There are few people I appreciate and admire as much as Brett Terpstra. There are few people who give as much as he does to others. There are few people who seem to care about the tiniest of tiny problems that others face and consistently rise to the challenge to help. So when Gabe over at Macdrifter suggested that we dub today Terpstra Day, I leaped at the opportunity to participate.
Brett’s a rare combination of insane skills and endless generosity. He’s the sort of person we need more of in this world. He’s the kind of person who I’m glad we are taking the time to celebrate.
How Can I Get In On The Celebration?
Right about now, you’re probably asking yourself, “how do I properly celebrate this monumental event?” Great question. The beauty of Terpstra Day is that Brett has created so much that there are just so many ways to celebrate.
Test The Terpstra Waters
For those who are yet to have their first “Terpstra Experience” there are several free projects to be discovered. Here are a few of my favorites:
- nvALT – I use this every single day at both work and home to capture and execute &my ideas. The search is fantastic, it does an amazing job handling a massive amount of text files, the latest version has great Markdown support and it works seamlessly with my external text editor or choice, Byword.
- iTextEditors – Finding everything you want in an app so you can identify exactly the one you need can be a nightmare, especially in such a crowded space as iOS text editors. Brett made an invaluable resource where you can select your required features and identify the right app to suit your needs.
- TextExpander Tools – Brett continues to create and share an array of highly useful TextExpander snippets that you can download and even adapt to use the prefix of your choice. My favorites are his Markdown Snippets for iOS, his Character Snippets and many of his Ipsum snippets for placeholder text (although I look forward to his pending Bacon Ipsum snippet)
- Markdown Service Tools – These geeky tools make using Markdown across your various apps (especially those that are not Markdown friendly) far easier. I depend on the “Inline Links to References” Service that he created within 24 hours of my randomly asking for it on Twitter.
- Instapaper Beyond – I love Instapaper. I hate Instapaper’s website. Apparently so did Brett as he decided to make several tweaks with this free Safari 5 Extension. While there are several enhancements, I love this for the one addition I desire when using just about any website, keyboard shortcuts.
- TabLinks Safari Extension – Creating links for the Mikes on Mics podcast show notes used to be a hassle, then I discovered this Safari Extension. Now, all I do is open up all the needed websites in Safari and this utility helps me create inline reference links from all of my open tabs formatted perfectly for my notes. While his Markdown Service Tools can create reference links from these open tabs, TabLinks gives you the extra power needed to format these links however you need.
Support The Goodness That Is Terpstra
Already know Brett? Already enjoying the free goodies? It’s time to take things to the next level. Not sure what to do? Don’t worry, here are two easy ways to say thanks in the best way possible.
- Buy Marked – I’ve already talked about Marked, but if you write in Markdown, buy it. If you use any of Brett’s free tools, buy it. And while I can’t get into it just yet, you’re really going to want to get a copy of it before 1.5 comes out, even if you’ve never heard of Markdown before. It’s $4 in the Mac App Store and it’s a great way to show your appreciation to Brett.
- Just Donate – Let’s make this holiday a good one. If you use (or plan to use) Brett’s free or paid tools and still want to show your appreciation, go to his website, hit the donate button, and go nuts. Brett doesn’t let us pay for nearly enough of the useful tools he gives us, so give anyway.
Brett’s a good egg and a generous soul. He puts up with far too many of us geeks and always helps where he can. While I’m usually the last one to advocate for another holiday, guys like Brett need to be celebrated and appreciated, both with our thanks and with our wallets.
Take After Terpstra
Even if you’re not a geek who can benefit from all of these resources, take a page from Brett’s book. This is a guy who creates incredibly useful things and shares them liberally (often too liberally) with those who might find them helpful. Not a bad way to go about your life and certainly something worth celebrating.
Happy Terpstra Day, everyone. And Brett, Happy Birthday and thanks for everything!