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Changing the Microsoft Edge home page on Windows 10

David Meego - Click for blog homepageHere is a quick bit of help for those of you new to Windows 10 and the Microsoft Edge browser.

I have already had to help a few people through these steps, so I thought I would post them online for others to see and use.

Most people know how to change the home page(s) in Internet Explorer, but the process for Microsoft Edge is different and has a few steps.

If you want to change the home page for Microsoft Edge, follow the steps below:

  1. Click … in the top right of the Microsoft Edge window.
  2. Click Settings

Once settings is open:

  1. Select Open with A specific page or pages
  2. On drop down list select Custom
  3. Enter the web address you want
  4. Click + sign to add the address
  5. Click X to remove about:start

See the screenshot below for the steps in visual form:

Edge_HomePage

You can repeat steps 3 and 4 if you want more than one home page.

That’s all folks….

David

PS: If you want to import your favourites, click on the 3 lines button and click on the star for favourites. Then click on Import favourites. Once imported, you can drag the folders back up to the top if that is what you prefer.

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

Filed under: Microsoft, Public Service Announcement, Windows Tagged: Microsoft Edge, Windows, Windows 10

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Changing the Microsoft Edge home page on Windows 10

August 28, 2015 · WinthropDC · No Comments
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RoboCup Junior Australia 2015 WA State Championships

David Meego - Click for blog homepageI am a bit late getting this blog post written, but I have been extremely busy with the release of my first commerical product, GP Power Tools, as well as other development work that was pushed back to allow me to complete the product launch.

So, on top of all the development work I have been doing, I have been continuing with my volunteer role as mentor for the All Saints’ College Robotics Club. The club meets after school every Friday afternoon during term time for one and a half to two hours and currently has about 30 students attending.

RoboCupWALogo

The results of the last year’s worth of work by the students was put to the test at the RoboCup Junior Australia 2015 WA State Championships held at Curtin University Stadium on the 7th and 8th of August.

The students from the secondary school compete in the Rescue and Dance Challenges of the competition using Lego Mindstorms NXT and EV3 sets. You don’t have to use Lego, but it a great framework to start with. The Mindstorms graphical development tools provide an entry point into computer programming without the steep learning curve that more traditional languages have. There is also a Soccer Challenge, but we don’t take part in that challenge.

This year we went to the competition with seven teams:

Open Dance

  • Pickle Jar Productions (Josh, Megan, Noah, Sarith and my son Rohan) with Priscilla the Gorilla

Secondary Rescue

  • Team Sonic (Janardan (Jay), Liam and Mason)
  • WalkingHam (Charlton and Joel)
  • Benzetomi (Ben, Remi and Thomas)

Open Rescue

  • Spinner (Anthony)
  • BEN (Pragash)
  • Vindaloo (Disura)

Friday – Qualifying Rounds

As usual the first day of the competition is chaotic madness. The teams from Scitech and RoboCup and all the volunteers do the best they can, but when there over 600 competitors from primary and secondary schools from all over the state it is hard. The competition this year had grown by almost 50% and included 97 registered rescue teams and 60 dance teams.

The Rescue Challenge this year introduced some additional challenge tiles which weren’t revealed until the day of the competition. The two challenge tiles were a straight line with an extra wide black section and a straight line with a section of silver tape. Both of these needed additional programming on the day to ensure they could be traversed.  Normally, when both sensors see black, it means there is an intersection with a shortcut and when the sensor see silver, it means that the rescue tile has been located.  The competitors would have to ensure that their robots understood the difference and could continue line following.

This year Tim Schmitz and the Scitech team had organised new course tiles. They had printed directly onto white plastic sheets and the tiles were fantastic. They had also made sure that the green for the shortcuts and rescue tile was the original deep green colour that can be easily correctly identified by the Lego colour sensors. The only issue was that the mats were so clean and shiny that the light readings for the white and silver strip were almost the same. This made it hard for the robots to distinguish and some had issues with false detection of the silver strip or being unable to see the silver strip.

After a tough day in the Rescue challenge, All Saints’ College had all 3 Open Rescue teams in the top 8 qualifiers for the finals and Team Sonic qualified for the Secondary Rescue finals.

Nic and CJ as JudgesFormer All Saints’ College students and 2014 National Open Rescue Champions:
Nick and Christoper Jack (CJ) helping out as judges in the Rescue challenge

In the Open Dance challenge, there were a number of primary school teams that had to move from Primary Dance to Open Dance because the Primary and Secondary Dance divisions had a two controller limit. This did mean that there were primary students competing in the same division as secondary students. That said, there were some great performances during the qualifying rounds.

Here is the qualifying performance from All Saints’ College:

RoboCup Junior WA 2015 Open Dance State Championships – Pickle JAR Productions – Qualifying (direct link)

 

After a tense wait that evening, we received email and website confirmation that Priscilla the Gorilla was through to the finals.

Saturday – State Finals

Saturday was much less chaotic with the only the top 24 rescue teams (8 from each division) and 23 dance teams making it through to the finals.

After a discussion with the Rescue challenge co-ordinator the evening before, we brought in two sets of riser blocks (my personal set and the set I made for All Saints’ College) so that the would have enough for the day’s competition. During the discussion, I also suggested using a shinier silver tape to make the silver strip easier to differentiate from the white.

To give you an idea of the difficulty level, below are the three courses used in the finals playoff rounds of the Open Rescue competition.

Open Finals Course 1Open Rescue Finals – Course 1

Open Finals Course 2Open Rescue Finals – Course 2

Open Finals Course 3Open Rescue Finals – Course 3

The courses for Rescue were still very difficult with only a few robots completing the challenge with a successful rescue. Below are some examples from Team Sonic (Secondary) and BEN (Open).

RoboCup Junior WA 2015 Secondary Rescue State Championships – Team Sonic – Run 1 (Direct Link)

 

RoboCup Junior WA 2015 Secondary Rescue State Championships – Team Sonic – Run 2 (Direct Link)

 

RoboCup Junior WA 2015 Open Rescue State Championships – BEN – Run 1 (Direct Link)

 

RoboCup Junior WA 2015 Open Rescue State Championships – BEN – Run 2 (Direct Link)

 

Note that Secondary Rescue needs to rescue the can, by demonstrating control of the can and removing it from the green “chemical spill” area, when Open Rescue needs to place the can on the orange block. Open Rescue now can also have an empty black can which does not need to be rescued, but adds to the complexity. To get full points, the robot needs to regain the line on exit and start line following.

After a series of playoff rounds and then the finals to determine the final placings, Team Sonic came second in Secondary Rescue and BEN came second in Open Rescue. A fantastic effort in a competition that was much harder than previous years.

Over in the dance competition, Rohan and his Pickle Jar Productions teammates performed again. The performance was better than the qualifying performance with the exception that Priscilla stopped turning to face the audience due to some malfunction.

RoboCup Junior WA 2015 Open Dance State Championships – Pickle JAR Productions – Finals (Direct Link)

 

After the performance, the team took the robots up to the judges so they could see them close up and something fell out of the robot. That’s when they found the cause of the malfunction.

GorillaGear
Broken gear from rotation system

After the judges had deliberated amongst themselves and tallied the scores, we had the closing ceremony with the awards presentation and were very pleased to find out that Pickle Jar Productions won the very close Open Dance competition.

Well done to all the competitors and the place getters , including our teams from All Saints’ College.

Pickle Jar Productions and TeddyWA State Champions – Pickle Jar Productions: Sarith, Josh, Megan, Teddy, Rohan and Noah

Team SonicTeam Sonic: Jay, Mason, and Liam

All Saints College TeamsThe All Saints’ College Finals team:
Pragash, Disura, Liam, Mason, Sarith, Jay, Rohan, Megan, Josh, Noah and Anthony

Priscilla1 Priscilla2
Priscilla the Gorilla (With and without her costume on)

As always, a special thanks to our sponsors (Asphaltech, Rotary Club of Melville and Computelec), volunteer mentors (including me, Aaron, Nick and CJ) and a huge thank you to Donna Hatton (Help Desk Officer) from All Saints’ College who is the driving force behind the robotics club.

For the previous posts on the RoboCup robotics competition see:

 

The RoboCup Junior Australian Open Championships (the Nationals) are in South Australia on the 25th to 27th September. Sadly I cannot attend as I will be in the USA at that time.

Enjoy

David

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

Filed under: Robotics Tagged: Fun, General, News

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RoboCup Junior Australia 2015 WA State Championships

August 20, 2015 · WinthropDC · No Comments
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#GPPT What’s New: Series summary for GP Power Tools build 20

David Meego - Click for blog homepageOver the past few weeks I have been posting a number of “What’s New” articles for GP Power Tools build 20.

If you have missed any of them, this article has all the links to the articles, so you can read them at your leisure.

Below is a list of the articles:

For users of the discontinued and unsupported Support Debugging Tool still on Microsoft Dynamics GP 2010 and GP 2013, you now have many reasons to upgrade to GP Power Tools.

Enjoy

David

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

Filed under: 2010, 2013, 2013 R2, 2015, 2015 R2, Dynamics, GP, GP Power Tools, Microsoft, Products Tagged: GP 2010, GP 2013, GP 2015, GP Power Tools, GPPT, What’s New

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#GPPT What’s New: Series summary for GP Power Tools build 20

August 19, 2015 · WinthropDC · No Comments
Tags: , , , , , , , , ,  · Posted in: Blogs I Follow Total Views: 43

#GPPT What’s New: Create Custom Service Based Architecture Web Services

David Meego - Click for blog homepageMicrosoft Dynamics GP 2015 added Service Based Architecture (SBA) and .Net Interop functionality to the application. Service Based Architecture allows the Dexterity developer to write global procedures and use meta data to expose these service enabled procedures to the outside world as REST Web Services.

GP Power Tools provides five Service Enabled Procedures which can be used to execute custom business logic created in the Runtime Execute window. These services can be called as Web Services, from Visual Studio Tools using Visual C# or Visual Basic.Net, or from any Dexterity product dictionary using sanScript.

The functions provided by the custom service enabled procedures are controlled by the contents of the Runtime Execute Script ID identified in the URI or first parameter when the procedure was called.

Using the Runtime Execute window you can select one of the five procedures as a custom script purpose, this will populate the script with the template code needed to pass the parameters between the service enabled procedure and the Runtime Execute script.

To provide a flexible multi-purpose parameter format that can work for all version of Dynamics GP, the parameters in and out are passed using the Text datatype. Each line of the Text parameter can be used to represent a separate data field.

The template code populated, when you choose one of the service enabled procedures as a custom script purpose, provides example code using the Customer Master table.

  • ServiceCreateCustom – Create a new record
  • ServiceDeleteCustom – Delete a record
  • ServiceGetCustom – Retrieve a record
  • ServiceUpdateCustom – Update an existing record
  • ServicePostCustom – Perform any additional function (the demo code does maths)

The screenshot below shows the Runtime Execute window with the ServiceDeleteCustom template code. The template code retrieves the Customer ID to be deleted from the first line of the text parameter and then executes the code to locate and remove the record, returning any error codes as the status.

ServiceEnabledProcedures

While the base language for the Runtime Execute window is Dexterity sanScript, you have the option of using Helper Functions to call SQL Execute (T-SQL) scripts, or .Net Execute (Visual C# or Visual Basic.Net) scripts.

In summary, this means that GP Power Tools provides custom web services which can be coded in any combination of Dexterity sanScript, SQL Transact-SQL, Visual C# or Visual Basic.Net.

The possibilities are endless.

Enjoy

David

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

Filed under: 2010, 2013, 2013 R2, 2015, 2015 R2, Dynamics, GP, GP Power Tools, Microsoft, Products Tagged: GP 2010, GP 2013, GP 2015, GP Power Tools, GPPT, What’s New

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#GPPT What’s New: Create Custom Service Based Architecture Web Services

August 14, 2015 · WinthropDC · No Comments
Tags: , , , , , , , , ,  · Posted in: Blogs I Follow Total Views: 39

Solving Performance Problems with Microsoft Dynamics GP and Windows 10 – Part 2

David Meego - Click for blog homepageFollowing on from my previous post: Solving Performance Problems with Microsoft Dynamics GP and Windows 10 – Part 1, I was still not happy with the performance of Dexterity and Microsoft Dynamics GP on my newly updated Windows 10 development machine.

This article takes you through the steps to get your Dexterity and/or Dynamics system running fast on Windows 10.

I normally don’t post multiple articles in one day, but it was worth posting this one and the previous two as soon as possible to help others out there facing the same issues.

Performance Problem

After resolving the pause on exit issue discussed in the previous post, I noticed that Dexterity and Microsoft Dynamics GP where still very sluggish when running. It was taking much to long to log in and everything was like I was running through molasses.

Checking the Task Manager, I could see fairly high CPU usage. Sorting by the CPU column, the culprit was the Antimalware Service Executable. This Windows process is the real-time processing component for Windows Defender.

I have seen issues before with anti virus or malware solutions causing performance issues for Microsoft Dynamics GP and Dexterity, and the easiest way to resolve them is to add some exclusions to the settings for the application.

Part of the issue is that the Dynamics dictionary is a very large single file and the anti virus solution often wants to check the entire file when only a small part of it is being read. So you want to exclude the file type with the extension .DIC.

This is the same issue with the database and log files maintained by SQL Server. So you want to exclude the folder where SQL Server stores its .mdf and .ldf data files.

As a final step (that delivered some of the best performance improvement), I also excluded the executables for Dexterity, Dexterity Utilities and Dynamics. I have five versions of each installed, so that needed 15 entries.

Solution

To make the changes on your Windows 10 system running Windows Defender follow the steps below. If using a different anti virus or malware solution, you can add the same exclusions anyway.

  1. Select Start >> Settings
  2. Select Update & Security >> Windows Defender
  3. Under Exclusions, click Add an exclusion
  4. Under Folders, click Exclude a folder
  5. Locate the SQL Server Data folder and exclude it. On my system it was
    C:Program FilesMicrosoft SQL ServerMSSQL11.MSSQLSERVERMSSQLDATA
  6. Under File Types, click Exclude a file extension
  7. Add .dic as an exclusion
  8. Under Processes, click Exclude a .exe, .com or .scr process
  9. Navigate to the Dex.exe, Dexutils.exe for each version of Dexterity and add it
  10. Also navigate to the Dynamics.exe for each version of Microsoft Dynamics GP and add it

Now test out how fast your system runs Dexterity and/or Microsoft Dynamics GP. Zoom Zoom. :-)

Hope you are happy with your Windows 10 upgrade now.

David

PS: I know adding exclusions weakens your protection, but it does stop you pouring a liquid into the machine in the hopes of dissolving the molasses.

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

Filed under: Development, Dexterity, Dynamics, GP, Microsoft, Windows Tagged: Application, Development, Dexterity, GP 2010, GP 2013, GP 2015, Windows 10

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Solving Performance Problems with Microsoft Dynamics GP and Windows 10 – Part 2

August 13, 2015 · WinthropDC · No Comments
Tags: , , , , , , , , ,  · Posted in: Blogs I Follow Total Views: 62

Solving Performance Problems with Microsoft Dynamics GP and Windows 10 – Part 1

David Meego - Click for blog homepageNow that I am running Windows 10 and am starting to get back to work with developing for Microsoft Dynamics GP and Dexterity, I have been noticing some serious performance issues.

This article takes you through the steps I used to identify the issue and what I did to resolve the issues. After making the changes listed in this and the next article I am happy with my Windows 10 development environment.

The first issue I noticed was that when I exited Dexterity Test mode, there was a significant delay (about one minute) before I was returned to the Dexterity IDE (Integrated Development Environment). I tested this on multiple Dexterity versions and it still occurred. To make sure that it was nothing in my code, I tested using a clean Dynamics.dic and it still occurred.

To test if it was a Dexterity issue or Microsoft Dynamics GP in general, I started testing with multiple versions of Microsoft Dynamics GP and each time there was a minute pause when exiting. The problem was occurring for all current versions (GP 2010, GP 2013 and GP 2015) in both the runtime and development environments.

Note: I did not have this issue on my other Windows 10 machine, so it does not occur for all machines. It just occurred on my primary development machine. :-(

So now I put my Microsoft Escalation Engineer hat back on to troubleshoot and identify the cause. Using a source dictionary in Dexterity, I used the Script Log to capture the scripts running when you exit GP. The excerpt from the script.log file below shows two calls to the script exitDynamics of form Main Menu with a significant 30 second plus time before the next script.

14:12:04  'Main_Menu FORM POST on form Main Menu'
14:12:04      'exitDynamics of form Main Menu'
14:12:40          'SQLPath', 0, 7, 31, ""
14:12:40          'GetClientUIType()', 0
14:12:40          'Add_Successful_Logout_Record'
14:12:40          'DeleteUserMessages of form sySendMessage', "sa"
14:12:40              'SQLPath', 0, 7, 0, ""
14:12:40          'IsCreated() of form syDeferredPassword', 0
14:12:40      'isDynUtils() of form LibSystem', 0
14:12:40      'exitDynamics of form Main Menu'
14:13:12          'GetClientUIType()', 0
14:13:12          'Add_Successful_Logout_Record'
14:13:12          'DeleteUserMessages of form sySendMessage', "sa"
14:13:12          'IsCreated() of form syDeferredPassword', 0
14:13:12      'smDEX_Clear_Locks', 0, 15
14:13:12          'SQLScriptPath', 0, 7, 3069, ""
14:13:13      'ST_CleanupBeforeLogout'

Looking at this script, the issue had to occur between the start of the script and the first call to the GetClientUIType() function. So I placed a breakpoint at the top of the script and stepped through the script until it hit the pause. Below are the lines of code and the command causing the pause was the DDE_IsAppRunning(CONTAIN) call.


if (TEMPCloseOLE of globals) then
    if DDE_IsAppRunning(CONTAIN) then
        set fDummy to OLE_Exit();
    end if;
end if;

Looking at the DDE_IsAppRunning(CONTAIN) call, I could see that it was inside a conditional statement and so if we changed the value of the global variable TEMPCloseOLE of globals it should be possible to avoid the pause on exit issue.

Using the trusty References facility in Dexterity, I located the TEMPCloseOLE global field and asked what it was referenced by. In the global procedure Setup_System_Variables, I found the following lines.


set sFlag to Defaults_Read(DEXINI_OLECLOSE);
set TEMPCloseOLE of globals to (sFlag <> FALSE_STRING); 

This showed that the TEMPCloseOLE of globals variable was set once based on the Dex,ini setting referred to by the constant DEXINI_OLECLOSE (which evaluates to OLEClose).

With this information in hand I added the following Dex.ini setting to my system and tested again:

OLEClose=FALSE

Et Voila, the delay on exit disappeared. First problem solved. I forwarded my research to Microsoft Support in case anyone else was having this issue…. and it turned out that others had seen it.

The delay on exit issue was reported on the partner forum and my “workaround” solution was provided, then my friend Mariano blogged about it. Here are the links:

Hope this information helps take away the frustration I was having.

David

PS: I don’t really speak French, even though I did study it (and Latin) in primary school in the UK before I moved to Australia. I have even been to France, but that did not help.

PPS: Before you ask, I don’t speak Latin either… it is a dead language and even the Italians don’t speak it any more.

PPPS: OK, yes I know that even though Latin is dead, its influence lives on in many European languages.

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

Filed under: Development, Dexterity, Dynamics, GP, Microsoft, Windows Tagged: Application, Development, Dexterity, GP 2010, GP 2013, GP 2015, Windows 10

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Solving Performance Problems with Microsoft Dynamics GP and Windows 10 – Part 1

August 13, 2015 · WinthropDC · No Comments
Tags: , , , , , , , , , , ,  · Posted in: Blogs I Follow Total Views: 36

Microsoft Edge says “Hmm, we can’t reach this page.”

David Meego - Click for blog homepageI have finally taken the plunge and updated my primary machine, a Surface Pro 3, to Windows 10.

I delayed the installation of Windows 10 for a little while primarily because I wanted to get GP Power Tools released and did not want anything to mess up my development environments.

Then my friend Bill Marshall seemed to have some issues with Dexterity and Windows 10, so I did some testing on another Windows 10 machine to ensure that everything should work.

While doing some initial testing after the upgrade, I started receiving errors from new Microsoft Edge internet browser.

Error
Hmm, we can’t reach this page.

This would be expected if I did not have internet access, but I did. Internet Explorer worked fine and my mail worked perfectly via outlook.

While checking my settings on the Network and Sharing Center window, I noticed that my system had both a private and a public network showing. Even though my WiFi and Ethernet were connected to the same router.

I was able to solve the issue by cleaning up my network adaptors. I had a number of virtual drivers because I had been using a Hyper-V virtual machine to test the Windows 10 preview. Disabling the Hyper-V Virtual switch and making sure that the remaining Ethernet and WiFi adapters had all checkboxes selected on the Networking tab of propertues (except Microsoft Network Adapter Multiplexor Protocol and Hyper-V Externsible Virtual Switch) stabilised my connections.

Now both connections show as a Private connection to the same network and my internet connection is now fast and stable.

It seems that Microsoft Edge does not like it when there are both Private and Public networks at the same time.

Hope this helps.

David

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

Filed under: Microsoft, Windows Tagged: Exception, Microsoft Edge, Windows 10

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Microsoft Edge says “Hmm, we can’t reach this page.”

August 13, 2015 · WinthropDC · No Comments
Tags: , , , , , , , , , , ,  · Posted in: Blogs I Follow Total Views: 93