willem.com blog

Data on Willem's Blog

Google Analytics vs AWStats

Understanding web traffic statistics software

Aug. 20, 2018
Comparing Google Analytics with AWStats to find out where they differ and which is better.

This month I have been working on website statistics, tracking traffic using different technologies. Some of my customers use Google Analytics, others use AWStats, and some use both. Which is better is often debated, but few people really understand the differences. Time to shed some light on the magic of web statistics.

Listen to your body

Why I stopped using health and fitness sensors

May 17, 2018
Using health data gathered by sensors and wearables I learned to listen to my body. Now I have stopped using bluetooth sensors all together.

A good customer of mine was once a physiotherapist, he told me about people asking him to "feel their muscles" to tell them how they where doing. "Crazy!" he told me: "I can never feel better than the people themselves, if they only would listen to their body". This caused me to question the health and fitness sensors I use.

Outside the comfort zone: amateur acting

Wearing an heart rate monitor during my debut performance

Apr. 18, 2018
This month I strapped myself with sensors during a little experiment outside my comfort zone: I debuted as amateur actor!

This month I made my debut as amateur actor. I am no Hollywood star, nor do I envy to become one. But I do like crazy experiments and operating outside of my comfort zone often leads to new and refreshing insights. I took part in an amateur drama play and - in the name of science and fun - strapped myself with sensors to measure what happened to my body.

Cyber security: 5 easy tips to protect your server against hackers

Server hardening best practices for Windows and Linux

Mar. 10, 2018
These 5 practical cyber security measures will improve the safety of server, website and data.

This week one of my clients was hacked and asked me for emergency assistance to help secure their server infrastructure. It was a web server that ran WordPress websites on Apache (with PHP/MySQL), including a few webshops with customer data. This hack could easily have been prevented with the following best practices, is your server secure?

Collecting health data with Biostrap

Wearing a clinical-grade photoplethysmography (PPG) sensor for a month

Nov. 15, 2017
Wearing a clinical-grade PPG sensor for a month to collect advanced biometrics from my wrist.

Most wearables (smartwatches, fitness trackers, etc.) use very basic sensors to capture heart rate. Their signal is binary: just counting beats. Biostrap is different, instead of just checking pulses, it captures a high-fidelity PPG waveform. These waveforms are the same kind that doctors use, making me wonder what I could learn from them!

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...

The day I killed my LAN

Turned off my local network and went 4G only

July 31, 2017
I killed my office LAN and went 4G only. Saves a lot of clutter, energy and money.

Today I called my provider to quit my office's ADSL internet subscription, I don't need it anymore. I have turned off my local area network and switched my workflow onto mobile internet only. The simplicity and savings actually surprised me so much, that I made blog post for it.

Smartwatches vs Mechanical watches

Why I still wear mechanical and why smartwatches have potential

Apr. 30, 2017
Why I still wear a mechanical watch and why smartwatches have potential.

Technology has come a long way since the first computer. Smartwatches today are very much an achievement of miniaturisation of technology. I recently used an Apple Watch Series 2 to find out if technology has come far enough to replace my mechanical watch, today I share you my findings.

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!

All blog posts
The nervous system (image from Wikimedia)
The nervous system (image from Wikimedia)
My mechanical watch in action
My mechanical watch in action
Graphs from the connection monitoring system (from the real datacenter) cleary show when I tested my little server
Graphs from the connection monitoring system (from the real datacenter) cleary show when I tested my little server
The Apple Watch from 2014
The Apple Watch from 2014
Typical piece of Google Analtyics JavaScript code - you can clearly see it referring to Google's servers
Typical piece of Google Analtyics JavaScript code - you can clearly see it referring to Google's servers
Biostrap iOS app dashboard and daily heart rate
Biostrap iOS app dashboard and daily heart rate
In addition to commutes and grand fondos I also recorded short trips to the grocery store. Like this one on the
In addition to commutes and grand fondos I also recorded short trips to the grocery store. Like this one on the "Beer Bike".
Biostrap, wrist band, collecting health data on a daily basis, providing long term insights
Biostrap, wrist band, collecting health data on a daily basis, providing long term insights
On the bottom you can see the two red LED's and the PPG sensor. Just like the Swatch Sistem51 movement this is hidden when worn on wrist
On the bottom you can see the two red LED's and the PPG sensor. Just like the Swatch Sistem51 movement this is hidden when worn on wrist
Comparing the quality of sleep during two different nights. Being awake more often reduces quality of sleep.
Comparing the quality of sleep during two different nights. Being awake more often reduces quality of sleep.
The Magnetic Charging dock is a fancy solution to an annoying problem: the constant need to charge the smartwatch
The Magnetic Charging dock is a fancy solution to an annoying problem: the constant need to charge the smartwatch
On few occasions I crossed international borders. This photo was taken in Germany next to an Autobahn.
On few occasions I crossed international borders. This photo was taken in Germany next to an Autobahn.
Instead of just counting beats, the Biostrap cloud services analyses the PPG waveform captured by the sensor.
Instead of just counting beats, the Biostrap cloud services analyses the PPG waveform captured by the sensor.
Apple Watch on the wrist showing current temperature, time, heart rate and access to mail, messages and music
Apple Watch on the wrist showing current temperature, time, heart rate and access to mail, messages and music
Me playing
Me playing "Broeder Gerard" in "Zusters in Zaken" during my debut as amateur actor
Clouds below my floor: my little basement datacenter.
Clouds below my floor: my little basement datacenter.
The original Pebble from 2012
The original Pebble from 2012
Averaging 3.4 milliseconds in pinging Google. That's fast, datacenter fast.
Averaging 3.4 milliseconds in pinging Google. That's fast, datacenter fast.

More Data on Willem's Blog

All blog posts