One of the best known SF acronyms outside of Science Fiction is TANSTAAFL, from Heinlein’s The Moon is a Harsh Mistress. It means “There aint no such thing as a free lunch.” more to the point, it means that there is a price for everything in time, money, sweat, or effort.

This to me holds true in the Linux world, and with many of the often brilliant “free” programs that are available.

You can probably see where this is going.

I’ve been trying to set up proxy services on my G5 running Leopard, so I can get rid of the Suse box that currently has no purpose in life outside of acting as a network proxy server for controlling web access. Running one less computer is good, even if the toaster-box doesn’t add much to my electric bill, and the G5 is becoming less and less my primary workstation anyway – my MacBook Pro is.

Getting squid installed – the proxy software – was pretty simple. The problem? I wanted to run it in conjunction with some filtering software called Dansguardian. This is the part where you shake your head, tsk, and say “ahh… foolish mortal.”

OSX launches background programs in a whole new way from traditional Unix/linux methods. The package I installed was fairly up to date and had a proper startup entry in it. or so it seemed.

The long and the short of it is I have the proxy working, but not the filter, and I’m spending much time on this simply because I want to figure the puzzle out, not because it’s cost-effective.

It’s fun, in a way, but usually I spend too much time fixing other people’s computers to want to have “fun” tinkering.