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Creating on Willem's Blog

Creating a minimal road bike

Recombining and refinishing old parts into a new bike

Aug. 18, 2019
I wondered how hard it would be to make a bike from spare parts I had in my garage

Over the past months I have worked on different bikes, leading to an accumulation of spare parts in my garage. I wondered how hard it would be to make a new bike using these spare parts. I decided to take advantage of this moment to refinish some parts, removing excessive decals in order to create a minimal looking road bike.

Assembling a cargo bike

Setting up the Babboe Big cargo bike

June 25, 2019
How hard can it be to assemble a cargo bike? This posts shares my experience with assembling the Babboe Big cargo bike.

This month our Babboe Big cargo bike arrived, in boxes. The engineer in me thought it was a good idea to assemble the bike by hand. This way I would know exactly about all its parts and fittings, handy knowledge for maintenance. Read along for my experience and some practical tips.

Removing paint from a bike frame

Uncover the aluminium with chemicals and sanding paper

June 9, 2018
Using dichloromethane and sanding paper I removed the paint from my bike frame to create a minimal, raw aluminium look.

There is beauty in raw, unfinished material that is often hidden with superfluous layers of paint. I like things to be true to the nature of the material. My bike was painted black - not bad - but I wondered what it really looked like from a material point of view.

Creating a minimal iPhone stand

Routing oak wood for a custom fit

June 2, 2018
Today I created a minimal iPhone stand from oak wood. I used a single piece of wood to get it done.

Today I created a minimal iPhone stand from oak wood. While it's much faster to buy one online, I wanted one to fit my phone horizontally, with its case on. I like minimal design, so I opted to machine a single piece of wood to get it done.

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).

Creating the ultimate commuter bike

Riding at 35KM/h with Nexus Alfine 8 and Gates Carbon Drive

Feb. 24, 2018
Creating the ultimate commuter bike by upgrading the Sensa Cintura belt drive bike.

This winter I use a Sensa Cintura bike with a Gates Carbon belt drive as my daily commuter. It's a bike designed to be nice to ride thanks to its sporty lightweight frame. It's also meant to be low on maintenance thanks to the belt drive and Nexus Afline 8 integrated gear hub. After 1800KM in just eight weeks, it was time for some upgrades.

Updating Snake '97

About the challenges of developing a wildly popular game

Feb. 21, 2018
This month I bit the bullet big time: I redesigned the game engine of the wildly popular Snake '97 game. Read about the design challenges in this blog post.

Few years ago my brother threw a beer on my iPhone in an Amsterdam bar. The poor thing didn't like the Dutch brew as much as I do: it died. While waiting for a new phone to arrive, I used an old one that couldn't do anything but texting, calling and... Snake! The idea for Snake '97 was born and this month it was time to update the wildly popular game.

From tree to table

Designing and creating a night stand

Oct. 23, 2017
Creating a night stand from a raw slab of chestnut wood.

Right next to the house were I was born there was this chestnut tree, sadly it died one and a half year ago. When it was taken down, my brother saved me a slab of wood. I intended to create something from it, a nice "do it yourself" adventure, worthy of a blog post!

Clouds below my floor

Building a little datacenter in my basement

Aug. 31, 2017
Building a little datacenter in my basement utilising a very fast internet connection.

At my home I have this crazy fast optical internet connection. It is a 600MB up and down fibre connection which directly arrives in my home (no copper cables involved). It's like a private internet highway. Reason enough to find out if I could do something to make better use of all this speedy fiber galore...

Programming on Apple Watch

Serious about crazy experiments

Feb. 16, 2017
Programming with VIM over SSH on Apple Watch using a bluetooth keyboard

Over the past years I have been no stranger to crazy experiments, but this time I really wanted to push it into the extreme: programming on an Apple Watch. Would it be possible to actually write code on such a tiny device? Why even bother? This post is about the case for crazy experiments, and why you should try too!

iPad Pro as primary computer

testing iOS as primairy development platform

Aug. 15, 2016
Is the time right to use an iPad as primary development platform to get some real work done?

The lack of physical clutter, distracting branding, or blinking LED's makes the iPad Pro a textbook example of minimal design. My despiction of distraction explains my interest in using the iPad Pro as only computer to test if it is up to the task. Is Apple's latest effort on iOS enough to enable it to do serious development work?

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Nokia E90 Communicator running Putty on Symbian Series 60.
Nokia E90 Communicator running Putty on Symbian Series 60.
Safety label on the bottle of dichloromethane: danger, danger, danger!
Safety label on the bottle of dichloromethane: danger, danger, danger!
Shimano Alfine 8
Shimano Alfine 8
One part of the front fork uncovered, the other still painted black
One part of the front fork uncovered, the other still painted black
World champion of Snake '97 - but not for long...
World champion of Snake '97 - but not for long...
Babboe Big, fully assembled
Babboe Big, fully assembled
Multi platform development done properly, Nokia Communicator E90 with Symbian series 60 from 2007, Nokia 9300i running Symbian series 80 from 2004, Jolla phone with SailfishOS with the funky other half keyboard (tohkbd), and the iPhone 7.
Multi platform development done properly, Nokia Communicator E90 with Symbian series 60 from 2007, Nokia 9300i running Symbian series 80 from 2004, Jolla phone with SailfishOS with the funky other half keyboard (tohkbd), and the iPhone 7.
Testing the chemical solution to remove paint from my front fork - it works!
Testing the chemical solution to remove paint from my front fork - it works!
Rack mounted server chassis (1U), with rail kit
Rack mounted server chassis (1U), with rail kit
Dirty rear derailleur
Dirty rear derailleur
Same 3310? Look closely and spot the differences between iPhone SE and iPhone X
Same 3310? Look closely and spot the differences between iPhone SE and iPhone X
The metal fenders match well with the bike's disc and bolts
The metal fenders match well with the bike's disc and bolts
Assembling the cargo box
Assembling the cargo box
Sawing off rough edges
Sawing off rough edges
The source of the Magic: my ThinkPad X1 connected to the local network.
The source of the Magic: my ThinkPad X1 connected to the local network.
Installing cables on the handle bar and handles
Installing cables on the handle bar and handles
Clouds below my floor: my little basement datacenter.
Clouds below my floor: my little basement datacenter.
Glueing together
Glueing together

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