The Meta Letter (Archive)

A now defunct newsletter from Kev Quirk

Meta Letter 08 – Newsletters and Blog Posts and Code Oh My!

📅 27 Jan 2021

Right, before we get started with this month’s ☕ Craving Coffee Meta Letter let’s address the elephant in your mailbox – I have renamed this newsletter from ☕ Craving Coffee to Meta Letter.

🤷‍♂️Why the change?

Well, I changed the name for a couple of reasons, dear reader. Firstly, it’s a cool name that rhymes and the .net domain was available. So you see, I had to do it! ?

More importantly though, as this Newsletter matures, it’s becoming more clear to me what it’s about – it’s an extension of the topics I cover on my blog; which is technology, privacy, open source and web design mostly. I also cover the odd personal update here too. So, it’s all about the things I’m interested in (which is hopefully the same things you’re interested in too) so Meta Letter made sense to me.

Showing or suggesting an explicit awareness of itself or oneself as a member of its category : cleverly self-referential.

— Meta Definition

Right then, on with the first issue of 2021 then…

Personal update

Ooosh, it’s been a busy one this month folks! Work has been crazy and add to that we’ve entered another round of lockdown here in the UK, things have generally been pretty crappy.

However, between all my mask wearing tomfoolery, I’ve managed to launch a new project – Simple.css.

What is Simple.css? I hear you cry…

Basically it’s a classless CSS framework that takes plain hold HTML and spits it out into something that looks pretty darn nice. I wanted something to use in my own projects to save me from having to start from scratch every time. So I started working on a template. By the time I has finished, I thought it may be useful to others, so I decided to release it to the public.

So if you’re thinking about starting a new project, why not consider Simple.css as the basis of it?

I’ve also given the 100 Days To Offload a bit of love. I removed the old blogroll and replaced it with a hall of fame, now that people are starting to complete the challenge. I’ve also decided to re-enrol myself in the 100 Days To Offload challenge for 2021. If you have a blog (or even if you don’t) you should think about giving #100DaysToOffload a try.

📝 From my blog

I’ve been a busy bee this month and have been writing a lot of content. One post, a guide on building a Jekyll site from scratch, was around 7,000 words on its own – easily the longest blog post I’ve ever written. Here are some of the highlights from the blog this month:

I also tried out, wrote about my GitHub backup script and made a fairly significant cock up with my website. So yeah, all in all a busy month on my blog. ?

Blog of the month

This month’s Blog of the month is the blog of the one and only Alan Pope, or Popey as many know him. If you don’t know who Popey is, where have you been hiding for the last few years? If you’re at all interested in all things Linux, or more specifically, Ubuntu, then Popey is probably already known to you.

But if you’ve never heard of him, Popey is a ThinkPad lover and developer advocate at Canonical, the company that creates Ubuntu. He recently revived his blog to great effect and has been putting out lots of really interesting content over the last few weeks which I’ve been really enjoyed reading.

Popey writes about all kinds of things, not just Linux. If you’re interested in technology in all its forms of exquisite geekery, you should definitely check out Popey’s blog:

Wrapping up for January

That’s pretty much all I have for you this month, folks. One more thing before I release you back to the depths of you inbox – I’ve had a few people reach out to me saying they enjoy this newsletter and my blog (thank you ?), and they wanted to know if there’s a way to support this content financially.

I’ve got a full time job, so never thought about monetising. Honestly, money isn’t my main driver – sharing knowledge and social connections are. But I keep getting these emails, and I keep going back with “maybe I’ll add a Patreon page or something one day”. Well, I’ve finally gone ahead and setup a Patreon page. So if you’re one of the people who would like to support my content, there’s a link below.

There’s no perks or anything like that (I may add them at some point) and there are only 2 tiers – £1/month and £3/month. If you do decide to ‘subscribe’ then I’d like to thank you from the bottom of my heart. That coffee you’re buying me every month will taste that little bit sweeter knowing it’s coming from one of you fine people.

If you decide the whole Patreon thing isn’t for you, that’s fine too. I will never put any of my content behind a paywall.

That’s more than enough for this edition of Meta Letter (I really like this new name! What do you think of it?) Until next month folks…

Kev, out.