Protection against spying TV’s with the homeserver project.

An interesting thread can be read at DoctorBeet’s Blog about LG smart TV’s sending private information to several Internet sites. In the article about the basic network setup I did create a hook in the setup of dnsmasq, the name server for your internal network. The setup has the following line:



This means that any file dropped in that directory is read when dnsmasq starts. To block the sites mentioned at DoctorBeet’s Blog, create the file /etc/dnsmasq.d/80-lg-block with the following contents:

# LG smart TV spy networks


The restart dnsmasq using /etc/rc.d/rc.dnsmasq restart. If you use the IP address of your home server instead of you can see all these requests in the log of your own internal web server. But if you use you won’t see a thing, the TV will be talking to itself.

This option is also useful to block sites you don’t want to contact such as these irritating popup (poker/sex) sites.

Site speed and updates

The site became slow again, nothing new. This time it was caused by the nextgen gallery plugin. The 2.xx series had new features that causes the slowdown. In the meantime, there is a fork made from the latest pre 2.xx code called nextcellent gallery. This is almost a drop in replacement, so it is easy to “downgrade” the gallery.

In another post I wrote about a new download plugin, today I removed it. I am using an external site again. One of the missing things with an external site (nginx with autoindex) was that it didn’t produce data for piwik. Today I found out that there is a new experimental feature that can do logfile analyses. This works and now every hour a cron job runs that tool.

Updated the menus

It is a long time ago when I last updated this site, but here are some new updates. One of the projects hosted on this site is the MBSE BBS package. I was still running a Fidonet connected BBS but I finally decided to shut it down because I almost never used it and the MBSE BBS package is 99% finished. I have been a member in Fidonet for about 20 years, but today other media are more used by me. All pages for the MBSE BBS software and related pages will stay on this site.

Something different, we now have a tablet in the house. So when I used it to navigate on this site I found that it was very difficult to use the pull down menus when they were more than one level deep. I already had the extra links in the top articles for those who had a broken javascript, so this site was still usable on a tablet. I decided to make that more permanent by restricting the pull down menus to only one level deep (pull down, no extra levels) and to move the extra levels to the right sidebar. Here they are dynamic loaded when appropriate.

New WordPress plugin

About a year ago I had written a WordPress plugin that displays a widget and can retrieve amateur radio call sign information from several sources. I decided that it was time to make this plugin available for everyone. This ‘callsignquery’ plugin is now in the official WordPress repository so that everyone that wants to use it can install it using plugins -> new plugins settings in WP. You can see this plugin in action on this Dutch dstar site.

Site speed

The site became dead slow the last days. The main reason was an update in a WordPress plugin called tinyMCE. Although the writer claims that he had fixed all things slowing down websites, rolling back to an earlier release is the solution that really works to return to the speed we were used to.

Another thing that looked like slowing down the site was the Facebook plugin, these “Like” buttons that were all over the site. Now that really didn’t slowed down the site because the call was asynchronous, fact was that it looked a bit strange that after a page was loaded, the page was reformatted again when the buttons arrived and were parsed. Almost nobody used these buttons, so now only the generic Facebook button in the header is still there.

New download site for my Extra Slackware packages.

All Extra Slackware packages are removed from this site, and hey are now available from it’s own site. This makes the sources for the packages available too and it looks more like a general Slackware packages tree. This move removes some load from this site, it became too slow because the file database was getting big.

In the meantime, most articles are rewritten for Slackware again, just eight to go and they are done.

Progress dropping Arch

In the last weeks I prepared the move of the virtual routers from Arch Linux to Slackware 14.0. Now two routers and two web servers are running Slackware again. The largest work will be the host that runs the virtual machines. A lot of packages need to be prepared to minimize the downtime. Luckily I used to have two root partitions so that the system can run dual boot with two distro’s. This allows me to reboot Arch if it takes too long or if extra packages need to be build. This can happen as the host server has all the network drives with the packages and sources.

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New sites and some updates

I didn’t had much time for this site lately, a new web-site for the Dutch D-Star community was needed because one of their members passed away. The original site was generated with MS-Office Word so the source pages were almost unreadable. Most pages scored over 500 errors on the W3C Markup Validation Service.It took a week of copying and pasting to move the data to the new server. The site still needs some cleanup but for now we are happy with the result.

Another new site is about my old sound studio which I had 30 years ago with a friend.This old site needed a facelift, so this was a good moment to convert that site to WordPress and use a different theme. This site has a public and private part.

In the meantime, and because of the extra sites hosted on my server, I needed to do some server optimizations. The MySQL and,nginx pages are updated with some tuning information.

The dovecot configuration needed a small change too after the upgrade to dovecot 2.1.1.

Also one new article: Munin for system graphing and monitoring. There is some more about system monitoring in the waiting room.

Web server using nginx

There are two new articles added, one about how to setup a web server with nginx, and one that explains how to migrate from apache to nginx. I finally did take the time to study how to do things the “nginx” way after years of using apache for a web server. It was just a matter of learning how to run php and cgi scripts. The only thing left to do is the way the mercurial repository is served, but it works for this moment. Of course this server is now serving this site using nginx.

The site itself got some cosmetic changes. The static header is replaced with random photographs that I made around the place where I live. More will follow when I take more panorama type pictures that will to fit in the header without losing important parts. Amazing how few from 12000 pictures can be used for a header.