Fun Geeky Things To Do For the Holidays

I love nerding out over the holidays and today was no exception. I added a feature to my blog that I've wanted to add forever!


Hope you’re having a great holiday season and if you celebrate Thanksgiving, which is today, I hope you’re 1) having a wonderful time with friends and family and 2) have something queued up to occupy your time!

I’m having a great day - it’s the first Thanksgiving I’ve spent on my own and I love it. I know that many people might think this would be a sad thing, but far from it. You can really focus on the things you’re grateful for! If you’re curious: almost everyone I know came down with COVID so all my plans went out the window… which is OK because…

There’s Nothing More Fun Than Coding During the Holidays!

Even if you work for yourself, which I’ve done for many years, there’s something about taking a break during the holidays and focusing on fun, nerdy stuff. For instance: this site uses Ghost and I’ve always wanted to find a way to turn Ghost into something that could host a video course. Turns out, it’s not that easy!

My first solution was to use Vimeo’s “showcases”, which is a bit of a janky JavaScript layer on top of their player. It works, but I don’t care for it.

I then had the fun idea, since I’m polishing my book/videos on Vue 3, to pop Vue into a custom template with Ghost! It’s just a page that I can dedicate, can’t I?

Experimenting With Vue and Ghost

It’s… unfortunately not that easy, for a variety of reasons. The first is that Ghost’s pages are written using Handlebars, which display templated content with the same delimiter as Vue: ``.

You cat get around this in Vue by telling it to use something else:

    delimiters: ["[[", "]]"],
      return {
        videos: Vue.reactive([]),
        thisVideo: Vue.reactive(null),
        player: null

Here, I’m telling Vue to use square braces instead. This works pretty well, but then comes the next hurdle: how do I know which videos to pull? The custom template is just that - how’s it going to know which video production I want to show?

The short answer is that I can use the slug of the URL, which means I have to pop that into JavaScript:

  const slug="";

I’ve done worse. This will plant the slug serverside in a page variable so I can use it to query an API where my videos live. Fun times.

I have to use a bunch of script tags to pull in the libraries I want, which means I need to use Vue’s mounted lifecycle hook to be sure the DOM is loaded with my script tags.

Once all that’s done, it’s off to the races. I think it looks kind of nice, don’t you?

Currently, I’m doing this for member-only stuff, but if you want to see a list of the courses I have you can have a look here.

A fun way to spend a few hours on Thanksgiving morning - and I hope it improves the experience for everyone!

This Site vs. Big Machine

I decided to loosen things up a bit and give myself a little “playground” where I can make all kinds of content. If you’ve bought stuff from me before, you might be wondering if anything is going to change - and no, it’s certainly not. All the videos you see here are available to subscribers (paid), or you can still buy them individually on Big Machine if you want.

And Finally: Here’s Your Black Friday Discount

You didn’t think I’d leave you hanging, did you? I’m offering a 50% discount this holiday season to this here site, which has every video I’ve made in the last few years - and I’m going to keep adding more.

As I mention, I’m wrapping up a 2 hour video “thing” with Vue/Nuxt 3.0 which I hope to get out the door in a few weeks. I also have plans for other fun things, like Firebase, Go and more.

I also write long-form premium posts for members too. Things that don’t quite fit into a video. So sign up already!

Sign Up for 50% Off

Oh - and happy holidays!