Friday, 31 December 2010

5 Reasons that New Year's Resolutions Fail!

5 Reasons That New Year Resolutions Fail and what to do about it!

As New Year's Eve rolls around we all tend to look back over the last year and score ourself on how well we did. If we met most of our goals then that reaffirms our self worth and encourages us to set new challenges for the next year.

Alternatively, if we didn't do so well in meeting our objectives, we tell ourselves that they weren't that important or we were too busy. Though you have to wonder why we would set ourself goals that were not important to us.

The good news is that there is a fool proof method to achieving your goals. Why goals are not achieved has been studied by many people and this problem has been solved. So why do so many people get to Valentines Day and they have already broken their New Years Resolution?

In my experience the following 10 things are why we don't meet our goals:
  1. You didn't write them down. This has got to be the number 1 reason. There is so much going on in our life that you can't possibly hope to remember everything. Writing down our goals starts the commitment process. It is hard to fool yourself if the evidence is right in front of you. The process of writing also forces you to think about what is really important to you, which may come as a surprise. Some of you may have read "The Secret", while I don't agree with the whole premise (see next point), I do believe that clarifying what you want will open you up to opportunities to progress a goal.
  2. You didn't do anything. I know "The Secret" suggests that simply focussing on a goal will cause it to be realised, however in my experience things go a lot faster if you take action. For example, one of my goals this year was to release an iPhone App and sell it on iTunes. To do that I broke the goal down and planned what steps I needed to take to get there. I needed to buy a Mac, learn objective C, XCode, Cocoa Touch, sign up for the Apple Developer Program, write code, debug, unravel the mysteries of code deployment and then negotiate the labyrinth which is iTunes Connect. I'm pretty sure if I just wrote the goal down but did nothing I wouldn't now be getting monthly deposits from Apple. So I suggest you break your goal down into tasks and start doing the tasks. It's like the old joke about how do you eat an elephant? One bite at a time.
  3. You didn't give up something else. Each day, we all only have so much time (24 hours on Earth). So unless you are near a black hole or travelling at close to the speed of light then we all have the same amount of time each day. Your days are already full so in order to meet your new goals you need to allocate some time to take action (see point 2). Not only do you need to decide what you are going to do, you need to decide what you are going to stop doing. If you aren't willing to give up something (e.g. watching 8 hours of TV a day) then you will fail. A common mistake here is to try and go cold turkey. You don't have to give up all TV, whatever you are willing to do without is time you can spend on your goals. Remember these are your goals, no-one else should determine what is important to you and if the most important thing for you is to watch 8 hours of TV a day then write it down and take action. But if it isn't then allocate some time to what is. As Stephen Covey said, "The key is not to prioritise what's on your schedule but to schedule your priorities."
  4. You weren't sufficiently motivated. Related to point 3, you have to be motivated enough to give up something you are already doing. The best motivators are Pain and Pleasure, in that order. So when you write down your goals you need to link them to these motivators and if possible to both of them. To exercise you might need to get up an hour earlier in the morning. Your motivation to get up needs to be stronger than your motivation to stay in a warm bed. This might be the endorphin rush you get after exercising (Pleasure), feeling better about yourself (Pleasure) or not dying early from being overweight (Pain). Habit is your friend - get yourself motivated enough to do this 21 days in a row and it will get easier.
  5. You think it will take too long. I hear people say, "I would love to do blah but it will take 5 years." Guess how much older you are going to be in five years time? That's right 5 years. The time will pass anyway so why not spend it doing something that is important to you?
The best news is that all of the above is in our hands, so by all means set your New Year's Resolutions tonight, but make sure you also take the above into account.

Warning - shameless plug follows:

Goals have always been a subject that has fascinated me, which is why my first iPhone App was Life Goals. If you are interested in a goal setting tool which embodies the philosophies above then check it out on iTunes or read more about it the Reefwing Software web site.

Sunday, 12 December 2010

An Eclectic Slice of Life

Anthology Launches Today

Two of my stories (Memories and There is No Pain) feature in the Eclectic Slice of Life Anthology which launches today on facebook at 6pm Australian Eastern Daylight Saving Time. The link is here if you would like to drop in.

If you would like to buy a hard copy of the book then nip over to Dark Prints Press.

The editor (Craig Bezant) has amalgamated some of the best stories from the first two years of Eclecticism E-Zine and his passion for what he is doing drips from the pages. There are some great stories inside - check it out!

Saturday, 16 October 2010

Number Converter Pro v1.0

NumConPro v1.0

Having just spent 4 months on my secret App project, I think I am a broken man!

It is 90% complete but horribly buggy. Perhaps my ambition has exceeded my ability in this instance. I was going for a very flash interface which of course turns out to be damn tricky. I needed a break to restore my enthusiasm for the project.


I have taken a quick detour to finish a small project which has been on my development list for some time. It is a calculator designed for programmers. The Mac comes with one of these but it is absent from the iDevice family.

Like my free program NumCon this App converts numbers between binary, octal, decimal and hexadecimal. I'm quite happy with final product.

In addition to the NumCon conversion ability, you can perform the following operations on any combination of these bases:

  • Addition
  • Subtraction
  • Multiplication
  • Division
  • AND
  • OR
  • XOR
  • 1's Complement
  • Shift Left
  • Shift Right

Please drop in to and let us know if there is additional functionality that you would like to see added to the calculator.

I intend to upgrade the FREE Number Converter to have a similar UI to the Pro version. I will also include the ability to upgrade via In-App purchase.

Calculator Constraints & Operation:

  1. Operator precedence is evaluated strictly left to right.
  2. Only integers are handled and consequently division remainders are truncated.
  3. Shift Right is a logical shift not arithmetic so zeros are shifted in from the left.
  4. The largest integer input or result is 28 bits long (i.e. 268,435,455 decimal or FFF FFFF hex).

Thursday, 2 September 2010

‘An Eclectic Slice of Life’

If you haven’t pre-ordered your copy of the print anthology, ‘An Eclectic Slice of Life’, this is your last chance to receive FREE POSTAGE/SHIPPING (anywhere in the world).

Representing the best of Eclecticism E-zine’s first two years, the anthology presents 26 works (short stories and poetry) from 14 contributors, including Joseph D’Lacey, Jason Fischer, Simon Petrie, Myra King, and Deborah Sheldon, amongst many other talented individuals. Most authors have contributed new, exclusive work for this anthology – 13 eclectic servings, in fact. 50% new work – that’s worth your money!

Presented in trade paperback, at 280 pages, this beauty only has a limited print run, and copies are running out. I will extend the FREE POSTAGE/SHIPPING offer till the end of the week, and then you will have to pay extra. So don’t miss out – order via the Dark Prints Press website today, only AUD$29.95. You do not need a PayPal account – you can still pay through PayPal with a credit or debit card, or you can e-mail us to arrange a bank transfer.

Visit Dark Prints Press to order:

Sunday, 1 August 2010

Life Audit v1.2 (FREE) - Available Now!

Life Audit v1.2

By answering just a few questions, our free iPhone App Life Audit will give you a graphical representation of your Life Balance. As the pace of life increases at an exponential rate we sometimes forget to focus on what is important as opposed to what is urgent. Using Life Audit you will quickly be able to see the areas of your life that are getting the most focus and more importantly, the areas that you are neglecting.

The latest FREE version of Life Audit includes:

- 10 new questions
- Support for iOS 4.0 functionality
- Improved User Interface
- Fixed Category question misalignment

You can download Life Audit from iTunes.

Saturday, 24 July 2010

Life Audit (FREE) - v1.2 Coming Soon

Life Audit v1.2

The latest version of Life Audit has just been submitted to Apple for approval. It includes:

- 10 new questions
- Support for iOS 4.0 functionality
- Improved User Interface
- Fixed Category question misalignment

Stay tuned for the launch announcement in about a week.

Tuesday, 13 July 2010

Free App Number Converter

FREE iPhone App

Number Converter

Download now and don't forget those 5 star ratings ;-)

Tuesday, 6 July 2010

Latest Reefwing App - Coming Soon!

Number Converter
Version 1.0

My latest App has just been submitted to Apple for approval. It is something that will appeal to 1% of the population (if that) but it's something that I will find useful - and sometimes that's all the excuse you need.

I developed it primarily to try out the new iAd functionality released in iPhone iOS 4.0, so I wont be charging for the Application.

The theory is you get paid via the (*discrete*) Ad at the bottom of the screen. I'm not expecting to retire on the proceeds, to do that you probably need to develop an App that a lot of people want.

I will announce when it is approved and will post details on the Reefwing Software web site.

Friday, 2 July 2010

Bad Writing?

A thirsty gerbil's kiss takes out the best bad writing of 2010 competition

A romance book's opening line about a gerbil has won a bad writing award run by a US College / James Croucher Source: Supplied

AN unseemly sentence that compares a kiss to the union of a thirsty gerbil and a giant water bottle has won the top prize in an annual bad writing contest.

San Jose State University said today Molly Ringle of Seattle was the grand prize winner of the 2010 Bulwer-Lytton Fiction Contest, which the university has sponsored since 1982.

In her winning entry, Ms Ringle wrote: "For the first month of Ricardo and Felicity's affair, they greeted one another at every stolen rendezvous with a kiss - a lengthy, ravenous kiss, Ricardo lapping and sucking at Felicity's mouth as if she were a giant cage-mounted water bottle and he were the world's thirstiest gerbil."

The literary competition honours the memory of 19th English century writer Edward George Earl Bulwer-Lytton, who famously opened his 1830 novel Paul Clifford, with the much-quoted, "It was a dark and stormy night".

Steve Lynch of San Marcos, California, won the detective category: "She walked into my office wearing a body that would make a man write bad (cheques), but in this paperless age you would first have to obtain her ABA Routing Transit Number and Account Number and then disable your own Overdraft Protection in order to do so."

Linda Boatright of Omaha won the Western category: "He walked into the bar and bristled when all eyes fell upon him - perhaps because his build was so short and so wide, or maybe it was the odour that lingered about him from so many days and nights spent in the wilds, but it may just have been because no one had ever seen a porcupine in a bar before."

Read more:

Saturday, 5 June 2010

Dark Print Press


Announcing the arrival of a new small press publisher!


Shining a light on dark fiction

Dark Prints Press is a brand new Australian independent publisher who aims to publish works of dark fiction (encompassing crime, thriller, speculative fiction (horror, dark fantasy) and dark comedy). Its initial focus is on an adult market, with the desire to also venture into the young adult market in the future.

The small press is a partnership between West Australians Avril and Craig Bezant, who aim to provide another, much-needed avenue for a range of printed fiction, including short story collections, novellas, and novels. Their publications will range from lavish trade paperback editions to small, pulpy works, depending on the relevance to the story and its genre. Digital publications (e-books) of the publisher's list are forecasted in the future.

The first publication for Dark Prints Press will be an anthology of the best stories from the online magazine Eclecticism E-zine, an e-zine that has been shortlisted for 2 awards, is archived in the National Library of Australia, and has established a dedicated readership and subscription list over the past 3 years. The anthology is titled ‘An Eclectic Slice of Life', available for pre-order from 06/06/2010 via the website. Read more about this exciting new venture at:




Featuring the best short fiction and poetry from the first 2 years of the award-nominated Eclecticism E-zine, plus exclusive new work by most authors, including:

Joseph D’Lacey, Jason Fischer, Myra King, Deborah Sheldon, Simon Petrie, Alice Godwin, Mark McAuliffe, Julia Brannigan, Keith Nunes, Jacqui Dent, Brian G Ross, Eril Riley, David Such & Simon James.

C Format Trade Paperback, 280 pages, AUD$29.95 ISBN: 978-0-646-53641-5

Pre-order from 06/06/2010 via the Dark Prints Press website:

or through Eclecticism E-zine:

Publication Date: 12/12/2010


Sunday, 16 May 2010


Some more aggregated quotes:

"Fill your paper with the breathings of your heart."
- William Wordsworth

"Ink and paper are sometimes passionate lovers, oftentimes brother and sister, and occasionally mortal enemies."
- Terri Guillemets

"Drama, instead of telling us the whole of a man's life, must place him in such a situation, tie such a knot, that when it is untied, the whole man is visible."
- Leo Tolstoy

"I want to write books that unlock the traffic jam in everybody's head."
- John Updike

"You can't wait for inspiration. You have to go after it with a club."
- Jack London

"Fantasy's hardly an escape from reality. It's a way of understanding it."
- Lloyd Alexander

"Remember: when people tell you something's wrong or doesn't work for them, they are almost always right. When they tell you exactly what they think is wrong and how to fix it, they are almost always wrong."
- Neil Gaiman

"Increase your word power. Words are the raw material of our craft. The greater your vocabulary the more effective your writing. We who write in English are fortunate to have the richest and most versatile language in the world. Respect it."
- PD James

"The test of literature is, I suppose, whether we ourselves live more intensely for the reading of it."
- Elizabeth Drew

"There was never a good biography of a good novelist. There couldn't be. He is too many people if he's any good."
- F. Scott Fitzgerald

"Writing and rewriting are a constant search for what it is one is saying."
- John Updike

"If a writer knows enough about what he is writing about, he may omit things that he knows. The dignity of movement of an iceberg is due to only one ninth of it being above water."
- Ernest Hemingway

"Measure your mind's height by the shadow it casts."
- Rex Stout

"It begins with a character, usually, and once he stands up on his feet and begins to move, all I can do is trot along behind him with a paper and pencil trying to keep up long enough to put down what he says and does."
- William Faulkner

"Finishing a book is just like you took a child out in the back yard and shot it."
- Truman Capote

"A writer needs three things, experience, observation, and imagination, any two of which, at times any one of which, can supply the lack of the others."
- William Faulkner

"When a man is in doubt about this or that in his writing, it will often guide him if he asks himself how it will tell a hundred years hence."
- Samuel Butler

"Ink on paper is as beautiful to me as flowers on the mountains; God composes, why shouldn't we?"
- Terri Guillemets

"Every writer creates his own precursors. His work modifies our conception of the past, as it will modify the future."
- Jorge Luis Borges

"There is no longer any such thing as fiction or nonfiction; there's only narrative."
- E.L. Doctorow

"The drudgery of being a professional writer comes in trying to make good days out of bad days and in squeezing out the words when they won't just flow."
- Benjamin Cavell

"No one is asking, let alone demanding, that you write. The world is not waiting with bated breath for your article or book. Whether or not you get a single word on paper, the sun will rise, the earth will spin, the universe will expand. Writing is forever and always a choice -- your choice."
- Beth Mende Conny

"To me the greatest pleasure of writing is not what it's about, but the music the words make."
- Truman Capote

"I love writing. I love the swirl and swing of words as they tangle with human emotions."
- James Michener

"It is necessary to write, if the days are not to slip emptily by. How else, indeed, to clap the net over the butterfly of the moment? For the moment passes, it is forgotten; the mood is gone; life itself is gone. That is where the writer scores over his fellows: he catches the changes of his mind on the hop."
- Vita Sackville-West

"The pages are still blank, but there is a miraculous feeling of the words being there, written in invisible ink and clamoring to become visible."
- Vladimir Nabakov

Monday, 10 May 2010

GeoDefense Swarm Strategy - Reactor - Chromasome

GeoDefense Swarm

Download Hard Levels - Reactor

Level 1 - Chromasome

The tip given when you first lose this level is the key - diversify!

Alternate blasters and thumper towers, working out from the entry/exit points. You want to create a winding path which all the creeps follow. Don't forget to connect your laser towers to the vortex.

I originally tried to create a straight path down the middle but this didn't work. Once you have completed the path start upgrading from the middle out.

I only upgraded the laser towers and vortex towers once as they are so expensive.

If there are any other particular levels that you are having difficulty with let me know and I will post my solution here.

Sunday, 18 April 2010

Life Goals v1.3

This release continues the incremental feature updates, improves a number of facets of the user interface and fixes a bug which was introduced in version 1.1.

- The Goal description input screen is now multi-line and scrollable which facilitates the entry of long Goal names.

- New Category items will now be assigned a random colour instead of all new Categories being given grey as a default colour.

- 15 New Category icons have been added.

- The Task description input screen is now multi-line and scrollable which facilitates the entry of long Task names.

- The Task entry screen has been upgraded to make it more intuitive to enter the effort and impact for each task (see the screen shot).

- A bug was introduced in version 1.1 which could cause the App to crash if more than 10 categories were added and you selected the Graphs Tab. This has been fixed.

This version is backwardly compatible with data from earlier versions.

Life Goals cracks top 5 in Productivity Charts

Version 1.2 of Life Goals was released last week. With Apple's publicity from the "New & Noteworthy" section of iTunes it was great to see the App climb into a top 5 position on the charts. This increases sales by a factor of 10. If I could get the same in the US charts the factor would be more like 100.

Unfortunately a user in the UK has identified a bug which crashes the App if you add more than 10 categories and go to the Charts Tab. This problem was introduced in v1.1 when the ability to add/edit categories was added.

It has been fixed in v1.3 which has been submitted to Apple for Approval.

Tuesday, 13 April 2010

Life Goal reaches top 10 in Productivity Charts

Life Goals Enters Top Ten

And a new chart record - Life Goals is up to tenth spot with a bullet!

No doubt related to being listed in the New and Noteworthy section of iTunes (see previous post).

Very nice!

Life Goals in iTunes New & Noteworthy!

What a blast! Apple have listed Life Goals in the New and Noteworthy section of iTunes.

I am really chuffed by this. With over 150,000 or so Apps it is pretty hard to get noticed.

It is only a fluke that I saw this as Apple don't tell you if you have been added.

The next version (1.2) has been submitted for approval. Hopefully this should be released later this week.

Tuesday, 6 April 2010

New Life Audit Video Tutorial

I have just posted a video tutorial for Life Audit.

Click on the link above to see it.

Some folks couldn't work out what to do once the splash screen had loaded. Poor usability design on my part!

Saturday, 3 April 2010

Life Audit for iPhone - FREE

Life Audit v1.0 Available now - FREE!

If the links don't work (because it is so new) then just Search for "Life Audit" in iTunes.

Feedback most appreciated - Don't forget to rate it in iTunes.

Friday, 2 April 2010

Life Audit - v1.0 Coming Soon!

Free iPhone App - Life Audit

Coming Soon!

Life Audit is currently being reviewed by Apple for inclusion in the iTunes App store.

By answering just a few questions, our free App Life Audit will give you a graphical representation of your Life Balance. As the pace of life increases at an exponential rate we sometimes forget to focus on what is important as opposed to what is urgent. Using Life Audit you will quickly be able to see the areas of your life that are getting the most focus and more importantly, the areas that you are neglecting.

Check out the Life Audit web page for more details.

Friday, 26 March 2010

Life Goals v1.1 - What's New?

Life Goals v1.1

What is new in this version?
  • Category names, icons and colours can now be edited and added.
  • 15 new Category Icons added.
  • You can assign custom colours to a category.
  • Pop up category legend added to charts.
  • Category colour is now part of the category picker.
  • Extensive update to the Help Tab. Help files from the web site are now included with the App. A goal setting tip section has also been included.

Saturday, 13 March 2010

Life Goals Sets High Bar in Goal Management

The iPhone App Review Site & Life Goals v1.0

Anna Papachristos from the iPhone App Review site has recently reviewed Life Goals. Here is an extract from the review:

"What is great about Life Goals, as opposed to other goal management applications, is the way it provides its users with a pre-designed set up featuring different categories. Many similar apps make it easy for users to enter their goals and set due dates, but Life Goals helps you break things down into categories that some may even overlook as being an area of their life they could improve upon. Life Goals uses a simple interface that makes recording goals and tasks easy, while also monitoring their importance and your progress instead of leaving such tasks up to the users themselves."

You can read the complete review at:

Life Goals - Review

Life Goals v1.0 - Reviewed

I have long been a fan of Alex Curylo's blog. One of the great things about the iPhone / Mac development community is the way that people share resources and knowledge. Alex is a living embodiment of this. So guessing that Alex was a pretty giving bloke and since I respect his opinion I asked him to review my iPhone App "Life Goals."

While perhaps unconvinced on the philosophical need for such an App he does say, "Yep, it’s very pretty. That goes for the rest of the application too — very nicely designed and intuitively laid out and apparently well programmed..."

You can read the complete story at this link: Life Goals Review.