Hemispheric Views is one of my must listen shows and Episode 97 - Duel of the Defaults! was so much fun. The competition to score how “default” their apps were was gripping to the end. So here is mine.

    • Mail Client: Apple Mail
    • Mail Server: iCloud
    • Notes: Apple Notes
    • To-Do: Things 3
    • Photo Shooting: Apple Camera App
    • Photo Management: Apple Photos
    • Calendar: iCloud
    • Cloud file storage: iCloud
    • RSS: Unread via iCloud
    • Contacts: iCloud
    • Browser: Safari
    • Chat: Apple Messages
    • Bookmarks: Safari
    • Read It Later: Unread via iCloud
    • Word Processing: Word for work but also Page
    • Spreadsheets: Excel for work and Numbers for personal
    • Presentations: Keynote
    • Shopping Lists: Reminders
    • Meal Planning: what is this?
    • Budgeting & Personal Finance: Numbers
    • News: Apple News
    • Music: Apple Music
    • Podcasts: Pocketcasts
    • Password Management: iCloud
    • Photo Editing: Apple Photos

    I think I scored pretty high in the end.

    Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Voice

    Ignore all the political and media hyped “facts” around the Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Voice and just read what is proposed. This is a starting point. This will take years to see the impact, probably long after you walk this land. This truely is a way to pay your respects to Elders past and present.

    Coral Bay

    Coral Bay Location
    Coral Bay Location

    Coral Bay is located about 14 hours north of Perth. Super popular with everyone and as such super busy and noisy.

    There are a few caravan parks to choose from and they all provide small cramped sites packed bumper to bumper. You can also look forward to multiple people cranking their stereos as soon as the sun goes down, it’s almost like clockwork. 😂

    We spoilt ourselves straight away with a seafood platter at one of the restaurant/pubs.

    A rewarding seafood platter
    A rewarding seafood platter

    The highlight of Coral Bay is the swimming and snorkelling. We did not know before arriving (I think they have kept it a secret) but in 2022 there was a natural event where the coral spawn caused the water in the Ningaloo region to become toxic. This caused the death of most of the fish and coral close to shore. It was a surprise for us and lead us to booking a glass bottom boat ride and then following up with a snorkelling tour further out from the beach. This turned out to be the highlights of the trip and I would highly recommend it.

    If you are willing to deal with the large population and noisy nights, Coral Bay is a must visit for the region. I am not planning on returning for a while, but I am more than glad we went.

    Walking together
    Walking together

    Warroora Station

    Warroora Station Location
    Warroora Station Location

    Warroora Station is located 11 hours north of Perth, close to Coral Bay. Its coastline is a part of the Ningaloo Reef. It can be accessed directly from the Quobba area via a 4wd track but we stuck to the bitumen. This provided an opportunity to restock in Carnarvon.

    Route from Quobba Station to Warroora Station
    Route from Quobba Station to Warroora Station

    After leaving the bitumen road at the turn off there is 23km of corrugating until the homestead. We let our tires down to 25psi to make the ride in easier.

    We stayed at the homestead on a powered site. The homestead has good amenities and an optional outdoor shower. Nia picked a site close to the live stock much to her delight. We all then had to enjoy the smell.

    You can camp at points along the coast by booking via the Park Stay website. It’s cheaper but popular during peak times and you need to be self sufficient. Access to these sites requires a 4wd.

    The weather was cool and cloudy during our stay and we only swam once, mainly to tick it off the list. We spent our couple of days exploring the 4wd tracks and driving the dunes to the beaches. You cannot drive along on any of the beaches which was not an issue for us.

    Cloudy ocean views
    Cloudy ocean views

    Warroora had the most difficult tracks we had driven at this stage of our trip. We didn’t realise at the time but our truck had holes in the intercooler and was limiting its power. With a working vehicle we would have had less stressful moments. My confidence in 4wd’ing were improving all the time though.

    Parked at the beach
    Parked at the beach

    The beaches were stunning and we were starting to see more varieties of wild life. The highlights were the beach crabs and the raptors flying overhead. We were told that you can see turtles swimming in the water but we had no luck.

    Big YellowCrab
    Big YellowCrab

    We enjoyed our stay at Warroora Station and will go back one day, hopefully when the weather is warmer. I would be happy to book a beach site and drive the camper trailer in. The trouble being that you need to book so far in advance and the sites can be exposed to the strong winds.

    Me at the ocean edge
    Me at the ocean edge
    Rocks at the ocean edge
    Rocks at the ocean edge
    Stunning ocean views
    Stunning ocean views

    My first look at Safari Profiles

    I have started playing with the new Profiles in the latest Safari betas and it looks great. Took me a while get my head around what it’s doing. At first I thought it replaces tab groups but it does not. The main aspect appears to be the segregation. Best example is I can be logged into YouTube on one profile and not another. Great for separating work and personal stuff. I’ll keep experimenting and maybe write something longer. One note is that it is quite hidden and not necessarily discoverable even after you set it up.

    Quobba Station

    Quobba Station
    Quobba Station

    Quobba Station is located about 10 hours north of Perth and could best be known as for its blow holes and the sign as you drive in.

    King Waves Kill
    King Waves Kill

    Driving from Carnarvon you make your way west from the North West Coast Highway along the fittingly named Blow Holes Road. About half way along you pass over salt flats and at the end you are greeted with a T-junction and the famous sign.

    Turning left you can find the spectacular blow holes and a free camping area.

    The highlight here for us is the stunning snorkelling spot, the “Aquarium”. We stopped here for lunch and then spent a good couple of hours snorkelling. The bay provides protection and there is an ocean current that assists floating from the north end to south. The snorkelling here was better than straight off the beach at Coral Bay and felt safe.

    Selfie at The Blow Holes
    Selfie at The Blow Holes

    Northwards there is Quobba Station, Red Bluff and Gnarloo. They are all accessible via a corrugated road and I would recommend dropping your tire pressures to about 25 PSI and sticking to 60-70km/hr (this is what I recommend for any corrugation).

    Quobba Station is a working station and the property includes Red Bluff. I am pretty sure Gnarloo has a different owner. You can stay in all 3 places with various types of accommodation available. We chose an unpowered site at Quobba and it was perfect for us. The toilet and shower block was rustic but fancy at the same time.

    Our site at Quobba
    Our site at Quobba

    The beach at Quobba is not good for swimming but it was great for an evening walk and the sunset was stunning. We had plenty of fun exploring and collecting shells

    The beach at Quobba Station
    The beach at Quobba Station

    You can light fires on the campsites and they sell firewood if you need it. During our stay we had no issues with noisy people, though when we checked in we were told where they could be located.

    A fire at night
    A fire at night

    Red Bluff was a 40min drive north of Quobba and was a tricky drive in. I would not recommend for big caravans unless you are happy with tight corners. We visited for lunch and had a wood fired pizza. The flies were beyond anything like we experienced anywhere on our travels so we ate the pizza in the car. I would love to camp here at some stage.

    Views at Red Bluff
    Views at Red Bluff

    Heading north again you make your way to Gnarloo Station and Gnarloo beach. We had planned to go snorkelling based on a recommendation from the receptionist at Quobba but we could not figure where to swim in. We did swim and stayed for an hour or so enjoying the spot with very few people around. I would recommend either staying here or visiting when in the area.

    I highly recommend visiting and staying in this part of WA. If you are happy with less amenities and being self sufficient it beats out Coral Bay as a destination in my opinion.

    Opening the Camera App on iPhone

    My recent travels instigated a rethink of how I access the Camera App on my iPhone. Straight to the point, I have removed the app from my Home Screen and the control from the Control Centre. I have spent many years with this setup, the logic being that the camera is available as quick as possible from anywhere in iOS and not thinking about it. In reality this caused more thinking as my brain got stuck deciding which method to go with; swipe to home, swipe top right, swipe top middle.

    What I realised is the best and only place to launch the Camera App for me is from the iOS Lock Screen. The logic now being that it is immediately accessible when picking the up my iPhone and by swiping down from the centre (or left) of the top of the screen which can be done from anywhere in iOS. There really isn’t need for anywhere else.

    I have been much happier with the process and I recommend giving this a go.

    Long term injury recovery update.

    It’s been a year since I first saw the sports doctor and in todays appointment he pointed out that he has never had a patient take this long to heal. Next step is to get a EOS scan of my whole body and a CT scan of my spine fusion. Then discuss the results. There is a chance I will have surgery to detach my adductor tendon, which apparently is a reasonable thing to do. 🤷‍♂️

    Gascoyne Junction

    Gascoyne Junction and Kennedy Range
    Gascoyne Junction and Kennedy Range

    Day 7

    We left Wooramel in the morning and made the drive to Carnarvon for food shopping, supplies and clothes washing. Carnarvon is surprisingly a small town but they did have the shops we needed. We grabbed Chicken Treat for lunch and headed off to our next stop, Gascoyne Junction.

    The drive east was stress free and we saw far less other cars on the road. It was probably due most people heading north for the solar eclipse but it was half nice and also made me wonder what we were in for.

    When we arrived at the town we were met with a large community area with lawn, bbq's and even an outdoor amphitheatre. It was very flash. We then drove around to the caravan park, which also looked new and well maintained. The caravan park was connected to the pub and swimming pool and after setting up we headed over for a swim and we all grabbed a drink.

    The pub also had free wifi so it was a good chance to catch up with family and getting our first video up to YouTube.

    Day 8

    The main reason for coming to Gascoyne Junction was to visit The Kennedy Range and explore the gorges. The visitors centre was super helpful and we headed off on the hour drive. Most of the way was over corrugations and Gus handled the conditions well.

    We first went to Honeycomb Gorge which was about a 30min walk from the car park. The gorge had no water which was disappointing but it was spectacular and it was easy to tell how it got its name.

    Honey Comb Gorge Entrance
    Honey Comb Gorge Entrance
    Honey Comb Gorge
    Honey Comb Gorge

    We then drove around to Draper's Gorge which was equally a stunning hike but again had no water for swimming.

    Stunning Views
    Stunning Views
    Chris climbing
    Chris climbing

    The temperature was into the 30's at this point so we headed back to camp.

    We spent the afternoon by the pool and relaxing.

    Day 9

    Heading back to the Kennedy Range we hiked into Temple Gorge which was by far the longest walk and also was the best gorge. Not only did we hike to the end but we also took the walk to the top. This walk walk tough on all of us and Nia did an amazing job.

    Temple Gorge
    Temple Gorge
    At the top
    At the top
    Looking down at Gus
    Looking down at Gus

    Again we headed back to the camp for drinks by the pool.

    Gus & Lucky
    Gus & Lucky

    Day 10

    This was our leaving day but also the day of the solar eclipse. We had heard from other travellers that the local council was putting on an event in the park we saw as we arrived in town. After packing up we headed down and were met with a group of locals and visitors. They had set a sausage sizzle and deck chairs for the eclipse. They also provided special glasses for the viewing.

    Looking at the eclipse
    Looking at the eclipse

    We spent the next hour eating, drinking and watching the big event. It would have to be one of the highlights of the trip so far and unexpected.

    We finished the day driving back to Carnarvon. This stop was planned as a way to restock and take a pause just in case we had any major issues with our setup.

    Gascoyne Junction Review

    We very much enjoyed our stay at Gascoyne Junction and hiking the Kennedy Range. The caravan park was super well maintained and kinda showed us what caravan parks could be like with some effort.

    We did discover the there was a flood in Gascoyne Junction in 2010 and wiped away much of the town. This is why the facilities were all new and in good condition.

    The Kennedy Range is worth the visit being that it is closer to Perth. I would check the conditions in the future to ensure that they are swimmable as that was a negative.


    Other than the fridge, everything was going well. I did add a block wood under the back end of the fridge to add an angle. This has helped opening the fridge but not as good as I would like.

    The site had power and drinking water which makes life much easier.

    Wooramel Station

    Wooramel River Retreat Location
    Wooramel River Retreat Location

    Day 4

    After leaving Kalbarri we made the 3.5 hour drive north to Wooramel Station. Being concerned about our arrival time we called ahead to make sure we knew what to do if the reception was closed. The good news was that they would be open but the better news was that it was "Pie Night" at the Cafe, so dinner was already sorted.

    Day 5

    After waking up from a good sleep I headed for a shower while Chris and Nia went to check out the hot spring baths. Apon my return to our camp site I realised the girls must be at the springs. They were too good to resist and we all ended up soaking in the 35 degree water for a good hour.

    Sitting in the Hot Baths
    Sitting in the Hot Baths

    We grabbed coffee from the cafe and then decided to start exploring the station.

    We first explored the historical tip which had old cars, motorbikes, caravans and white goods from the past. It was pretty cool and an unexpected part of the station.

    At the
    At the "historical" tip

    We then went for a walk along the side of the river and returned back to camp walking via the river bed. The water at Wooramel River flows rarely and we had been lucky that it contained some water during our stay. During the walk we saw the free roaming goats and a number of cool birds, the highlight being Wedge Tailed Eagles.

    Posing in the river
    Posing in the river

    Before dinner we met one of the caretakers that lives on site and he was kind enough to let Nia light the community camp fires. She was so excited.

    Day 6

    Our second day at Wooramel was as relaxing as the first and followed a similar pattern. Relaxing in the river was a highlight and Nia enjoyed catching tadpoles.

    Hunting for tadpoles
    Hunting for tadpoles

    Wooramel Station Review

    We thoroughly enjoyed our stay at Wooramel and I would recommend a 3 night stop (like us) for first timers but I would imagine in the future we might use it as a stop off whilst heading to somewhere else.

    There were plenty of sites but was booked solid due to the solar eclipse.

    The hot springs were amazing but be warned not to wear anything white or light coloured. My bathers and Chris' Garmin did not come away unscathed.

    Gus & Lucky looking great in the sunset
    Gus & Lucky looking great in the sunset


    The fridge is still a problem but I have ideas that might help.

    On a positive, the solar equipment is working a treat and we are having no issues recharging during the day and getting back to 100% capacity.

    The Beginning - Kalbarri and Wagoe Station

    After 3 years of planning our “Big Trip” began.

    The first drive
    The first drive

    Day 1

    We left Tuesday morning at 8:30am with a send off from my parents and we headed to Wagoe Station which is about 20km south of Kalbarri. My son (Dylan) followed in his Jeep Wrangler as we organised to meet and stay with family at Wagoe. Having stayed at Wagoe in October last year, the drive was familiar and took about 5 hours. The only eventful moment was noticing that one of the tyres on Lucky (the camper) indicated we might have an alignment issue (more later). It was great chatting along with our UHF radios and I was glad to have gone with a fixed radio rather than hand held.

    We arrived last of our group and were met by Lorainne (Chris' Mum), Merv (Chris' Step Dad), Phil (Chris' Uncle), Helen (Chris' Aunt), Steve (Chris' Unlce), Pete (family friend), Connor (Pete's grandson), Darren (Chris' Cousin) and Cooper (Darrens' Son).

    After setting up the camper and catching up with everyone we were ready for dinner and bed. We enjoyed both.

    Day 2 - 4WD'ing at Wagoe

    Wagoe Station offers beach access for a $20 deposit per car. The beach access is caveated with warnings of setting the correct tyre pressures and a $200 tow off fee if you cannot self recover. We were in a convoy of 4 vehicles and we all felt comfortable that we could get ourselves out. This was the first time I'd taken Gus (my Ranger) beach driving since replacing the suspension and adding a winch.

    Our plan was to make the ~15km drive south to Lucky Bay for a snorkel and be back for lunch. The beach conditions were good to soft and by maintaining momentum we would be fine to make the trip.

    The "Crew"

    Unfortunately at a bad spot to stop, my son got a warning light about his transmission fluid overheating. That spiralled into Phil's truck getting bogged, another vehicle carrying a trailer (and overweight for the conditions) dramatically avoiding us and getting bogged, breaking the winch cable on Gus, spending countless hours getting everyone unbogged and then turning back the way we come to avoid any more dramas. It was a fun 5 hours and I learned much from the experience and I am glad we did it as a family and will have great memories from the day.

    Lucky awaiting the next move
    Lucky awaiting the next move

    We finished the day reminiscing over drinks and fixing the winch on Gus. We were all tired that night and slept like logs.

    Day 3 - Kalbarri Gorges

    We left in the morning and met the family at Kalbarri Skywalk which is located about 30km east of Kalbarri. It is a great way to experience the gorges and provides a thrill for those with height concerns. What was noticeable today was how much water was flowing through the gorge as opposed to October last year. We also visited Natures Window which is a rock formation that provides a great frame for photos.

    Nia looking out
    Nia looking out
    The Skywalk
    The Skywalk
    Nature's Window
    Nature's Window
    Chris showing off 🤣
    Chris showing off 🤣

    We all met in the pub in Kalbarri for lunch before separating for the afternoon. Chris, Dylan and myself headed back into the National Park to hike the Four Ways trail. I had been recommend this for the great swim at the end. The walk itself was stunning and although it was not safe for swimming that day, I know we will go back in the future. Chris and Dylan did get in at a safe point.

    Back at camp after dinner the wind suddenly changed and came in strong. It was at this point we found out that the wind will be blowing at up to 60km/hr for the night. We bunkered down as best we could, ready for what was to come. Lucky survived the night but the noise of the outer canvas layer made it nearly impossible to sleep through. Lorainne and Merv suffered the most, with their tent breaking, and they had to climb in their car to seek shelter. Nia climbed into bed with us and we huddled in one bed, we finally fell asleep for a few hours.

    Along the trails
    Along the trails
    Swimming on the edge
    Swimming on the edge

    Our stay at Wagoe has left us with many memorable moments and we are glad to have started our journey with our family.

    Wagoe Station Review

    Located at the top of dunes overlooking the ocean, Wagoe has a million dollar view. Last October we watched whales leaping from the water for our stay. Without that spectacle our focus turned to the amenities. Unfortunately for the price ($50 per night) there are many issues. We had power and drinkable water, which was great. The bathrooms, toilets and showers were basic and not enjoyable to use. The men's shower choice consisted of one with a lock or one with nowhere to hang clothes and towel. The camp kitchen had a non functioning stove but did provide a kettle and sink for washing dishes.

    Can I recommend Wagoe? That is difficult, if I could guarantee whales, zero wind and you are either comfortable with poor amenities or have a caravan with shower and toilet, then yes check it out. Otherwise I don't know if I would stay there again. The owners may realise they could provide much more and turn it into something special, but I know they have been there for many years and they are happy with what they provide.


    We have had a few issues over the first few days of our trip. It's funny as we have not had any problems in our other travels.

    First Lucky might have a wheel out of alignment. To rectify this, my son helped me in a car park in Kalbarri swap the wheels over and we can start monitoring for wear on the other tyre. I have booked an alignment in Karratha in a months time, which is the closest place I can have it done going north. Campers cannot have wheels aligned at car places due the weight (apparently). Lucky does have 2 brand new spare tyres, which I will use after the alignment.

    Our Dometic fridge is too big for Lucky. I left buying it late and had to make modifications to make it fit. The fit was "fine" with Lucky closed but when we open it up the inside door gets caught. We can get it open with pressure but this causes the lid to come off the hinge. I have now added a block of wood to one end and that looks like a fix. It's not ideal but I think it will do. Fingers crossed the fridge is fine on a slight angle.

    The fridge came with a cigarette lighter connection and that broke at the end of day one. I had to rig up to 240v for the night and in the morning changed the location of the plug and ran the power lead under the fridge so that it cannot get caught. I will buy an Anderson plug in Carnarvon which will fix this properly.

    Longer posts to Mastodon from

    After my last post I though my I’d test how longer posts cross post from to Mastodon. Maybe I should have added a title. Maybe should allow a longer post to Mastodon if the server allows. These are such good questions and someone will know the answer. I just want to know for the future.

    That’s enough words - 332

    How to make a great presentation

    What I am about to go through comes from the research of Dr Jared Horvath and I recommend seeking down his book, YouTube channel and sign up for professional development/learning from him.

    I am going to keep this simple (read above if you want the evidence):

    • We cannot multitask. We can jump between tasks but not multitask.

    • We cannot read and listen at the same time. Try it, read a piece of text whilst someone reads it to you. Sorry english teachers, you have been wrong all these years.

    • We want deep notes, not shallow. Deep notes are there to make connections.

    Considering these, how do you make a good presentation?

    1. Start with your slides, they should be
      • basic with a plain (white) background
      • have one or just a few words (not a sentence)
      • either no image or a simple one.
      • and yes, this may mean taking 4 dot points an making a slide for each - that's ok your computer can handle it.
    2. If you need a page of information on a slide, DO NOT read it, ask the learners to read it to themselves (no peer reading out loud). Then follow up with questions to check for understanding.
    3. As you progress through your presentation allow time for the learners to gather their thoughts about what has been covered. This may mean summarising key points, providing prompts and encouraging noting/drawing big ideas.

    And that is it.

    Now go and try it out, I'll give you some homework.

    I want you to pick a class and identify what impact you are looking for from making the change. Run a pre test and then a post test implementing the changes. After each test observe the impact.

    It could be as simple as observing at how many times students asked what they are supposed to be doing during the lesson.

    You can run these tests all the time.

    Now to flip the coin, what do you do as the learner?

    Remember we cannot multitask

    1. Don't be a speech to text machine.
    2. Remove distractions. AKA the technology of choice.
    3. Fidget widgets are ok because they are not necessarily another task (rabbit hole opened)
    4. Watch and listen to the presenter. Look directly at them
    5. When appropriate, make deep notes and consider connections

    Finally, talk to your learners about this, teach them the why and talk about the changes they see in their learning..

    Now you know this, you will never see another presentation the same again.

    How I use Pocket Casts

    Pocket Casts has been my podcast player of choice for a while now. It ticks many boxes including great design, reliability and a great Apple Watch app with offline playback. I believe I have a fairly unique way of using Pocket Casts so I thought I'd share it. The flow is inspired by Castro an iOS app that uses an inbox system to filter new episodes.

    I use the Podcasts tab rarely and I have found no need for folders. I subscribe to a small list of podcasts I "always" listen to so maybe that helps my system. Pocket Casts does keep historical data for podcast even if you unsubscribe and resubscribe later, which I think is super neat. Looking at this tab you can see I sort by episode release date, large artwork and I show badges for unfinished episodes.

    Pocket Casts whole design paradigm revolves around filters and they are super powerful. Most of my interaction with the app happens with my Inbox filter.

    The Inbox filter displays episodes released in the last 24 hours that have not been downloaded. I have the app configured so that any episode added to the queue is automatically downloaded, any podcasts that is automatically set to go on the queue then does not show in the Inbox (or briefly).

    So how do I triage what goes in my queue? I have all podcasts set to notify on a new episode and use the scheduled summary feature of iOS 15+. When I check the scheduled summary I will open the Inbox and decide if I want to either:

    1. Add it to my queue
    2. Archive unplayed immediately
    3. Leave to be unplayed and not archived

    Anything left will be removed from the Inbox after 24 hours of being released. This keeps the list empty most of the time.

    I also use an Unplayed filter as a quick way to work through my list of older unplayed episodes that are not archived. I sort this filter with oldest first.

    I have been using this system for a while now and it works really well for me.

    Simple App Development with Swift Playgrounds Guides

    I have created a series of videos introducing app development using Swift Playgrounds on either iPadOS or macOS. Each video steps through the process of creating a very simple app and I envision this as a great starter to using SwiftUI. I hope you enjoy this basic starter series.

    You can jump straight to a YouTube Playlist

    Create Apps and Stacks

    Adding Colour

    Adding Gradients

    Adding Images

    Adding SF Symbols

    Adding Views and Tabs

    Issues with Swift Playgrounds and App Development

    I have found a couple of issues while using Swift Playgrounds for app development, which is kinda frustrating.

    1. There seems to be no way to run the and test on my iPhone without going down the test flight route. This is disappointing as my students live seeing their apps on their own iPhones. I’m wondering if we can get around this with Xcode somehow.

    2. NavigationViews preview like an iPad/macOS app with a side bar etc, I cannot seem to force iPhone only, so its adding a level of difficulty I did not want to cover with my students. I’m getting around this by making sure in my guides I will focus on using the live preview rather than running the app.

    If you have any suggestions to get around these two issues please let me know.

    Remember this is the first experience my students are going to have with app development and they need simple answers.

    Proposed Computer Science ATAR and Python

    Recently my local state educational body (SCSA) proposed an update to the Computer Science course that provides entrance to university. The old course was very out of date and it was good to see a change being made. Unfortunately amongst the good was the decision to only allow one programming language to be taught and that language was Python.

    I do not have any direct issue with Python, even though it may not be ideal as a language to teach coding, but that is another discussion.

    Below is the feedback I provided SCSA during the feedback phase. I’m hopeful there can be a change made, but I am doubtful.

    I would strongly advocate changing the requirement of one language (Python) to having more choice. Below are some of the reasons and considerations:

    Are there any any other educational systems that have a computer science university entrance course that only have the option for one language?

    If one language is a requirement there should be more consultation on the choice of Python.

    Choosing one language will help make an online exam easier to create and assess, this begs the questions of why the exam is testing specific coding skills and not be focused more on algorithmic thinking. There is no need to examine specific language skills.

    There appears to be a large influence from Curtin University in the choices made, what feedback have other universities provided?

    Arguing that there are many resources for Python is a moot point as other languages also have many resources and support.

    There is a risk setting a precedent for the K-10 Digital Technologies course to follow suite or teachers and schools will feel compelled to teach Python so that their students are experienced in Python when commencing ATAR.

    Overall, this is dramatic change has serious consequences that I do not believe have been considered or weighted accordingly.

    It’s multiapping not multitasking

    Why do we say multitasking when using multiple apps to get one task done?

    Recently I decided that I need to focus on one task at a time and not multitask. I set all my apps on my MacBook Air into full screen mode to “lock” myself in. I realised quickly that most tasks that I complete require multiple apps, for instance composing an email may require checking another email message or dragging in an image or file. I was spending more time swiping, loosing apps and dealing with how macOS behaves when using full screen apps.

    I am now back to using apps as windows, like they should be (with 2 caveats). My focus has improved by removing other distractions, which I will post about soon.

    For a closing thought, next time someone says an iPad is not good for multitasking do they mean “multiapping”?

    2021 in Review

    This is my list of the best (mostly tech) things of 2021.

    Best App

    This one has to go to WorkOutDoors as it has changed my running life. It not only makes an Apple Watch have all the features of a Garmin/Coros etc but it adds so much more. You can create interval sessions, customise screens and has great mapping functionality. If you are on the fence to getting an Apple Watch for running (less than about 6 hours) this should tip you in the right direction.

    Runner-Up: PocketCasts my favourite podcast app. A robust app with loads of features and works amazingly well on an Apple Watch even with no iPhone near by.

    Game of the Year

    I don't think I have been so engrossed in a game for a while as Fantasian. I don't really have time to play games and we do not have a Playstation or Xbox. Included with Apple Arcade, this is a must game for Final Fantasy fans, it's just great.

    Favourite Movie

    In 2021 I have taken the stance not to visit cinemas and look to streaming as much as possible. I think I could identify more misses than hits. My favourites, though, include Luca, Encanto, Shang-Chi.

    Favourite TV Show

    There has been so much good TV this year and along with COVID-19, it's possibly why I have not been lured to the cinema. My stand out would have to be Loki. I am not sure if it was that it was unexpectedly good but because there was so much good. The acting is fantastic, the story compelling and amazing special effects. This (I have not seen Spider-Man: No Way Home) is the best Marvel production by far in my book.

    Runner-Up: Foundation, it's just such good Sci-Fi with no glaring issues.

    Runner-Up: The Expanse, hopefully it continues some way in the future.

    Favourite Book

    I decided this year to start listening to books as well as podcasts while running. I chose to start with The Expanse series and Leviathan Wakes, and this has been my favourite this year. I’m now on book 3 in the series and hopefully I get through the whole 9 books at some point.

    Runner-Up: The Mystwick School of Musicraft is a beautiful story set in a world where magic is created by playing music. My daughter and I loved this one and it’s a great recommendation for 8 year olds.

    Favourite Apple Product

    iPhone 13 Pro for the camera alone, but so many refinements over my previous 10S Max.

    Runner-Up: Apple Watch Series 7 the larger, always on screen has greatly improved my watch life. Who would have thought that seeing the time without throwing your arm in the air would be life changing? 🤣

    Best Non-Apple Product

    The Polar Verity Sense heart rate monitor has been a great addition to my running, it’s comfortable, provides good data and very easy to use. If you have a running watch and it does not give good HR data (this effects many people, it’s not an Apple Watch thing) then I would highly recommend buying one.

    Runner-Up: Weber Connect Smart Grilling Hub. I just love this thermometer for my Weber. Connects via Bluetooth and WiFi and charged via USB. The app makes it easy to keep track of everything even while I’m not at home. It’s not cheap but I appreciate it every time I’m low and slow cooking.

    Most Disappointing Product

    This is a hard one but Swift Playgrounds 4. Everything about this update is great except that all the app development functionality is iPad only. Some might not see the need for this to work on a Mac, but if you think Xcode is hard being a developer, try getting 14 & 15 year old students to install and run this it on their 3-4 year old MacBook Airs with 128Gb of storage - you will then know the pain is real. I had such high hopes that this will remove one of my biggest pains about teaching app development and Apple somehow missed the opportunity. Fingers crossed they will get an update out for the Mac next year.

    Most Life Changing Hardware

    Breville Barista Express. I would not think I would find a better coffee machine than an Aeropress, but this espresso machine has changed my appreciation for good coffee.

    Runner-Up: Renpho Massage Gun there are many manufacturers of percussion massage guns but this is the one I chose and it's amazing.

    Favourite Tech Podcast

    Hands down Hemispheric Views. The hosts are funny, knowledgeable and down to earth. It helps that 2 are from Australia and one is from Perth. I have listened to many tech podcasts over the years, but in this show they stay positive and keep a tight ship.

    Runner-Up: BubbleSort Show hopefully this comes back, it's been quiet since August but they make me laugh and always cover Apple Tech news so well.

    Favourite Non-Tech Podcast

    I am slowly working through the back catalogue and listening to the new episodes but Darknet Diaries is well produced and full of great stories about hackers, hacks, government activity, hacktivism and cybercrime. I really enjoy this one. I put this under not-Tech as I think anyone would get a kick out of it and it really makes you change your password.

    Endorphin Speed - What went wrong

    Back at the start of May I could not have been happier that I’d picked up a pair of Saucony Endorphin Speeds. I had some PB’s and they were seemingly everything the reviews had said. A few weeks later during a mid week training run something went wrong. At the time I didn’t make the link but the injury I sustained then became a recurring niggle when running in these shoes.

    On the cool down home my left, outside, upper calf muscle just went “ping”. I ended up hobbling home and needed days off. I think it took about 2 weeks before things got back to normal.

    As I continued training and building to running a marathon the “ping” would come back when running fast. It didn’t stop me but I was concerned it might. I still didn’t blame the shoes as I’d never had a shoe specific issue before. Once I picked up the Nike Alphafly’s and started using them for my quick runs, I noticed no “pings”.

    My coach and I decided it was time to remove them from my shoe rotation to avoid risk.

    After the marathon I decided to give them another go and it was pretty much straight away that the “ping” came back.

    I am not sure what is causing the issue, whether it’s the nylon plate or something else but these shoes are not for me. My coach has also said that other runners he trains had issues with the Speed’s so there must be something.

    So for now the Saucony Endorphin Speeds are seeing out their days logging some slow, easy miles.

    Comparing the last training run with the first 10km of the marathon.

    While looking at the data for my recent marathon it became clear quite quickly that something was wrong.

    Here is the data for the last workout I did, one week before. This was a 10km run at marathon pace. So I averaged 4:05 min/km and my heart rate was low 160’s bpm.

    Now looking at my marathon attempt. I adjusted my planned pace to aim for around 2 hours 55min finish. This equated to running at 4:10 pace. So running slower than the week before. Look at the heart rate, I was sitting at low 170’s, about 10bpm higher. It was clear I would not finish well right from the beginning.

    Now I am running 2 Marathons in 2 months

    After running on Sunday I realised that I would not be able to maintain my planned marathon pace for the Sunset Coast Marathon. Being sick for more than 2 weeks has taken its toll and I still need a week to get back in shape. With less than 4 weeks to go, I had to make a decision of what to do.

    I was talking to my colleague at work and she reminded me of the Perth Marathon. The last I checked it was not confirmed and the date did not fit well into some holiday plans that I had previously made. In checking again, the Perth Marathon is taking registrations and better still, it will go ahead a week later on the 17th October.

    Last night my running coach and I sat down over video call and started to look at the next 2 months of training and now focusing on the Perth Marathon. Everything has worked out great and he has even accommodated my daughter's birthday, Father's Day and my holiday to Broome.

    One of the best part of the training schedule is that I will still run the Sunset Coast Marathon in 4 weeks. I will use it as a "18 mile" marathon pace training run. This means I will run easy for about 3km then 29km marathon pace and then run easy/jog into the finish line (~10km). In doing the maths on the paces there is a chance I could even walk away with a marathon PB. 😎

    I am now trying every remedy to stay not sick and hoping everything goes to plan.

    Using emoji in calendar event names

    In the last Apple AppDev Connect, Jessica Grauds suggested using emoji’s to identify calendar events and make them stand out (you know accessibility). I’ve been doing this since and I love it.

    I recommend choosing the same emoji for similar events and I even use an emoji for my daughter for events that are for her. The great things is that once you start using the same type of emoji they will appear in the “frequently used” area making it quicker to add in the future.

    Using emoji in calendar event names

    Leaving Gmail behind

    Yesterday I decide to start migrating off Gmail as my email provider. I am just not comfortable anymore knowing that Google “reads” all my emails and then does “stuff” with the data. I have decided to use my iCloud account as I believe Apple is privacy focused and more likely to exist in the future.

    The first step is moving all my archived to my other email account. I am doing this by copying it using the Mail app on my Mac. Yesterday I moved all archives from 2019-2021. In total I have 37,400 emails to move going back 2006.

    My next challenge will be migrating any account that sends emails to gmail to now send to iCloud. So far most companies are making this easy. The most difficult is Auspost and Apple (though I have found a guide).

    Hopefully this goes well.

    Weber Connect Smart BBQ Hub

    I decided today that I really did need a new thermometer for my Weber. I have had nothing for a couple of months now and I can only do simple cooking, like chicken wings, steak and burgers. Today I wanted to cook pork belly bits and I knew that I would need to monitor the ambient temperature.

    I chose to get the Weber Connect Smart Barbecue Hub mainly as my local shop had them in stock so it was a quick buy. The other thought was even though it was more than I wanted to spend (AUS$200), being made by Weber it should be quality, but who knows?

    So far I am pretty happy. I really like:

    • USB recharging
    • Wifi connection (I can check temps while not at home!!!)
    • Longer probe wires
    • Magnetic base
    • Easy to see

    I am excited that now I can start doing low and slow bbq’ing again.

    My other choice was an Inkbird (which was the make of my last thermometer that broke) or the Meater, which costs even more (for wifi) and only has one probe.

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