Advancing the nexus of viticulture and technology.

Hold the Water

Monday, April 30, 2007

Here's one from the archives.

In April 2006, Mark Greenspan wrote a nice article on Vineyard Water Management Fallacies in Wine Business Monthly.

He urged us to resist the temptation to irrigate in June when the temperature begins to warm up, and to stress the vines by avoid giving them too many resources. He goes on to explain the importance of the pressure bomb and the porometer, and gives a nod to soil moisture monitoring (our Australian partners will be glad to hear this).


Glyphosate-Resistant Horseweed

Friday, April 27, 2007

Garrett Buckland made us aware of a new article from California Agriculture on a weeds resistant to glyphosate herbicides (e.g., Roundup).

The authors suggest developing an integrated program to prevent the onset of herbicide resistance in horseweed. They go on to recommend adopting a resistance management strategy for this weed in glyphosate-resistant crops.

Click here for the full report.


Tech controversies

A friend of ours in Australia pointed out this post from the Capozzi Winery Blog about Precision Viticulture (PV). I like it because in very few lines (and some comments), Josh manages to summarize the whole techie vs. farmer controversy quite well.

Contrary to "popular" belief, as Josh argues, the use of technology is all about winegrowers spending the optimal amount of time out in the vineyard. We all agree that Quality Time with the vines is the principal key success factor to great grapes.

As such, we'd believe that the use of PV (and our webware) actually lessens the amount of time a farmer needs to spend in front of the computer (or in an office), freeing up time to for you to spend in your boots, thinking about and making the important viticultural decisions - how much time are you spending putting together your Pesticide Use Report (PUR), for instance?

Where's the controversy?

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BUY software?

Buying software is expensive, and so _______ (pick one: antiquated, antique, archaic, dated, dowdy, fusty, old-time, outdated, outmoded, out-of-date, passé).

Huge Software Sale


The Machine is Us/ing Us

Thursday, April 26, 2007

We attended the Web 2.0 expo last week in San Francisco. We'll post more about the sessions we attended... but we thought we'd share a cool video entitled "Web 2.0 ... The Machine is Us/ing Us" from Michael Wesch. He is an Assistant Professor of Cultural Anthropology Kansas State University (should we worry?) - Enjoy!

PS The video was first released on YouTube on 1/31/07 and broadcast at the Web 2.0 Expo on 4/16/07.


Email Bankruptcy!

Alex and I recently traveled for ten days, and only replied to urgent email. Upon our return, we spent a good part of this week sorting through pending email.

Here are three suggestions, in increasing severity, that might free you from email administrivia and any guilt associated with knowing you are getting buried by email while you sleep:

  1. Batch your email time. Let everyone know that you will only check email twice a day, at specific intervals.
  2. Take a Sabbatical. You might want to reserve this one for Harvest. Let your contacts know (use autoresponse) that "...due to Harvest, there is a possibility you may never reply to your email. Please call my mobile phone to discuss urgent matters: (xxx) xxx-xxxx."
  3. Declare Email Bankruptcy. Lawrence Lessig (a well-known internet visionary) in a now famous note, coined the term when he declared: “Dear person who sent me a yet-unanswered e-mail, I apologize, but I am declaring e-mail bankruptcy.” He noted that he had spent two work weeks sorting through unanswered email, and determined that he would not be able to catch up.

I'll let you guys know if Alex stops responding to my email. :-)


NVG | Ahead of the Curve

Wednesday, April 25, 2007

Our friends at the Napa Valley Grapegrowers (NVG) held the first annual "Ahead of the Curve" on April 19. I found two presentations fascinating:

Bill Cascio, from Glazer Family of Companies, described the Global Luxury Wine Market and concluded the following: "The wine industry is changing fast from a highly fragmented supply driven agribusiness to a competitive professional luxury brand building beverage industry."

Bill closed his session with a couple recommendations, including:

  1. Accept the reality that you compete with the global wine world.
  2. Proceed cautiously and conservatively with price increases. Add value.
  3. All tiers need to raise the game to enhance our US share.
Paul Wagner, from Balzac Communications, focused on strategies and tacticst to market your vineyard (stand out from the crowd). I particularly liked his thoughts on what makes you special:
  1. If you can’t explain this in seven words or less, you will not be successful.
  2. It has to be in terms that your customers care about.
  3. It has to be about quality
  4. It has to be true.
Kudos to the NVG for such an insightful session!


Wine 2.0 | June 1, 2007

Tuesday, April 24, 2007

Hot off the press! This year's Wine 2.0 event will be held on June 1st at Club Sportiva in San Francisco.

Wine 2.0 is a wine industry networking group featuring the newest generation of emerging companies, services and communication tools that are changing the world of wine. Participating players are using technology to change the way wine is made, marketed, communicated about or sold.

Mark your calendars; See you there!


El Mundo Web 2.0

Monday, April 23, 2007

El uso de la tecnología Web sigue en aumento y ahora tenemos el llamado Web 2.0. No se trata de nueva tecnología si no de una actitud: crear aplicaciones realmente interactivas con el usuario y que sean de muy fácil uso.

Muchos de nosotros siempre hemos trabajado asi, utilizando metodologias y estandares para hacer los proyectos de esta manera. Lo mas chistoso es encontrar a un Guey 2.0 que se sorprenda que en Mexico trabajamos asi. ... con equipos en Chicago, y clientes desde California a Australia.


Free yourself (+ your budget)

Saturday, April 14, 2007

We recently found an article by David Terrar about the savings in the Total Cost of Ownership (TCO) that webware provides over traditional software. Though it's almost 6 months old, I think the message bears repeating. I agree with David in that one of the key values that webware brings to its users, in addition to the financial aspects (TCO), is that it liberates them to concentrate on their core activity and leaves the technology to folk (like us) whose core activity is software. Thus, if you're into spending some Quality Time with your vines and grapes (and eventually, wine), why would you want to spend so much time worrying about install versions, bug patches, servers, or disaster recovery?



Tuesday, April 03, 2007

Otra tema genial en nuestro servidor es que cuenta con RAID 1, este sistema permite tener una copia espejo de todo el servidor, permitiendo restablecer el sistema de inmediato en caso de falla, tomando el disco duro dañado y remplazándolo con uno que este en buen funcionamiento y una vez instalado se copiará en forma automática del que esta en funcionamiento, esto también es uno de los servicios de nuestro proveedor HOSTWAY.



New Monitoring Tool

Terminamos una nueva herramienta de control, que verifica periódicamente que cada uno de los servicios que administramos funcione correctamente. Si hay un problema con cualquiera de ellos, la herramienta notifica vía email a tres de nuestros administradores.

Además genera un reporte de todas las revisiones, el cual se puede consultar vía web por nuestros "vitechcultores."



RAM Upgrade = Powerful Engine

La verdad con los ocho procesadores y los 4Gb de RAM, estamos con un superserver genial. La ultima vez que trabaje con una máquina similar, de 8 procesadores también, con 3Gb de RAM y que tenía 4 sistemas operativos instalados a la vez, era porque era una empresa multinacional con X usuarios y Z ubicaciones, así también por hardware nos mantenemos a la vanguardia. Y por supuesto esto proporciona un servicio de punta a nuestros usuarios.

(X y Z son valores muy altos) TRANSLATE TO ENGLISH


Don't Run with Scissors

We all know a good password prevents unauthorized use of our systems. Unfortunately, all the other precautions you take to safeguard your data are only as strong as your weakest link, which might be your password scheme.

Here are some suggestions we recently shared with one of our clients.

  • Change passwords frequently;
  • Use at least eight characters, including numbers and symbols;
  • Use different passwords to avoid a larger security breach;
  • Avoid using words you can find in a dictionary (these are easier to crack);
  • Don’t use combinations of your personal information (like your child’s name and birth date).

And from the “don’t run with scissors” category: Set up a new user if you need someone to access your data while you go on vacation… with webware, you don't have to share your system, much less leave your user name and passwords written on a post-it note on your PC monitor.


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