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Design on Willem's Blog

Tablet as main computer

Comparing the Microsoft Surface Pro to iPad Pro

Mar. 7, 2018
I have been using a tablet as my main computer for quite some time now. In this blog post I share you my experience on using Surface Pro and iPad Pro to get my work done.

For the past few weeks I have been using the Microsoft Surface Pro as my main computer. It's a modern tablet computer that can be used as laptop with the type cover. With the Surface Pen, it's a versatile PC that works in a lot of different ways. Time to find out if it's any good and how it compares to my other tablet computer, iPad Pro.

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.

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!

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!

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!

Saving a MacBook Air with exploded battery

Don’t try this at home - but I did

Sep. 14, 2017
Saving a MacBook Air with a swollen battery pack.

Last night I had a nasty surprise: my original MacBook Air was swollen due to an exploded battery. I immediately had to take action, for reasons of safety and to preserve this piece of modern computer history. Don’t try this at home, but if you do... read along for some practical tips.

Harvesting boredom to let creativity flourish

using the Punkt MP01 dumb phone

Oct. 1, 2016
What does it mean for my state of mind and creativity if I am no longer be constantly connected to the Internet using a smartphone.

Smartphones are everywhere in the modern society we live in today. Through our 4G and WiFi connections the internet is just one tap away. In fact, it is so close that it feels like a natural extension. But is this wealth of information all good or does it have a downside too? It seems like an interesting experiment to go app-less for a while and solely use a dumb phone.

Batavus Champion bike from 1978

restoring retro glory with some help from the Internet

Sep. 3, 2016
Restore the retro glory of an old bike from the 70s using the internet.

Almost a year ago I bought an old steel racing bike from 1978. I wanted to figure out if using a bike to commute worked for me. It did! I used it to ride more than 1000KM before I decided to get a modern road bike. Now, almost a year later, I decided to put the powers of the internet into good use: to bring the bike back to its retro glory!

All blog posts
What was the last time I got a booklet with my phone?
What was the last time I got a booklet with my phone?
The damage to the battery pack is clearly visible
The damage to the battery pack is clearly visible
The original MacBook Air: Groundbreaking due to its thinness and lack of ports
The original MacBook Air: Groundbreaking due to its thinness and lack of ports
The rear derailleur was rusty and not original to this bike
The rear derailleur was rusty and not original to this bike
iPhone 4 - ahhh sweet developer memories when one (small) size did fit all...
iPhone 4 - ahhh sweet developer memories when one (small) size did fit all...
Old school bike brakes, slowing you down in retro style
Old school bike brakes, slowing you down in retro style
Kickstand is useful in combination with the Pen
Kickstand is useful in combination with the Pen
Working with Surface Pen and Apple Pencil
Working with Surface Pen and Apple Pencil
Heart rate variability (HRV) as measured and explained by Biostrap
Heart rate variability (HRV) as measured and explained by Biostrap
Big Ben tires from Schwalbe
Big Ben tires from Schwalbe
The charing port is hidden behind a rubber flap.
The charing port is hidden behind a rubber flap.
Result on garden table
Result on garden table
World champion of Snake '97 - but not for long...
World champion of Snake '97 - but not for long...
Sawed pieces on work bench
Sawed pieces on work bench
Café 't Pakhuis in Amsterdam - where Snake '97 was
Café 't Pakhuis in Amsterdam - where Snake '97 was "invented"
The Brooks C15 saddle with matching bag is a perfect (and comfortable) match for this bike
The Brooks C15 saddle with matching bag is a perfect (and comfortable) match for this bike
The experiment is on!
The experiment is on!
Dashboard and charging connector are integrated into the frame
Dashboard and charging connector are integrated into the frame

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