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This post is part of the series on using the Pi-hole; this series is a sub-series of the Adventures with a Raspberry Pi.

While the blocklists used by your Pi-hole will be the ones you selected during the initial install and configuration, they can be changed. This is done via the Pi-hole admin interface.

In the left pane, select Settings and click on the Blocklists tab.

Click te red trash can icon to delete a list; enter the name of a new list in the text field at the bottom and then click Save. When you’ve made all the changes required, click Save and Update:

Your changes will be saved and the blocklists updated.

Adventures With A Raspberry Pi
Adventures With A Raspberry Pi
Building The Raspberry Pi: CanaKit Raspberry Pi 3 B+ Complete Starter Kit
Building The Raspberry Pi: Raspberry Pi Build
Building The Raspberry Pi: Install Operating System
Building The Raspberry Pi: First Run
Building The Raspberry Pi: System Configuration Tool
Building The Raspberry Pi: Enable SSH For Remote Access
Building The Raspberry Pi: Securing the Raspberry Pi
Building The Raspberry Pi: Conclusion
Installing Pi-hole On A Raspberry Pi: What is Pi-hole?
Installing Pi-hole On A Raspberry Pi: Install Pi-hole
Installing Pi-hole On A Raspberry Pi: Change Pi-hole Admin Password
Installing Pi-hole On A Raspberry Pi: Configure Network to use Pi-hole
Using Pi-hole On A Raspberry Pi: Blocked Adverts
Using Pi-hole On A Raspberry Pi: Admin Interface
Using Pi-hole On A Raspberry Pi: Disabling Pi-hole
Using Pi-hole On A Raspberry Pi: Whitelisting a Site
Using Pi-hole On A Raspberry Pi: Update Blocklists
Using Pi-hole On A Raspberry Pi: Maintain Blocklists
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I’ve posted series on a few different ISV addons for Microsoft Dynamics GP over the last few years, but, somewhat ironically I guess, have not posted all that much about the addin I’ve used the most over the years.

That addin is SmartList Builder from eOne Solutions.

SmartList Builder allows you to create both brand new SmartLists or modify existing SmartList. You can link up to 32 tables together. Tables can be standard GP tables, any of the Third Party (ISV) tables, any SQL table, SQL views or SQL Scripts, other SmartLists or Extender resources.

This series is going to cover the implementation of SmartList Builder; I’ll take a look at report builder in a future series.

Implementing SmartList Builder
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This post is part of the series on using the Pi-hole; this series is a sub-series of the Adventures with a Raspberry Pi.

When the Pi-hole is installed, you have the option to select which blocklists should be used. The blocklists will be downloaded at that point, but need to be kept up-to-date. Fortunately, there is a cron job which runs automatically once a week and updates these blocklists.

If you want to run a manua update of the blocklists, log into the Pi-hole admin interface and select Tools and then click Update Gravity; when the page loads, click Update:

The update may take a few minutes to complete; when it is finished, a message bar will be displayed:

It is possible to change the frequency of the auto-updates, but this isn’t recommended by Pi-hole.

Adventures With A Raspberry Pi
Adventures With A Raspberry Pi
Building The Raspberry Pi: CanaKit Raspberry Pi 3 B+ Complete Starter Kit
Building The Raspberry Pi: Raspberry Pi Build
Building The Raspberry Pi: Install Operating System
Building The Raspberry Pi: First Run
Building The Raspberry Pi: System Configuration Tool
Building The Raspberry Pi: Enable SSH For Remote Access
Building The Raspberry Pi: Securing the Raspberry Pi
Building The Raspberry Pi: Conclusion
Installing Pi-hole On A Raspberry Pi: What is Pi-hole?
Installing Pi-hole On A Raspberry Pi: Install Pi-hole
Installing Pi-hole On A Raspberry Pi: Change Pi-hole Admin Password
Installing Pi-hole On A Raspberry Pi: Configure Network to use Pi-hole
Using Pi-hole On A Raspberry Pi: Blocked Adverts
Using Pi-hole On A Raspberry Pi: Admin Interface
Using Pi-hole On A Raspberry Pi: Disabling Pi-hole
Using Pi-hole On A Raspberry Pi: Whitelisting a Site
Using Pi-hole On A Raspberry Pi: Update Blocklists
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This post is part of the series on using the Pi-hole; this series is a sub-series of the Adventures with a Raspberry Pi.

When using a Pi-hole to block adverts, you will come across sites which you want to access, but which are being blocked. The message you will see is not readily apparent that the site has been blocked by the Pi-hole:

This is because the error message is displayed by the browser and all it knows is that the site didn’t respond; it does not and cannot know that the failure was because the DNS query had been stopped by the Pi-hole. Fortunately, the Pi-hole project has a solution to sites being blocked when you really want to access them in the form of creating a whitelist. It is also easy to add a site to the whitelist.

To add a site to the whitelist, log into the Pi-hole admin interface and select Whitelist on the left pane:

Enter the domain to be whitelisted and click the ,em>Add button. All requests to this domain will now be allowed through without being blocked.

Adventures With A Raspberry Pi
Adventures With A Raspberry Pi
Building The Raspberry Pi: CanaKit Raspberry Pi 3 B+ Complete Starter Kit
Building The Raspberry Pi: Raspberry Pi Build
Building The Raspberry Pi: Install Operating System
Building The Raspberry Pi: First Run
Building The Raspberry Pi: System Configuration Tool
Building The Raspberry Pi: Enable SSH For Remote Access
Building The Raspberry Pi: Securing the Raspberry Pi
Building The Raspberry Pi: Conclusion
Installing Pi-hole On A Raspberry Pi: What is Pi-hole?
Installing Pi-hole On A Raspberry Pi: Install Pi-hole
Installing Pi-hole On A Raspberry Pi: Change Pi-hole Admin Password
Installing Pi-hole On A Raspberry Pi: Configure Network to use Pi-hole
Using Pi-hole On A Raspberry Pi: Blocked Adverts
Using Pi-hole On A Raspberry Pi: Admin Interface
Using Pi-hole On A Raspberry Pi: Disabling Pi-hole
Using Pi-hole On A Raspberry Pi: Whitelisting a Site
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This post is part of the series on using the Pi-hole; this series is a sub-series of the Adventures with a Raspberry Pi.

While the Pi-hole has worked very well, there are times when I’ve had issues and wondered if it was the Pi-hole causing them. One of the good features of the Pi-hole is that it is very easy to temporarily disable it, which allows you to either easily rule out the Pi-hole as the cause of the problem or confirm that it was responsible.

To temporarily disable the Pi-hole, log into the admin interface and click Disable on the right pane:

As you can see in the screenshot, above, there are a few disable options. You can use one of the default disable times or enter a custom length.

When you select a time, Pi-hole will be immediately disabled and show the remaining time it is disabled in the right pane:

Once the disabled time expires, Pi-hole will re-enable and resume the blocking of ads.

Adventures With A Raspberry Pi
Adventures With A Raspberry Pi
Building The Raspberry Pi: CanaKit Raspberry Pi 3 B+ Complete Starter Kit
Building The Raspberry Pi: Raspberry Pi Build
Building The Raspberry Pi: Install Operating System
Building The Raspberry Pi: First Run
Building The Raspberry Pi: System Configuration Tool
Building The Raspberry Pi: Enable SSH For Remote Access
Building The Raspberry Pi: Securing the Raspberry Pi
Building The Raspberry Pi: Conclusion
Installing Pi-hole On A Raspberry Pi: What is Pi-hole?
Installing Pi-hole On A Raspberry Pi: Install Pi-hole
Installing Pi-hole On A Raspberry Pi: Change Pi-hole Admin Password
Installing Pi-hole On A Raspberry Pi: Configure Network to use Pi-hole
Using Pi-hole On A Raspberry Pi: Blocked Adverts
Using Pi-hole On A Raspberry Pi: Admin Interface
Using Pi-hole On A Raspberry Pi: Disabling Pi-hole
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I created a customisation recently for a client which would generate a Vendor ID based on the name, by removing alphanumeric characters. In order to make it as flexible as possible, I created the function to accept a parameter for type which will cause the function to strip different characters:

  • A – leaves alpha characters only.
  • N – leaves numeric characters only.
  • AN – leaves alphanumeric characters.

The second parameter is the string which should have the characters stripped:

IF OBJECT_ID (N'uv_AZRCRV_StripCharacters', N'FN') IS NOT NULL
	DROP FUNCTION uv_AZRCRV_StripCharacters
GO

CREATE FUNCTION uv_AZRCRV_StripCharacters(@Type VARCHAR(100), @String VARCHAR(MAX))
	RETURNS VARCHAR(MAX)
/*
Created by Ian Grieve of azurecurve|Ramblings of a Dynamics GP Consultant (http://www.azurecurve.co.uk)
This code is licensed under the Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-ShareAlike 4.0 International (CC BY-NC-SA 4.0 Int).
*/
BEGIN
	DECLARE @PatIndex VARCHAR(20)
	IF (@Type = 'Alpha' OR @Type = 'A')
		SET @PatIndex = '%[^a-z]%'
	IF (@Type = 'Numeric' OR @Type = 'N')
		SET @PatIndex = '%[^0-9]%'
	IF (@Type = 'AlphaNumeric' OR @Type = 'AN')
		SET @PatIndex = '%[^a-z0-9]%'

	WHILE PATINDEX(@PatIndex, @String) < 0
		SET @String = STUFF(@String, PATINDEX(@PatIndex, @String), 1, '')

	RETURN @String
END

GRANT EXECUTE ON uv_AZRCRV_StripCharacters TO DYNGRP
GO
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This post is part of the series on building my new Raspberry Pi; this series is a sub-series of the Adventures with a Raspberry Pi.

The Pi-hole admin interface is where you maintain your blocklists, whitelists and general settings. You can access it in two ways:

  1. http://[higlight]{ip address of pi-hile}[/highlight]/
  2. http://pi.hole/

When the admin page interface, you will see basic information for the last 24 hours:

Hit the Login link on the left hand side and enter the password you set for the Pi-hole:

Once logged in yuo will see a more detailed user interface with access to all of the options:

Adventures With A Raspberry Pi
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The web hosat I am currently with allows multiple domains, but only 6 websites; this means I have to be a little creative sometimes when creating additional sites.

I actually have a lot more than six websites being hosted on my account, due to a mix of WordPress MU and redirects to folders.

The redirect is done using an IIS rewrite rule. As I may be moving web host soon, I’m posting this so that I have easy access should I need.

This code goes in the rewrite section of the web.config file:

/*
Created by Ian Grieve of azurecurve|Ramblings of a Dynamics GP Consultant (http://www.azurecurve.co.uk)
This code is licensed under the Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-ShareAlike 4.0 International (CC BY-NC-SA 4.0 Int).
*/
<rewrite>
	<rules>
		<rule name="Rewrite subdomain.azurecurve.co.uk subdomain to dir" enabled="true">
			<match url="^(.*)$" />
			<conditions>
				<add input="{HTTP_HOST}" pattern="^subdomain\.azurecurve\.co\.uk$" />
			</conditions>
			<action type="Rewrite" url="_subdomain.azurecurve.co.uk/{R:1}" />
		</rule>
		<rule name="subdomain.azurecurve* wordpress" patternSyntax="Wildcard">
			<match url="*subdomain.azurecurve*" />
			<conditions>
				<add input="{REQUEST_FILENAME}" matchType="IsFile" negate="true" />
				<add input="{REQUEST_FILENAME}" matchType="IsDirectory" negate="true" />
			</conditions>
			<action type="Rewrite" url="_subdomain.azurecurve.co.uk/index.php" />
		</rule>
</rewrite>

The second rule is, I believe, required specifically for redirects for WordPress sites, the majority of which my rewrites are for.

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This post is part of the series on building my new Raspberry Pi; this series is a sub-series of the Adventures with a Raspberry Pi.

With Pi-hole installed and configured, the main way you will use your Pi-hole is to simply browse the Internet.

With the router directing all DNs queries to the Pi-hole, it will use the loaded block lists to stop adverts from those domains being loaded. I’ve found the experience of surfing the Internet far smooth since I installed the Pi-hole. The amount of data has also noticeably dropped.

I have been white-listing some sites which do not have overly intrusively adverts (no sound, no video or moving images). I’ll cover white-listing later in this series.

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I recently got a new laptop at work which meant getting all applications installed. Previously I’d had Microsoft Office 2016 installed; on the new laptop I got Microsoft Office 365 which came with AutoSave enabled by default in all of the applications, such as Excel and Word, for files opened from SharePoint Online:

You can switch off AutoSave using the slider at the top, but this is not remembered.

I did some exploring and found a setting in the application options to switch off AutoSave by default. To change this setting in Microsoft Excel, click the File menu and select Options. Click the Save tab and mark the checkbox next to AutoSave OneDrive and SharePoint Online files by default on Excel. Click OK to save the change:

Next time you open a SharePoint Online file, AutoSave will be off by default:

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