Woot! Now you get #UNLIMITED space on #OneDrive ?!?!

To start of my day when I was commuting to work, I read on FaceBook through my friend (Chee Yong Poh, Microsoft Technical Evangelist) re-shared a post on The Verge that Microsoft has decided to provide UNLIMITED space on OneDrive – read the article here.

How would this change affect you? Well, when I was dwelling whether to archive my media that I will no longer require access to it on a regular basis to put it into the cloud so that it will not hurt the almost-filled NAS further. I was deciding between Amazon Glacier, DropBox and OneDrive but I tried Glacier at first because it is something pretty cool while OneDrive and DropBox has been in my daily life already. From my previous article titled “Is there something missing in #OneDrive ?” where I talks about something related as it shows that I am uploading all the media files to OneDrive.

So where is the value proposition of Amazon Glacier? Where would you see the value in OneDrive over Amazon Glacier? Well, in terms of space consumed and amount paid or you will be paying. Let’s see.

Microsoft OneDrive Cost (USD) Amazon Glacier Cost (USD)
100GB $6.99 100GB $1.00
500GB $6.99 500GB $5.00
1024GB (1TB) $6.99 1024GB (1TB) $10.24
2048GB (2TB) $6.99 2048GB (2TB) $20.48
10240GB (10TB) $6.99 10240GB (10TB) $102.40

 

Do not forget that Amazon Glacier charges you to bring the data out from the cloud back to any devices you are trying to retrieve from while Microsoft OneDrive, it is the same as DropBox or Box storage where it does not implicitly charge you for data transfer. (Of course, you can’t complain much if the retrieval takes forever! *evil grins*)

Do you have more than 1TB of data to store to the Cloud right now? – Yes, go to Microsoft OneDrive now!

Do you require your data to be used by other cloud services in Amazon? – Yes, stick to Amazon Glacier, there are nice API that can do retrieval from the vault.

Do you need Office suite of products? – Yes, go to Microsoft OneDrive now!

Has this come across to you that storage is getting cheaper and cheaper and Microsoft is well aligning its strategy to Cloud-First, Mobile-First?

 

Do you know that you can sign up to enjoy the unlimited storage first? Hit on to https://preview.onedrive.com/ now!

Cheers.
Milton Goh

Is there something missing in #OneDrive ?

Just when I subscribed to the Office 365 Personal in order to get that 1 Terabyte (TB) of space so that I can start archiving some of the files that I do not required sitting in my home NAS that are filling almost up quickly since the total usable space is 1.5TB. (I know it sounds like it is time to upgrade but looking at schedule where I intend to do a home renovation, I think I will leave those new gadgets coming in after the renovation.)

The latest statistics of the amount of space that I have packed into my account is:

image

So during the course of the first few days into actively pushing some of the media files to OneDrive, I found out something that I feel missing out. So I started of using Google Chrome for all my surfing experience (yes, I do love Internet Explorer too) and started uploading files via the OneDrive web portal.

Google Chrome

The browser that offers two upload options as shown:

  1. Files
  2. Folder

OneDrive_Chrome_Upload_Options

Notice, it reads as “Files” and “Folder” where it is missing something!

Number 1 – *MISSING WHAT?*: Why can’t I have an option to upload multiple folders?

Then I went ahead to upload by single Folder at a time since each folder contains multiple huge files, it does not matter to me actually. So after uploading the 9th or 10th huge folder, I start to ponder upon something that is missing.

OneDrive_Chrome_Upload_5of22

OneDrive_Chrome_Upload_22of22

Do you all notice the difference? It caught my attention why when it was uploading 5th file out of the 22 files that I have, the amount it has progress in the blue bar is showing perhaps 5-8% of the total length. However, when it is already in the process of uploading the last file, it only show almost 25% taken up! So, what’s the big deal about the remaining 75%?

Number 2 – *MISSING WHAT?*: What happened to my progress bar?

OK, that’s all for Google Chrome. Next on the list… Internet Explorer!

 

Internet Explorer

So I wasn’t quite convinced with how Google Chrome works, so I went ahead and try out using Internet Explorer (IE) as always Microsoft line of products should all work almost seamlessly together.

Number 1 – *MISSING WHAT?*: Why can’t I upload by Folder??????

image

Notice that for the “Upload” portion, there isn’t any option for me to choose between a Single File or Multiple Files or Single Folder. It is just, go ahead and select something out of a single folder.

So by using Internet Explorer, users will have to first create the appropriate folder then upload the files into it as shown.

OneDrive_IE_Upload_20_Items

One thing for sure that is working is the progress bar… *Yayyy*

OneDrive_IE_Upload_20_Items_01

OneDrive_IE_Upload_20_Items_02

 

I don’t know who to reach out to but I hope that Microsoft will consider to allow uploading of multiple folders via the OneDrive web portal one day.

Do you have similar experience as me? If yes, why not share it with me by commenting below.

Cheers!

Regards,
Milton Goh

My Ez-Link Mobile Application–Convenient at a cost.

The company that take care of all our electronic card (EZ-Link) that commuters used on a daily basis while commuting has released its own mobile application for mainly the Android and iOS platform. The mobile application has been sitting on my phone for awhile and until just yesterday I decided to give it a spin again. In the past, I used it mainly to check the values that is remaining in my card as I am a lazy commuters who doesn’t bother looking at the gantry indicators whenever I go through.

Let’s roll over to the mobile application itself.

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This is the start screen of the application. To get things started, there is a need to scan the EZ-Link card to know what other functions is available.

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Once I place my EZ-Link card at the back of my Samsung Galaxy Note 3 with NFC enabled, I will be able to get all the details.

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OK, previously I have scanned this card and save this card as per identified as “Milton’s Ezlink” as usually one card is tie to one person. However, there is no ruling that one person cannot own more than one card but that isn’t something that I required as of now. (I have intentionally replaced the CAN ID so that it is not known, I personally do not know the implications if someone knows my card ID but just want to be on the safe side). This application gives me a break down of my last few trips made or rather the last few transactions that was performed using this card. This actually reminds me of the past where I commute using Bus / MRT during work and we will need to access one of the machine at the nearest station to print a transaction receipt so that I can claim it from the company. Although it is just less than a dollar or two but when things adds up, it could foot the bill for a meal for one easily.

So is there any situation where you are about to leave home for work or anywhere else and you wish to take the public bus but to realize that your EZ-Link card runs low on value? On top of that, you have run out of coins to use to pay off the bus fare and aren’t willing to throw in a two-dollars note to pay off a ride that may only cost you 90-cents or one-twenty?

Here the mobile application come to your rescue! Touch the “Topup Card” feature as shown in the previous screen image then you are on your way to top-up your EZ-Link card using E-Payment such as Credit Card.

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Select the desire amount you want to top-up and continue. My recommendation here is to select the highest amount available! Will come to it shortly.

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Now do you see why? Do you see that greeny weeny “Convenience Fee” that the Credit Card merchant is going to impose for helping you to make sure you don’t lose out? Be it $10, $20 or that mean option of $5, you will still need to pay for the thirty-cents “Convenience Fee”! So be wise, since you paid for the convenient, utilize it fully!

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From the back of my mind, I do not remember that I have keyed in my date-of-birth anywhere when I set this whole thing up, but nevertheless, I couldn’t have forgotten about when I was hatched from the egg. Go ahead, enter the value and proceed. (Maybe I would try to provide false information and see what the application will prompt me)

2014-10-26 01.26.26

Lastly, enter the Credit Card information and proceed… Hooray! EZ-Link card topped up! (Oops, I didn’t continue because I still have values in my EZ-Link card but wonder would I ever fall in such trap where I do require to use this feature!)

In the current era, technology has advanced so quick that providing convenient to consumer is on the top priority. Integrating many solutions into one so that to leverage on expertise from different field or industry.

Have you used this application before? If yes, share with us how it goes for you. If no, why not? Would you give it a spin like what I did? Perhaps, that one day you would really need this?

Find this Android Application over here.

Cheers.

Milton Goh

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…

Windows10_TechnicalPreview_01

*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.

Windows10_TechnicalPreview_02

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

Windows10_TechnicalPreview_03

Windows10_TechnicalPreview_04

Windows10_TechnicalPreview_05

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.

Windows10_TechnicalPreview_13

*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.

Windows10_TechnicalPreview_12

1) Taskbar

Windows10_TechnicalPreview_06

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!)

Windows10_TechnicalPreview_07

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)

Windows10_TechnicalPreview_08

Windows10_TechnicalPreview_09

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

Windows10_TechnicalPreview_10

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

4) More icons changes

Windows10_TechnicalPreview_11

5) Additional Role (Merging the Multipoint Services)

Windows10_TechnicalPreview_14

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

Windows10_TechnicalPreview_MissingFeatures01

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.

Windows10_TechnicalPreview_MissingFeatures02

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

2014-09-14 22.02.35

2014-09-14 22.02.50

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…

2014-08-12 21.48.36

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.

2014-08-12 21.48.29

2014-08-12 21.48.44

So it does Enhance my mobile smart life?

2014-08-12 21.51.06

Photo with all the items laid out on my desk…

2014-08-12 21.52.21

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.

image

image

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?

image

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.

2014-06-13 23.12.02

It looks simple just like any other charger head right?

2014-06-13 23.09.26

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.

2014-06-13 23.09.52

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…

2014-06-13 23.14.55

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

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