Dynamics 365 User Group Reading 14/11/2017

This week I made my first visit as a new member to the Dynamics 365 User Group UK chapter meeting.

I’d been invited to speak about our experiences in using Dynamics 365 and Thunderhead ONE together – my slides embedded below.

Overall I found the day valuable and enjoyable, especially the review of new features in Dynamics Version 9 from Sarah Critchley, and Ben Walker detailing his experience with setting up a CI/CD environment for Dynamics.

Secondly as someone speaking at a CRMUG event for the first time I found the atmosphere welcoming and the facilities excellent.

Other highlight – finally meeting Scott Durow, the man whose blogs have saved us hours of work with the more arcane aspects of Dynamics!

Edit – it’s been pointed out to me that the “view full screen” button on the embed doesn’t work in some browsers – you can view directly in SlideShare here

Problem with iTunes 5 and D-Link DSL-G604T

I’ve been having a problem with DNS failures on my home setup for the last week or so. So, it would appear, have a lot of other people with similar setups, and it turns out to be the fault of Apple who introduced a version of Bonjour into iTunes for Windows version 5.

D-Link have published a workaround, but the answer seems to be to install version 5.0.1 of iTunes

Update: It seems that even with 5.01 of iTunes installed you still need to put in the ISP DNS server address in the Windows network config to keep Windows working

Disruptive Technology – BBC News Wiki Proxy

New media activist Stef Magdalinski has produced a great example of the way new technologies allow people to interact with broadcasters in different ways – the News Online wikiproxy

The site proxies BBC News online and does the following things to pages retrieved through it:

  • retrieves a page from News Online, and regexes out “Capitalised Phrases” and acronyms. It then tests these against a database of wikipedia topic titles. If the phrase is a topic in wikipedia, then it’s turned into a hyperlink. This way you can see in-context links to definitions of terms or background information on topics discussed.
  • uses the technorati API to add a sidebar of links to blogs referencing the story – this way from the same page as the story you can see who else is talking about the story

For a good example of it working see here

Magdalinski, who amongst other things led the They Work For You project, explains his rationale:

News Online has decided to start linking to other news sites.

News Online is the most trafficked site in Europe, easily the most successful new media venture the BBC has produced, but to my mind has failed to really innovate since launch. They’ve added clutter, an RSS feed or two, but it’s still flat news articles with a few video clips, using hyperlinks only for navigation, much as CEEFAX use 3 digit numbers. News Online is exactly what I would expect as a baseline from any news site, commercial or otherwise.

News Online doesn’t engage with its users, it doesn’t provide tools that allow me, the licence payer, to slice and dice their stories, and by refusing to link from its body text, it fails to understand how hypertext works.

Also, with its conservative link policy (I can’t show you an example of the news stories where the tech described above is working, because the links get removed after 2 days, because they might break), that only connects the BBC to established brands, it snubs the wider web, the great teeming mass of creativity. Patrician is not authoritative. Aloof is not respected. Conservative and fearful is not engaging. The gap between the BBC’s utterly laudable self image and ambitions and delivery could not be any clearer than at News Online.

Finally, by not really allowing user interaction or commenting, News Online forces that debate and activity away from its site, and out onto the wild wild web.

Now think a year or two ahead and imagine this sort of thing done with moving pictures…

[via Cory Doctorow, Matt Jones, Alex Halavais ]

A couple of tools

As requested by various people at Blogwalk, details of a couple of content tools I use / am investigating

“Wikidpad”:http://www.jhorman.org/wikidPad/ is a personal wiki-like notepad for Windows. I use the registered version of this every day as my main personal note-taking tool at work.

“Qumana”:http://qumana.com/ is currently in beta – a microcontent editing / publishing tool that is designed to make it easy to pull together links and text then post to various destinations.

The Lure of Slide Rules

Over at “Davos Newbies”:http://www.davosnewbies.com/ Lance Knobel is writing about “the lure of the slide rule”:http://www.davosnewbies.com/2004/07/08#theLureOfTheSlideRule:

bq. “Those of us who love slide rules are by definition not Luddites. It’s the tactile nature of the technology that excites, rather than a revulsion against the technologies that replaced it. There were gains provided by electronic calculators. Our work, lives and society are being dramatically transformed – and I believe generally improved – through near-ubiquitous computing. But there are losses from the slide rule age that are more than nostalgia. It’s better to be a tool user than a tool manager.”

I too was one of the last generation at school not only to learn about this device but to use it on a daily basis. Lance touches (!) on the tactile nature of the tool yet this goes beyond pure pleasure – I don’t think it is too far-fetched to say that using a slide rule gives you a real _feel_ for numbers… After all how else can you easily demonstrate that to multiply two numbers you can add the logarithms? (yes, we used log tables too!).

Enterprise Architecture

On Monday this week I sent myself on a one day course from “Architecting The Enterprise”:http://www.architecting-the-enterprise.com/ – a management introduction to the “TOGAF”:http://www.opengroup.org/architecture/togaf/ enterprise architecture framework.

Hard going in parts because (by their nature) architecture frameworks are very conceptual – I was struggling a bit on the day to see how this could be applied in the messy real world of work. However over the next couple of days it has gelled with some conversations about work goals for the next year and I’ve started seeing new ways of doing things as a result of having the new concepts.

Still struggling a bit with how to use and adapt, but I think I can see a path…

I’d love to blog the whole process of incorporating the model into my work, adapting it to work for us – unfortunately that would cross my “no public blogging about work” boundary. If I can extract some generalisable concepts though I’ll post them here…

Strange CSS bug in Mozilla Firefox

Just upgraded to Firefox and discovered that all my hyperlinks were jumping to the right when I hovered over them…

Replacing the original style declaration of
A:hover { border-bottom: 1px dashed #555; }
A:hover { color: #999999; text-decoration: none;}
has worked around it…

Anyone know how to report bugs to Mozilla?