OctoMadness – physical arduino installation.


I helped Klaas-Harm of Watermelon to control his awesome Zoetrope: Its a physical installation with 63 custom rendered and 3D printed figures. When seen with the right (stroboscopic) light, instead of rotating all the figures come to live, walking and skating around the installation. The installation was shown at the Eye museum in Amsterdam, during KLIK festival, and will probably travel around for the next few months.

My job was to automate the show: From a lit room, to automatically dimming the lights, starting the motor, playing the music, and starting the strobe, all timed to a track. For this we built a small arduino installation that controlled the various 220v components via relays.

Much more on the project can be seen at the site of watermelon

Or see the making of below:

Game Backend.


For a large Dutch publisher, I built the backend API for one of their new interactive games. Within weeks after launching, the game grew to over 60.000 users, while keeping response times on the API below 30 ms, by using smart caching and the right choice of data store to keep user scores. At peak times over 600 requests a second were handled by this custom backend, which run on only 3 servers. Calculating daily scores and winning users, a process that used to take over an hour, was optimized to run in a few minutes.

The backend was build on PHP, CodeIgniter, Nginx, Redis and MySQL.

WildHitz Website

Screenshot 2014-04-24 14.28.07

For new music station Wildhitz I built a fully responsive website. It enables visitors, on any device, to live stream the video clips, from either the live chanel or the custom playlists. It also enables users to create and manage their playlists by drag and drop. Another important part I built was the custom advertising logic, to monetize the station with streaming video ads.

Fishtales Facebook app.

Fishing Pass

For Dutch Fish brand Fishtales I built a custom Facebook app. Fishtales is giving a trip to the Maldives to participants, who can participate by liking the brand, or embiggen (perfectly cromulent word) their chance of winning by entering the wincode that can be found on Fishtales products.
The app fully integrates with the Facebook API, making participation super easy for visitors. I built both a mobile version, which can be used outside Facebook, and a page-tab version for desktop visitors (Page tabs don’t work on mobile).

Caro Emerald Album app

Album as an app

Together with the team of Caro Emerald I built the “album as an app”. The app enables users to listen to the full album, streaming. It also shows the inspiration behind each track, custom backgrounds the user can save, and exclusive behind the scenes photography.
The whole app features a custom design; (almost) no default iOS graphical elements were used.

Back to freelance

Back to work

My closer contacts know this, but I haven’t written about it here yet.
I’m back to freelance development.

Last summer, my company Skylines failed as a company. While we built some awesome technology, indexing over 5 million pictures a day, billions in total, we failed to build a sustainable business. So last summer, I (silently) went back to freelancing and some travels. My next few posts will show what I have built in more detail.

So if you have a fun project, either in backend, frontend or mobile apps, let me know! And I would love to do a project with connected devices, so those are more than welcome.

Photo Credit: Ian Sane

Apple really needs two passwords, not one for everything

I think it’s quite insane that my  whole Apple account only has one password. I need the same password for a whole range of actions. I need to type it to ‘buy’ a free app, which has almost no consequences; I can always remove it. But with the same password I can also remotely erase my iPhone, iPad an Mac. So I have no choice but making it a long, complex, strong password. Which stops me from getting free apps, as it’s a hassle to type on my iPhone.

Apple should really have two passwords: A simple 4 digit PIN for free apps (or, up to a threshold: Let’s say I could enable my PIN for apps up to $5). And you could then use your “real” password for features that need more security, such as find/erase my device, buy a $999 app, and so on.

Organizing the world’s real-time photos

The last year I haven’t blogged much (or at all) here. Mostly, because I have been really busy: I founded a new startup: Skylines.

With it we are organizing the world’s real-time photos: We index over 5 million pictures every day, and make them searchable on people, subjects and locations. This is a big technical challenge (we run over 40 servers for this). So, if you want to see what we do, head over to skylines, or see our widget below, showing real-time boating pictures: