Partial Solar Eclipse 2024

I live in South Carolina so I wasn’t in the path of totality, but I still wanted to see the eclipse. Unfortunately I forgot to get glasses, but I still wanted to see it. I was reading about when it would be happening and I learned that I could make a pinhole projector out of some boxes, tape, and a piece of paper.

pinhole project made of diaper boxes sitting in my driveway

projection of the eclipse from my pinhole projector.

shadows produced by a tree during the eclipse.

It's a curse to know how to make software

Over dramatic title, but there is some truth to it.

As a software developer I know how to make things. Maybe not super well, but I can get there. I also like to pay for software that others make.

The thing I run into is that I sometimes feel like I can make the thing and so I do. There are some benefits of this.

  1. I save some money
  2. I learn how to make a thing
  3. It’s fun to reverse engineer stuff

The problem with this is that I have a ton of tiny little projects that don’t work quite as well because I get bored with the fine tuning and polishing. And then I have something that works well enough, but not as well as the original thing I based my software on.

This whole thing reminds me of when people are doing home improvement projects and there is an option to pay someone to do it, but someone feels like they can do it themselves.

Maybe this isn’t a problem or a curse at all, just a way to spend time working on something.

Back to the beach.

My family and I recently took a trip to Missouri after having moved to South Carolina about six months ago.

It was nice to see family and friends.

It was also nice to have a reminder for why we moved here in the first place.

No matter where you go or what you do there will be trade-offs. When I go to the beach and see my daughter’s eyes light up, I know that I’m happy with the trade-offs we’ve made to get here.

My oldest daughter standing in the wake

A userscript to add links to headers in articles

I read a lot of things on the internet and sometimes I want to save my position for later. Many websites use HTML section heading tags to mark sections of their content. Many of these websites attach an id attribute which is nice because if you paste that id into the url like https://nickkaczmarek#some-id you can link to the spot in the website that contains that id.

Some websites go even further and provide an anchor to that section heading and it makes it really easy to just click that value and then if the page is reloaded you will stay at that spot. This website by Sarun Wongpatcharapakorn is a great example of a site that provides clickable links to parts of the article.

Unfortunately many websites either don’t have these id attributes (for instance my website 😬) or they do, but you can’t click on them. If you’re particularly pioneering you can inspect the web content, grab the id, and paste it in the address bar in your browser. As you can see that is a lot of work and also assumes you are even familiar with how to do that.

I have been doing the above for a long time and finally I decided I would try to make this better with some automation. So I wrote a userscript to do this for me.

There are many userscript extensions out there. I use one for safari called Userscripts and you can use this on a Mac and an iPhone. There are also Chrome and Firefox extensions with names like TamperMonkey, GreaseMonkey, etc. They all more or less work the same.

# The Code

It’s not perfect, but it has worked on a number of websites for me including wikipedia (where I want to use this most).

# What it looks like when it’s off:

screenshot of website without my userscript

# What it looks like when it’s on:

Screenshow of website with my userscript

TΓ­os holding me as a baby.

My tΓ­o David (RIP) and my tΓ­o Jesse holding me when I was a baby. Taken sometime in 1993.

My grandma sent me this the other day and I’m sad that I’ll never get to meet my tΓ­o David. He died of AIDS related complications before I turned 2. I wonder what he would think of the world as it is now.

My tΓ­os holding me when I was a baby.

Angel Oak, South Carolina.

From Wikipedia on the Angel Oak:

Angel Oak is a Southern live oak located in Angel Oak Park on Johns Island near Charleston, South Carolina. The tree is estimated to be 400–500 years old. It stands 66.5 ft tall, measures 28 ft in circumference, and produces shade that covers 17,200 square feet. Its longest branch distance is 187 ft in length. Angel Oak was the 210th tree registered with the Live Oak Society.

This thing is absolutely gigantic.

Picture of the Angel Oak in South Carolina.

Sichuan restaurant with many vegan options in Charleston, South Carolina

Last weekend we went to a Sichuan Chinese restaurant called Kwei Fei in Charleston, SC that had some amazing labeled vegan options. Often times there are dishes that are vegan, but very rarely are they labeled as such. I was quite happy to try this place and the experience was well worth the wait. They even had an option for my two year old daughter to try so we didn’t have to worry about her eating things that were too spicy (despite the fact that nothing ended up being too spicy for her).

Like most food we’ve had in Charleston it was pretty expensive, but that’s just the price you pay when you want good food and especially when you want vegan food.

The one thing I’ll be sure to ask for next time are little bowls to scoop rice and food into because eating rice on a plate with chopsticks is not fun!

10/10 would go again!

kwei fei sign on outside of restaurant

kwei fei menu

Liang Fen, cold jelly noodles with chili oil and peanuts.

Dry fried green beans. (amazing!!!)

Home-style tofu. (Also amazing!!!)

Good sized portion of rice, though I really enjoy when the Chinese restaurant bring you out a giant bowl with like 6 portions of rice. 🍚

Dan Dan Mian. This is actually what caught my eye when looking up the menu originally months ago, but this was my least favorite. Not enough chili oil or sauce with the dish.

Last time at Red Orchids China Bistro

I moved to Charleston, South Carolina recently and we found a Chinese restaurant that had vegan options. To say I was ecstatic is an understatement. There were so many options and it had so many things you never see at American Chinese take-out restaurants like eggplant, bok choy, scallion pancakes, and a bunch of different tofu dishes.

Unfortunately only a month and a half after we moved here they announced that they were closing down after 19 years. Fortunately for them, they are having the biggest rush I’ve ever seen in my life. Like 25 people lining up 30 minutes before the restaurant even opens.

Needless to say I really wanted to eat there once more but I’ve been unable to stop in and sit down because we have two young children and they don’t exactly like the idea of waiting.

Today I got lucky and was able to place an order for pick up. I called the minute they opened and they told me I would be the only pick up order because of how busy they got. Seriously, so much luck!

I’m going to miss Red Orchids but it’s nice to see how much of an impact they’ve made on the area.

Today we order General (Tso)’s tofu, sesame tofu, garlic bok choy, and garlic eggplant. Absolutely delicious.

General Tso's tofu, sesame tofu, garlic bok choy, and garlic eggplant with a plate of steamed rice.

macOS Meets Van Gogh by BasicAppleGuy

Wow, these are really cool. Well done @basicappleguy

macOS Meets Van Gogh:

Four of my favourite OS X/macOS wallpapers reimagined through AI in the artistic style of Vincent Van Gogh.

Following the unexpected success of Big Starry Sur, I am releasing a new wallpaper pack featuring four OS X/macOS wallpapers in the artistic style of the late Dutch painter Vincent Van Gogh.


In early March, I posted a photo on social media titled 'macOS Big Sur in the style of Van Gogh’s Starry Night' an AI-generated mashup of macOS Big Sur's default wallpaper attempted in the art style of Van Gogh's The Starry Night. Not being hyperbolic, the wallpaper exploded in popularity. Hundreds messaged me for a link, and when I uploaded it onto Google Drive, the surge to download it was so enormous that Google stopped access to the drive for several hours. It wasn't till the following day that I could finally host it on my webspace and provide a reliable link for people to download it.

That response to Big Starry Sur vastly exceeded my expectations. So positive was the reception that it inspired me to create another collection of four AI-generated macOS wallpapers, again inspired by Van Gogh. Enjoy.

Vincent Van Gogh

Quick history lesson: Vincent Van Gogh was a Dutch-born painter born during the impressionist/post-impressionist period. Selling just one painting during his short 37-year life (1853-1890), Van Gogh's artwork only became famous posthumously. His works, including thousands of drawings and over 900 oil paintings, were primarily created within a narrow 10-year window before his death.

Van Gogh is perhaps most well known for his many self-portrait paintings and works like his 1889 The Starry Night, 1890 Almond Blossoms, and his 1888 Sunflowers series. His adoption of vivid colours and energetic brush strokes are perhaps two of the most notable artistic qualities of this post-impressionist painter; a man who struggled mightily with his mental health and desire to make an impression in the artistic world.


These images were all created using the Midjourney, an AI model that generates images based on prompts provided by the user. Each image featured is the end result from hundreds of prompts, iterations, and creative variations supplied to Midjourney before I was satisfied with the result. From there, images were upscaled, sharpened and textured in Pixelmator Pro before being cropped and formatted for the Mac, iPhone, and iPad.


This series utilizes four of my favourite OS X/mac OS Wallpapers: Lion, Mountain Lion, El Capitan, and Big Sur and tries to recreate them in the post-impressionist style of Van Gogh. Each wallpaper is available for the iPad, Mac, and iPhone. Enjoy!

Big Sur Take II

The first work is another take on macOS Big Sur's abstract hill wallpaper. But rather than referencing The Starry Night, as I did in my first post, I pointed Midjourney to use paintings from Van Gogh's Wheatfield series. After numerous iterations, the result is this stunning & vibrant wheat field at sunset with rolling hills off in the distance.

iPad | Mac | iPhone

The Starry Mountain Lion

This second work is based on one of my favourite Apple wallpapers from OS X 10.8 Mountain Lion. Released in 2012, Mountain Lion featured the spiral galaxy NGC 3190 located a meagre 79 Million Light Years away from Earth. This photograph of NGC 3190 has always been mesmerizing, and I adore Apple's choice of Blues and Yellows to colourize it for their 10.8 desktop wallpaper. It was a perfect choice for a more minimal and abstract wallpaper to include in this collection.

iPad | Mac | iPhone

Wheat Field with El Capitan

This interpretation of OS X 10.11's wallpaper takes and remixes Yosemite's famous El Capitan. Bold brush strokes and vivid colours reference the palette of OS X El Capitan's signature wallpaper, with a foreground and character inspired by Van Gogh's Wheatfield series.

iPad | Mac | iPhone

Lion with Cypresses

Lion with Cypresses was inspired by OS X 10.7, whose signature wallpaper is the beautiful Andromeda Galaxy, which was colourized with a mix of yellows, pinks, and blues for the official OS release. Those colours and the galaxy motif were integrated into a wallpaper that blended Van Gogh's 1889 Wheat Field with Cypresses and The Starry Night, creating a lively, saturated foreground and a vivid cosmic night sky that dances across the digital canvas.

iPad | Mac | iPhone

In Sum

It feels like magic to have software that can create these unique and beautiful works based solely on text prompts. The growth of AI technologies over the last several years has provided an exciting (and slightly unsettling) peek at previously unimaginable new tools for creative development.


I’m a one-person operation, working in healthcare by day & running this site as a passion project in my off time.

If you enjoy my work (the articles, the wallpapers, my general demeanour… anything really), consider leaving a tip & supporting the site. Your support is incredibly appreciated & goes a long way to keep this site and the works I produce ad-free & free of charge.

β˜•οΈ Tips

How to set iTerm2 window and tab bar to show current path

I tend not to use tabs and instead have a bunch of windows so I originally wanted to know how I could set my window title bar to show the current path, but in this post I’ll share how to do both in iTerm2.

Here is a screenshot of the iTerm2 Preferences window showing Profiles -> Window.

Screenshot of iTerm2 Preferences Window showing how to set custom window title and custom tab title

For custom window title you’ll set \(currentTab.currentSession.path).

For custom tab title you’ll set \(currentSession.path).

And that’s it!

Here’s what it would look like in iTerm2:

Screenshot of iTerm2 with custom window and tab titles

And here’s the Stack Overflow question I found that solved this for me. Wanted to blog about it so that I remember how to do this in the future.

How to see git authors per line in Xcode

In my previous life I used a tool with VSCode called GitLens. What it does is show you what the last git commit for a selected line was. When you hovered over the greyed out text to the right of your code line, you’d get a little popover with more info about the commit. This is a really handy tool for quickly figuring out who made what change and when.

GitLens screenshot

Today I work mostly in Xcode and sadly Xcode doesn’t have this extension nor support this feature. It does however have something that shows you who changed each line and a brief commit message to try to provide some insight.

Screenshot of Xcode showing it's author view and popover for git commit information.

You can access this with ctrl + shift + cmd + A or find it in the Editor Menu for Xcode.

Xcode Editor Menu showing the Authors menu item and shortcut.

I'm working on an iOS app

I’m working on an iOS app and I’m getting so close to releasing the 1.0. I was looking at App Store Connect and noticed that I needed screenshots and I remembered that Fastlane has the ability to automate screenshot creation.

Pretty cool I think. So I go through the process of setting up and starting to work on the UI Tests that need to run in order to trigger the screens I want to show and then it hits me.

The app I’m working on uses MusicKit and unfortunately the Xcode Simulators aren’t able to really do anything with MusicKit i.e. they can’t search or play music which is kind of a big deal. This hadn’t been much an issue during development because I could just run the app on my phone.

From what I can tell I will not be able to use Fastlane to automate this screenshot creation because it relies on using simulators for running the UI Tests that would then capture screenshots. What a bummer (though I sure hope I’m wrong!).

Fortunately I found another resource from Benoit Pasquier that might make it possible for me to use UI Tests to automate screenshots to some degree. It won’t be quite as extensive, but my wife has a regular sized iPhone and I have a big one so at least I’ll have two sets of screenshots. No luck on the iPhone SE size. Hopefully that isn’t a dealbreaker, but we’ll see. This is all very new to me.

This is my first time writing (re: rambling) about this app and if you’d like to hear more or be invited to the TestFlight, feel free to comment on this post or shoot me an email at

Cheers πŸ₯‚

A word that doesn't exist and yet it does.

I’ll make it easy on you, this is the word: smalm

I was playing Wordle with my brother and dad the other day and my dad sent me a word he tried, but he was confused because autocomplete kept correcting it. He had never heard of it. Neither had I.

I looked in the dictionary for the word and I couldn’t find it. I did a web search and couldn’t find it. Then I checked in the unix word list to see if I could find it there.

I found it!

But then I still couldn’t find a definition.

I did eventually find a couple links to it on the web for scrabble word lists.

My guess is that like map makers, dictionary makes must create fake words as a sort of copyright mechanism to check if people are copying their work. And because word game makers can’t check every word to see if they’re real, they include a word from a common list of words.

Don’t believe me that it doesn’t exist?

terminal window showing me searching from smalm


Video talking about locations that don’t exist

DuckDuckGo search for smalm

Google search for smalm

P.S. both searches think I’ve mistyped smalm and meant small but in any case you still won’t find anything.