the bottom of the page (a few text links).

The amount of revenue I earn from Amazon affiliate links on just one or two pages (like my page showing how you can use external microphones with the iPhone 4s) is more than four times what I've ever earned by placing annoying/distracing Google ads on the site.

Plus, I may start highlighting my affiliates page—to which I typically refer people who ask me how they can show some appreciation :-) Earth Day Ad—It's Not What You'd Expect!

It's not what you'd think...

Celebrate Nature's Greatest Gift - Earth Day 2010 - has started running a new ad campaign on public transport vehicles for this year's Earth Day; so far these ads have been running in Chicago, Seattle, San Francisco, and LA. You can help support the campaign by donating to

Here's a video of some reactions filmed on the streets of Chicago:

Give me Back that Fish!

Give me back that Filet O' Fish, give me that fish!
Give me back that Filet O' Fish, give me that fish!
What if it were you hanging up on this wall?
If it were you in that sandwich you wouldn't be laughing at ALLLLLL!

Above are the lyrics for one of the most annoying... yet intriguing commercials ever! Who remembers McDonalds' commercial (old big mac comm)? I sure do! Looks like they have another great and catchy tune on their hands, although this one doesn't have much in the way of logical sense to it.

You can download the jingle (or just listen to it) and be amazed... for hours and hours!

And below are the two (2009 and 2010) TV commercials run by McDonalds to promote their Filet O' Fish sandwich. Who can ignore a talking fish, mounted on a wall?