Hola! It’s Q4’ now! Windows 10? MVP?

Time flies! We are now into 4th Quarter of the year and usually it means more work till end of the year where people starts to go on vacation especially during Christmas period. So yesterday was the 1st of October where there are a couple of highlights going on globally.

  1. Announcement of newly-minted and renewed Microsoft MVPs. – For this, it would be exciting if I am being awarded but I know I have not done enough yet to deserve that award. Nevertheless, I will continue trying, contributing to this huge community that I have received lots of goodies (information) from.
  2. Technical Preview of Windows 10 – This is interesting as Microsoft has welcome everyone to be part of the building process to help provide feedback to the desire OS that users want / need. If you are still unsure of the Technical Preview – find it here.

I didn’t have the energy to stay up all night waiting for the link to be active so early in the morning when I hop out of bed, I quickly refreshed the URL and started downloading the ISO. After that, the next thing I did was asking myself whether that piece of OS would be available on Microsoft Azure yet. To my surprise, it is! Then I took Windows 10 off on a spin on Microsoft Azure.

If you still do not have a Microsoft Azure account, I would encourage you to sign up here.

Let’s start the ball rolling…

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*Hooray!* See! Windows Server Technical Preview October 2014~

The next few screen shot will be familiar for some if you have played around with Microsoft Azure (Virtual Machine / IaaS) before.

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*Shucks* – “Fastest fingers first!” Obviously I lost it…

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OK, we are almost there… It is provisioning and should be ready in a couple of minutes. That’s something I really like about using Microsoft Azure. I could skip wasting time and it increases my productivity especially when I am trying to find out some small items like available features or configurations.

After spinning up the Windows 10 Virtual Machine in Microsoft Azure, below is some of the noticeable changes that I have found out after meddling with it for around 30 minutes.

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*Proof* – I am running Windows Server Technical Preview (aKa Windows 10) as the overall outlook is still very similar to Windows Server 2012 / R2 although the BGINFO on Microsoft Azure still tells me I am running Windows Server 2012 R2.

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1) Taskbar

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An additional icon beside “Server Manager” which I will explained about it later. Document folder icon also has a new icon image.

2) Start Menu (is back!)

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3) Multiple Desktop (somehow, this is what I have experience when I was using Mac OS in the past with my Mac Mini, MacBook Pro & iMac)

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This is really good if you are very organized person. Probably good for me when I decided that when I am writing PowerShell scripts, I should not be looking at my Social Media programs like Twitter. Smile with tongue out

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Ability to add (don’t know whether it is unlimited or limited yet) more desktop.

4) More icons changes

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5) Additional Role (Merging the Multipoint Services)

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This is something not available in Windows Server 2012 R2 where I verified using one of my Virtual Machine.

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6) Missing Features

Notice that there is one feature that is missing starting from Windows 10. The Windows Identity Foundation 3.5.

This is a screen that I have in Windows Server 2012 R2 and can’t be found in Windows 10.

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Overall, I really like how Microsoft has decided to allow the general public to do the testing, provide the necessary feedback and always listening to customers feedback. I will continue meddling with this new OS in the coming weeks and how it fits into a typical enterprise.

Cheers.

Milton Goh

Dell HDMI to VGA Adapter

Recently my company started refreshing all the laptops that are given to the employee who are holding onto selected old model of laptop that are due for refreshed. I have gotten a brand new Dell Latitude E7240 and I really quite like how this laptop is being built.

There is one thing that is really troublesome for all is that, employee used to be using Lenovo X220 which still does have the VGA port on the laptop itself. So when employee who are given the newer series of laptop (Dell Latitude E7240 or E7440), they ponder upon the available display output. I have to admit that in this era, we are still stuck with using projectors that doesn’t come with HDMI port but rather come built with two VGA ports. I believe it will take some time before all projects are being refreshed with at least with HDMI display input.

Therefore, in order to solve the problem of using a latest piece of hardware on older technologies or rather bridging the usage, company will need to bundle in the cost to make sure adequate adapter is being purchase to supply to those who needs it.

So I scrambled upon to my department administrator and able to justify that since I am / will be doing presentation based on my job scope, I am able to justify the total usage. Therefore, I can skip the step of raising any request to make purchases. Smile

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This is the Dell HDMI to VGA Adapter, nothing too fanciful about as it works the same as many other 3rd party adapter that is available in the market right now. However, one thing to comment is that I really like how Dell actually design this packaging. It gives me an elegant feeling although it is rather simple. Perhaps it is the colour scheme used which really matches my taste. This adapter cost around SGD 49.00 listed in the Dell website which I think it is rather high because there are other 3rd party one that is priced at SGD 35.00 which can be easily found from any IT Departmental store.

Cheers.

Milton Goh

Samsung Galaxy Note 3 Extra Battery Kit

On the 11th August this year, I went back to army camp to serve two weeks In-Camp Training (ICT) and I was happy that my camp is being flag as Green Zone. This is the kind of initiative that acknowledges what Ministry of Defence (MINDEF) has taken into consideration the suggestions given by National Service Men (NSMEN). This has really changes the attitude of NSMEN towards coming back to attend their ICT. It is because, with my mobile phone, I solve a couple of key issues.

  1. I do not need to switch to a non-camera phone candy-bar phone that I have been using since 2008 during my active times.
  2. I am able to catch up with my work email as and when possible during breaks.
  3. Information such as the contacts are at my fingertips through my usual phone.
  4. Entertainment during commuting is possible, not mandatory.
  5. Keeping up with social media. (Yes, my life revolves around social media, connecting people always!)

Here come the problem… Can smartphone out-win the battery life of a dumb phone? Well, the advantage of dumb phone is that the battery life is really really long! So I search on the forum and make sure that I optimize the settings to make sure it uses the least battery as much as possible. Here is some points that I have realized in order to get longer battery usage lifetime:

  1. Turn of the ever-synchronizing email – Well, my phone kept me connected to my work/personal/community email and make sure that I am reachable as much as possible. Turning this off means shutting the means to alert me whenever an email has arrived in my mailbox(es).
  2. Dim down the brightness of the screen – This is really painful especially when I am under bright sunlight and I could barely see anything on the phone.
  3. Use 3G cellular only! – No more speedy connection on the 4G network. – Well, not that bad right?
  4. Turn of data – Well, to be honest, this wasn’t an option to me. It just meant that I am using my smartphone as a dumb phone which is something that I will never ever compromise on.

So what kept me through the possible number of nights of outfield without power source? Yes, I could bring lots of power-bank with me but definitely there are a lot of downside to it such as being bulky and heavy.

I chose to try out the Samsung Galaxy Note 3 Extra Battery Kit. It looks like this…

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Pricey? Yes and No. Samsung do carry and sells the battery itself but it is just SGD 9-10 different and this kit reminds me of the past where people always fancy “desktop charger”. It’s the kind of luxury where you need not be hooked on to the charger at the wall plug all the time while the phone is charging.

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So it does Enhance my mobile smart life?

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Photo with all the items laid out on my desk…

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It possesses a simple but elegant look. There is something which I realize after using it for two weeks. The LED indicator as shown above only turn green if I uses the original Samsung Charger to charge. If I were to charge it with the 3rd Party Charger (Innergie Duo USB Wall Charger) ones, it doesn’t seems to be able to turn green even charging it for hours! It’s straight but it is kind of “smart” or would you regard it as “dumb”?

Cheers.

Regards,
Milton Goh

Is your organization still using legacy Windows Server?

As per the question in the title, is your organization still using legacy Windows Server? I would consider anything before Windows Server 2008 R2 as legacy, so if you fall into this category, you may want to consider watching this webinar to gain useful insights and information on how you can migrate from these legacy Windows Server to the newer version of Windows Server.

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I am really interested in this session because while working for some of my clients, they do have legacy applications that require it to be run on as old as Windows Server 2000. I really hope that I can gain more insights from this webinar so that I can persuade my clients to move to the latest operating systems so that their applications can be consolidated.

So when will this event be?

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Register here now!

After the event, we can definitely discuss anything we have derived from the session and after collating it with our real-world experience, we can any other information together.

Cheers.

Milton Goh

Innergie Duo USB Wall Charger

As a mobile warrior who travels around Singapore for work purposes, I always complain how much I hate lugging on to heavy backpack that consists of my work laptop and other devices that keeps me connected to the internet world. So it has came to attention that because of the number of mobile devices that I have with me (Samsung Galaxy Note 3, Apple iPad and Samsung Galaxy Note 2); I realize that relying on the battery is totally impossible and therefore whenever I end up on one of the client site, I would definitely take all my charger to ensure that my devices are at least packed with more juices before I set off for another meeting.

I enjoy music while on the road a lot and whenever I left my earphone at home, I would complain that I am really lifeless! So music-less == lifeless? Oh well, that’s me! So recently I hooked up with a Bluetooth headphone (Jabra Rox) and I really love the convenient that I get for not tangling myself with cable. The headphone connects to my Samsung Galaxy Note 3 which I plays music of Spotify.

So with so many devices and each has it owns connector and different power consumption, I decided that I should end my pain of bringing so many chargers with me everyday and aim for a change with Innergie Duo USB Wall Charger that I picked off the shelf at the local computer store, Challenger.

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It looks simple just like any other charger head right?

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One thing that attracts me to pay over (SGD 40) for this is the keyword “Fast”! Well, who wants a slow charger? If I want a slow one, I would rather sticking back to USB charging via my laptop. One thing in fact why I need the “Fast” charging is because in the Samsung Galaxy Note series of the phone, the battery is huge, so is the phone! Therefore, charging via USB really kill my time. What is worst is when I am on the phone while charging, the amount of battery it drains is much more than how much it is consumed via charging it.

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Some of the specifications, those pretty much standard stuffs.

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Another thing that it is cool about is the 3 years warranty that I will be enjoying! Of course I wouldn’t want it to fail me…

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It’s in action right now!

I have not really tested the different between charging using Innergie and the original charger that comes with the various devices. I think it is worth while to take the measurement, I will do that the very next time!

Cheers.
Milton Goh

My thoughts on PowerShell Saturday #009 – Singapore

So a couple of days has passed from the last PowerShell Saturday we had in Singapore on the 24th May 2014. I find it is almost time that I should pen down some of my thoughts as this is fourth PowerShell Saturday that was organized in Singapore. So this make it 1 year anniversary since the start! Hoorrayyyy! (Thanks to leads for Singapore PowerShell User Group)

In particular, I am really happy to be able to speak at this event even though my session was short and perhaps or hopefully sweet. Another thing that I am happy is that during the Hands-On Lab session we had in the second part of the day, I see that there are lots of participants that really cracked their head to complete the challenges. Even though many of them may have simply made use of the search engine to derive to the answer but of course it will not be totally same. Even if you find the solution, you will need to understand the commands as the values that was given may be different. An example would be, getting the network adapter connection configuration using WMI and change the property from DHCP to Static if it is assigned through DHCP. So, even if you are able to find the solution from the internet; you will still need to be able to replace the value accordingly such as passing the right value derived and set it as a static value.

There is one part where Matthew uses the [System.Speech] assembly to make PowerShell speak! It’s really funny and one of that challenge which is categorized as the Bonus challenge was to challenge if the users is able to get that working.

Through out the sessions from the day, I really expanded my horizon on WMI as I have yet to really explore on that! It is really so useful and I must have really missed using them as I have moved on to some Project Management kind of role in my day-job. (That’s not the point, I still meddle around and stay geek!)

During lunch, I spoke a few attendees to collect some feedback in terms of the food that is being served and proudly sponsored by Microsoft Singapore (Shout out to Kinda Lau, THANKS!) and I am please to hear that they are satisfied with the food that is being served.

One of the lesson that I have learnt as one of the lead of Singapore PowerShell User Group is that, we should really test out all the tools that is required for projecting the slides so that we do not allow our anxious and precious PowerShell-ers wait!

Rest assured ladies and gentleman, Matthew (PowerShell MVP), Benjamin and I will ensure that we will have a smoother delivery of the sessions by the respective speakers!

Did we miss saying that, if you are keen in speaking at one of the PowerShell Saturday session; please feel free to contact us!

Regards,
Milton Goh
milton@nerdytwo.com

Decoding Text using PowerShell–Sweet challenge :)

This may have been posted a couple of times online and can be easily found just by searching through the search engine but I just want to share it. I wouldn’t have tried to find out how to Decode/Encode in PowerShell if not for Mike Robbins. When I was trying to find his email address so that I could contact him, I found this on the “About” page on his blog (www.mikefrobbins.com).

Capture

So in order to get his email address, we will need to run the following commands in Windows PowerShell.

$encodedmsg  = “IgBtAGkAawBlAGYAcgBvAGIAYgBpAG4AcwBAAG0AcwBwAHMAdQBnAC4AYwBvAG0AIgA=”

$decodedmsg = [System.Convert]::FromBase64String($encodedmsg)

$decodedtext = [System.Text.Encoding]::UTF8.GetString($decodedmsg)

Write-Output “Mike Robbins email is: “ $decodedtext

That’s all! I got his email now! It’s pretty interesting as it shows that you need a little effort in learning PowerShell to get in contact with the PowerShell expert.

Cheers to Mike Robbins!

Regards,
Milton Goh

PowerShell Saturday #009 (Singapore) – Azure + PowerShell

In today PowerShell Saturday #009 in Singapore, I shared the following article about Microsoft Azure and PowerShell. In this presentation, I shared about how one should actually adopt PowerShell to help ease the amount of work that is needed to be spent on managing Microsoft Azure.

 

Thank you.

Regards,
Milton Goh

Little bump to my home lab–Crucial M500 mSATA Hard Drive

During the weekend, I have decided that I should be replacing one of the mSATA drive on one of my Intel NUC which I used primarily to run Virtual Machines on Hyper-V.

So I did some research and bought the cheapest available (> 200GB) mSATA. I chose the Crucial M500 240GB mSATA primary because of the price factor. It cost me SGD 189 for 240GB of space. This make sense because it just translate to less than a dollar per GB.

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If you are an owner of Intel NUC or Gigabyte Brix, please really consider a higher capacity one. I realize that in the market, anything that is more than 200GB and less than 400GB is worth while at this moment for the price per GB cost.

Cheers.

Milton Goh

I’m speaking at PowerShell Saturday #009–Singapore

I am delighted that I have been given an opportunity to speak one session over at the PowerShell Saturday again! This time round, I will be speaking about PowerShell + Azure. If you are a fan of PowerShell, you would not want to miss this awesome event where we will have our PowerShell MVP Matthew Hitchcock delivering two sessions!

Why wait? Head over to register here.

Hope to see you there!

Cheers.
Milton Goh

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