About this site

Site Specs

This site is a flat-file blog, hosted on GitHub Pages and built using Jekyll. If you’re interested in why I’ve built it this way, you can read a post about it here.

I redesigned the layout in March 2022 to be almost purely text-based. It was mostly an exercise to see if I could get a perfect score on GTMetrix, and whether I could get the source code for the site onto a floppy disk. I don’t have any floppy disks, or the means to put the website on one if I did, but the site itself weighs in at 1.35Mb, so I’m counting it.* I used Skeleton as the base for the CSS, and have pulled in the entire jQuery library to use exactly one feature.

I write posts in Markdown, usually straight into Visual Studio Code (because that’s how much of a nerd I am). From VSCode I can push the changes straight to my GitHub repository, and let the fine folks there handle the rest.

I run a local Jekyll instance for when I want to tweak the layout, and push the changes to GitHub in the same process.

I have almost definitely redesigned this website more times than I’ve actually written any content for it.

Technology Guides

When the Covid-19 pandemic hit, I started writing Technology Guides via Copy & Code - the web agency I co-founded with my wife Ishita. I still try to put out content that I think people might find useful, completely free to access and use. These guides are based purely on my own research and understanding and are meant to be taken purely as such.

The Guides use a different styling to the rest of the site, to separate them out from my musings. They all also include some text at the bottom encouraging sharing and donations to either me or - preferably - someone more deserving. This is done via a link, which is a randomly allocated outbound link to a charity or organisation, populated from a list that I add to periodically.

Abbreviations

In the latest redesign of this site (March 2022) I opted for an almost purely text-based design. As part of that I still wanted to be able to quickly identify different types of content. My logical solution was to gregariously employ the use of TLAs (three letter acronyms). Below are the ones I’ve used.

[5i5] - Five in Five - a type of post I sometimes use to share 5 quick things that have held my attention recently. Each thing focuses on a different topic. Politics, Technology, and Mental Health often make appearances, accompanied by some others.

[blg] - Blog post - used in the What currently has my interest section to denote blog posts.

[ext] - External - I use this to denote things I’ve written on other websites, but want to share here. These links will take you off of this website and out to where the content is hosted.

[fic] - Fiction - sometimes I dabble in fiction writing, usually short stories (I haven’t found the patience to write anything longer yet).

[gen] - General - things that don’t fit into any of the other categories.

[gui] - Technology Guides - these are guides that I’ve written about specific technology or web development questions that I’ve been asked with various hats at various times, all collated for your reading pleasure into one place.

[let] - Letter - used to denote letters that I’ve found interesting. I don’t use these to mark letters I’ve written for this site (because that would be too sensible). My letters usually have a category assigned to them - for example my letter to Matt Hancock has the [mha] marker.

[mha] - Mental Health Awareness - posts that I write that focus on mental health. Not all of them are specifically about raising awareness, but I needed a three letter acronym to keep the theme going.

[pol] - Politics - posts focusing on politics, usually current affairs.

[tec] - Technology - posts about technology - more often than not something I’ve either just bought (I went through a real phase posting about Chromebooks in my youth), or something I’m coveting.

[web] - Website - a website that I find interesting. This is usually because I find the style or the functionality of the website itself intriguing.


*Since writing this, I realised that there were some images embedded in old posts that I didn’t really want to do without, so I readded them. This took the size of the site up to 1.72Mb, which I’m very annoyed about. If you zip it though, it comes to 988Kb. It’s not the win I wanted, but for now I’ll take it.

*Since writing that, I’ve added Technology Guides and additional images to the site. We’re now at a little over 3Mb. You used to be able to get “extra-high density” floppy disks that gave you 2.88Mb of space, so maybe for now that will be my challenge.