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BlackBox – The First Dexterity Game

David Meego - Click for blog homepageIt has been many years since my BlackBox game got a mention and so I thought it was time to bring it up again.

I first wrote the game BlackBox for Dexterity in 1999 while I operated as Winthrop Dexterity Consultants. The game is based the original board game by Eric Solomon and was created with his kind permission.

The concept of the game is to find the location of a number of atoms hidden in a 8 by 8 grid.  Your only method of looking for the atoms is to “fire” beams into the grid from the edges of the grid and see if the beams are absorbed, reflected or deflected.

During my childhood, this was one of my favourite games and I had already written versions for the Apple //e, the Commodore Amiga, and the Sharp PC-E500 pocket computer. So, I thought why not create one using Dexterity.

Here is a screenshot of the game:

BlackBox1Screenshot of the BlackBox main game screen

When I first created the code it was hidden as an “Easter Egg” in products I was selling at the time. When I sold Omni Security and Omni Field Security to Great Plains (Microsoft) as Advanced Security and Field Level Security, I had to remove the BlackBox game from the code.

Later when I first developed the MBS Support Debugging Tool, it contained the BlackBox game. But it had to be removed when I finally got permission to release build 9 publically as the Support Debugging Tool.

While I was at Microsoft, I was not allowed to add the game to anything I developed, so it was released as a separate BlackBox product and for the last many years it has been available as a free download on the Winthrop Dexterity Consultants Downloads Page and Products Page.

So, if you want to try the game out, head over to the Winthrop Dexterity Consultants Products Page and download the BlackBox.zip file. It works with all versions of Microsoft Dynamics GP.

Once the chunk is installed, you will find the BlackBox menu option on the Tools >> Customize menu. If you add it to Shortcuts or Quick Links, it can be played on the Web Client as well.

For more information, here are some related links:

Please add your comments to say what you think of the game.

Enjoy

David

PS: Its Dexterity Product ID is 900, so that should give you an idea or how old it is. New Product IDs are in the high 7000’s.

This article was originally posted on http://www.winthropdc.com/blog.

Filed under: Dexterity, Dynamics, Fun, GP, Microsoft Tagged: BlackBox, Dexterity, Fun, Game

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BlackBox – The First Dexterity Game

April 13, 2015 · WinthropDC · No Comments
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Kinect 2 Tutorial on Tracking Strategies

Microsoft has published a set of great tutorials for making applications with Kinect 2. http://kinect.github.io/tutorial/ These detailed hands on Lab/Tutorials for V2 were published last month.

I highly recommend the tutorial on tracking strategies – for keeping the application accurate when multiple people are in the room.

http://kinect.github.io/tutorial/lab14/index.html

This lab will explain the following:

Tracking a user who is the first to be seen.
Tracking the user who is the closest to the Kinect 2.
Tracking a user who is the most active in the scene.
Tracking several people simultaneously.

Originally posted here:
Kinect 2 Tutorial on Tracking Strategies

April 8, 2015 · Jivtesh Singh · No Comments
Tags: , , , , , , , , , ,  · Posted in: Blogs I Follow Total Views: 33

Microsoft Virtual Conference Sessions–May 14 & 15

As part of the MVP Virtual Conference – there are a range of sessions from Azure, to BI that you can attend for free. Register here – http://mvp.microsoft.com/en-us/virtualconference-sessions.aspx

Here are some I am keen on attending –

Detecting Facial Expressions with Azure Machine Learning and Kinect for Windows

Speaker: Dwight Goins

Moderator: Gian Paolo Santopaolo

This session is about learning how to use Microsoft Azure Machine Learning with the Kinect for Windows in order to detect Facial expressions. This session will cover an introduction to Machine Learning, and different algorithms used to detect data patterns. The algorithms discussed will be nearest neighbor, probabilistic learning, decision trees, and neural networks. It will also cover an introduction to the Kinect for Windows device, such as explaining the features and capabilities of the device and SDK. The session will show basic demos and data coming from the device. The session will then drill down into HD Face and describe the data which is generated from Face and HD Face tracking. Lastly the session will show a demo and provide steps on how to incorporate Azure Machine Learning features into a Windows 8.1 Kinect enabled application to detect facial expressions in real time.

Microsoft Azure Infrastructure Automation with PowerShell

Speaker: Trevor Sullivan

Moderator: Anil Desai

Many IT Pros in the industry have begun their virtualization training with VMware, but as the market shifts in other directions, a lot of administrators are finding themselves managing multi-hypervisor environments. Many businesses are now in the process of migrating some or all of their virtual workloads to the Microsoft Hyper-V platform for a number of reasons including, cost savings, scalability, and ease of management. While managing a Hyper-V cluster is somewhat similar in concept to ESXi, there are some fundamental differences. This session will cover Hyper-V clustering, management differences, and the migration of VMs from ESXi to Hyper-V. The entire session will be geared towards VMware administrators who are looking to broaden their horizons by adding Hyper-V know-how to their toolbox.

10 New Things for Developers on Windows 10

Speaker: Colin Melia

Moderator: Mark Schramm

It’s in the title. If you didn’t have time for Build or you just want to get a summary of 10 new features for developers from the new and/or updates APIs, tools SKUs and/or languages, from devices to the cloud, this is your chance to get on board.

Resolving Conflicts in Collaborative Occasionally Connected Mobile Apps

Speaker: Michael Perry

Moderator: Bryan Hunter

In collaborative apps, a change made on one device appears on another. Data flows seamlessly across devices. But those devices aren’t always connected. And even when they are, users don’t want to wait for a network connection before they can see or work with their data. So data needs to be stored locally, and synchronized in the background.

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Microsoft Virtual Conference Sessions–May 14 & 15

April 7, 2015 · Jivtesh Singh · No Comments
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Microsoft Convergence Atlanta 2015 (#CONV15) – Day 3

Ok, I’m officially tired! Day 2 did not leave much room to sleep with a presentation, expo, dinner, and Rock-n-Rave (even though I did not stay long).

However, today I had to gut it out for our repeat session, CS15G024-R2 Microsoft Dynamics GP 2015: Customizing the user interface, which was scheduled for 11:00 AM.

CS15G024-R2 Microsoft Dynamics GP 2015: Customizing the user interface
Mariano Gomez and David Musgrave

We had 64 people in our session and really had an enthusiastic crowd despite the Rock-n-Rave precedent. The session went on as planned and we feel we had a bit more organization in our delivery.

Once our session finished, I ran off to Kevin and Dan’s session, CS15G014 – Leveraging Microsoft Dynamics GP 2015: Service Based Architecture for better integrations.

Kevin Racer and Dan Lothspeich

This session was truly informative as Kevin and Dan walked through the evolution of the work environment and how it has been impacted by the ever increasing hours we spend working, the ever decreasing workforce age, our own understanding of the Internet, the increasing workload many of us are challenged with, and the endless ways to communicate. This all has led companies to seek increased computing resources to process massive amounts of data which cloud computing seems to deliver well via a service oriented architecture model. This service model has driven the appification of software functionality, a technique by which software functions are exposed as services to be consumed by other software applications.

This brings us to the Microsoft Dynamics GP Service Based Architecture model, which seeks to expose parts of Dynamics GP as services to be consumed by other applications, also allowing Dynamics GP to consume services.

Microsoft Dynamics GP Service Based Architecture

The key to this technology evolution has been the enhanced interoperability with Microsoft .NET built within the Microsoft Dexterity toolset and leveraged via the Dynamics GP application. Kevin then went on to conduct a short demo on the endpoint URI structure and patterns to access the Dynamics GP services and showed off some of the cool discovery tools available, while detailing the security flow and authentication mechanisms required to access the Dynamics GP services.

Then we had eOne demoing their latest product, Service Builder which allows users and developers to expose any part of GP as a service, similar to how SmartList Builder exposes GP data. In fact, the idea is to also allow users to expose smart lists as services. Other applications include being able to expose Microsoft Dynamics GP windows and the underlying Dexterity scripts as services, conceivably allowing any function within GP to be consumed by other applications.

Well, I could go on and on, but hopefully you get the point. Kevin and Dan’s session is available on the Virtual Convergence site, here.


I returned to the Expo to try and catch up with David who had attended another session, but decided to go visit some folks I hadn’t seen yet. After saying hi and catching up with David, we returned to the Omni Hotel in preparation for the OneRepublic concert and to decompress from the day. I had invited a good friend of mine and I left to pick her up and return to the Phillips Arena.

The OneRepublic concert motto: “One Believable Convergence Celebration”

Once inside the arena, we quickly head to the floor area to get a good view of the group for the opening. In the meantime, we were enjoying some of the cool music being played. The group came on stage with their song Light it Up to open the concert.

The concert got progressively better with the group artists hitting some solos.

Well, the night was really a good one, but it was time to wrap up and get home.

Until next post!

MG.-
Mariano Gomez, MVP
Intelligent Partnerships, LLC
http://www.intelligentpartnerships.com/

Read more here:
Microsoft Convergence Atlanta 2015 (#CONV15) – Day 3

April 2, 2015 · Mariano Gomez · No Comments
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Microsoft Convergence Atlanta 2015 (#CONV15) – Day 1 Continued

Day 1 – Afternoon

After the Keynote and General Session, it was time for lunch and trying to catch up with friends. It never ceases to amaze me the logistics required to sit and feed 12,000 people at any giving time. Just making sure everyone has a place to sit or even the kind of food they like is got to be an incredible task.

Crowd heading for lunch at the Meal Hall

After getting my food, I went to sit at the table with some very distinguished folks in the community – in the meantime, David was off trying to get something that won’t upset his tummy. As you may or may not know, my good friend troubles with MSG intolerance (and associated flavor enhancing glutamates), which makes his daily food intake an exercise in patience and careful negotiation with restaurant staff and chefs.

From left to right: Beat Bucher (Forensic Technology), Kim Peterson (GPUG), Mark Huff 

From left to right: ?, Frank Heslin, and MVP Belinda Allen

After lunch, it was time to go visit some of my ISV friends. I had really been looking forward to get out to the Expo and pass by some of the booths to talk to some of the folks I normally run into at these events. Their work also serves to improve the lives of the Microsoft Dynamics GP community of users at large.

Rockton Software (Caption: Can’t you count? I only have 2, Beat!)

Ethotech: Stephanie Rasmussen, John Stulak, Kevin Rasmussen

FieldOne Systems (CRM Global ISV)

After walking around the Expo, it was time to go and work on last minute refinements for my upcoming CS15G002-R1: Microsoft Dynamics GP 2015: Upgrading and Deploying session. I had the 5:00 PM slot, so I knew by that time I would get a weary crowd.

Tim, Therese Jardine, and Ace Martin

All presenters are usually working on last minute deck improvements and catching up on emails before their sessions. Not to mention, the room is well equipped with coffee, snacks, and lunch for those choosing to avoid the crowd in the Meal Hall.

The Presenters’ Room

It was time to go and locate room A305. I arrived about 30 minutes before to do the customary tech check. As the crowd began to arrive, I figured I would begin asking random questions and entertain the group a bit before the 5:00 PM kickoff. I also managed to capture this picture (on David’s camera).

CS15G002-R1 Microsoft Dynamics GP 2015: Upgrading and deploying

My session had over 201 attendees and received the highest mark for any Dynamics GP session presented. The session also came in at 29 among the 265 delivered throughout Convergence.  Once the session was over, it was back to the Expo for a quick bite to eat and a drink while walking around saying hi to all friends.

Back at the Expo

 David and I decided to stop at the Microsoft Dynamics GP booth to say hi to our Microsoft friends.

Brian Roney, David Musgrave, and Alice Newsam

It was time to put this day away and get ready for another which would bring the Rock & Rave event and David and I delivering the first of our two sessions together.

Until next post!

MG.-
Mariano Gomez, MVP
Intelligent Partnerships, LLC
http://www.intelligentpartnerships.com/

More:
Microsoft Convergence Atlanta 2015 (#CONV15) – Day 1 Continued

March 31, 2015 · Mariano Gomez · No Comments
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#CONV15 – Convergence 2015 Atlanta – Day 3

David Meego - Click for blog homepageConvergence2015

Having managed to escape the zombies at the Rock-n-Rave party, Mariano and I were ready for another day at Convergence 2015.

We left home reasonably early, but as there had been some rain in the morning, the traffic on the freeway was banked right back so that even the entrance ramps were car parks. Mariano decided to take a different route into the city and while it did mean that we were continuously moving, I don’t think it saved us any time. :-)

By the time we arrived at the conference center, it was too late to sit in on the interactive discussion on Microsoft Dynamics GP Security: Tips and tricks that I was planning to go to. Oh well.

We had less people at the repeat of our session, CSG024-R2: Microsoft Dynamics GP 2015: Customizing the user interface, but it went well and we had lots of audience interaction and questions. Maybe that is because we bribed people with Tim Tams if they asked or answered a question.

Session
Mariano and David presenting (Picture by Beat Bucher)

After the session, I decided to go back to the Expo to try and cover the sections I had missed. James McCullough who was in the previous session decided to come along with me. It was nice to have someone to chat with as we went around the Expo.

This year they did not have any identifying labels on the stands as to which Dynamics products the exhibitor was compatible with. Also there did not seem to be any planning of locations for the exhibitors. For someone only really interested in Microsoft Dynamics GP and products that integrate with GP, it made going through the Expo a long process. I know some products integrate with multiple flavours of Dynamics, but surely there must be a better way to organise the stands.

After collecting lots of freebies, chatting with a number of the exhibitors and even solving a Rubik’s Cube at one of the stands, it was time for the Expo to close down for the night. I had completed about 75% of the Expo and planned to come back tomorrow to see the final section.

As I was leaving I caught up with Joe Carroll from Dynamic Partner Connections and Dynamic Communities. I love the work that Joe does for the community and it is always nice to stand next to someone my own size (well at least in one direction).

DavidJoe
David Musgrave and Joe Carroll

After the Expo, James had to run to catch a coach back to his hotel. I caught up with Mariano and we went back to the Omni Hotel’s Lobby Bar to relax and socialise before tonight’s Convergence Celebration event.

For the Convergence Celebration we all headed over to the Philips Arena again to listen to a DJ and then see a live performance from the popular band OneRepublic. Mariano had organised an extra ticket for a Colombian friend’s daughter who is currently living in Atlanta.

JenniMariano
Jenni and Mariano

 Crowd
The crowd getting excited as we wait for One Republic (click for larger)

 BeatMarianoJenniDavid
Beat, Mariano, Jenni and David

When we first arrived at the Philips Arena, we headed down to the area directly in front of the stage. But once the band started playing, I realised that someone of my stature is not very suited to standing in the mosh pit especially when someone like Rob Bernhardt is standing between me and the stage. I am a little too old and a tad too heavy to ask to sit on Rob’s shoulders, so I moved back up into the seats and sat with Cindy and Tanya. This gave me a much better angle to get some good photos and video of the band performing on stage.

OneRepublic
OneRepublic on stage

Check out some videos of the performance. I apologise in advance if they are a bit shaky as they were taken on a hand held camera from reasonably far away.

OneRepublic at Microsoft Convergence 2015 in Atlanta – Stop and Stare (direct link)

 

OneRepublic at Microsoft Convergence 2015 in Atlanta – Acoustic (direct link)

 

OneRepublic at Microsoft Convergence 2015 in Atlanta – Counting Stars (direct link)

 

OneRepublic at Microsoft Convergence 2015 in Atlanta – Finale (direct link)

 

OneBelievable
The end of an OneBelievable night.

After the show was over, I had to find Mariano again as he was providing my ride home. A bit of searching in the crowd and I was able to find him in the photo above. See the photo below where I have zoomed in a little.

 MarianoOnPhone
Where’s Mariano? Oh there he is … on the phone again!!!

So here ended another great, but long day.

Last day tomorrow.

David

This article was originally posted on http://www.winthropdc.com/blog.

Filed under: Conference, Dynamics, GP, Microsoft, News Tagged: Conference, Convergence 2015, News

Continued here:
#CONV15 – Convergence 2015 Atlanta – Day 3

March 31, 2015 · WinthropDC · No Comments
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You receive "You are not allowed to use Microsoft Dynamics GP. Please sign out and sign in with an authorized account" when accessing Web…

One of the cool things about Microsoft Dynamics GP 2015 is the new Web Client Identity Management feature. Having the ability to access Microsoft Dynamics GP with your Windows Directory or Windows Azure credentials without ever needing a SQL login account is just beautiful.

The Theory – Part 1: GP Utilities

The theory is fairly simple: you have a Microsoft Dynamics GP user account, which in turn is tied to a Windows Active Directory account or Windows Azure Active Directory account. User accounts are stored in the User Master table (dbo.SY01400) in the system database, which has been beefed up with a new column called Active Directory Object GUID (ADObjectGuid) to store the actual GUID of the directory or organizational account mapped to the GP user.

User Setup window

However, because Microsoft Dynamics GP continues to be dependent on SQL authentication for all intends and purposes, it continues to need a SQL login to be able to access the Dynamics GP database objects. This is where the new Web Client SQL Login user comes into play.

If you have done a new install of Microsoft Dynamics GP 2015, you would have noticed a new window called Manage Web Client SQL Server Login during the GP Utilities process. This window prompts for SQL credentials that will be used to access the SQL server database objects from Web Client.

Manage Web Client SQL Server Login window (GP Utilities)

If you are doing an upgrade, you will need to direct your attention to the drop-down list in the Additional Tasks window to find it — more on this later.

Additional Tasks window (GP Utilities)

When you enter the credentials in the Manage Web Client SQL Server Login window, the actual SQL Server security principal is created with the same password encryption at the database level. To understand more about this, read Why does Microsoft Dynamics GP encrypt passwords by David Musgrave over at Developing for Dynamics GP.

The Theory – Part 2: Web Client

When you are installing the Web Client itself, you are once again prompted to enter the Web Client SQL Server Login credentials. At this stage you MUST enter the same account information entered when you ran the GP Utilities.

This information is stored in the TenantConfiguration.xml file (in a single-machine instance) under the SessionCentral folder. The same information is used by the Service Based Architecture service (GPService service) to gain access to database resources, hence there’s also a TenantConfiguration.xml file (again, in a single-machine instance) under the GPService folder. These two folders can be located under your Program FilesMicrosoft DynamicsGP Web Components root folder.

Now that your AD or Organizational account is tied to your GP user account, when you launch the web client and your AD credentials are validated against IIS, a security token is created and passed on to Session Central service, which in turn spins up a runtime process passing on your AD account credentials in the GP Login window. The log in process itself will use the Web Client SQL Server login to access the system database and in particular the User Master table to validate the AD account GUID against the one stored in the table. If all matches, you are allowed access and from there on you go about your business.

The Problem

This brings us to the topic of this post…

As it turns out, during that handshake between Session Central and the Runtime service to pass off the AD credentials, I received the following error:

Further review of the Dynamics application and services log in Event Viewer, shows the following error:

System.Security.Cryptography.CryptographicException: Padding is invalid and cannot be removed.
   at System.Security.Cryptography.CapiSymmetricAlgorithm.DepadBlock(Byte[] block, Int32 offset, Int32 count)
   at System.Security.Cryptography.CapiSymmetricAlgorithm.TransformFinalBlock(Byte[] inputBuffer, Int32 inputOffset, Int32 inputCount)
   at System.Security.Cryptography.CryptoStream.FlushFinalBlock()
   at System.Security.Cryptography.CryptoStream.Dispose(Boolean disposing)
   at System.IO.Stream.Close()
   at Microsoft.Dynamics.GP.Web.Foundation.AesCryptographer.Decrypt(String value)
   at Microsoft.Dynamics.GP.Web.Services.Session.TenantServiceXmlHandler.ResolveTenantPasswords(Tenant tenant)
   at Microsoft.Dynamics.GP.Web.Services.Session.TenantServiceXmlHandler.GetTenantDetails(String identity, String tenantName)
   at Microsoft.Dynamics.GP.Web.Services.Session.Service.SessionCentralService.CreateSession(String tenantName, UserContext userContext)

Typically, any Crypto exception is directly related to credentials. So I traced back my steps after the upgrade and realized I had created the Web Client SQL server login account manually — after all, I had not seen the option in the GP Utilities drop down to do so. Of course, this would mean that the password was un-encrypted on SQL server and wouldn’t match the password stored in the TenantConfiguration.xml file. In retrospect, had I even used GP Utilities to setup the account and entered a different password from the one I entered during the Web Client install, I would have received the same error.

The Solution

Knowing that in essence what I had was a password mismatch between the value stored in TenantConfiguration.xml and the password at the SQL Server level, I decided to make things simple and removed the database user (sp_dropuser) corresponding to the security principal and the actual security principal (sp_droplogin) then re-launched GP Utilities and created the account once more, this time making sure the password matched what I had entered when installing the Web Client.

Once I launched the Web Client and entered my Windows credentials information, I was able to experience the beauty of single sign-on all the way to the company database I had selected as my default company.

Also, it is worthwhile to mention that Service Based Architecture was failing validation, but I will address this in my next article.

Acknowledgements

I want to thank Chris Rudolph with the Microsoft Dynamics GP Software Engineering team for his valuable insight into working through this issue. Chris also helped me with understanding some deep architecture stuff that I will be presenting in a future related article to this one.

Until next post!

MG.-
Mariano Gomez, MVP
Intelligent Partnerships, LLC
http://www.intelligentpartnerships.com/

Read More:
You receive "You are not allowed to use Microsoft Dynamics GP. Please sign out and sign in with an authorized account" when accessing Web…

March 12, 2015 · Mariano Gomez · No Comments
Tags: , , , , , , , ,  · Posted in: Blogs I Follow Total Views: 57