Welcome to the lab.

Dimspirations Merch!

I’ve created the initial round of merchandise for the Dimspirations Store. I know my sense of humor isn’t for everyone, which is why this whole project is on a different site.

I’ve started with some of my personal favorites as tees, mugs, and a 2024 calendar. The collection will grow over time (it’s print-on-demand, no cost to me to expand the selection). I’ll also adjust pricing based on feedback. I think the prices are pretty competitive based on what I’ve spent on merch myself.

I’m using Sellfy for the printing and delivery. I’ve used Spring in the past and checked out Printful and Cotton Bureau, but Sellfy seemed like the best solution with the most competitive pricing. I already paid for a 1-year package, so let’s hope it works out. If it does, I’ll probably relaunch the BrettTerpstra.com (Lab) merchandise there as well.

Please do check out the store, and if you like what you see, toss a couple bucks my way. And if you don’t see what you want, be sure to upvote your favorites Dimspirations by clicking the devil below each one. If you have special requests, of course let me know.

I’ll admit, this one is my favorite:

The Black Ink giveaway winner!

The Black Ink giveaway has ended, and I have a winner to announce!

The winners!

Congratulations to:

  • Wil Chow

You should have received an email with details, please let me know if you didn’t hear anything!

But I didn’t win!

If you didn’t win, sorry, but Black Ink is still worth checking out. You can save 20% on your purchase with the coupon IndieTerpstra. Visit the Red Sweater store to grab your copy!

Next up is Things for Mac and iOS. Check back every Monday through September, 2024 for more giveaways. The next giveaways include:

See the full list of upcoming giveaways!

If you want to suggest an app you’d like to see in this series, let me know on Twitter or Mastodon, and join the email list for notifications!

Web Excursions for February 29, 2024

Web excursions brought to you in partnership with Backblaze. Back up everything.

Cluster (for Bunch)
Cluster is an Alfred workflow for use with Bunch, written by Stephen Millard. Closely integrates Bunch functionality with Alfred to make life even easier. I’m not an Alfred user myself, so I haven’t stress tested it, but if you are, please do and let Stephen and I know how it goes!
Nihilisa Frank on Tumblr
Colorful nihilist memes to make your day. Thanks to @adamrice for pointing this out.
Simple and powerful keyboard enhancement on macOS. Want to add the Hyper Key with no fuss? Want to navigate your screen without touching your trackpad/mouse? This app looks really great at $16. h/t Mike Harahan on the forum.
Tech has graduated from the Star Trek era to the Douglas Adams age (Interconnected)
This post from Matt Webb speaks to me. Yes, tech has gone into a wobbly place better envisioned by Douglas Adams than by Gene Roddenberry, but maybe that’s an ok thing.

Backblaze securely backs up your entire computer to the cloud, affordably and reliably. I trust it with all my data. Check it out today.

Black Ink giveaway!

I’m excited to offer the next giveaway, a license ($29.95 value) for Black Ink. Red Sweater software is back again with Black Ink, Daniel’s app for crossword puzzle lovers. It can load any puzzle file designed for the Across Lite puzzle format, and offers a beautiful way to solve them on your Mac, with the option to print them out and solve them old-school with a pen(cil). I can solve the NYT Crossword more than twice as fast using Black Ink vs. the NYT Games app!

From the developer:

Puzzles have never looked so good. Finally, an app that cares as much about crosswords as you do. Live resizing, beautiful status markers, and a streamlined puzzle chooser make your puzzle solving experience a joy.

Check out the Black Ink site for more info.

Sign up below to enter. A winner will be randomly drawn on Friday, March 01, at 12pm Central. The drawing is for a license ($29.95 value) for Black Ink. Note that if you’re reading this via RSS, you’ll need to visit this post on brettterpstra.com to enter!

New rule: All signups must have a first and last name in order to be eligible. Entries with only a first name will be skipped by the giveaway robot. A lot of the vendors in this series require first and last names for generating license codes, and your cooperation is appreciated!

Sorry, this giveaway has ended.

Stay tuned for more giveaways every week through September, 2024 (and maybe beyond).

If you have an app you’d love to see featured in this series of giveaways, let me know. Also be sure to sign up for the mailing list or follow me on Mastodon so you can be (among) the first to know about these!

Dimspirations in your feed

I’ve added (well, fixed) the RSS feed for Dimspire.me. You can now subscribe via your favorite feed reader at Dimspirations RSS (or just enter https://dimspire.me in your subscribe field, the feeds are discoverable). The feed is available in XML and JSON flavors, and each entry just contains a pithy description and one image.

You can also sign up to receive Dimspirations in your email, max one email per day, and only when there’s new stuff:

Thanks for supporting this little project. I’ve decided if I ever monetize it, it will be through merch (posters, calendars, coffee mugs, etc.). So the wallpapers and dismal inspirations will continue to be free online.

P.S. I’ve received some flack for occasionally going “political” with the Dimspirations. I don’t think things like being disgusted by a lack of gun control, being anti-genocide, or laughing at manufactured outrage are extreme political views, but I promise to keep those to a minimum. Sometimes I get a little fired up — don’t let it scare you away.

The TaskPaper giveaway winners!

The TaskPaper giveaway has ended, and I have winners to announce! Sorry for the delay in getting the announcement out, I had a rough day yesterday. Thanks for your patience!

The winners!

Congratulations to:

  • Mark Horlbeck
  • Arktika Damon
  • Albert Street

You should have received an email with details, please let me know if you didn’t hear anything!

But I didn’t win!

If you didn’t win, sorry, but TaskPaper is still worth checking out. TaskPaper is the most flexible todo list format you can have, being based on plain text. You can still save 20% on your purchase with the coupon BRETT. Use the Buy Now button on the TaskPaper site to grab your copy!

By the way, TaskPaper is also available on Setapp, along with hundreds of other amazing apps. You should probably get a subscription.

Next up is Black Ink. Check back every Monday through September, 2024 for more giveaways. The next giveaways include:

See the full list of upcoming giveaways!

If you want to suggest an app you’d like to see in this series, let me know on Twitter or Mastodon, and join the email list for notifications!


I couldn’t sleep last night. I’m not manic, I’m just going through this months-long bout of insomnia. At least I don’t think I’m manic. It doesn’t have any of the characteristics of my usual mania. And up until last night I wasn’t even getting out of bed when I couldn’t sleep. But last night I did, and I made you a website.

Introducing Dimspire.me. It’s built on Jekyll and has a bunch of automations. I can essentially create a “dimspiration” using an Affinity Photo template, and then RetroBatch will output wallpaper sizes (including iPhone) and square versions for posting and populating the gallery. Just running rake will find new photos added to the assets folder and generate posts for them, which will then populate the index pages. It should be pretty simple to maintain. All documented in a Howzit notes file, of course.

The site is pretty simple: a homepage with description and the latest few posts, a “Dimspirations” page that’s essentially a blog post index but done in gallery fashion, and a random dimspiration page that will just throw single random dimspirations at you. Fun stuff.

When viewing a single Dimspiration (by clicking on any thumbnail), you get some cool UI showing edges of the previous and next Dimspiration. I like it, anyway. There’s still some work to do on certain breakpoints, but overall the styling should work on any device. And every Dimspiration page has a download button, where you can download all available versions of the current Dimspiration. This is accomplished by a Rake task that parses every post, extracts the YAML key that defines the image for the page, then zips up every file in the assets directory that matches it. It creates a manifest table that shows what’s in the zip file, with each individual file linked. So when there are wallpaper versions of a Dimspiration, you can download the set or follow a link to a specific version. Took a little thinking and tweaking, but I think it’s a good solution.

I hope you enjoy it. It’s cathartic for me to create these, and they’re getting better with time. I’m not going to try to monetize any of this at this point, but I’ve watermarked all the images so if you share them, they should trace back to me. Speaking of, I do still need to consider adding share buttons to these… but it always freaks me out how much data social sites collect when you include their button, so I’ll need to figure out ways around that. We’ll call that “next step.”

Love always,