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People on Willem's Blog

Wearing two watches

Both a mechanical and a smartwatch

Feb. 28, 2021
Why you should wear two watches, don't choose between a mechanical watch and a smartwatch!

For the past weeks I have been wearing two watches, and boy this is a thing! I love my mechanical watch, but I needed the modern connectivity of a smartwatch. I couldn't choose between them, so I decided to wear both. It's not as bad as you think, let me share some thoughts on my experience.

The value of notifications

How to setup your smartphone to save time

Feb. 22, 2021
It's easy to dismiss your phone's notifications as something that disturbs you, but if you take the time to set them up correctly, notifications can actually save you time!

It's easy to dismiss your phone's notifications as something that disturbs you, something annoying. But if you take the time to set them up correctly, notifications can actually save you time in the long run. Gain more focus by taking control over your online connection to the world. Read along for some tips!

Influencing purchase behaviour

Applying behavioural sciences principles to the purchase decision process

July 31, 2020
For my work I am continuously looking into scientific sources to improve e-commerce performance, conversion rates and online revenue. Use this useful report to apply behavioural sciences principles to your advantage.

This week I stumbled upon a brilliant report on how people make their purchase decision. For my work on the online food order app I am continuously looking into scientific sources to improve performance, conversion and online revenue. This report by Google discusses six biases influencing decision making. It's worth reading their full report, let me explain why.

The day I sold my car

Looking back at my years with Smart Roadster

Feb. 13, 2020
This week I sold my car, I now no longer own one. I look back at my years of owning a sports car, if you're looking for a reason to buy one you should check this out.

This week I sold my car, I now no longer own one. For me, this is something of a change as over the years I owned various sports cars that were like a hobby to me. My discovery of cycling and the birth of my son changed this. But if you're looking for a reason to buy a sports car, read along!

Realtime human pose recognition through computer vision

Using TensorFlow and PoseNet on a video feed

Dec. 1, 2019
For an exciting new project I have been experimenting with TensorFlow, enabling realtime pose detection using PoseNet.

For an exciting new project I have been experimenting with computer vision using TensorFlow. I wanted to achieve realtime human pose detection to drive interactive video projections and games. Time to dive into the world of machine learning, tensors and computer vision!

Visiting an international hackers conference

OWASP Global AppSec Amsterdam

Sep. 27, 2019
This month I attended Global AppSec Amsterdam, an international conference for hackers and security specialists. Read along for some of the highlights.

This month I was lucky enough to attend Global AppSec Amsterdam, an international conference for hackers and security specialists. There were presentations from former intelligence agents, bounty hunters, academics and software vendors. I learned about some of the newest hacking techniques, met with interesting people and played some cool retro games. Read along for more.

Do amazing things with a focused mind

Taking an ice bath and swimming in the Amstel river

Dec. 6, 2018
Read about my experience during the workshop I got as a birth day present involving the Wim Hof Method.

Just when the temperature was a low 2° Celsius, I jumped in the Amstel river! While it was nearly freezing outside I went for a swim, just moments after I've taken an ice bath! This post is about the incredible birthday present I got, a workshop involving the Wim Hof Method.

Rescuing files from a broken harddisk

Make backups to be safe rather than sorry!

Oct. 16, 2018
Yesterday I helped a young woman with her broken computer containing precious photos, could I safe them?

Yesterday a young woman brought me her laptop, it didn't start anymore and it only showed an error message. It turned out to be a broken harddisk. It startled her when I told her that all data on the disk was lost. She told me it contained precious photos of her pregnancy and young child. What could I do?

Helping people with free software

Installing Debian GNU/Linux on an old laptop

July 20, 2018
This week I helped a man with repairing and reinstalling his computer with Debian GNU/Linux.

This week a man brought his laptop to the community centre where I help people with computer problems as volunteer. The old laptop wouldn't start anymore and had to be reinstalled. Instead of Windows, I installed a free operating system. I think it is important to tell you how and why I did it.

Enjoy a festival without alcohol

Alcohol-free beer at Rock Werchter

July 10, 2018
This year I didn't drink alcohol during Rock Werchter, leading to interesting observations during the music festival.

Last weekend me and my brother went to Rock Werchter, a multi-day, music festival in Belgium. Over 140 thousand visitors enjoy world famous artists like Pearl Jam, Nick Cave, Artic Monkeys, Noel Gallagher, The Killers and the Queens of the Stone Age. This year I didn't drink alcohol during the festival, leading to some interesting observations...

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.

Something the smartwatch will never have: patina

Wear and tear by the hands of time

Jan. 21, 2018
Patina is often neglected when comparing smartwatches with regular watches.

A good friend of mine had an issue with his Apple Watch, the digital crown lost a rubber ring causing the watch to lose its water resistance. Apple made no problem of it and offered to replace his "device". While it solved his problem, it felt painful to my watch lover's ears. It made me realise the one thing a smartwatch will never have: patina.

Lessons from a takeaway plastic bag

My ever increasing antipathy to planned obsolescence

Jan. 8, 2018
How we're tricked into repeated purchases replacing perfectly fine products just for the sake of change.

About five months ago I got some take away food from our local Asian restaurant. They packaged the food and gave me a plastic bag to carry it home. On my way home I was thinking about the bag. Although it has some nice styling printed on it, it's designed for single use only. What a waste... making me wonder: how long would it last if you would use it on a daily basis?

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!

Climbing Mount Etna

Visiting an active volcano on Sicily, Italy

Sep. 2, 2017
Climbing Mount Etna, an active volcano on Sicily Italy.

Last week me and my wife went to Sicily for a little summer holiday. It is the largest island in the Mediterranean Sea. It is an autonomous region of Italy, along with surrounding minor islands. It's home to Europe's largest active volcano: Mount Etna. We had a chance to visit this lava spurring monstrosity and it was quite the experience.

Fietselfstedentocht 2017

Cycling the 235KM bicycle tour through Friesland

June 30, 2017
Cycling the 235KM long Fietselfstedentocht through Friesland

This month I cycled the Fietselfstedentocht, a 235KM tour through Friesland. This tour brings you through various Frisian cities throughout one of the most Northern provinces of the Netherlands. The tour was first organised in 1912 and has grown to become legendary due to its history, challenge and popularity; well worthy of a blog post!

Being a volunteer in Amsterdam-Zuidoost

Computer support in the local community center

Nov. 21, 2016
About my work as volunteer in the local community center in Amsterdam Zuidoost

After realising how lucky I am as an healthy, well educated, young man with a solid income, I wanted to do something for other people as volunteer. It just so happens to be that two years ago I received a flyer in my mailbox from the local community center: they were looking for someone with some knowledge of computers. A very interesting journey was about to begin!

Cash is king, or is it?

The wallet- and cash-less experiment

July 15, 2016
Is the time right to ditch the wallet?

Very often I see men carry a wallet filled with plastic: multiple debit and credit cards plus a bunch of loyalty programs and membership cards. Then, some even top it off with stinky paper money and sticky metal coins! It made me wonder if I can free up one pocket by ditching the wallet?

All blog posts
Hacking return rates on investment between 100% on the low end and 150,000% on the high end! (By Jarrod Overson)
Hacking return rates on investment between 100% on the low end and 150,000% on the high end! (By Jarrod Overson)
In case you're still in doubt: electric mobility is the future and is here to stay.
In case you're still in doubt: electric mobility is the future and is here to stay.
Alfa One 802.11b WiFi adapter is recognised by the Debian installer
Alfa One 802.11b WiFi adapter is recognised by the Debian installer
Etna is big enough to see it from space (NASA Earth Observatory)
Etna is big enough to see it from space (NASA Earth Observatory)
ThinkPad X200 running Debian GNU/Linux with OpenBox.
ThinkPad X200 running Debian GNU/Linux with OpenBox.
Playing drama is a team effort - and the on stage interaction is what makes it fun!
Playing drama is a team effort - and the on stage interaction is what makes it fun!
Installing Debian involves answering questions like the desired language
Installing Debian involves answering questions like the desired language
Riding the VanMoof through the Dutch country side
Riding the VanMoof through the Dutch country side
Unlocking the bike using a smartphone
Unlocking the bike using a smartphone
Among the scuffs and scratches you can see at least three different colours of paint drops
Among the scuffs and scratches you can see at least three different colours of paint drops
You can look just as crazy as before - without alcohol
You can look just as crazy as before - without alcohol
A guy with a lot of trash, spontaneous art in the crowd
A guy with a lot of trash, spontaneous art in the crowd
The VanMoof app
The VanMoof app
Rock Werchter, main stage
Rock Werchter, main stage
The optional
The optional "bambooman" front carrier can be quite handy (photo from another bike, my VanMoof S5)
Overview of tectonic plates (image: USGS)
Overview of tectonic plates (image: USGS)
Replacement disk
Replacement disk
Front hub electric motor
Front hub electric motor

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