Wednesday, 21 December 2011

Webcomic - Quantum Physics and Comics?

I've been dabbling with the idea of a physics / engineering / science webcomic.

You can check out my efforts at the newly developed Ethanol and Entropy site.

I guess some of the jokes may be a little obscure...

Sunday, 24 July 2011

2011 Semillon

Kintarla 2011 Semillon

Our 2011 Semillon and Verdelho is now available for order at the Kintarla website. We tried the Semillon last night and it is delicious. This wine is quite delicate at the moment but will age will and should develop for the next ten years or so. Young Semillon's are a very different drink to when they get a bit of age on them.

At the moment our Semillon is a very pale yellowish green in colour and the tastes which predominate for me are lime, pear and apple. It would go great with seafood or pork. As the wine ages the colour will darken to a deep golden hue. I'm not sure yet how the taste will mature but usually you start to get toasty vanilla and almost oak characters emerge.

Saturday, 28 May 2011

Portrait of Georgia

While up at Byron Bay we had found an artist that does dog portraits!

This is a scan of the portrait that she did of Georgia.

Saturday, 21 May 2011


My First iPhone App rejection!

The horror!! Well this is a pain, I did have a feeling that this App may have trouble getting approved by Apple.

The problem is that it is basically an eBook albeit with narration done by yours truly.

Luckily I was using some standard free eBook code so I only wasted a couple of weeks tweaking this and formatting the story in HTML. Still...

The answer is to submit the story directly to the iBookStore. I will probably do this at some stage but you have to setup a separate iTunes account, financials, tax info, etc. which is time consuming.

If you want to have a look at what might have been and hear a sample page you can check it out at the Reefwing Software web site.

This is what rejection looks like:

Hello David,

Thank you for submitting Blood Bath to the App Store.

We've completed the review of your app, but cannot post this version to the App Store because it did not comply with the App Store Review Guidelines, as detailed below:

  • 2.21: Apps that are simply a song or movie should be submitted to the iTunes store. Apps that are simply a book should be submitted to the iBookstore

To reply to this message or to get more information, visit the Resolution Center in iTunes Connect. Do not reply directly to this email.

Sunday, 15 May 2011

The 2011 White vintage

The 2011 white vintage has finished fermenting and will be bottled at the end of May.

We crushed 2.5 tonne of Verdelho which converted to 1,500 litres. Assuming no wastage that will convert into 2,000 bottles or about 166 cases. A conversion ratio of 600 litres per tonne. The 2011 vintage is 100% our fruit.

It is interesting to compare this to the 2010 Verdelho vintage. In 2010 we picked 1.5 tonne of our own fruit and bought another 1.5 tonne of fruit from our neighbours. This 3.0 tonne converted to 1,587 litres. A conversion ratio of 529 litres per tonne.

For the Semillon, we crushed 4.0 tonne which converted into 2,200 litres (2,933 bottles or approximately 244 cases). A conversion ratio of 550 litres per tonne. We only used the first press for the Semillon which explains the lower conversion ratio. To add a bit more complexity to the Verdelho we blended some of the 2nd press Semillon into this. This is our first Semillon vintage.

Friday, 22 April 2011

Kintarla 2011 Labels

Lisa has finished our labels for the 2011 whites. Bottling is scheduled for May. Stay tuned...

Sunday, 10 April 2011

Personality Profile v1.1

Personality Profile v1.1

A new question pack has been added to the Personality Profile App.

The Id Pack investigates the dark, inaccessible part of our personality.

This update has been submitted to Apple for approval. It should be available in about a week. Stay tuned...

Wednesday, 6 April 2011

Number Converter Pro v1.2

Version 1.2 adds significant more functionality for engineers and programmers. Including:

- Conversion to and from ASCII

- An ASCII table showing the character representation in decimal and hexadecimal.

- Access to the device system logs. This gives you a window into what is happening on your iOS device and may be useful in troubleshooting App's which crash. Tapping a log item will take you to the detail view for that logged event. The detail view will show the following (if available):
+ Time of event
+ Host
+ Sender
+ Facility
+ PID, UID and GID
+ Logging Priority (see below)
+ Log Event Message

- System Information, which includes the following (where available):
+ Platform ID (e.g. iPhone3,1)
+ Platform String (e.g. iPhone 4)
+ Orientation
+ Platform Code
+ CPU Frequency
+ Bus Frequency
+ Total Memory
+ User Memory
+ MAC Address
+ Host Name
+ Local IP Address
+ Local WiFi Address
+ External IP Address

- Access to the Reefwing Software store to see what other Apps are available.

Tap the [More] button on the calculator to access the last four features.

The Apple System Log priority levels are defined as follows:

- Level 0: Emergency
- Level 1: Alert
- Level 2: Critical
- Level 3: Error
- Level 4: Warning
- Level 5: Notice
- Level 6: Information
- Level 7: Debug

Saturday, 26 March 2011

Tasting Notes for the 2011 Whites

The ferment is nearly complete for the 2011 White vintage and it looks like we have one white to drink now and one to put down (unless you prefer a young Semillon style which I do). The Shiraz needs to go sit in some oak for a year.

2011 Kintarla Semillon

The 2011 Kintarla Semillon is made in the unique style that is typical of classic Hunter Semillons. The wine shows intense aromas of lime and cut grass, while the finely balanced palate offers flavours of pear and green apple. As a wine of great length and character we expect it to mature and gain complexity over the next ten years.

Alcohol: 11.5% (TBC closer to bottling)

Fined with milk and fish products

Preservative 220 added

2011 Kintarla Verdelho

The 2011 Kintarla Verdelho offers bright aromas of melon, pineapple and liquorice. The youthful, full bodied palate is showing the complete spectrum of tropical flavours typical of this variety. Offering fine balance and great length, this wine best enjoyed in its youth.

Alcohol: 14.5% (TBC closer to bottling)

Fined with milk and fish products

Preservative 220 added

Saturday, 12 March 2011

Observations on Goals

New Years Resolutions

I read an interesting article in the March 2011 edition of PC and Tech Authority called "Testing your Resolve" by Joel Nation.

According to psychologists at Sydney University 50% of Australians made New Year resolutions at the end of 2010.

Apparently though only half of those who make resolutions stick to them after 6 months and this figure drops to 10% after 12 months. You would have to conclude that resolutions don't work for 90% of the population.

So what is going wrong, why is this so? I have previously spoken about my 5 reasons why New Years resolutions fail.

To make sure you are one of the 10% that stick with their resolutions - just do the opposite to the actions listed in my previous post.

Or if you need a system to help you and have an iDevice then you could download my App Life Goals from the iTunes App Store. ;-)

Read all about it at the Reefwing Software web site.

Sunday, 20 February 2011

Life Goals v2.0 - Promotional Video

Life Goals v2.0 - Backup & Restore Data

Life Goals Data Backup

In version 2.0 of Life Goals we have added the ability to share or back up your goal and task data to any other iOS or Macs you have connected via a LAN.

To start, tap on the Life Goals Sync button at the bottom of the Settings & Backup Screen.

This will bring up the device discovery screen shown below. Any other iOS devices or Macs running Life Goals will be shown here. You will need to tap the Life Goals Sync button on both devices for them to be shown.

Devices also need to be on the same LAN to be discovered. The example here shows the local device name at the top (DS_iPod) and any remote devices discovered in the table below (DS_MacBookPro). Tap the remote device that you want to sync with or the cancel button.

If a successful connection is made you will see the Life Goals Sync screen from which you can import or export data.

Note that all data on the device which imports will be erased and replaced by data from the other device. Data is NOT merged so take care.

Tap the export button to back up data to the remote device. Tap import if you want to restore data from a previous backup.

An alert will appear on the device which is having its data erased and replaced. Tap cancel to stop the process or continue to complete it.

The local device will show a message and the spinning activity indicator until the alert on the remote device is acknowledged (i.e. cancel or continue button is tapped).

There is no undo available, once the Continue button is tapped, the data is over written on the device importing.

On completion of the data transfer, the LIfe Goals Sync screen will slide away on both devices. No further action is required, the data will now be identical on both devices. This includes the Vision if present but not the preference settings.

Visit Reefwing Software for more details.

Sunday, 13 February 2011

Vintage 2011 - Tales of Incompetence

Lisa was in charge of the Shiraz harvest and things went very smoothly.

The whites on the other hand were under my purview. Here is the full story...

The day we picked was really hot - it reached 40C by midday. We had about 20 pickers and a few adventures along the way. Picking started at 5:30am and finished at 3pm. I slept in the shed the night before and it must have been about 30C most of the night - I was dripping in sweat and couldn't open the windows because of the mosquito's. The shed was also full of spiders (mostly red backs) because we hadn't been there for a while and this didn't help me sleep either. A large frog has taken up residence in the toilet and jumped on me in the middle of the night. I'm sure you can imagine my reaction.

So with hardly any sleep I got up at 5am to load our 4 empty grape bins on the ute. The wine maker was supposed to have dropped them off the prior week but they weren't there. In retrospect this wasn't a bad thing as there was no way I could have got 4 bins loaded by myself - they are heavy. With picking due to start and no bins to fill, I'm a trifle worried. I eventually get on to the winemaker and find out that the bins are still at Wandin Valley, I was worried they may have been pinched. We don't think that we are going to get enough Semillon to make up a batch so I have arranged to purchase 2.5 tonnes off a friends vineyard. Luckily I arranged the picking to start at his place and he had some bins to get things started.

At 6am I get to Wandin Valley and they load up the ute with 4 empty bins using a forklift. My job is to transport the grapes from the vineyard to the winery, which is only 5 minutes from our place but a half hour each way to my friends place. Worried that I might be holding up things, I take a shortcut down a dirt road and perhaps are going a little quick for the conditions. There is a big wash out in the road ahead and even slamming on the breaks doesn't slow the car enough. I bounce over the wash and one of the bins goes tumbling off the back, fortunately missing the car behind. This is when I discover that there is no way I can lift a bin single handed on top of another bin. Lucky this is the country and I don't have to wait long before a bloke stops and watching my pathetic attempts, asks if I need a hand?

Loaded up again, I decide it may be a good idea to actually tie down the load this time.

Eventually arriving at the vineyard, the first bin is almost full. Our bins (the white ones) are supposed to carry around 500kg, but when weighing them at the vineyard most ended up closer to 600kg. My friend uses the blue bins which weigh about 800kg's full. Loading one of the blue bins on the ute using his tractor (which has forks), I head back to the winery. The ute handles like a pig with this much weight in the back and the clutch makes a funny smell when I go from a standing start. We used about 14 bins in total that day.

On one trip carrying two of our white bins, I took a corner a bit too quick (which is not very quick at all), and both bins slid to one side. It felt like the car was driving on two wheels. Having a degree in physics I worked out that if I turned in the opposite direction at just the right speed I could slide the bins back into the centre of the truck. Quickly working out the vectors, I decided to give it a go.

Of course I over corrected and almost spun the ute as the load shifted. The whole car slid sideways as the load moved. Obviously having a degree in physics doesn't help if you are an idiot! From then on I took it very slowly around the corners.

Apart from losing a few pickers to heat stroke, the rest of the day was tiring but uneventful. As we don't have a tractor, in our vineyard we pick straight into the bins on the back of the ute. I'm driving the ute, and let me tell you conditions are almost unbearable in the air-conditioned cab, CD playing and a cold drink to hand.

Vintage 2011 - The Shiraz

The 2011 Shiraz Harvest

We ended up with 2.8 tonne of Shiraz this year. Last year we didn't get a crop due to too much rain and the year before (our first crop) we picked 1.8 tonne. We would have had more but the kangaroos and birds probably ate a tonne of fruit.

The urban myth is that one year in five is a good year in the Hunter. It turns out that this might be the year. Early on things were looking dodgy with a lot of rain but we haven't had as much during Jan and Feb as in previous years - I guess it is all up in Qld. This is a good thing. You don't want rain close to harvest. This is the first year that we haven't emptied the irrigation dam, so we were able to keep the drippers going up until picking.

But the ferments haven't finished yet - it wont be until then that we will get a real idea of the quality. One thing is certain, the 2011 Shiraz will be a much bigger wine than the 2009, the grapes were almost raisins by the time they came off so the flavours should be very intense. Of course the Shiraz needs to spend a year in oak prior to bottling so we wont be seeing that until 2012.

Saturday, 29 January 2011

Vintage 2011

Vintage 2011

The Semillon and Verdelho

This years harvest has gone mighty well. We ended up with 2.5 tonne from the Verdelho plus 1.5 tonne of our Semillon supplemented by another 2.5 tonne from AJ.

Each of the white bins weigh about 590kg's (including the bin). The blue bin weighs over 800kg. The ute wallows like a cow with 2 bins on the back and if they shift they can make the whole back end swing out. I was driving very carefully.

The top photo shows the Semillon waiting in the winery cool room to be crushed. Our grapes are the 3 bins to the right, you can see they are quite a bit more yellow than AJ's Semillion. This is the first year that we have been able to get a crop off the Semillon so we are very excited. It turns out that Semillon is a bit of bastard to grow, one hot day and it drops its bundle. They hate to be water stressed and have weedy shoots which break easily during training.

Verdelho and Shiraz on the other hand are very hardy.

The fruit is looking much better quality than last year and we are hanging out to do a side by side comparison of the 2010 and 2011 Verdelho.

The folks at Wandin Valley who make our wine have just built a new beaut winery which is filled with awesome gear.

The last photo shows the forklift tipping a bin of Semillon into the crusher / de-stemmer.

If the Shiraz makes it through the next couple of weeks we will harvest it around Valentine's day.

Sunday, 23 January 2011

Personality rockets up the charts in Kazakhstan

Great to see that the good people of Kazakhstan are supporting the Reefwing Personality Profile!

See what all the fuss is about - you can download it for FREE at the iTunes App Store. Click on the following:

Saturday, 15 January 2011

Reefwing Personality Profile

The Reefwing Personality Profile is a tool to gain insight into your character.

Answer just a few quick questions and you will be provided with a description of your personality traits. The App allows you to email the results, so you can share them with your friends.

The results are based on extensive research but are not meant to be taken too seriously.


  1. 1.Once the splash screen has disappeared, you will see the first question.

  2. 2.The dial in the bottom left can be rotated using one finger. On older devices there can be a bit of a delay initially as all the images load.

  3. 3.The answer is shown to the left of the dial in both picture and word form. Once you have selected the most appropriate answer, tap the [Next] button in the top right of the navigation bar.

  4. 4.Tapping [Next] will display the next question. Follow the same process as outlined above. Don’t over think your answers, your first instinct is usually the correct one.

  5. 5.After the last question you will have the results of your personality profile displayed. In addition to using the [Next] button to move between screens, in the results section you can swipe left and right to view pages. Your location is indicated by the white dots at the bottom of the screen.

  6. 6.At any time you can tap the [Store] button in the top left hand corner of the navigation bar. This will take you to a screen where you can use in-App purchasing to remove all advertising from the App or have a look at other Apps developed by Reefwing Software. Just tap on the icon to select. Note that tapping the other App icons will result in iTunes being loaded.

  7. 7.On the final page of the Results you will have the option to:

  1. Rate the App in the iTunes App Store. I am not currently charging anything for this App so if you enjoyed it and would like to see additional development (e.g. new questions) then please take the time to rate the App in iTunes. Alternatively go the store page by tapping the [Store] button and purchase the Ad free version or try one of our other Apps. Feedback is welcome so drop into the Blog or Forum if you have any suggestions or comments.

  2. Email the results of your profile. This is done from within the App, so once you have emailed you will return to this screen and can select from the other options.

  3. Restart the Test. Sometimes, there may be a couple of answers which you had trouble choosing between. Go back and try the other answer as this may provide additional insight.