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Removing MaraDNS’ ads


December 7 2015

This blog is about why I removed the ads from and, and an issue I had restoring Windows 7 on my Lenovo Thinkpad.

==Removing the ads==

When I originally put the ads on and, I promised that the ads would always be unobtrusive and text-only. Well, Google changed the ads they give their subscribers; what were once text-only ads now have images in them, making them obtrusive and gaudy.

So I have pulled all ads from my websites. Yes, this is going to cost me real money. But I made a promise to the MaraDNS community, and I can no longer be a client of Google ad words and keep that promise. So the ads go.

I have replaced the obtrusive text + image ads with a single unobtrusive one-line ad at the top of the MaraDNS webpages: “Support MaraDNS or listen to my music” “Support MaraDNS” takes users to a page where they can make a PayPal donation. “Listen to my music” takes users to my page where they can listen to for free and optionally buy the music I am composing.

I keep the promises I have made to the MaraDNS community. That is why I released Deadwood and MaraDNS 2.0 after I realized I no longer wanted to define myself as “The MaraDNS guy.” That is why I still fix security problems in MaraDNS 2, even though, as a single parent, it’s hard to find time to do so. And that is why I spent a lot of time this last weekend scrubbing all of the ads from my web sites.

==Reinstalling Windows 7 on my Thinkpad==

Lenovo Thinkpads come with an tool which supposedly makes DVDs of all of the files needed to reinstall windows from scratch on a Thinkpad. Only one problem: When I needed to reinstall Windows on my Thinkpad, the image discs did not work. I had to take a fresh install of Windows 7, on my Thinkpad’s identical twin sister which I keep in a closet and sometimes run Windows Update on, make a sector-by-sector disk image of the hard disk, and copy that image to my current Thinkpad.

This process took 12 hours but gave me a working system again. Lesson learned: The only way to ensure I can recover a Windows image so I can reinstall it without purchasing another Windows license is by spending the six hours or so making a sector-by-sector copy of the hard disk when I first buy the system.

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