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#GPPT Stopping the subscription expiry warning message

David Meego - Click for blog homepageThe first build of GP Power Tools (Build 20) was released at the start of August 2015 and so we are now into the second year of its release.

This means that the early adopters of GP Power Tools are approaching their subscription expiry dates and some customers are now receiving warning messages about their subscription.

This article explains what the messages are for and how they behave.

The behaviour of the subscription expiry message was changed in Build 20 (Last Modified: 11-Sep-2015). Check the About GP Power Tools window to see if you are on an earlier build (look at both number and date).

If you are on a build before the changes were made, the administrator will get 60 days warning prior to expiry and users get 30 days warning prior to expiry. This original behaviour was based on the idea that the keys would be created with an additional 30 days, but this did not happen so the messages start 30 days earlier than desired. There is also no grace period after expiry.

If you are on a build after the changes were made, the administrator will get 30 days warning prior to expiry. Once expired, both administrators and users will be notified that they are in a 30 day grace period. The warnings can be dismissed for 1, 7 or 14 days. If your users dismiss the warnings for 14 days, they will only see the message twice.

To stop the messages showing:

  1. Administrators, please don’t ignore the messages for longer than 30 days.
  2. If your build is before Build 20 (Last Modified: 11-Sep-2015), please upgrade.
  3. Get your subscription renewed and update the registration key in the system.

If you are still using Build 20, please upgrade to Build 21 as it has many new features and lots of fixes. However, the quickest solution is to get the keys renewed and entered for your current build.

Note: If upgrading from Build 20 to Build 21 or later, GP Power Tools is broken down into modules and so uses 4 registration keys instead of 1.

So you might ask why are the messages there at all?

The reason is simple, GP Power Tools is sold with a subscription license rather than the more traditional Purchase and Annual Enhancement model. Unlike the traditional model, when the subscription expires, the code becomes disabled. It is important that Administrators are made aware of the impending subscription expiry, so they can renew to avoid any disruption of service.

Thanks for your support.

David

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

Filed under: GP Power Tools, Products Tagged: GP Power Tools, GPPT

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#GPPT Stopping the subscription expiry warning message

August 17, 2016 · WinthropDC · No Comments
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Using Forums Effectively by Jen Kuntz

David Meego - Click for blog homepageForums are fantastic. They provide a free community based support platform with contributions from a wide range of users and professionals.

Many Microsoft employees, Microsoft MVPs (Most Valuable Professionals), GPUG All Stars and experienced users donate their time to help the community. There only reward being thanked and having their responses marked as answers.

There are three primary forums for the Microsoft Dynamics GP product and these are the ones that I try to monitor and help out with.

The links are also on the right hand pane of the blog in the Forum Links section.

My friend Jen Kuntz from Kuntz Consulting has written a great article that explains how to get the most out of the forums and what some of the best etiquette is when using the forums. Please have a read:

Enjoy

David

PS: I am very glad she mentioned not to cross post on multiple forums. It is very frustrating to have to duplicate responses multiple times. Just post on one forum, if nothing happens after a few days, then try another if you must.

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

Filed under: Dynamics, GP, GPUG, Microsoft, News Tagged: Blogosphere, General, News

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Using Forums Effectively by Jen Kuntz

August 8, 2016 · WinthropDC · No Comments
Tags: , , , , , , ,  · Posted in: Blogs I Follow Total Views: 32

Handy Developer and Administrator Tools

David Meego - Click for blog homepageI want to make everyone’s life easier.

I should clarify that this is life in respect to my work life. As a Developer, IT Professional and Microsoft Dynamics GP Consultant I love anything that makes my job easier.

That’s why I created GP Power Tools (formerly the Support Debugging Tool) in the first place.

This article highlights some of the Windows tools that I use. These tools are ones that I have found myself or have been suggested to me by others.

Poor Man’s T-SQL Formatter

This is a must for any SQL Server Developer or Administrator. This tool formats Transact-SQL (T-SQL) code into a nice readable and standard format. It has a plugin version which installs directly into SQL Server Management Studio (or Visual Studio).

If you have ever opened a view or stored procedure created by Microsoft Dynamics GP you will have noticed that the white space and formatting has been stripped and the script is all on one line. So with this tool, you select Tools >> Format T-SQL Code and voila.

PoorManSQL

Website: Poor Man’s T-SQL Formatter

PicPick

While writing the section above, I needed to capture a screenshot of the menu and crop it to just part of the screen I wanted and finally save it as a png (better quality than jpg). Enter the next tool in this collection. I found out about PicPick when doing a screen sharing session with my friend and fellow Microsoft MVP, Beat Bucher, who uses it.

This tool, which sits in your system tray, is excellent for helping with screen layouts with its Magnifier and Pixel Ruler. It is also great for web design and checking RGB colour values with the Color Picker and Color Palette tools. Finally, it makes screen captures a breeze by using a number of options, it even triggers on the PrintScreen button.

PicPick

Website: PicPick by NGWIN

ShellFolderFix

This next tool was also discovered by me when doing a screen share with developer friend, Jeff Southworth from PureLogic. During the session, he clicked on something and suddenly a number of Windows Explorer windows opened to specific positions, sizes and folder paths.

When I am developing each of my products, I work on the current four versions at the same time so that the same features are available on all versions (where supported). My code base is the same for all products with conditional code and conditional compilation handling the version differences. So with ShellFolderFix, I can set up workspaces with the Windows Explorer windows in the positions I want for the folders I want and it will remember them. One click and I can restore the Workspace. It also has many other options that allow you to remember settings for specific folders.

ShellFolderFix

Website: ShellFolderFix

Notepad++

If you need to edit plain text documents, then good old Windows notepad.exe used to be the tool of choice. However, with Notepad++ you get the same functionality but on steroids. You can edit multiple documents in tabs and it has Syntax Highlighting for many common languages.

It even let’s you know if a file has been updated and will refresh the contents in the editor.  This is really useful when looking at log or ini files.

notepad4ever

Website: Notepad++

Sidebar Diagnostics

Do you remember the Windows Vista and Windows 7 gadgets? It was always cool to get statistics from your system such as CPU Usage and GPU Usage. Well, my son Aaron showed me there is a really nice way to get this functionality without the overhead of the gadget system or running lots of separate tools.

Sidebar Diagnostics provides a toolbar that you can pin to the edge of the screen which displays CPU, RAM, GPU, Drive and Network statistics. It is fully customisable in how it looks and what information it shows. So on my Surface Book, I can easily tell if the GPU is available or how busy the CPU is.

SidebarDiagnostics

Website: Sidebar Diagnostics

Ninite

If you are like me (and my son Aaron), as a technical person (Geek), you end up being the unofficial computer support person for all your friends and family. Every time they want a new machine bought and setup or an upgrade done or when something goes wrong, they are on the phone to you. I don’t mind helping out as a well set up computer is less likely to have issues and will run smoothly. I enjoy working with computers and if a machine works well it can be a joy to use. So I am trying to spread joy and happiness.

Aaron introduced me to Ninite. This tool helps with the spreading of joy and happiness. It is a “Meta” installer. You can just specify the products you want to install from a list of common products on the web site and it will allow you to download your custom installer. When you use the installer, it will download the latest versions of the products you have selected and install them for you. Here is where it gets clever, it will also automatically decline all the special offers and toolbars and other spy junk software that is sometimes included in installers. It is a huge time saver.

Ninite

Website: Ninite

Camtasia

You might have seen that I recently released some GP Power Tools Videos. To create these videos I recorded each section of the presentation deck and each section of the product demonstrations separately using the Camtasia Recorder and then in the Camtasia Studio I pulled everything together to produce what I hope you think are pretty professional videos.

While this tool is not free, it does have a free trial and I would highly recommend having a look at it if you have any requirements to produce videos.

Camtasia-Capture

Website: Camtasia

 

Hope you find all these tools as useful as I do.

David

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

Filed under: Development, Microsoft, SQL Server, Windows Tagged: Development, SQL, Windows

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Handy Developer and Administrator Tools

August 3, 2016 · WinthropDC · No Comments
Tags: , , , , , , ,  · Posted in: Blogs I Follow Total Views: 31

PSA: Microsoft will never call you or ask you to call them

David Meego - Click for blog homepageRecently, I posted an article: Friday Funny: Fake Microsoft Scammer Tries to Scam Ex Microsoft Employee, where an ex-Microsoftie had some fun with a scammer using a virtual machine which could be damaged without any actual risks to his computer.

Today, I came across a scam site that could catch the unwary. So I decided to write this Public Service Announcement (PSA) article to help keep people safe.

So, I accessed an old favourite on my internet browser and the web site that the shortcut URL accessed was no longer active. Watching the address bar, I saw it go through a few redirections before it ended up at the following scam site (not hyperlinked on purpose).

  • http:// mstech-online.site/en-warning.html

This site has the look and feel of a Microsoft site and even calls itself Microsoft Support.

Note: If you open the site you will probably need to use Task Manager to kill your browser session as the dialog will make it almost impossible to close nicely.

Bullshit3

Once loaded, it then opens a dialog and plays a sound file.

Bullshit

So here is a reminder:

Microsoft will never call you or ask you to call them

This is a scam, designed to scare you into calling them. Once you call, they will scare you into giving them access to your machine via GoToMeeting or LogMeIn and will then either install a virus or apply a registry password to lock you out of your machine and exhort payment via credit card.

If you ever get a Virus or Malware notification from your browser that asks you to call a number or go to a website, it is a scam.

I have reported this site already, feel free to report it or any other technical support scam using the site below:

Keep safe

David

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

Filed under: News, Public Service Announcement Tagged: General, News, Scam

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PSA: Microsoft will never call you or ask you to call them

July 18, 2016 · WinthropDC · No Comments
Tags: , , , , , , , , , ,  · Posted in: Blogs I Follow Total Views: 58

Friday Funny: Solutions to Impossible Numeric Puzzles, 6 The Hard Way and The Four 4’s

David Meego - Click for blog homepageAs promised when I posted the recent maths related Friday Funny articles, I would credit the source of the puzzles (at least where I found them).

The reason, I waited until after posting all 3 of the puzzles was that once you know where the site was, you would probably have found the puzzles and their solutions.

The puzzles were found as videos on the Scam School YouTube channel with Brian Brushwood. So below are the videos.

UNBEATABLE Number Puzzles (direct link)

 

The HARDEST Puzzle Yet! (direct link)

 

The HARDEST Puzzle… Part 2! (direct link)

 

Note that there are other solutions possible to some of the puzzles, these are not the only solutions.

Enjoy

David

PS: As a non-drinker I don’t really condone the use of these puzzles to get frinks (free drinks).

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

Filed under: Fun Tagged: Friday Funny, Fun

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Friday Funny: Solutions to Impossible Numeric Puzzles, 6 The Hard Way and The Four 4’s

July 15, 2016 · WinthropDC · No Comments
Tags: , , , , , , , , , , ,  · Posted in: Blogs I Follow Total Views: 55

#GPUG Nominate your GPUG All-Star for 2016

David Meego - Click for blog homepageAs GPUG Summit 2016 approaches, the process of selecting the new GPUG All-Stars for 2016 has started.

Nominations for your GPUG All-Stars are open and waiting for you. You must complete the survey before 29th July when the survey closes and the next voting phase begins.

The GPUG All-Star Award program recognizes three GPUG Members who have a passion for Microsoft Dynamics GP and have made significant contributions of their time and expertise to educate and connect the greater GPUG community.

GPUG All-Star Award candidates are determined by criteria associated to participating, volunteering, and sharing across all areas of GPUG:

  • Courage – The strength to persevere, hold the talent to teach fellow Dynamics GP users.
  • Passion – For those who share their Dynamics GP and technology passion with others.
  • Resolve – Willing to take the time to help others with challenges they face.
  • Advancement – The pursuit of individual and organizational growth and development.

The winners will be announced at GPUG Summit 2016 in Tampa, Florida, USA.

DCI-SUMMIT_GPUG-LOGO

So go nominate a deserving community member now…

See you in Tampa

David

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

Filed under: GPUG, News Tagged: GPUG, GPUG Summit 2016, News

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#GPUG Nominate your GPUG All-Star for 2016

July 13, 2016 · WinthropDC · No Comments
Tags: , , , , , , , , ,  · Posted in: Blogs I Follow Total Views: 54

Friday Funny: Fake Microsoft Scammer Tries to Scam Ex Microsoft Employee

David Meego - Click for blog homepageThis Friday Funny is also a Public Service Announcement.

Hopefully, most of you (as tech savvy readers of my blog) are aware of the “Microsoft support” or “Windows support” scams that are still catching people. The scam comes in a couple of variants, but the end result is the same…. They get money or personal data from you.

The scam as I have personally seen it, starts with a phone call to you from “Windows support” (they used to say “Microsoft support”) saying that your computer has sent data to them saying that it has a virus.


IMPORTANT NOTICE

Windows does not send any telemetry back to Microsoft that includes PII (Personal Identifiable Information). It does send error data and some usage data back, but this is all anonymous and designed to help Microsoft fix issues and improve Windows. There is nothing sent back that will allow Microsoft to know who you are.

Microsoft Support will never cold call you. Firstly because they don’t know that you have a virus and secondly because they don’t call you. You call them.


The second variant is when a dodgy website displays a message saying you have a virus and to call a number to get it fixed. If you call them, the scam takes a similar path.

In both cases, you don’t have anything wrong with your machine.

Once the “technician” (read scammer) has you on the call, they will get you to look at something in Windows that looks scary but is actually standard and behaving the way it should be. They will then get you to give them control via LogMeIn or GotoMeeting. Once they have control, they will show you more scary technobabble to make you believe you have a virus.

They will then try to sell you a support plan, or make you pay for them to fix the issue. Bingo, they just scammed you out of your hard earned money.

There is also the possibility that they might actually install software which is malicious, such as a real virus or Trojan that can capture your personal information such as passwords or credit card and bank details.

So I recently found this video by an ex-Microsoftie (like myself) who decided to “play along” with a scammer on a virtual machine and see where it took him.

Fake Microsoft Scammer Tries to Scam Ex Microsoft Employee (direct link)

I think it is great to show how the scammers work and what they say.

For your info. I normally try to keep the scammers on the line for as long as possible. This way they are not calling someone else who might get caught. My record is having a scammer waiting 45 minutes for my machine to start up before he finally hung up.

If I don’t have time, then I will hit them with a 120db siren that I have on my desk. If they are still on the call after a 20-30 second blast, then when they ask what the noise was, I will say that my bullshit detector just went off…. they usually hang up.

I have also confronted them, asking how they can live with themselves and explaining that I work in IT and know that they are a scam. It is much more fun to get them so angry they hang up on you, than to just hang up on them.

Keep safe.

David

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

Filed under: Fun, Public Service Announcement Tagged: Friday Funny, Fun

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Friday Funny: Fake Microsoft Scammer Tries to Scam Ex Microsoft Employee

July 8, 2016 · WinthropDC · No Comments
Tags: , , , , , , , , , , ,  · Posted in: Blogs I Follow Total Views: 61