What a Year!

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Hello,

Welcome back to another Random Mutterings newsletter.

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Now on with the newsletter.

WHAT A YEAR!

March was a very long year! Sorry, month, the world has radically changed and for me and my family that has meant some pretty dramatic changes. My posting on timnash.co.uk has been lighter than in the first couple of months of the year as I dropped from a weekly post. 

I started the month with a bit of a cheat in the form of last month’s Random Muttering newsletter recreated in blog form. Several of you wonderful people quite rightly said you were not sure what you were signing up for! So I took the chance to put up an example. I’m probably going to do the same with this newsletter to try and increase signups. However, importantly, that will probably be the last time for a few months, to keep it exclusive.

In addition I started a new series called Productivity Fridays of which I have done three posts:

I’m enjoying this series and have plans for macOS and ZSHRC file write-ups this month. I want to get back into a weekly posting cycle so expect Productivity Friday on, well, every other Friday and then continuing my Back to Basics and other posts on a Tuesday. 

Needless to say I haven’t been visiting usergroups or conferences and I have scaled back like most people on social media though I’m making an effort to carry on as best we can. We live in strange times and now, more than ever, I want folks to look out for themselves, so stay safe.

What have I been reading?

Hopefully a bit of light reading and some not so light reading for all:

System Administration and System Productivity

In-depth Guide to running Elastic Search in Production (https://facinating.tech/2020/02/22/in-depth-guide-to-running-elasticsearch-in-production/

Remote Access to Production Infrastructure (death to VPN) (https://mattslifebytes.com/2020/02/29/remote-access-to-production-infrastructure-death-to-the-vpn/)

So you wanna buy a used IP? (https://blog.strom.com/wp/?p=7561)

Build your own Shell Completion (https://feltrac.co/environment/2020/01/18/build-your-own-shell-completion.html)

Illustrated JQ tutorial (https://mosermichael.github.io/jq-illustrated/dir/content.html)

Job control the feature you didn’t think you need (https://www.linuxjournal.com/content/job-control-bash-feature-you-only-think-you-dont-need_

WordPress & Web Development

Where to learn WordPress Theme Development (https://css-tricks.com/where-to-learn-wordpress-theme-development/)

Do not log (https://sobolevn.me/2020/03/do-not-log)

Why we started putting unpopular assets IN memory (https://blog.cloudflare.com/why-we-started-putting-unpopular-assets-in-memory/)

Working with Feature Flags and branches (https://developer.yoast.com/working-with-feature-branches-and-feature-flags/)

How to make life easier when using git (https://www.smashingmagazine.com/make-life-easier-when-using-git/)

Writing and content production

How to take smart notes (https://www.emgoto.com/take-smart-notes/)

3 Audience types that interact with developer content (https://www.stephaniemorillo.co/post/here-are-the-three-audience-types-who-engage-with-developer-content)

Human Productivity and Workflows

How to make a “Gold Standard” remote work office (https://workremote.us/how-to-make-a-gold-standard-remote-work-office/)

How to make yourself into a learning machine (https://superorganizers.substack.com/p/how-to-build-a-learning-machine)

Security & Privacy

Extracting Embedded Payload from Malware (https://medium.com/@ryancor/extracting-embedded-payloads-from-malware-aaca8e9aa1a9) [Note: very Technical, you have been warned]

Plausibly deniable Encryption (https://spacetime.dev/plausibly-deniable-encryption)

What is a backdoor? Let’s build one (https://snyk.io/blog/what-is-a-backdoor/)

Securing Home Wifi for remote working (https://scotthelme.co.uk/securing-your-home-network-for-wfh/)

Ever wanted to be in the room with scammers, what do their days look like? https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=le71yVPh4uk
This is a fascinating series, after a scammer’s CCTV is hacked, allowing a unique glimpse into their operation. 

I also told myself I would avoid including posts on “new to remote working” because, well, every company has done that to death but this post from Matt Stauffer from Tighten (a full remote company) is actually really good (https://mattstauffer.com/blog/making-the-best-of-a-less-than-ideal-remote-work-environment/

Actual Books VIDEOS!

March – I didn’t pick up or listen to a book so instead, I want to introduce you to a few of my favourite YouTubers, and most of them are not Web or tech related.

Amazing Tool

This month I wanted to highlight a tool I use every day but forget exists as an application and that is Wavebox 

Wavebox is a distraction free Chromium browser, but it’s not designed to “browse”, rather a way to access common web applications, for example Gmail or Slack. In fact I don’t have the Slack client on my machines, instead using Wavebox. It has a bunch of features to help make sure you are only notified of things you want to see and recent updates make grouping apps together easy. 

Wavebox is easily one of those tools that make me more productive and it’s always open. 

News and Opinions
 

WordPress 5.4 came and went with a whimper but 5.5 brings hope*

I was so excited for WordPress 5.4 but, with a few things pulled, it was in terms of features a bit of a disappointment but with things punted to WP5.5 I am now looking for potentially the most exciting release of WordPress in a long time with automatic plugin and theme updates, lazy loading and introduction of block patterns.  
* Article from 34SP.com who is my employer

Web development now belongs to Microsoft

With NPM being bought by GitHub, who themselves were acquired by Microsoft, Microsoft has ended up in a very strange place where they are now curating and hosting pretty much every open source package on the planet.  Generally NPM being bought by a company seems like a good thing for security and stability of the ecosystem. Will it make Javascript Package management a total disaster of a space? Probably not.

Really has been a quiet month, I can’t quite work out why.

Where can you find me?

If you haven’t already you can follow me on various social media including:

Twitter – tnash

LinkedIn – tnash

Facebook – timnashcouk

I’m most active on twitter, but that shouldn’t stop you following me on all the things!

I’m going to leave you with a huge favour, if you like this newsletter and content I create can you help me to share it. Encourage a friend to subscribe to the newsletter at https://timnash.co.uk/newsletter if an article has resonated with you please share it on your social media platforms. 

I would love to reach more people in 2020 and to do that I need your help.

One final thought – I’m sure by now you have seen the video of the Llandudno being overrun by goats? If you haven’t, well then you are in for a treat as Andrew Stuart discusses how he has become the world’s probably first and only Goat correspondent (https://medium.com/behind-local-news-uk/my-video-of-goats-went-viral-and-im-a-global-goat-correspondent-now-4b83b8e1da5a

Thank you and you are awesome, stay safe.

Tim