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Programming 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.

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...

Programming on Apple Watch

Serious about crazy experiments

Feb. 16, 2017
Programming with VIM over SSH on Apple Watch using a bluetooth keyboard

Over the past years I have been no stranger to crazy experiments, but this time I really wanted to push it into the extreme: programming on an Apple Watch. Would it be possible to actually write code on such a tiny device? Why even bother? This post is about the case for crazy experiments, and why you should try too!

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?

Building the blog... in style!

Developing on a 20-year old computer with 16MB RAM and Windows 98

June 23, 2016
Find out if it is possible to turn a computer from the 90s into a modern development machine.

One must be a bit crazy to come up with the idea to build a blog (as in: actual programming) on an old 486 laptop with just 16MB RAM. I happen to be that crazy: I took my very first laptop from the 90s and decided to find out if it was possible to turn it into a development machine.

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Annotate anything using Surface Pen
Annotate anything using Surface Pen
Look what happens to my face when my patience is tested...
Look what happens to my face when my patience is tested...
Never thought I would be happy to see this: the Windows 98 boot screen!
Never thought I would be happy to see this: the Windows 98 boot screen!
This is what the cloud looks like, dear boys and girls.
This is what the cloud looks like, dear boys and girls.
The actual code from Snake '97 handling distance calculation using the Pythagoras Theorem
The actual code from Snake '97 handling distance calculation using the Pythagoras Theorem
Toshiba T2130CT laptop with a 75Mhz Intel 486 processor and a whopping 16MB RAM (that is megabytes!)
Toshiba T2130CT laptop with a 75Mhz Intel 486 processor and a whopping 16MB RAM (that is megabytes!)
Message from my buddy Niels, suggesting I take my
Message from my buddy Niels, suggesting I take my "working on a smartphone"-idea to the next level, complete with a Photoshop mockup.
Snake '97 rocking the carts with Angry Birds and WhatsApp
Snake '97 rocking the carts with Angry Birds and WhatsApp
The iPad Pro along side my trustworthy ThinkPad X1
The iPad Pro along side my trustworthy ThinkPad X1
Autodesk Graphic is an amazing app for iOS - I use it to design icons and graphics, with layers and alignment tools
Autodesk Graphic is an amazing app for iOS - I use it to design icons and graphics, with layers and alignment tools
The Smart Keyboard has a very nice tactile feel, but lacks certain keys (like ESC, HOME, END)
The Smart Keyboard has a very nice tactile feel, but lacks certain keys (like ESC, HOME, END)
Developing software with Microsoft Visual Studio on a Surface Pro tablet
Developing software with Microsoft Visual Studio on a Surface Pro tablet
Kickstand is useful in combination with the Pen
Kickstand is useful in combination with the Pen
Sitting on some concrete tiles the modified PC is connected to the internet
Sitting on some concrete tiles the modified PC is connected to the internet
... apparently it needed a little encouragement from its modern cousins...
... apparently it needed a little encouragement from its modern cousins...
VIM running on the 486 through PuTTY
VIM running on the 486 through PuTTY
Connected a monitor and keyboard to test the systems
Connected a monitor and keyboard to test the systems
Chromebook only took a few minutes to become usefull after unboxing.
Chromebook only took a few minutes to become usefull after unboxing.

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