B. Scott

IT HelpDesk tech, computer geek, tea enthusiast, metalhead, humanist. Resume provided on request.




Github   Various Contributions & Projects
Graphic Work   Case Studies, Proposals, Projects
TPC Restoration    Website (Code, Maintenance)
Userstyles    Stylish Scripts

Raspberry Pi 3 Fun

Raspberry Pi boards have always piqued my interest. I am a fan of systems that are efficient, powerful, and quiet. Currently my RPi3 serves a few uses. It is running Debian Linux. The main use is as a DNS server that blocks advertisements network-wide on my home network. It is a very simple installation on linux for those that have a bit of technical knowledge. Once installed, a router can point to the RPi's IP address as its DNS server. From a security perspective, it is comforting to know that malicious ads are being stopped before they get to devices on the network (including mobile devices). It can be administered from the command line or from a web interface. It has multiple features available, such as whitelisting or blocking sites by domain.

The device is also being used as an internal-only web/FTP server that I can use to stage sites or pages that I am working on. While this can be done on my main computer systems, it is a nice extra feature to off-load to this device. I am also using the RPi3 as a way to further my linux and command line knowledge. I am still considering other potential purposes for the device, but haven't chosen an idea yet. The GPIO pins open up a world of exciting options in terms of hardware.

Google: Announcing Guetzli, A New Open Source JPEG Encoder

"We're excited to announce Guetzli, a new open source algorithm that creates high quality JPEG images with file sizes 35% smaller than currently available methods, enabling webmasters to create webpages that can load faster and use even less data."

I was excited to see this post today and started testing out the tool by downloading the build from Github. I ran through an example image that I had already pre-optimized using other JPG optimization tools, such as JPEGMini and OptImage. The image was at the point where I could not compress or optimize it further without it introducing too many artifacts and blurring the text. Using Guetzli, I was able to reduce it from 94KB to 80KB without any difference I could perceive visually. Glad to see we're still pushing forward to optimize images and further reduce data loads on the web.

I cobbled together a simple Guetzli batch processing script/service for Mac. However, I believe they are updating the tool to support some batch processing natively. I still highly recommend learning and using scripting and tools like Automator for Mac. They are great for constructing workflows.