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Pencil on Willem's Blog

Using the reMarkable paper tablet

Read, write, think and repeat

May 31, 2021
The paper-like display makes you forget about reMarkable's digital innards, working with this tablet is therefore quite remarkable!

This month I received my reMarkable paper tablet and ever since I have been using it extensively: reading, writing and thinking. The paper-like display makes you forget about its digital innards. Read along for my thoughts.

Abandoning my own tablet OS

Why I moved back to iPad and the Mac

Jan. 14, 2021
After a year of experimenting with Debian GNU/Linux on a Surface Go 2 I have returned to iPad Pro and the Mac.

The past year I have been experimenting with creating my own tablet operating system using Debian GNU/Linux and the i3 window manager on a Microsoft Surface Go 2 with LTE. After months of intense use I have now decided to abandon the experiment to move back to iPad Pro and the Mac. Read along to find out why.

Talking tablets: what makes a great tablet?

Working with Microsoft Surface Pro X

Apr. 14, 2020
Over the past few weeks I worked with Microsoft Surface Pro X to see if it is any good, can it be your main computer?

Earlier this year Microsoft released their brand new Surface Pro X tablet computer, in many ways this is a forward thinking device. As I like working with tablets I wondered what exactly makes a great tablet? Is Surface Pro X any good? Read along to find out.

Business in a bag

Using a waterproof backpack to fit my gear

Dec. 22, 2018
After much testing I have selected a bag and set of cases to fit my entire business, wherever I go.

Over the past few months I have been testing different bags and cases to fit everything I need to run my business. As I commute by bike, the bag needs to be waterproof. The problem with waterproof gear is that it is usually very bulky. I need my gear to be both portable and representative, a challenge worth a blog post!

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.

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.

iPad Pro next to my primary machine

Using it with Apple Pencil as a creative powerhouse

Jan. 30, 2017
Using iPad Pro with Apple Pencil next to my computer to form a create powerhouse

I wanted see if I can find something better than my old fashioned pencil and paper that I use for designing software as professional developer. I knew iPad Pro from my test last summer, figuring out if it could replace my primary development machine. While it may not be able to completely replace my thrustworthy ThinkPad, it turned out to be a totally different story when it comes to paper.

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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Working with Surface Pen and Apple Pencil
Working with Surface Pen and Apple Pencil
Thin and lightweight
Thin and lightweight
The keyboard connects using a magnetic connector that also provides power and connectivity (no separate battery or connection setup required)
The keyboard connects using a magnetic connector that also provides power and connectivity (no separate battery or connection setup required)
The reMarkable's display: very much like a piece of paper in colour and texture
The reMarkable's display: very much like a piece of paper in colour and texture
No clutter, just content.
No clutter, just content.
Annotating digital documents directly - no need to print and scan
Annotating digital documents directly - no need to print and scan
WillemOS in optima forma: Debian GNU/Linux on Surface GO 2
WillemOS in optima forma: Debian GNU/Linux on Surface GO 2
You know you're digital pen is lacking trust if you grab for old fashioned pencil and paper...
You know you're digital pen is lacking trust if you grab for old fashioned pencil and paper...
Working on an idea - sketching on reMarkable
Working on an idea - sketching on reMarkable
Pen input is great if it works - but good ideas can be lost if it fails!
Pen input is great if it works - but good ideas can be lost if it fails!
Ortlieb Urban daypack 15L
Ortlieb Urban daypack 15L
The keys are 'real' and there is a nice multi touch glass trackpad
The keys are 'real' and there is a nice multi touch glass trackpad
"Look ma, no Putty" - SSH into anything, natively on Windows
Split screen multitasking allows me to have access to the my programming code (left) and a live preview (right) simultainiously
Split screen multitasking allows me to have access to the my programming code (left) and a live preview (right) simultainiously
The iPad Pro along side my trustworthy ThinkPad X1
The iPad Pro along side my trustworthy ThinkPad X1
Chromebook only took a few minutes to become usefull after unboxing.
Chromebook only took a few minutes to become usefull after unboxing.
Access to accesoires from both sides of the
Access to accesoires from both sides of the "thing"
Inside the Ortlieb Urban Daypack - comfortably spacious
Inside the Ortlieb Urban Daypack - comfortably spacious

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