Hosting your website at home

There are many options to host a personal or small business website today and it typically costs $5 and upwards per month. This is the best option in most cases, especially if the $5 includes security patches, regular upgrades, and so on. However, if you rent a Virtual Machine (VM) on the cloud (think DigitalOcean droplets, AWS EC2, etc), this might be for you. Most VM offerings on the cloud do not include patches and updates in their all-inclusive price, so the per-hour rate is essentially just paying for using their hardware and any energy costs. This post explores if its more cost-effective to simply host your website at home.

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Setting up pfSense with NextDNS CLI

NextDNS is piHole on the cloud and claims to protect networks and devices from security threats, malware, and adverts. I have been using their DNS servers on our home network for a while now, and although that provides basic functionality, their NextDNS CLI provides more advanced features that I was missing out on. Unfortunately, there’s no official support on pfSense for it yet, and documentation is sketchy on how to get it up and running.

Hence, I thought of writing a 15-min step-by-step guide on setting up NextDNS CLI with pfSense.

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Happy numbers and the time it takes to find them

Ever heard of happy numbers? They are these amazing numbers which cycle down to 1 when their digits are squared and added. For instance,

 $ 23=2^2 + 3^2=13 $

$ 13=1^2 + 3^2=10 $

$ 10=1^2 + 0^2=1 $

On the other hand, an un-happy number would cycle down to itself instead of 1.

In base 10, for the first 10 million or so numbers, the natural density of happy numbers is about 0.15. Being this mathematical surprise, naturally, software engineers decided to make interview questions out of it. But that’s not what this blog post is about. This blog post is about the math behind the time complexity of the solution to this question. So let’s get started.

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Using DuckDuckGo’s tracker radar domains as a piHole AdList

If you are looking to consume the DuckDuckGo tracker radar domains into your piHole from an online source, I have a hosted list right here. The list has a fingerprinting threshold of 2 (fingerprinting score 2 or above) and is updated daily. If you are looking to tweak the script and run it locally, read on.

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Refreshing the blog

The site has been a never ending experiment on running a public personal website for me. A decade ago, I remember starting with blogspot, moving to MovableType, WordPress, TextPattern, Drupal and others. Playing with these Content Management Systems helped me gain valuable lessons on how CMS’s are built and what corners to look out for. It also helped me freelance for a while.

This current iteration of the site is running on Ghost, a headless NodeJS CMS that surprisingly reminds me a lot of Medium. So, welcome in hopes of some good content and enlightening discussions.