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Tablet 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.

Refining my tablet OS experience

Using Surface Go 2 with 4G/LTE, Debian GNU/Linux and i3wm

Sep. 28, 2020
Installing Debian GNU/Linux on a Surface Go 2 with LTE/4G to replace my iPad Pro as daily driver.

Earlier this year I tried to create my own tablet operating system by installing Debian GNU/Linux on a Microsoft Surface Go tablet. I learned a great deal about what I like about tablets. But I still preferred my iPad Pro, mainly because of its polished user experience. This time I set out to refine my tablet software to replace my iPad.

Syncing files seamlessly between smartphone and tablet

Using unison to automatically sync between GNU/Linux and the iPhone

Sep. 16, 2020
In order to optimise my workflow, I was looking for a way to seamlessly access the same files on both my computer and smartphone. Read along to find out how I did it.

In order to optimise my workflow, I was looking for a way to seamlessly access the same files on both my computer and smartphone. This is useful to when you want to quickly send files from your computer using your smartphone through various messaging apps and vice versa. Read along to find out how I did it.

Free from the iCloud: Escaping Apple Photos

Using offline photo library management software

Aug. 31, 2020
Recently I freed myself from Apple Photos, using free software to manage my photo library. Read along to find out what software I use and how to make it play nice with your devices.

After encountering the umpteenth ‘magic’ bug while managing my iPhone’s photos, I was done with it. Apple came a long way since it launched iPhoto (the predecessor of iCloud Photos). But for something as valuable as my personal memories, I want to be in full control. Read along to learn how I migrated my photo library away from the iCloud, using free, open source software.

The best keyboard for iPad

Smart Keyboard Folio vs Magic Keyboard

Aug. 11, 2020
While everybody is raving about the Magic Keyboard there is something to be said for the

The tablet is at the frontier of mobile computing and its hardware form factor is evolving. This year Apple introduced a new Magic Keyboard for iPad that includes a trackpad. Everybody is raving about it, yet I think there is something to be said for the "mouse-less" Smart Keyboard Folio. Read along for some key differences.

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.

Designing and implementing a (micro) payment system

Monetising my blog with coffee, Apple Pay and Mollie

Mar. 25, 2020
Designing and implementing a micro payment system with an emphasis on simplicity. Read about how I did it in this post.

Online payments are now more important than ever as businesses are disrupted by the COVID-19 virus. It drives my customers to seek new ways to make money online. I designed and implemented a (micro)payment system. This post is about achieving simplicity by solving complex challenges.

Making my own tablet OS

Installing and modifying Debian GNU/Linux on Surface Go

Mar. 9, 2020
I wondered if I could escape Windows by installing Debian GNU/Linux on a Surface Go, read along to find out how to do this!

For some years now I use a tablet as main computer, I like its versatility. But, most tablets come with a locked down operating system, like iPadOS, Windows 10S or Android. As I like things my own (weird) way, I wondered if I could escape these "software jails" by installing a free operating system on a tablet. It's possible, read along to find out how I escaped!

Multi-Window support in your iPad app

Native development for iPadOS

Oct. 7, 2019
Take advantage of the improved support for multiple windows on iPadOS by implementing new UI concepts enabling different use cases for your app.

Last month Apple released iPadOS, the first dedicated operating system for iPad. It differs from iOS with its support for the larger iPad screen, including multi / split screen windows. I develop apps and it was time to take advantage of these new possibilities that iPadOS offers.

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.

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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Check for updates manually using Windows Update
Check for updates manually using Windows Update
The kickstand is brilliant in combination with Xournal and the Surface Pen - no iPad can do this
The kickstand is brilliant in combination with Xournal and the Surface Pen - no iPad can do this
Selling your iPad Pro is easy if you keep the original boxes - I sold mine in just a few days: enforcing myself to make the new tablet work!
Selling your iPad Pro is easy if you keep the original boxes - I sold mine in just a few days: enforcing myself to make the new tablet work!
It’s a tiny computer, but it is incredibly powerful and versatile!
It’s a tiny computer, but it is incredibly powerful and versatile!
My entire photo library on a single SD card - unbelievable!
My entire photo library on a single SD card - unbelievable!
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)
The Magic Keyboard is made like a laptop keyboard (with distinct keys and ditto mechanisms) - the Smart Keyboard Folio is made with a woven fabric from a single piece of material
The Magic Keyboard is made like a laptop keyboard (with distinct keys and ditto mechanisms) - the Smart Keyboard Folio is made with a woven fabric from a single piece of material
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)
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
Visiting the Apple Store in Miami Beach in 2008
Visiting the Apple Store in Miami Beach in 2008
Accessing files using the native iOS Files app enables you to use many different apps and shortcuts
Accessing files using the native iOS Files app enables you to use many different apps and shortcuts
iPad Pro Magic Keyboard as seen from the side, it is thicker and it has a dark aluminium hinge sticking out (on the left side)
iPad Pro Magic Keyboard as seen from the side, it is thicker and it has a dark aluminium hinge sticking out (on the left side)
Use the pen to draw, write and design
Use the pen to draw, write and design
Sketched sequence diagram of payment process
Sketched sequence diagram of payment process
Coding on Surface Pro X is a dream thanks to the spacious screen and gorgeous keyboard - I do this over SSH with tmux on a dedicated, powerful development VPS
Coding on Surface Pro X is a dream thanks to the spacious screen and gorgeous keyboard - I do this over SSH with tmux on a dedicated, powerful development VPS
Smart Keyboard Folio (11-inch) with iPad Pro and Apple Pencil weighs 844 grams (that's about 59% heavier than the Smart Keyboard Folio)
Smart Keyboard Folio (11-inch) with iPad Pro and Apple Pencil weighs 844 grams (that's about 59% heavier than the Smart Keyboard Folio)
My cron command is wrapped in a check to prevent starting synchronisation when it is already running
My cron command is wrapped in a check to prevent starting synchronisation when it is already running
The 'onboard' virtual keyboard
The 'onboard' virtual keyboard

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