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Amsterdam on Willem's Blog

Do amazing things with a focused mind

Taking an ice bath and swimming in the Amstel river

Dec. 6, 2018
Read about my experience during the workshop I got as a birth day present involving the Wim Hof Method.

Just when the temperature was a low 2° Celsius, I jumped in the Amstel river! While it was nearly freezing outside I went for a swim, just moments after I've taken an ice bath! This post is about the incredible birthday present I got, a workshop involving the Wim Hof Method.

Around town in an electric car

Driving the Smart Electric Drive (EQ fortwo)

Nov. 16, 2018
For one week I drove the electric Smart EQ fortwo in and around town. I found out what it's like to drive electrically: fun!

Earlier this month I drove around town for a week in an electric vehicle, a brand new Smart Electric Drive (EQ fortwo). I used it to commute, for my daily groceries and to visit family, friends and customers. What's it like to drive a fully electric car on a daily basis?

Rescuing files from a broken harddisk

Make backups to be safe rather than sorry!

Oct. 16, 2018
Yesterday I helped a young woman with her broken computer containing precious photos, could I safe them?

Yesterday a young woman brought me her laptop, it didn't start anymore and it only showed an error message. It turned out to be a broken harddisk. It startled her when I told her that all data on the disk was lost. She told me it contained precious photos of her pregnancy and young child. What could I do?

Swimming and cycling with Apple Watch

Different activities in the workout app in watchOS

Sep. 27, 2018
This month I tested the newest watchOS while swimming and cycling.

This month Apple launched a new Apple Watch series and released an update to watchOS. The focus of the smartwatch is more and more gearing towards health and fitness. This made me curious, how well does Apple Watch work for different activities?

Helping people with free software

Installing Debian GNU/Linux on an old laptop

July 20, 2018
This week I helped a man with repairing and reinstalling his computer with Debian GNU/Linux.

This week a man brought his laptop to the community centre where I help people with computer problems as volunteer. The old laptop wouldn't start anymore and had to be reinstalled. Instead of Windows, I installed a free operating system. I think it is important to tell you how and why I did it.

Off the grid: Working on 100% renewable energy

Collecting, storing and using solar electricity to power my phone, computer and wearables

Apr. 30, 2018
Learning from powering my personal devices using nothing but self generated electricity using a solar panel and power banks.

For the past 10 days I have powered my personal electronic devices (phone, computer, wearables) using nothing but energy collected using a small solar panel. I disconnected all grid-connected chargers. I hoped that by going off the grid, even in such a small way, I would gain insights that enable me to save energy (and money).

Commuting by bike

One week (240KM) on the VanMoof Electrified S

Dec. 2, 2017
One week on the VanMoof Electrified S E-bike testing it for commuting and comparing it to a normal bike.

For a few years now, I commute to work using a bicycle. I have lost more than 15KG since I stopped using my scooter. This week I tested a VanMoof Electrified S, an electric bike with an industrial, minimal design. Is it any good? How does it compare to a normal bike? Will an electric bike make you lazy? Read along to find out!

One year of cycling

GPS recording an entire year of bike rides using Garmin and Strava

Dec. 31, 2016
GPS recording an entire year of bike rides using Garmin and Strava.

One year ago I started recording all my bike rides, including commutes, short grocery trips and long Gran Fondos. I equipped my bicycles with Garmin Edge computers that recorded location (GPS), speed, cadence and my heart rate. I covered more than 7683 kilometers during 320 hours of riding. It's time to review all the data and share some photos I took along the ride!

Being a volunteer in Amsterdam-Zuidoost

Computer support in the local community center

Nov. 21, 2016
About my work as volunteer in the local community center in Amsterdam Zuidoost

After realising how lucky I am as an healthy, well educated, young man with a solid income, I wanted to do something for other people as volunteer. It just so happens to be that two years ago I received a flyer in my mailbox from the local community center: they were looking for someone with some knowledge of computers. A very interesting journey was about to begin!

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Swimming with Apple Watch (shot with iPhone)
Swimming with Apple Watch (shot with iPhone)
First gran fondo was cycling around the Dutch
First gran fondo was cycling around the Dutch "Markermeer", a 208.5KM ride.
Micro Compact Car (MCC) from 1994
Micro Compact Car (MCC) from 1994
Riding the VanMoof through the Dutch country side
Riding the VanMoof through the Dutch country side
This picture was taken in downtown Leiden during one of the first cold days of November.
This picture was taken in downtown Leiden during one of the first cold days of November.
In the Netherlands there is no shortage of dykes. Many of them have long straight bike lines on them. This one is near
In the Netherlands there is no shortage of dykes. Many of them have long straight bike lines on them. This one is near "Hoek van Holland", you can see the Rotterdam Maasvlakte industry at the horizon.
Two boxes of beer fit comfortably in the luggage compartment of the Smart
Two boxes of beer fit comfortably in the luggage compartment of the Smart
Opening the laptop to remove the disk
Opening the laptop to remove the disk
Error messages while reading data from the harddisk
Error messages while reading data from the harddisk
Rain radar image during test riding the Electrified S (source: knmi.nl)
Rain radar image during test riding the Electrified S (source: knmi.nl)
Normal (non-electrified) vs Electrified bike
Normal (non-electrified) vs Electrified bike
The disk is usually fixed using some tiny screws
The disk is usually fixed using some tiny screws
Smart in my garage, I can fit two of them...
Smart in my garage, I can fit two of them...
Riding my bike with Apple Watch
Riding my bike with Apple Watch
Detecting the
Detecting the "USB Mass Storage device", a sign of life from the disk!
VanMoof's founders, brothers Taco and Ties Carlier
VanMoof's founders, brothers Taco and Ties Carlier
The error message was right, quite literally: the boot device is missing!
The error message was right, quite literally: the boot device is missing!
Wim Hof Method (source: wimhofmethod.com)
Wim Hof Method (source: wimhofmethod.com)

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