Ever looked at a column of numbers on your Mac’s screen and wished that they would just add themselves together already? I do. Ever since my “special” cat died, I’ve been adding things up manually.
My cat, who was called “Rain Cat,” used to take one look at a page full of numbers, twitch its cute little head a few times, and then tap out the answer with its paw. Admittedly, getting the answer usually took longer than doing it myself on a pocket calculator, and sometimes Rain Cat would fall asleep in the middle of a particularly long answer, but it was pretty convenient most of the time.
Now, Rain Cat can be replaced with Brett Terpstra’s Total Number service.
Brett Terpstra’s Marked app started out as a quick way to preview any Markdown file as it would appear when rendered into rich text or HTML. It still does that as well as any of the apps that have their own built-in Markdown preview, but Marked is now arguably something else entirely. It analyzes your text and gives detailed statistics, as well as suggestions on how to improve your prose.
Mavericks’ new in-Finder tagging is great, letting you treat your files like you treat your Gmails and effectively keeping the same file in multiple “folders” at once. But actually tagging the files is still kind of a pain. Happily, Brett Terpstra is here to help with a rather simple tip.
This one’s pretty nerdy, but if you use Markdown to write anything with links in it (web articles, e-mails and so on) then you’re going to love it. It lets you use “lazy” reference links in Markdown to keep your text nice and tidy, but it does it without the references. Reference links without references? What? Wait…
If you write in Markdown on your Mac, then you should buy Brett Terpstra’s Marked 2. It could be described as a tool for previewing Markdown files, but that would be like calling an iPhone a… well, a phone.
Brett Terpstra’s SearchLink is a System Service for OS X which automatically generates links from your text, without you having to bother to look anything up on Google first. It’s like having an unpaid intern inside your Mac.
And Editorial is that fancy new iPad text editor that incorporates workflows that you can roll yourself.
Now the two have been combined into one amazing iPad ball of goodness.
Mind Maps are a great way to brainstorm and visualize ideas. And plain text is a great way to hammer out lists. And Markdown is a perfect tool for quickly adding hierarchy to those lists as you write them. If only there were a way to combine these three things…
And guess what? The fairy godfather of Internet tinkering, Brett Terpstra, has already done it for you. It’s an OS X System Service that takes the messiest of Markdown lists and turns them into a format suitable for most mind-mapping apps.
Another supposed holiday; another super-useful tool from Brett “I just built this” Terpstra. This one is called GrabLinks, and it does just that: Fire the bookmarklet off inside your browser and you can quickly grab a bunch of links and save them out in Markdown. Nerdy? Sure. Useful? Hell yes.
USe Brett’s script to avoid crappy jaggy image files like this one.
This post is a little “inside baseball,” as it’s about a new tool for grabbing high-res app icons direct from the command line (or using an app), and this is the kind of thing that is most useful to writers like me. Then again, it’s by Brett ‘I just built this’ Terpstra, the Hardest Working Man on the Internet™, and is plain ingenious, so lets take a look.
Anyone who is serious about taking notes doesn’t use Apple’s Reminders app. Or at least, they don’t use it to store endless snippets of information (Reminder is fantastic for shopping lists, though). Note nerds use nvALT (OS X), the tricked-out version of Notational Velocity customized by Brett “I just built this. Again” Terpstra, in combination with Dropbox or Simplenote (iOS).
And Brett’s latest version, 2.2, is near enough release that you may as well grab it and use it. Hell, Brett himself says that it’s “more stable than 2.1 is right now.”