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Friday Funny: If animals were round…

David Meego - Click for blog homepageCame across these videos which I think you will enjoy.

Rollin’ Wild asks the question:

If all animals became round overnight, would their daily life still run that smoothly?

Check out the video playlist and a Christmas video below:

Rollin’ Safari Playlist (direct link)


Rollin Christmas (direct link)


For more information, check out:



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Friday Funny: If animals were round…

November 27, 2015 · WinthropDC · No Comments
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RoboCup Junior Australia 2015 National Championships

Wombat Fitness - Click for blog homepageWhile David was away in the USA and Mexico, I got to accompany Rohan to the RoboCup Junior Australia 2015 National Championships on 26th and 27th September 2015. You may know from past blogs that robotics has been a bit of a hobby for David and our sons. This year, being in the National Competition meant travelling to Gawler, South Australia.

Aaron, who has been successful in the Rescue competition is now too old to compete. He has been mentoring the younger students and would have been very useful to have with us, but we have an ageing puppy dog who was already pining for the master of the house, so Aaron got the job of house and dog sitting while Rohan and I flew to Adelaide with the other competitors and parents from All Saints’ College.

In all we were 4 teams; 10 students, 11 parents and several siblings and 1 school staff member. (Cat herding now seems simple in comparison.)

Open Dance: Pickle Jar Productions (Josh, Megan, Noah, Sarith and Rohan) with Priscilla the Gorilla

Secondary Rescue: Team Sonic (Jay, Liam and Mason)

Open Rescue: BEN (Pragash) & Vindaloo (Disura)

The competition venue was about a 40 min drive out of Adelaide (the state capital city) and accommodation for such a large group was scarce, so we ended up staying at Tanunda Discovery Holiday Park in the Barossa Valley, an area you may well know for its excellent wines.  Tanunda is a lovely, historic little village, still about 40 mins from Gawler, but without the city traffic. This was fine with me as I got the added task of driving the bus (a surprisingly speedy Hyundai iMax van) handed on to me thanks to David’s past efforts as chauffer extraordinaire.

I have to confess here, that despite being given strict instructions from David to follow all the teams and competitions, I am a Mum first and foremost, so I may have spent the vast majority of my time watching the Open Dance Competition, where Rohan’s team was competing.

I did watch some of the Secondary and Open Rescue competition and it is amazing to see the work and development that has gone into all the rescue robots.  Since we started this journey some 7 years ago, the standard of competition has improved incredibly.  From very unreliable, line-following robots that could navigate some simple obstacles to locate a “victim” (soft-drink can), this year I witnessed very sophisticated robots meet the challenges of ramps, speed bumps, sloping terrain and more.  In the finals of the Open Rescue the students’ robots had to autonomously navigate the course to the “chemical spill” and identify and rescue (in a controlled manner) multiple “victims” without falling off raised tiles. The following photos and video (apologies for the adjudicator’s legs) may explain that better:

Course1Example Course 1

Course2Example Course 2

RoboCup Junior Australia 2015 Open Rescue National Championships – BEN (direct link)


When you think that the competitors are mostly 12 – 16 year old school children, it gives me a lot of hope for our future. 

Teams had travelled from Korea and Croatia sent their National Team to compete in the Australian National competition.  The All Saints’ teams did well, but “Michael” from Box Hill High School (Victoria) won Secondary Rescue and “Marshmallow” from St George Christian College (New South Wales) took out the Open Rescue Competition.

Meanwhile, in the Open Dance Competition the stress levels were high.  This was Rohan’s last year of competing and the pressure was on the rest of his (younger) team mates to bring home the bacon.  You can look at the photos and watch the video but they will never truly convey the hours and hours of work that has gone into all the competition entries.  Without wanting to sound like I am bragging too much you need to know that the 5 kids in Pickle Jar Productions:

  • Selected and mixed the music
  • Built and painted the backdrop
  • Wired and soldered the LED lighting that runs along the backdrop
  • Choreographed Pricilla’s movements, the truck movements and their dance.
  • Built Pricilla, the truck and the spinning big top
  • Programmed Pricilla, the truck and the spinning big top
  • Made Pricilla’s feet, hands and face by painting latex over clay moulds that they also made
  • And probably a whole lot more that I have missed

Remember that once the “go” button is pressed the performance is totally autonomous without any input or interaction from the team.

Here is the video of Priscilla the Gorilla and the Pickle Jar Productions finals performance:

RoboCup Junior Australia 2015 Open Dance National Championships – Pickle JAR Productions – Finals (direct link)


Robocup Junior Australia – 4 controllers, 16 motors and one very cool monkey!


At the end of the day, when scores from the performances and interviews were tallied, Pickle Jar Productions came second, pipped at the post by the other West Australian team, The NX-Twins EVolv3 (Melville Senior High School). This reversed the results from the WA finals where Pickle Jar won and the NX-Twins came second. All I’m saying is that it must have been close.

PickleJar1Pricilla gets some love before for the big day

PickleJar2Pickle Jar Productions relieved it’s all over

After the competition was over the All Saints’ Teams and the NX-Twins with Mum and Dad enjoyed a rather noisy dinner together at a local tavern in Tanunda. We had a day to relax and see some sights before boarding the plane home.  We chose to visit the local hill lookout and sculpture park and the Adelaide Zoo.  Yes, and we managed to sneak in one (just one!) winery.

For the previous posts on the RoboCup robotics competition see:

This is the final year that our boys will be competing in the RoboCup Junior Australia competition as they are finishing or have finished secondary school. David will continue to be involved as a mentor to the All Saints College Robotics Club.

Till next time.


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Filed under: Robotics, Wombat Fitness Tagged: Fun, General, News, Wombat Fitness

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RoboCup Junior Australia 2015 National Championships

November 16, 2015 · wombatfitness · No Comments
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Friday Funny: What is the Angle for X?

David Meego - Click for blog homepageHere is another mathematical puzzle for you.

This was recently asked in a Year 12 Further Maths exam in Victoria, Australia.

It was a multiple choice question, so I thought I would have a poll to see how well you can answer the question.

The question is:

A 50 cent coin has 12 sides of equal length. Two 50 cent coins are balanced next to each other on a table so they meet along one edge.

What is the Angle for X?

What is the Angle for X?

Take Our Poll



PS: What is a 12 sided polygon called? (Answer in the comments).

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Friday Funny: What is the Angle for X?

November 13, 2015 · WinthropDC · No Comments
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#GPUGSummit 2015 – Day 1 – Part 2 of 2

David Meego - Click for blog homepageGPUGSummit_Logo

Now that the work portion of Day 1 was finished, it was time to relax a little.

Starting with visiting the Expo Hall. My plan was to see a bit more of the what the exhibitors had on display, but after catching up with lots of friends we just did not get very far.

John Lowther and David Eichner

Beat and I did get to enjoy a drink, but had to wait about 15 minutes for a cold soft drink. I really don’t like pouring a warm soft drink into a glass of ice as it just immediately loses its fizz. So we asked the bar staff to put a couple cans into the ice bucket and came back later to claim a cold drink. :) Thanks to the bar staff for sorting this for me and Beat.

Pam Misialek chilling at the Epxo

I ended up at the Rock ‘n’ Rave stand where Jay Manley and Steve Linz from Mekorma where holding fort and handing out sheets to be used as togas for the Rock ‘n’ Rave party.

Mekorma’s banner showing the relationship with Winthrop Development Consultants

After the Expo, Beat and I headed back to the Peppermill to drop off our bags and then headed to the Edge Nightspot for the Rock ‘n’ Rave party (also on Facebook).

Here some photos from the evening:

Debbie Camp and Mike McDowell seeing red

Relaxing around the fire pits on the terrace, the music inside was very loud

Party go-ers wearing their sheets, ehem, togas

Mark Polino, Freakin’ Awesome MVP (even if he does have to say it himself)

Some of my favourite ladies in the GP world: Kim Peterson and Pam Misialek

I had planned only to stay for a little while as I was tired after a full day (and only 5 hours sleep the night before), but as I said my good byes I was dragged onto the dance floor and not allowed to leave. I did have fun with my dance partners for the night Sheila Ochoa, Kelli Sexton, Sheila Jefferson-Ross and Tanya Henderson. Thanks for a great night, just don’t publish any of the videos you took. :) I don’t want people to know that I am not always a geek!

Liquid Nitrogen on the dance floor…. it was cooooold.

Dancing the night away

GPUG Summit 2015 in Reno – Rock ‘n’ Rave (direct link)


Eventually, I had to leave as I was exhausted and had another busy day tomorrow. Oh well, another night with only 5 hours sleep. A special thanks to the sponsors of Rock ‘n’ Rave for a fantastic night: mc2, Accountable Software, ASC Software, Mekorma, k-eCommerce, PaperSave, Olympic Systems, Avalara, SalesPad and Concerto.


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Filed under: Conference, Dynamics, GP, GPUG, Microsoft Tagged: Conference, GPUG Summit 2015

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#GPUGSummit 2015 – Day 1 – Part 2 of 2

November 4, 2015 · WinthropDC · No Comments
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Dexterity Training in Mexico – Part 1 of 3

David Meego - Click for blog homepageAfter the reIMAGINE 2015 conference (and the camera incident), I left Fargo, North Dakota on Friday for the next part of my trip. As already discussed, the plan was to stay on this side of the world between the reIMAGINE 2015 and GPUG Summit 2015 conferences rather than fly the 30 plus hours home, just to turn around and fly 30 plus hours back a week later. Not only would that cost a lot more, the multiple jet lags would also do horrendous things to my body clock.

So, while I was staying “in the area” I was asked to go down to Mexico City, Mexico to run a five day Dexterity Fundamentals class.

The trip down to Mexico was fairly quick and simple. A flight from Fargo to Dallas and after a short wait, a flight from Dallas to Mexico City. This was my first trip to Mexico (in fact my first trip further south than Texas in the Americas).

FYI: My knowledge of Spanish goes back to life as a British 12 year old on holidays in Mallorca (pronounced as Mayorca), the largest of the three Balearic Islands located east of Spain in the Mediterranean Sea. In other words, almost non-existent.

The team at Axentit in Mexico had asked for me to come down and train a number of their team plus a couple of developers from customers to get them started in the Dexterity development world. Some of the attendees had already worked with Visual Studio Tools integrations, but not in Dexterity. Two of the attendees had some Dexterity experience from a previous training, but had never really used it, so this course was a refresher for them.

I just want to highlight the importance of Dexterity training, even for developers who are not planning to work with Dexterity moving forward. Understanding how Dexterity works allows developers to understand how Microsoft Dynamics GP works and why it behaves in particular ways. A Visual Studio Tools developer will be much more efficient and will create better code if they have at least done the basic level of Dexterity Training.

I am not going to bore you with details of the class other than to say I had nine attendees and they all did very well and they gave me excellent scores and feedback on the evaluation forms. Thanks guys.

The rest of this article is going to cover the time outside the training where my hosts, Mariano Arias and José Ramírez, showed my the sights, sounds and tastes of Mexico.

José picked me up from the Airport and we headed back to the Axentit office in the Condesa area in Mexico City. We then picked up Irio Daniel and the four of us went and had some lunch at a Mexican buffet. Below is the first photo with the new camera:

Lunch1Clockwise: José Ramírez, Mariano Arias, Irio Daniel and David Musgrave

I got to try a lot of different dishes that I had not had before and also started to understand that what we “Gringos” understand to be Mexican food in Australia and the United States is not actually what they eat in Mexico (at least in Mexico City).


After lunch, they guys dropped me of at the boutique hotel I was staying at. The Villa Condesa Hotel was only a short walk from the office and is a lovely, friendly small hotel.


The hotel does not look like much from the street, but once you are inside, it is quiet, welcoming and relaxing. The rooms are small and cosy… but not cramped. It has a lush garden which sets the tone as you walk in.


Mariano and José had planned a busy agenda for the weekend, so I had an early night so I would be ready….

More to come….


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Filed under: Development, Dexterity, Training Tagged: Development, Dexterity, Training

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Dexterity Training in Mexico – Part 1 of 3

October 11, 2015 · WinthropDC · No Comments
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#Windows10Devices Microsoft Windows 10 Devices Briefing

David Meego - Click for blog homepageToday, 6th October 2015 at 10:00am US Eastern time in New York City, the Microsoft Windows 10 Devices Briefing took place and it was an extremely polished presentation that introduced the world to the new Microsoft Devices for Windows 10.

The briefing announced some awesome new devices and games. Below are some of the videos from the event including the new Microsoft Band, new Microsoft Lumias, and the new Microsoft Surface 4 and Surface Book.

Microsoft Devices: Do Great Things (direct link)


Xbox One: Greatest Games TV Commercial (direct link)


The New Microsoft Band (direct link)


The New Microsoft Lumia 950 and 950 XL (direct link)


The New Microsoft Surface Pro 4 (direct link)


The New Microsoft Surface Book (direct link)


I know what is now on my wish list. Hopefully we won’t have to wait too long for the Australian releases.

If you want to watch the full presentation (which is definitely worth the time), click the link below:

The Hololens demonstration of the Project X-Ray game was amazing.



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Filed under: Band, HoloLens, Microsoft, News, Surface, Windows, Windows Phone, Xbox Tagged: Band, General, HoloLens, News, Surface, Windows 10, Windows Phone

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#Windows10Devices Microsoft Windows 10 Devices Briefing

October 6, 2015 · WinthropDC · No Comments
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#reIMAGINE2015 – Post Conference

David Meego - Click for blog homepagereIMAGINE2015_Logo

I know reIMAGINE finished over a week ago, but today is the first day since the end of the conference that I have had a change to sit down and start writing about it. Before you ask, there is a reason I am start with the Post Conference article…..

I have to start with an apology. I did something very stupid, even ignoring the advice of an expert. On the day after the conference was over, my Panasonic Lumix compact camera broke, the lens would not longer open, the zoom system had failed. After trying to see if anyone stocked a similar camera (so I could use the same batteries, cables, charger, etc.), I ended up buying a new Sony compact camera with similar (but slightly better) features.


When I bought the camera, the assistant at the camera shop said “make sure you copy the photos from the old camera off the memory card before using it in the new camera.”. I agreed as this was good advice. Then while waiting to get picked up from the store by a friend, I decided to do the initial setup of the new camera and try to learn its features. Then I did the stupid thing and put the memory card in the new camera. It came up with a couple of dialogs which seemed innocent enough. Then it mentioned something about NTSC video format and when I clicked OK, it formatted the card. Boom, no warning that it was going to erase data, no confirmation. I tried numerous programs to attempt to recover the photos, but no data was found anywhere on the card.

I normally back up photos from the camera to my computer each night when I travel (just in case), but had been so busy that I had not done a back up since the day before the conference. So the end result is that I have no photos from the reIMAGINE 2015 conference at all. Before you ask, the card was cleared before my US trip so I have not lost any other photos or videos, just the conference. So if you were in a photo taken by me and were hoping to be made famous by being featured on my blog… I am sorry… It won’t be happening this time around.

After getting very angry and grumpy with myself and berating myself for not backing up daily and for not being patient enough to wait until I had got back to the hotel to copy the files off the memory card, I realised that the photos were gone and were not coming back.

I spoke with my “sagely” wife and she reminded me that the only person who really knew what photos were lost was me and the consequences of this moment of stupidity were really quite minor and harmless.

I will also mention that the new camera is really impressive and has taken some great shots which you will see soon in the blog posts for what I have been up to since reIMAGINE.

So the points to take away from this post are:

  • Sorry, I have no photos from the conference, I might use ones from other people if I can.
  • Don’t ignore advice from people who know, especially after you agreed with it.
  • Backup your photos, both the ones on memory cards and the ones already saved to hard drives.
  • I am human and I can make mistakes along with everyone else.
  • Finally, listen to your spouse/partner, etc.

I will shortly write and post my recollections from the reIMAGINE 2015 conference.


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Filed under: Conference, Dynamics, GP, Microsoft Tagged: Conference, reIMAGINE 2015

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#reIMAGINE2015 – Post Conference

October 5, 2015 · WinthropDC · No Comments
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