Hey new users, introduce yourselves!

Introduce yourself here, or just ask me why I thought creating a BrettTerpstra.com forum was a good idea…

  • What’s your most elaborate automation
  • What’s your favorite TextExpander snippet?
  • What do you do in your free time?
  • How’s the weather where you live?

I love that you showed up for this, let’s start some conversations :wink:.


Hey, I’m Harold (you may have heard of me as Harold Chris Harold). I do absolutely no automation, but I do enjoy tinkering with mechanical and electrical stuff.

Hi Brett,

I’m Josh and I enjoy reading and listening to others talk about automation and I’m always looking for ways to make my life a little easier through it. I used to frequent a lot of forums but in recent years they haven’t really been a part of my life at all, but seeing you mention this in Discord made me want to give it a shot. A community of other nerds talking about nerdy things sounds wonderful.

I think my favorite automation tool is Hammerspoon. I used to have it control my TV (that I use as a monitor) since it has a REST API but there’s been some persistent sleep issues I’ve had with my mac for quite some time now that I’ve had to turn it off. It’s also how I handle window management and I like that I can define specific layouts and since it’s using Lua it’s pretty easy to script it to cycle through layouts with one hotkey. Ideally I’d like to find something that is flexible but with a little more speed. I’m not sure if it’s a limitation of MacOS but things like positional navigation between windows work but are often way too slow to be useable.

I am curious about what sort of conversations you’re hoping to have here, but looking forward to chatting with people asynchronously!

What’s your latest tinkering?

Welcome! I’m enamored with Hamerspoon, but never got into Lua so I’m afraid I let a lot of its capabilities go to waste. Have you played with Moom at all for window management? It’s my solution of choice…

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I’ve been working on a design for a motor to build a force feedback wheel for sim racing. I already have one I built out of an industrial servo motor, but this one will be based on parts of a hoverboard motor and am hoping to be able to make it look more like a finished device.


I have used Moom! I’ve tried almost everything when it comes to window management, though some not as extensively as others. I may need to have another look at moom since it has some auto-layout features that aren’t really trivial to implement in Hammerspoon.

That is so far beyond my capabilities, I’m duly impressed and intrigued.

I use way more automation tools than I probably should, but it’s pretty striking how many of my most commonly used ones are made or suggested by @ttscoff himself.

The only problem: His tend to slip into the background, because they just work, like the Make A Date automations (>>today< ftw) and of course the Hyperkey, which I learned about from Brett and use through Karabiner

Weirdly, I haven’t managed to get in the habit of using Bunch. I want to, but I think I’m too inconsistent in how I work. Or I just haven’t Britten the hang of it yet.


  • Hammerspoon — probably my favorite for automating core stuff. I often need to pull up documents on websites that use url parameters to determine what I get. So I have some Hammerspoon automations that let me hit 2-3 keystrokes (determining which website I’m hitting, and a few of the parameters), enter a text parameter (or comma-separated list), and then I get a browser tab for each.

  • I use the Choosy “browser” to add extra zip: different URLs automagically open in different browsers. I’m usually running Firefox, Brave, Safari and sometimes Chrome or Edge as well

  • I still use Keyboard Maestro a fair bit, including as an app switcher. I hit hyper-B, then the first two letters of the app, and it either switches or I go there; it uses KM’s conflict palette, which is kind of brilliant. (A few apps have their own codes, like fFirefox, or mMaps, mostly to avoid having to type more than two letters for an app).

  • some KM and Hammerspoon macros also draw on python scripts, which I’ve gotten pretty good at and a very few use shell scripts, which I’m pretty bad at

  • I use Make for a few things, mostly if I want to funnel something from RSS or an API to somewhere else (Google Sheets, email, whatever). I keep thinking I’ll switch to running something on an old Mac Mini I’m (slowly) setting up as a home server, but who knows.

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I feel like I haven’t given Hamerspoon enough of a chance now…

Ooh, I don’t think I know what Make is. Will have to search for that…

I think Hammerspoon and Keyboard Ma step can do pretty similar things. I just find Hammerspoon’s code more intuitive for a lot of things than KM’s blocks and menus. But not for everything. KM can be quicker for prototyping trying new things. So I just go with whichever seems to make more sense at the time.

Make is formerly known as Integromat. For whatever reason, I find it more intuitive than IFTTT or Zapier, but ymmv.

Hey all. My name is Mike. I’m on the Overtied Discord. I’m an IT monkey, a former Mac blogger, and a former video game journalist. My most elaborate automation is a stale home folder clean-up I made in Powershell at work. For home, it’s a really long Shortcut for sharing/posting to all the services. I read, write, and play games in my free time. Here in WI, it’s too hot for half the year and too cold the other half with a brief two-week windows in spring and fall where it’s perfect.

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I need to work on it some more, but have other things asking for my resources. I’m still in the design phase, but I’m basically taking the harder to make portions of a hoverboard motor (You know, the light up wheeled contraptions that were popular 10 years ago) and building a housing that can take the forces I’m going to apply to it, be able to mount it to something rigid, and be able to mount the required electronics to the back of it. I should probably do some test 3D prints of the parts before I commit them to aluminum, but I need to actually complete the first design phase. Realistically, it’s possible 3D prints would hold up to some actual testing, too.

Welcome @Finalbroadcast ! You already know I’m very familiar with such weather patterns :).

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Hi. I typically go by Bill, and I’m interested in seeing how this forum grows. I don’t have a lot of elaborate automation to share, but as part of my job, I have to create video thumbnails in various sizes and shapes. That I’ve automated. I pick the reference thumbnail, then I have a script that generates all the additional sizes/shapes and makes a best guess when cropping. Pretty happy with it and it saves me a ton of photoshop time.

My favorite TextExpander snippet adds my work signature then a quote from a reference file (Yes…I’m that guy). They are all quotes I enjoy, and reading the quotes at the end of a work email often makes me laugh. I doubt most recipients even notice them. Sometimes you have to do something fun just for you.

In my free time, I study and knit. I’m back in school working on a masters in information sciences, and I really enjoy knitting and researching the history of various knitting traditions and techniques.

Surprisingly, the weather is very nice today. Partly cloudy and 79 here in florida.


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Out of curiosity, what are you using to automate this? I love RetroBatch on the Mac, but for some of the stuff I’m doing I’ve needed to script ImageMagick (which is a whole crazy world in itself).

So it uses a random quote? Via shell scripting?

My partner is an avid knitter (even works for a yarn shop). I bet you two could share some interests :).

Hello all!

I’m a Mac geek, app nerd, writer of wonderful words and an adventurer of authentic awesomeness. I love sleight-of-hand magic, chess, GTD, movies, tech & gaming.

Hi, I’m Scott.

I love implementing Shortcuts anywhere that I can.

The weather here is actually nice, it’s 71 degrees in Buffalo, NY, so I’m not complaining.

My best TextExpander snippet that I use all the time is for using all of the RSA options when trying to use SSH for some of the older servers that I’m responsible for.

Hi, I’m Patrick.

I’m good in trying out every GTD (sub)system that comes on my path and getting totally lost in it, coming to the conclusion that it is not my system. In the mean time I did not get any work done! :crazy_face:

BTW: I’m from Maastricht, the Netherlands.

Hey Jim, thanks for joining!

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