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Update: Positive Thoughts for Leslie Vail

David Meego - Click for blog homepageJust wanted to post a quick update from my friend Leslie Vail after my original post:

I heard from Leslie today that the surgery went well and she is now resting comfortably.

She wanted to thank everyone for their positive thoughts and lovely comments.

Please keep the positive vibes flowing as Leslie continues on the road to recovery.

We need her well and back at the conferences. No-one else can wear the capes like she does.

MarkCape
Mark Rockwell trying to emulate Leslie

JohnCape
John Lowther playing Leslie when he co-presented with her

LeslieJenniferSheila
Leslie, Jennifer (my wife) and Sheila from Convergence 2012

LeslieCape
Leslie and the famous golden GPUG cape at Convergence 2011

Get well soon.

David

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

Filed under: News Tagged: General, News

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Update: Positive Thoughts for Leslie Vail

April 21, 2015 · WinthropDC · No Comments
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Positive Thoughts for Leslie Vail

David Meego - Click for blog homepageThis is a shout out for my great friend Leslie Vail. Leslie is a Microsoft Most Valuable Professional (MVP) for Microsoft Dynamics GP and has been a stalwart of the Microsoft Dynamics GP community for many years. She also known as the Dynamics Confessor on her Dynamics Confessions Blogspot.

Between you and me, she does not like it when I mention that she worked with Great Plains Accounting before Great Plains Dynamics 1.0 was even released. So don’t mention it to anyone.

Well, Leslie needs our help.

You might remember that when we last saw Leslie at reIMAGINE 2014 last November, that she was walking with a cane (which she decorated in typical Leslie style).

The issue is that Leslie has done so much walking around (wearing one of her capes) when training and at conferences, that her hips are playing up. So they are working on rebuilding her by replacing first one and then the other hip.

Leslie
Leslie showing off her decorated cane at reIMAGINE 2014.

One hip has already been done, but Leslie was not yet ready for all the walking at Convergence 2015, and so could not make it. We really missed you in Atlanta Leslie.

Anyhow, a couple of days ago, she let me know that she has been diagnosed with Kidney Cancer. She is scheduled for surgery on this coming Monday morning (US time). This is her second brush with cancer and Leslie says she will beat this “bump in the road” like she did before.

Leslie also said this information was not newsworthy, but I disagreed. So I requested and received permission to post something as I wanted her to see how much she means to the Dynamics GP community.

Please keep Leslie in your thoughts and send lots of positive energy to her. Also add your comments and well wishes below.

Looking forward to see a healthy (and Bionic) Leslie soon at reIMAGINE 2015 (in Fargo) and/or GPUG Summit 2015 (in Reno).

Love you Leslie.

David

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

Filed under: News Tagged: General, News

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Positive Thoughts for Leslie Vail

April 17, 2015 · WinthropDC · No Comments
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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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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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Everyone Must Watch: The Cyberbully (2015)

David Meego - Click for blog homepageSome of you may know that while I was at Microsoft I volunteered for an internet safety program called ThinkUKnow.

ThinkUKnow in Australia is based on the UK Police’s Child Exploitation and Online Protection (CEOP) Centre’s ThinkUKnow program in the UK.

In Australia, the ThinkUKnow program is a partnership between the Australian Federal Police, Microsoft, Datacom and the Commonwealth Bank. It is delivered in collaboration with the State and Territory Police and Neighbourhood Watch Australasia.

Since leaving Microsoft, I was worried that I would not be able to continue being a volunteer presenter for the program. However, my fears were unfounded as the organisers were pleased to continue having me on the team.

The program is targeted at the parents, carers and teachers of school aged children and is designed to help make the adults aware of the risks and dangers associated with internet usage, so they can help protect their kids, with the aim of avoiding problems or knowing what to do when problems occur.

As a father and someone who has been in the computer industry since the internet was only at universities, I have seen many changes, most good, but some not so good, brought on by the use of the internet. Knowing the way that some people use the internet for criminal behaviour, scams, cyberbullying and sexual predation, makes me want to use my knowledge to help protect those at risk, and the ThinkUKnow program gave me the opportunity to do that.

On Thursday night the ABC (Australian Broadcasting Company) showed a TV movie called The Cyberbully. This is not the older US movie with the same name, but a new movie from the UK. It stars Maisie Williams, who you might know as Arya Stark from the Game of Thrones series. She shows her amazing talent in this movie as she is the main character and on screen for the entire sixty minutes.

After watching that movie, I said to my wife that everyone doing ThinkUKnow should watch the movie. However, I have changed my mind. I think EVERYONE. should watch it. I found it on the Tube of You, see below:

The Cyberbully 2015 (direct link)

 

If I can help just one kid avoid facing the sorts of issues raised in the movie, all the time I have volunteered would be worth it.

If you live in Australia and have kids at a school or are involved with a school in any way, suggest to them to go to the ThinkUKnow.org.au website and book a presentation.

If you want to watch more internet safety related videos please my playlist below:

WARNING: Some of the content in the videos is confronting.

Share this article to your friends, family and colleagues on the Book of Face and other social media.

David

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

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

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Everyone Must Watch: The Cyberbully (2015)

April 4, 2015 · WinthropDC · No Comments
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Microsoft Convergence Atlanta 2015 (#CONV15) – Day 4

Phew! How about that OneRepublic concert?

Day 4 is finally here and with it, all good things must come to an end. For a change, today David and I managed to make it down to the GWCC on time and had a fairly relaxed breakfast at the Meal Hall to then move over to the Phillips Arena for one very interesting closing keynote.

As customary, an energetic Judson Althoff, President Microsoft North America welcomed the crowd to the event and proceeded to recap the week and what will be seen from Microsoft in the coming months.

Judson Althoff, President Microsoft North America

The first thing in his opening was to remind the audience how Convergence is becoming the premier event for business and that Microsoft, at its core, is “the productivity and platform company for the mobile first, cloud first world” and how the company is thinking about innovation and technology.

Althoff then introduced the upcoming events, Microsoft Ignite which is geared to showcase innovations for IT professionals, the Dynamics User Group Summits hosted by Dynamic Communities.

Microsoft Ignite

Dynamics User Group Summits

Althoff then zeroed in on the upcoming Convergence events and announced the dates and locations for Convergence 2015 EMEA and Convergence 2016 New Orleans. The latter received a round of shouts from the audience.

Convergence next stops

Then came the topic of the day: Cyber-security and the work being conducted by Microsoft and its Digital Crime Unit to counter the effects of online criminal activity.

After a short intro video (above), David Finn, Executive Director Microsoft Digital Crimes Unit who then introduced the work of the new division opened just 16 months ago and located in Redmond, Washington. The unit fights two types of crimes: Technology-facilitated crimes which targets vulnerable population such as children and the elderly, and Malware and reduction of digital risk.

David Finn, Executive Director Microsoft Digital Crimes Unit

Finn then presented a number of grim statistics around the children victimization and introduced Microsoft PhotoDNA, a new cloud based solution that can be licensed by anyone to detect awful images and report them to law enforcement organizations around the world.

Microsoft PhotoDNA

David Finn then addressed the topic of malware and cyber criminal activity using botnets and how Microsoft assisted with the Citadel Malware case, which involved the infection of over 91 million PCs and the hijack of close to half a billion dollars ($500M). The case had a particular focus on using visualization and big data to analyze infection patterns across the world.

The Citadel Case

Citadel Infection Pattern

As a result of these efforts, Microsoft is experimenting with new visualization and sonification techniques to understand infection patterns. One such technique is dubbed the Specimen Box and was presented during the session.

Specimen Box – Live Mode


After the closing session, we returned to the GWCC to do some walk around the Expo. I stopped at the booth of my friends and partners at FieldOne to congratulate them for their new achievement. Microsoft has named them a Dynamics CRM Global ISV which shows their commitment to developing the channel and producing quality products.

The FieldOne team

From the Expo, I went to Mark Polino’s session CS15G003-R2 Microsoft Dynamics GP: New 50 tips in 50 minutes, a jammed pack session filled with bite size tips on Microsoft Dynamics GP functionality. Mark had a full room and as the rock star he is, he commands quite the attention from the attendees. I have to admit I picked up a few good tips for my toolbox.

Up next, I had to complete the repeat of my upgrade session, CS15G002-R2 Microsoft Dynamics GP 2015: Upgrading and deploying. I had been assigned the last slot on the last day of the event, which I have been doing for the past 6 years now. While I did not have the same amount of attendees as with my first bout at this session, 85 people were still pretty good, considering that a lot of people left to catch their flights early in the morning.

After my repeat session, it was time for some relaxation and the famous Tim Tam Slams. Earlier, I had sent out a tweet to a number of people to meet up at the Omni Hotel bar for what has become a tradition among a select few of us. Before the slams though, I managed to meet with a group of friends from Colombia to explain some good ol’ fashioned Microsoft Dynamics GP architecture and deployment options for their company and how the web client and Microsoft Azure have revolutionized the way Microsoft Dynamics GP is deployed.

I then moved over to the bar with my friends Olga Acosta and Eddie Yepes to grab a drink before sitting down for Tim Tam Slams.

Olga Acosta does the Tim Tam Slam

Eddie Yepes does the Tim Tam Slam (and fails miserably!)

The final stretch of the evening would have me doing dinner with my good friends and fellow MVPs Belinda Allen, John Lowther, and of course David Musgrave at Dantanna’s Downtown location, inside the CNN Center. We spent the evening chit-chatting from one thing to another and enjoying John’s vicious appetite for Thousand Island dressing on his salad.

After a wonderful meal and excellent service we proceed to leave, not without running into the Njvity folks.

Chris Dobkins, Mariano Gomez, Emily Roen, and David Musgrave

The event was now over for good and it was time to leave. I really could use some sleep… but wait, still more to come.

Until next post!

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

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Microsoft Convergence Atlanta 2015 (#CONV15) – Day 4

April 2, 2015 · Mariano Gomez · No Comments
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#CONV15 – Convergence 2015 Atlanta – Post Conference and Getting Home

David Meego - Click for blog homepageConvergence2015

When I booked my flights for Convergence 2015 in Atlanta, I specifically added extra days after the conference so I could relax and spend time with Mariano and his family. Maybe we could do some sight seeing as business travel often fails to take in the sights around the city you have travelled to.

All this sounded great, until I came down with a nasty cold. It had been brewing on the last day of the conference, but by Friday it was fully in control. If it wasn’t for my trusty Neurofen Cold & Flu tablets that I travel with, the “Man Flu” would have really knocked me about.

Once the tablets had taken effect, Mariano and I drove into Atlanta Midtown area and picked up Olga Acosta and Eddie Yepes from their hotel. Mariano had mentioned to them that he and I were planning to go to the Microsoft store in the Lenox Square Mall and they asked if they could join us.

At the store, I tried to get my Microsoft Band replaced as it had gotten a little beaten up since I bought it in November and I had paid for the additional cover which allows for a replacement. However, they were out of stock… as usual. The Microsoft Band is really popular and is continuously selling out, so Microsoft must have done something right.

[Edit]: Mariano did try and pick up a replacement for me the following week, but I had taken my Band back to Australia and the store needed the old one before they could provide the replacement. I will organise something on my next US trip, before the warranty cover runs out.

As you cannot purchase them outside of the US, I had friends request that I pick up a Band for them. Before leaving Australia I had ordered three from the online Microsoft store and got them shipped to Mariano. By Friday two had arrived with the last one due for delivery on Monday (more on that later).

Anyhow, Olga, Eddie and I did some shopping at the Microsoft Store (I bought Xbox One Minecraft for Mariano’s son, Marcus) and at some of the other stores before having lunch at the Corner Bakery Cafe. The whole idea of eating a sandwich was that it would be quick and that we would have time to return Olga and Eddie to their hotel in time to catch the shuttle to the airport for their flight back to Colombia. Well, after chatting for a while after lunch we realised that we were now short of time. We probably would have been fine except there had been an accident on the freeway and the journey took longer than expected, with us arriving about ten minutes after the shuttle had left. So, we left Olga and Eddie stranded at the hotel and wished them luck in getting home.

Just kidding… We grabbed their luggage and went for a drive down to the Airport. Not exactly what we had planned, but it was fun. After dropping them off at the airport we headed back to Mariano’s place.

On Saturday Mariano and his kids went off to do some volunteer work while I had a lazy day feeling sorry for myself with my Man Flu. Boring I know, but I was not feeling well and ended up sleeping most of the morning away. In the afternoon, I played Minecraft with Marcus until the evening when we went to the local Imax movie theatre to see Insurgent in 3D, the second Divergent movie. Some of the calibration tests before the movie started where amazing in the crispness of the images. The movie was pretty good, but it did not help that I had not seen the first movie.

Sunday was miserable. I was still sick and it rained all day. While I chilled out at home with the dogs. Mariano spent the morning getting drenched at a car enthusiasts meeting with his BMW M5 (He loves that car, almost but not quite more than his family).

Sunday dinner was my last dinner in town and was my treat to say thanks for having me. We ended up going to Ichiban Steak & Sushi in Alpharetta for a Hibachi Grill meal. I know Mariano has mentioned in his blog posts my intolerance to MSG (Mono Sodium Glutamate) and related Flavour Enhancers (numbered in Australia as 620-640), so going Asian was risky. However, they only use Kikkoman Soy Sauce, which I know contains no MSG, and so I was good to go. Below are some photos from a fun night (with no MSG related side effects :-) ).

Dinner
Mariano, David, Tatyana and Marcus ready for a great meal and a fun show

RiceVsMariano
Mariano trying to catch rice thrown at him by the chef, almost got it too

OnionVolcano
The chef making a volcano from a stack of onion rings

Monday, was my last day in Atlanta with my flight leaving that afternoon. In the morning I packed my bag and then Mariano drove me north out of the city and into the surrounding countryside. We stopped for a little bit at Lake Zwerner at Yahoola Creek Reservoir to take in the view.

RelaxingByLake
Chilling by Lake Zwerner

LakeZwerner
Panorama of the lake (click for larger image)

After the lake, we drove to the City of Dahlonega in Lumpkin County and visited the old part of town with lots of historical buildings. While walking around the area, we found the Outlaw Jerky and Trail Grub store where we bought some very nice Jerky. They even had Kangaroo, but it was out of stock. The jerky I bought was to nibble on during the flight home as you cannot bring meat products into Australia.

Note: A quick aside, I believe that Australia is the only country in the world that eats its national emblems (the Australian crest has a kangaroo and an emu). While on the topic, neither the kangaroo or the emu can walk backwards.

DahLonegaGoldMuseum
The Dahlonega Gold Museum in the old Lumpkin County Courthouse

MarianoVsPhone
Mariano stuck on the phone again as we waited for lunch to be served

After lunch we drove back to Mariano’s place. We had about an hour and a half to kill before it was time to head out to the airport for my flights home.

Remember the third Microsoft Band, well it had not been delivered yet and I did not want to fly back to Perth without it. The shipment was coming via UPS (United Parcel Service) and we had the tracking number details. Mariano called UPS to ask when the delivery was expected, it took a while, but dispatch were able to contact the driver and get an ETA of 4:00pm. The problem was that was an hour after when we would be heading out to the airport. Mariano asked if we could meet the driver at the entrance to the suburb to get the parcel sooner rather than wait for the driver to do the rounds. Now normally this sort of request would not be allowed, but the driver knows Mariano as he has delivered to him before. The bottom line is that UPS diverted the driver from his normal route so that he could get the parcel to us at a roadside rendezvous so that I could get to the airport on time. How about that for great customer service? Thank-you UPS. Now I had all three Microsoft Bands I had ordered.

The flights from Atlanta to Los Angeles to Sydney to Perth were uneventful. However, I was able to watch Divergent on the way home, which explained some of the happenings in Insurgent. I left Mariano’s place at 3:00pm Atlanta time on the 23rd and was home by 12:00pm Perth time on the 25th, that gives an elapsed door to door travel time of 33 hours, the same as the journey to Atlanta. My son, Aaron, picked me up from the airport and drove me home, much nicer than having to catch a taxi.

It is always nice to have a shower and climb into your own bed after a trip away.

Wrap up post to follow.

David

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

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

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#CONV15 – Convergence 2015 Atlanta – Post Conference and Getting Home

April 2, 2015 · WinthropDC · No Comments
Tags: , , , , , , , ,  · Posted in: Blogs I Follow Total Views: 66