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Pencil on Willem's Blog

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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Surface Pro X does many things very well - it makes the perfect case to be your only computer
Surface Pro X does many things very well - it makes the perfect case to be your only computer
The wallet allows quick (and naked) access to the phone
The wallet allows quick (and naked) access to the phone
Surface Pro X with its keyboard is just like a laptop
Surface Pro X with its keyboard is just like a laptop
Maybe... my next office? ;-)
Maybe... my next office? ;-)
Programming on iPad Pro using VIM, Blink and a Linux VPS
Programming on iPad Pro using VIM, Blink and a Linux VPS
Charging and listening to music simultaniously using an Apple Lightning dock
Charging and listening to music simultaniously using an Apple Lightning dock
Surface Pro, type cover and pen - al sold seperately - because, why just one package if you can have three times as much fun!?
Surface Pro, type cover and pen - al sold seperately - because, why just one package if you can have three times as much fun!?
The Surface Slim Pen is about the same size as a conventional pen, slightly smaller then Apple Pencil
The Surface Slim Pen is about the same size as a conventional pen, slightly smaller then Apple Pencil
When everything comes together there is magic: WillemOS doing things no iPad can do
When everything comes together there is magic: WillemOS doing things no iPad can do
Shiny new Apple iPad Pro, Apple Pencil and the Smart Keyboard
Shiny new Apple iPad Pro, Apple Pencil and the Smart Keyboard
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...
I began using the ruler and color
I began using the ruler and color
Manipulating high resolution images using GIMP, working with multiple layers - works great on Surface Pro X
Manipulating high resolution images using GIMP, working with multiple layers - works great on Surface Pro X
"Look ma, no Putty" - SSH into anything, natively on Windows
Alcantara covered keyboard
Alcantara covered keyboard
Different tablets, different software: iPadOS, Windows and
Different tablets, different software: iPadOS, Windows and "WillemOS"
Back to iPad Pro (right) after some an incredible time with WillemOS on Surface Go (left)
Back to iPad Pro (right) after some an incredible time with WillemOS on Surface Go (left)
Windows on iPad is possible using Remote Desktop
Windows on iPad is possible using Remote Desktop

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