Saturday Afternoon

It’s heading towards 3pm on Saturday afternoon, and I’m holed up in the junk room, listening to Spotify, writing this while the rain falls outside. In the spirit of “finding something to do”, I thought it might be interesting to record the story of how my posts get from the keyboard to the internet – because it’s probably fairly unique. Quite why it’s unique is open to interpretation, and a fair bit of ridicule I imagine.

Here comes the nerdy stuff…

I write my posts in a text editor. I almost always have. Yes, I’ve tried word processors – both offline and online – but invariably return to text editors. If I’m writing on Windows I’ll use Notepad++ – if on Linux I’ll use whatever is installed. I save the posts in markdown format, but it really makes no difference, because I never use any formatting – no italics or bolds in my writing.

I save the posts in year and month sub-folders, and always save the files with a common naming scheme – “{year}-{month}-{day} {Post Title}.md”. It might seem incredibly regimented, and it probably is – but it means I don’t have to think at all. Within each file the first line is always the title, and the second line is always the longhand version of the date – e.g. “Saturday 10th February 2018”.

After finishing writing, I copy the body text into WordPress, add a photo (usually from Pexels, sometimes from my own photos at Flickr), add a few tags, and click publish. Invariably I then read through what I just posted, and discover all manner of typing, or grammar mistakes. I try to update the text version too.

When I finish writing, I run a few commands in a terminal window to check the text in with “git”. Git is a version control system I’m used to using for work, and really just provides a nice backup – it also means you can see changes you might have made to writing over time (not that I ever do change anything – what you read is typically whatever fell out of my head at the time). After saving what I’ve written, I run one more command to push the changes up to GitHub on the internet – which provides a free online backup of the whole lot. I’ve played around with using Google Docs in the past, but given what I’ve learned about the architecture of Google Docs and Photos just recently (it’s not good), I very much doubt I’ll use it in the future.

Anyway – enough of the nerdy stuff.

While sort-of writing this post, I’m being distracted by the Winter Olympics highlights from South Korea, and the England rugby match against Wales. This is where I’m incredibly smug about living in the UK – the BBC are showing live coverage of all the Olympic events simultaneously, with no advertising at all. They are also making all events available to watch after-the-fact online. It’s pretty amazing to be honest.

I’m also working my way through adding contacts to Zoho Mail. I’m forwarding email on from GMail for the moment, giving Zoho a chance. Taking my time to setup contacts properly with photos is making new emails from people look a little more tidy than previously. If you get an email from me asking for a selfie – now you’ll know why.

Right. I can hear that the washing machine has stopped. Silence in this house generally means there’s something to do. I’ll try and start wading through the colossal backlog of blog posts by friends that I haven’t read for the last few days in a bit. Again – if you suddenly see comments from me this evening, you’ll know why.

Postscript – this post took two hours to write, in-between walking away to do other things. That pretty much sums up the last few days for me.

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