Microsoft Azure: Schedule an Auto-Shutdown

Today when I was meddling with my Virtual Machine (VM) in Microsoft Azure, I chanced upon this new feature known as “Auto-shutdown” under the section “Schedules” although this was originally released in November 2016. The piece of news can be found here. With this naming, it tells it all that Microsoft is helping us consumers to save some costs! (Thanks Microsoft!) #MicrosoftIsGreat.

Azure-AutoShutDown-01

Clicking on it further brings me into this simple form.

Azure-AutoShutDown-03

As you can see that this form is rather simple to operate which also means that it is missing some features that I can think off immediately upon seeing this.

Azure-AutoShutDown-04

Microsoft Azure team has built this feature to allow you to shut down at anytime at your convenience which is down right the whole purpose of this. I faced with tons of issues with time zone where I set an alarm at 6pm (GMT +7) and after a flight, it does rang only at the specified time zone even I return to my home land which is in (GMT +8).

One of the immediate limitation of this is, once you scheduled a time to have the resource to be shut down. It will be on run on a daily basis, which means that I will need to manually start the Virtual Machine if I need to. Well, a list of awesome features that I hope to see on this Schedules will be:

1) Auto-StartUp – Automatically start the resource if it is not in the Stopped State at a specified time.

2) Allow more granular control such as:

  • Control by Shutting down on a specified day of the week/month
  • Control by Starting up on a specified day of the week/month

3) What is better is, if I can even start/stop a resource by using my Mobile Device (regardless of Email/Mobile Application)

Cheers,
Milton

Goodbye 2016, Hello 2017! What’s new ahead?

In a couple of hours from now, we will be bidding farewell to Year 2016 and welcome Year 2017! It is one of those posts that I have written every year to re-look at what have I done within the year and some of the goals that I am looking at achieving in 2017. The post that I wrote in Year 2015 can be found here – Goodbye Twenty Fifteen, Hello Twenty Sixteen.

 

Microsoft Most Valuable Professional (MVP)

In April this year, I was re-awarded the Microsoft Most Valuable Professional (MVP) award by Microsoft but this time it has been rebranded to Cloud and Datacenter Management technical expertise. It has been an exciting journey so far as this is my second award by Microsoft. I enjoy spending time advocating the various technology to the community especially in the area of PowerShell and automation.

 

Condeco Software

Today marks the completion of 12 months with Condeco Software and to be honest, it has really been a busy year as a Technical Consultant within the Asia Pacific side of the organization. Practically, every single day we are filled with tasks be it is a Challenge, a Simple Task or Meeting(s) that keep all of us busy!

I had so much fun being able to be part of all the transition within the organization especially where we are kick-start the utilization of Microsoft Azure as part of the public cloud solution to support our Software-as-a-Service (SaaS) business. What it means to our customers is that, we do care about your overall user experience and we are there to present you with the best at all times!

 

Travel

Travel_Countries_Travelled

One great point about working as a Regional Technical Consultant that covers the Asia Pacific region, it means that we are readily made ourselves available to the customer so that we can shower them with our professionalism and at the same time some care which they deserved to ensure they are ripping every benefits out of the investments.

Of course, with that to say, it does not means that for my whole year of travel which covers 4% of the world is solely for work! I do have fun in Seattle (Washington, United States) to attend to the MVP Summit that is hosted by Microsoft. It is one of the great session where you get to interact with the product teams and meet other fellow technology lovers. On top of that, I am so honoured to be able to sit in the same room with other fellow PowerShell Conference Organizer on the other side of the world to do up a video for the PowerShell 10th Anniversary. The video can be found here.

 

How many goals was achieved?

So how many goals that I have set in December 2015 has been achieved in Year 2016?

I was suppose to be an Avid Reader but I guess I pretty much failed this point because I have not completed even a single book till now. For this, I have to bluntly admit that I failed to do so and this shall be carry forward to Year 2017 and hoping this time my perseverance can pull me through!

Secondly, my goal was to be a better Leader in my new job role and I have to say that I did made some advancement in that area and all thanks to my current manager(s) that made it possible. I personally would like to thank Nicholas Yap (Operations Director, APAC) who is my reporting manager for guiding me all these while and opens up a lot of opportunities for me! Without the kind of support at the backend, it would not be possible to shape me in who I am. I am happy and more than willing to work with him to strengthen the team!

Lastly, for all the work that has been done to the PowerShell Community, I am really honoured to say that we have completed the second PowerShell Conference in Asia and we are looking at organizing the third one that will be held around the same timing as the last two years.

 

Finally, what’s next?

There are of course many a times where we do lesson learnt during times when we failed to achieve some tasks or goals. However, I think over the last 12 months, I have grew much more stronger than before and the following will be the rules that I am trying to adhere.

  • Strengthen the product knowledge – One of the key that I would like to achieve in this year is to thoroughly understand the product my company is offering as I felt that there are a lot into it that has yet been covered as it may not be that commonly being used. It is vital as the Evangelist within the organization to be able to understand what the customers do not understand, know more than what the customers should know and do the impossible for the customers within the limit within the Engineering practice.
  • Strengthen the presentation skills – One of my weakest link is that I felt and I am pretty sure many felt the same is that my presentation skills isn’t that well polished yet and therefore need improvement work on it.
  • Excel and go beyond – In year 2017, I hope to excel even more not only for myself but for my customers and partners. To excel and overcome any issues and potential risks. Go beyond and bend the rule as that will be another challenge up for me as a technical folk!

Cheers and Happy New Year to all the readers to this site!

Regards,
Milton

Capturing Screen as GIF File

Last second day of the beautiful 2016 and while we are waiting to welcome 2017, we should not let loose in terms of learning. Therefore, while doing my SAPIEN PowerShell Studio learning, I found out that I will need a tool to capture some screen movement but I wouldn’t want to record it as a Video formatted file.

I remember that I have seen my idol Scott Hanselman using one of them on one of his many blog articles. I went on to Google a little and I found ScreenToGif. This is a pretty decent tool and I quickly download it. It is a single executable file that require zero installation which comes in handy as I can then put it on my DropBox / OneDrive and made it readily available on all my personal / workstation.

Once you launch the application, you will be presented with a simple layout with icons as shown below.

ScreenToGif_01

Click on “Recorder” and you are all set to select the screen area that you want to do the recording.

ScreenToGif_02

Remember to click on the record button which is at the bottom right hand corner represented with a red circle. Once you are done with your screen recording which generally in my opinion should not be more than 15 seconds for blog entry so that it will not create a huge file.

Once done, click on stop and you can choose to edit or save the GIF file. Below is an example that I have made as part of my learning of SAPIEN PowerShell Studio.

02_Adding_Button_To_Form

Thanks for reading and hope you will find this tool useful!

Cheers,
Milton

Milton is learning SAPIEN PowerShell Studio 2016!

One of the thing that I hope to achieve in Y2017 is that I want and will be maximizing the investments of the SAPIEN PowerShell Studio license. If you are reading this article before 2nd January 2017, please take note that SAPIEN Technologies, Inc. is presently running a holiday promotion and you will get 20% of the total purchase of any products from their website.

I will pen down the process of me adopting this new tool other than the regular PowerShell IDE that I often used for writing PowerShell scripts. Do take note that, the articles will be broken down into small articles as to bring some focus onto certain functionality that is provided with the tool.

01_SAPIEN_Dashboard

The above is the dashboard once you launch SAPIEN PowerShell Studio 2016 and I am running version 5.3.131 which was updated lately.

I personally feel that the whole interface is designed in a way that it is comforting for Developer who have been using Visual Studio all these while to start adopting PowerShell Studio.

So for this series, I set a purpose in making using of PowerShell Studio to start writing scripts along with GUI for one of the internal deployment tool so that anyone including those that is not technology savvy could simply follow some simple steps to build up a demo environment for them to demonstrate to all our prestigious customers.

 

02_Create_New_GUI_Project

PowerShell Studio offers a variety of templates which is gear to different usage in different scenario. For my case, I am out-right trying to build a GUI based project therefore I went ahead to select that project type as per selected.

 

03_Select_Form_Type_Project

Similar to Visual Studio and other IDE tools, provide a Project Name and select the Project Types that it has to offer. I have chosen this as a Single Form project because I want to ensure that the first version is made as simple as possible instead of complicating things.

 

04_Select_Form_Type

Here is something that is unique to SAPIEN PowerShell Studio, it went on to provide a better experience to the coder / scripter / programmer where it allows you to choose the various Form Template. All these little things does helps!

 

05_Base_Files

After a few clicks, all the base files are being created as part of the selections and we are all ready to start inserting codes in!

So far, I am really happy with the interface that PowerShell Studio 2016 has to offer and I am going to continue to invests more time to rip out all the goodies that has been built into this IDE!

Till the next post…

Cheers,
Milton

Using iPad as a 2nd Monitor–Duet Display

Within this year, I see myself spending more time outside of my office than in the office which is rather something that I am looking for. There are times when I just needed one more monitor than just the laptop itself so that I can cross-reference some documents on Excel Spreadsheet along with what is being displayed on the main monitor especially when I am meddling with the system configurations of the customer systems.

Ideas have been storming into my mind all these while but every time a new idea emerged, I will start to think of the Pros and Cons. I did remember my good friend Matt Hitchcock has recommended to me the ASUS MB169+ which is an awesome piece of gadget! However, there are many constraints that prevented me from getting one of those external monitors that are powered by USB.

  1. I am using a HP Elitebook 840 G3 which comes with Two USB ports. I am generally happy with this machine as I have upgraded it to 16GB and it has built-in SSD which makes running a full lab that able to simulate the whole Condeco Enterprise suite of products.
  2. Although I am using a TUMI Alpha 2, it does have space limitation too although it is really huge! Moreover, I didn’t want to intentionally carry a truck full of loots with me each time I travel from place to place.
  3. Do I really need to lug around a 15” monitor with me all day long?

Therefore, I did a search online and chanced upon this software known as Duet Display. This generally fits into my use-case as I recently just upgrade my iPad Mini Generation 1 to a refurbished set of iPad Air 2 which I am really happy with till now.

Duet Display is free to download on your Mac OS X or Windows computer as the licensing is count towards the device you used as the additional screen. In terms of pricing, it is on the high side of an iOS application as it is priced at SGD 28.98.

Nevertheless, being productive at whatever one is doing is getting more and more important to me. I aimed to be able to improve and increase productivity for not just myself but for all the people around me who are keen to do so. On the flip side, the money spent on the App isn’t that significant anymore because I always believe that if one can splurge on good meals, they should be responsible for their own productivity. Therefore, one should invest in their well-beings. In the past, I have used other application which taps on the Wireless Network in order to connect as a secondary screen but the disadvantage of that would be it is always dependent on the wireless strength.

The setup of the application and have it connect to my Windows 10 laptop isn’t that difficult and can be done swiftly within 10 minutes including the time taken to download the application. Connect the iPad with the lightning cable and everything works like a charm. Here is a photo of the end result.

Duet_Display_11

Below is the step of step setting up of the application on my iPad after downloading from the Apple App Store.

1. The Application is easily found in the Apple App Store.

Duet_Display_01

2. Welcome screen

Duet_Display_02

3. Guide you to install the necessary software on your Mac OS or Windows computer.

Duet_Display_03

4. Typical application behaviour where they will ask you for permission to allow notifications to be shown. One thing that caught my eye is that it will keep track on how many hours that the software provides in terms of Productive Hours. This just co-relate with, how much frustrations has been saved and how much time was saved just by able to be more productive.

Duet_Display_04

5. Next is the signing up of marketing emailers.

Duet_Display_05

6. Now the most essential part where it is awaiting for the iPad to be connected.

Duet_Display_06

Once the iOS powered device is connected, it will automatically launch iTunes (if you have it installed) and automatically it will connect and display as a secondary screen as shown earlier in this post.

Some of the highlights of this Application is the help screen which generally gives me a very neat feeling.

Duet_Display_08

If you have an Apple iPad and wish to increase your productivity by having an additional screen, please go ahead and try out Duet Display.

Cheers,
Milton

What?! Do not TRY again?

Just a couple of weeks ago, I spent a week in Shanghai (China) for work. It was the second time in my life that I actually went to Shanghai and no doubt that it is really a nice place! This city is so amazing that it brings me various thoughts. I am really amazed at how Social Media is being utilized to the fullest until the extent where you are able to “get a queue number” and “order your meals” through the same social app. For this, I would have them covered in the next post or so.

When I was on my way to the Airport heading home, I was on the Uber and wanting to know which Terminal should I be heading for, I encounter the following error while surfing the Pudong International Airport website on my mobile.

2016-08-19 12.21.19

Notice the message shown above? It stated “Query error, please do not try again!”. Base on the experience that I had as a Software Engineer, I can derive that the whole purpose of such message is that there are probably an error retrieving data from the database or there are error displaying the data.

All-in-all, there was an error!

Error handling has exists for ages and why on earth it is so difficult to have some text or message that is much more friendly for end-users? By telling user not to try again, it just turn people off. Especially for users like me whom is relying on the website for important information for my flights details. Sometimes I ponder whether websites exists to provide information and services to users?

Well, there are nice message that could just gives assurance to users:

Oops! We met into some issue and hang on there while we are fixing it!

However, do not use this as a default one and expects users to be repeatedly seeing this! On top of that, once this message is being displayed, the backend system should also capture it as part of the System Error Logs and trigger the Web-Administrator.

Just my 2 cents worth.

Cheers,
/M

Goodbye Twenty Fifteen, Hello Twenty Sixteen.

In a wink of eyes and it is the last few minutes at the time when I am typing or publishing this blog entry before we welcome year twenty sixteen (2016)!

Indeed, in the last 365 days, there are way too many that I have learnt in life regardless of the sources. Let’s pin point to the highlights of the year!

Microsoft Most Valuable Professional (MVP) – PowerShell

On the 1st of April this year, I received an email from Microsoft that I am awarded my first Microsoft MVP award in the Windows PowerShell technical expertise and I am really thrill that my effort and work towards the community has been recognized by Microsoft.

Goodbye AirWatch by VMware

Today (31st December 2015) is my last day with VMware (AirWatch Division). I officially bid goodbye to VMware as I embarked into my next chapter of my life in 2016. Within the 13 months in VMware within the AirWatch division, I have learnt a lot as the Implementation Consultant covering the ASEAN region. I am also happy that I am part of the team that spearhead the whole regional implementation of the mobility solution to one of the biggest insurance company in the world!

It is certainly my lost that I no longer able to work with this whole bunch of folks but I am sure we will all be missed!

Microsoft MVP Summit

In November, I made my way to Seattle, Washington for my first ever Microsoft MVP Summit as a newbie MVP. In the 4 days spent in Microsoft campus, I get to meet up with fellow PowerShell MVPs and Product Group members. It is a whole new experience that is well deserve the 24 hours of flight from Singapore there.

One thing that I definitely missed is the time that I took to walk around the campus under the nice cold weather and different scenery that I enjoyed with my bare eyes! I really wish to be there in year 2016!

This kind of companionship and networking chance is something that one should not missed!

Well Deserved Break – West Coast of United States of America

At the end of November this year, I took a three weeks break and accompanied my family to tour the West Coast of United States of America (USA). So within these three weeks, we have tour the following states:

  • Los Angeles
  • Las Vegas
  • San Diego
  • San Francisco

The weather is really nice in the states and I definitely missed those days when I do not sweat at all! *Grins* Looking at my size, obviously I hate warm weather!

First Ever PowerShell Conference in Asia – Singapore

In September, a few of us (Matt, Ben and Ravi) took the leap to our first ever PowerShell Conference in Asia where we host attendees and speakers from all over the world! We could not be more than happy with the results that we have yearned and through this first ever paid conference that we have organised, we have learnt all the Dos and Don’ts!

This is great lesson and we would definitely have those changes incorporated into the next one in year 2016!

Successfully Built Partners Network

In my career in VMware (AirWatch Division), I have successfully worked with various partners from different countries (Singapore, Malaysia, Indonesia and Thailand) and have successfully foster strong bonds between them and our company. I am really thrilled that all my effort was recognised and been regarded as the trusted advisor to all of them.

So what’s new in Year 2016 that I am working on?

Over the last few weeks of the year, I have been trying to reflect on what I have done and what I should have done within this year. I do know that I definitely could not rewind back to the time but I would like to take this opportunity to pin down some goals that I must achieved within year 2016. Some of the goals is:

Knowledge – Becoming an avid reader

One of the most efficient way to gain knowledge is to be reading and this is one of my short-coming although I should have started being an avid reader years ago. So in year 2016, I would love to cultivate myself to read more! Other than purely reading, I would love to share what I have learnt through different avenues to people so that I could spread out those knowledge and hopefully be the one that influence others to start reading those good books that I have read!

Leadership – One step forward to become the better leader

In my over five years of career, I have worked with many leaders and managers. In the coming year, I would love to work towards the People’s Manager or People’s Leader. Someone that would gain respect from everyone in the organisation and even from Customers or Partners. I certainly know that being a leader is not just by saying but it is by the action! There are more things that I need to learn in order to be handed the authority to lead and excel!

Personality – Ditching the bad habits, cultivating the good habits

Personality is something that was either born with it or it has been cultivated over the years depending on the environment that one has gone through. In this year, I have learnt a lot about my personality and I would be more than happy and eager to have it changed!

There is one thing that I have finally learnt over the last few weeks is that, I have learnt to Forgive and Forget. What doesn’t kill you only will make you stronger!

Lastly, I would be investing a lot more time in DevOps and PowerShell so that I could continue advocating all these principles and knowledges to those people around me like what I have done this year! I believe this kind of knowledge is fruitful and I hope that one day, Windows PowerShell / Automation / DevOps is something that Asia-Pacific can adopt and have it under every IT Pro / Developer belt!

Cheers to all and Happy New Year! Let’s all work hard in year 2016!

Regards,
Milton Goh

My First Ever Microsoft MVP Summit–Part 1

I just landed back in Singapore just 24 hours ago from this blog entry after a week in USA for the Microsoft Most Valuable Professional (MVP) Summit in Microsoft Headquarters in Seattle, Washington. Although I won’t be sharing about the content that I have went through during the week as it is under Non-Disclosure Agreement (NDA) which makes the MVP Communities a more robust and strong one, but I will be sharing with you the experience that I get as a first-timer.

Not to forget, this is my first time in my life travelling to Seattle other than my past trips to USA. So bear with me if I sound like a newbie. *cheers!* There are quite a fair bit of “First-Time” within this trip that I have unlocked and I am really happy about it.

1st First Time

I took the route from Singapore –> Seoul –> San Francisco with Singapore Airlines and then met up with my friend for a bit before flying from San Francisco to Seattle with United Airlines.

2015-10-30 16.39.43

So yes, this is the first time I am flying with United Airlines. There are quite a fair bit of choices but I still chose to give it a shot for United Airlines although there are bad reviews about it. What assured me even more is the e-mailer from the CEO that things will get better. We will never know until we try it right?

2015-10-30 17.09.41

Like what any typical social media geek would do, I would love to capture moments and share it with my fellow friends online. Immediately on Instagram, I have friends who commented that they really love travelling on United Airlines for their last trip to Japan. Well, technically that is an International route which may defer in the kind of facilities I am receiving since I am on a domestic flight. Let’s embrace that!

 

2nd First Time

After more than 24 hours of travelling on road + flight, I have finally reached Seattle-Tacomo International Airport.

2015-10-30 19.42.01

Just hop off the plane and walking towards baggage area.

2015-10-30 19.46.32

Every airport has its own landmark right?

2015-10-30 19.50.10

Took this photo while crossing the bridge to the car park area where I could get a Taxi to the hotel that I am staying.

To be honest, there isn’t really any fuss in navigating around Seattle-Tacoma International Airport not because it is small but everything seems organized. There isn’t a need or much effort needed to bring me around and point me to the right direction for a First-Timer. Trust me, I have been to airport that are so much worse that you will realize that your only wish is “Get my bag, get me OUT of here!” that kind of feelings.

 

3rd First Time

After landing myself in Hyatt Regency Bellevue, as per request from my fellow Singapore MVPs, I head over to Bellevue Square to check out Microsoft Store to see if I am in time to get the Microsoft Band 2.

2015-10-30 20.49.12 HDR

2015-10-30 20.49.17 HDR

Like Apple in past, there isn’t any specific branded store in Asia-Pacific other than the ones operated by their distributor or reseller. However, I am hope to see Microsoft having their presence in Asia-Pacific just like what Apple is doing.

2015-10-30 20.50.22

2015-10-30 20.56.59

Really excited that I get to play with the Microsoft Band 2 for the very first time since it just launches not long ago. Interestingly, only the size L is left in the store while the size S and M are all wiped out quickly. Therefore, I could only assist to fulfil the order from fellow MVP (Matt Hitchcock) who happens to be my room mate during the summit time.

I really like the way how technology has driven things these years and happy to see that Microsoft Retail Store has built mobile applications that empower the retail staffs to place order and perform transaction on Windows Mobile Phone. That kind of seamless experience where you need to walk to the cashier is long gone while now, as long as you build terminals around the store, you will be able to handle any huge volume of customers at any time! Hooray to Microsoft! Of course, #BringThisToAsia

 

4th First Time

Like what they all say, if you are here in the states, you should not miss out the food from The Cheesecake Factory.

2015-10-31 13.31.23-1

2015-10-31 13.55.28

2015-11-04 22.52.56

2015-11-04 22.52.33

2015-11-04 22.52.29

2015-11-04 22.52.23

2015-10-31 22.15.56

2015-10-31 22.15.49

2015-10-31 22.54.27

Please do not mistaken that I had all these on my own! I definitely have to share all the various delicious cakes with the other MVPs that I went with. The varieties of cheesecake that is available is really a widespread and this will keep me aiming for the MVP Summit 2016 so that I can continue with my indulgence of these nice delicacies along with the company from fellow elites.

I will wrap up the first part of these trip here and will continue with more details following the next few posts so that I can keep you in suspend of what I have been up to for the past weeks.

Cheers,
Milton

No Bullshit, Why you should attend PowerShell Conference Asia 2015!

We are almost into August already and in two weeks time, as a Singaporean, I will be celebrating my nation 50th Birthday. It is for sure will be the biggest celebration ever and it scares the shit out of me because after that major milestone, it just means that in four weeks from then it will be PowerShell Conference 2015 in Asia! The first ever PowerShell Conference in Asia that have touch down in Singapore!

As a PowerShell MVP and part of the awesome organising team that have the strong eagerness to bring a fantastic lined-up of speakers all the way out from United States to have them speak face-to-face with the attendees in Asia for the very first time! This is definitely a greatest achievements for not only me, but for all the technology lovers who have walked by us all the time. It is because of the committee that drives us to do crazy stuffs such as inviting renown and professional speakers in to share their expertise and knowledge for two-full days!

Let’s keep the long story short and hit to the point. Below is the points that I felt YOU as an Information Technology Worker or Implementer or Consultant or Architect or Project Management or anything that does A-Z with or without PowerShell or drag to learn DevOps or even to the point where you want Automation but definitely wouldn’t know where to kick-start. Then review the following reason WHY I THINK YOU SHOULD ATTEND THIS EVENT.

  1.  MEET THE EXPERTS
    • Hear from PowerShell Founder, Jeffrey Snover through Skype for Business.
    • Have a face-to-face airtime with PowerShell Product Team Lead Engineer, Narayanan Lakshmanan
    • Industry Experts, Microsoft MVPs (PowerShell and many other Technical Expertise who thinks that PowerShell is the way to go!)
  2. IT IS FOR ALL LEVELS
    • There bounce to have sessions for Beginners, Intermediate and Advance users.
    • We need to accommodate to all type of users because we want the Beginners to become Intermediate and Intermediate users to become Advance. Sooner or later, we will have more experts in this industry moving forward!
  3. HELP YOURSELF, NOT US
    • Learning is an individual things. If watching a video from Microsoft Virtual Academy (MVA) is tough for you, then it is not your passion. MOVE ON.
    • Learning can be fun in a group. We help each other as and when we can.
    • We can’t work alone, we always work in a TEAM. That’s why there is TEAMWORK.
  4. EXCEL, REACH OUT TO REALITY
    • Wake up from your idea that GUI will be the way moving forward.
    • Stop day-dreaming. Unless you move away from IT, unless you move away from using Windows Server (but, do you know we can use Desired State Configurations (DSC) to manage Linux too?)
    • The reality is, LEARN POWERSHELL NOW or MOVE ON.
  5. NOT JUST ADMINISTRATOR, DEVELOPER ARE WELCOME
    • Since donkey years ago, developers have started to intercept and learn about PowerShell Scripting.
    • Administrator should learn scripting too, get the GUI closed please!
    • Developer have the upper-hand, you write C# right? Basic foundation is there. Take advantage of it!
  6. NOT NEGLECTING THE BUSINESS USERS
    • Business Managers should join too! It will be DRY for you, I guaranteed.
    • You ought to know how important AUTOMATION is for your company.
    • You should advocate and HELP YOUR COMPANY to move forward!
    • WITHOUT your help, EMPLOYEE do not improve. Help them to help you!
  7. THE INVESTMENT IS NOT HUGE
    • It is only just USD150.
    • Remember the last awesome meal you had at the restaurant which may cost you a bomb? Yes, it is delicious and you will remember the restaurant until you find something nicer.
    • The foundation of PowerShell and willingness to spend to learn will bring you to different dimension which is sponsoring your nice meal at the next luxurious restaurant.
    • We are work, play and enjoy. This is work-life balance! So work for it before you get your fair share to enjoy!

 

Hope you catch my pointers. It is still not too late to enjoy the Early-Bird pricing to the first ever PowerShell Conference in Asia that will be held from 18-19th September this year in Microsoft Singapore office! The world do not owe you a living, so get your ass in to start learning!

Hit over to http://powershell.asia/ now!

Regards,
Milton Goh

Hey #ASUS–I hope you know this…

I don’t know how to start this blog entry as even till the time I am writing this blog entry, my disappointment still heavily felt.

 

Disclaimer #1

I have always been an avid lover/fan of ASUS networking products because the team have really engineered their networking router to be so fantastic that I ditched those router that was given by the Internet Service Provider (ISP). I have to admit that most of visits from searches in Singapore is generated through related searches on ASUS router or SingTel fibre. I have always been a strong supporter in advocating people around me to take on the ASUS networking products bandwagon.

 

Disclaimer #2

This time round, I am not writing any negative with regards to the networking side of things about ASUS. Although this may be a negative post, it will not discourage me in still supporting the networking side of business for ASUS.

 

Background

It all started couple of months ago when I chanced upon an advertisement on ASUS soon-to-be launched ZenFone 2. The advertisement was hitting almost everywhere in the social media where ASUS claims to be the first smartphone that is equip with 4 gigabytes of RAM. At the point of time, “Wow, 4GB is so godly!”

Before I decided to use this phone, I was lugging onto two mobile phones. One of it is Samsung Galaxy Note 3 (personal device) and another one is Samsung Galaxy Note 4 (corporate device). I have two SIM card with two different numbers which I need to have it with me all (most) of the time.

The reason why I would step onto the ASUS platform is because:

  1. It is LTE-enabled phone (although it is only for SIM #1, but it doesn’t really matter to me because most of the time it should only utilize data from one number).
  2. It is dual-SIM and dual-active! (this is amazing! if you still don’t know why Dual-Active is better, check out this link here).
  3. It has 4GB of RAM. 4GB is more than 3GB on each of my Note-series of Samsung device, so it is an upgrade right?

 

The Preview

So it started with me getting an invite to the launch of ASUS ZenFone 2 in Singapore way back in April (to be exact, 14th April 2015 @ Suntec City Convention Centre). During the show, practically all the partners and invited popular bloggers are given one set of the ASUS ZenFone 2 for them to do the preview and trial of the mobile device. On the other hand, attendees who was invited to the event is able to make purchase of the monster device (and how it was market was being the first in country or region to be the first batch that uses this godly device!). So at the price of SGD 429, attendees is able to walk home with a happy mood and anxious moments to rip the box up to unveil the inner beauty of the little monster!

 

The Course

Overall, the user-experience of the phone and the overall impression that I get from this phone is really awesome. Although it is slightly heavy but it is so much better for me where I do not need to lug two devices with me all the time.

When ASUS announced that they are all ready to release the rest of the devices (lower-end models where it comes with 5 inch or 5.5 inch with approximately 2GB of RAM), I totally do not even consider about it and quickly placed an order for the 5 inch one as a present to my dad. At that point of time, my dad was using the XiaoMi 1s where it is his first smart phone that he has been using for awhile until it decided to be a little cranky. So, without even considering that it will be hard for him to adopt, I persuaded him that it is the best choice because I have been a happy user for weeks.

 

Half-Time (Summary)

At this point of time, we already have two devices under the hood right now where the father and son are both using it.

 

Let the action roll…

Well, after a couple of days into using the device, my dad suddenly feedback to me on the first issue he had with the phone.

Problem (ASUS ZenFone 2, 5 inch – Dad’s Phone): The phone loses connectivity to the network all of a sudden. No calls can be received and no data can go through too.

Troubleshooting Steps:

  1. Restart the device: Did this so many times until we can’t remember exactly how many times we did it in order to have the network recovered.
  2. Change of SIM Card: Well, naturally such problem scenario could be problem lead by the failure on the network but it seems like it is not because none of us within the family is using any other telecom except for Singapore Telecommunications (SingTel). Therefore, this problem is definitely ruled out. So I realized that the SIM card in the phone may be faulty because my dad has been using it for years so I went to the SingTel shop to get it replaced.
  3. Hard reset the device: We could barely remember how many times we did a factory reset on the phone!

Before I continue with part two of the ranting, let’s look into problem scenario for my own phone.

Problem (ASUS ZenFone 2, 5.5 inch, 4GB RAM – my phone): This is one weird problem with the phone. So the sequence is as followed:

  1. Out of the sudden, the phone will get heated up by itself.
  2. The screen will display the round image where it appears only when you uses the ASUS ZenFone flip cover. (The smart screen)
  3. Nothing you do will wake the phone up non shut it down.
  4. Do note that for this series, the battery is embedded and is not able to be removed.
  5. So it will drain the battery up by itself within a couple of minutes.
  6. Then it will just be dead, just dead.

There is simply nothing I can do to troubleshoot this device as it is beyond my level. So I headed over to the service centre at 313 Orchard to get it fix.

 

Where the frustrations lies…

Here we go:

Have been to the ASUS Service Centre on the following dates:

    • 21st May 2015 – Sent in my ASUS ZenFone 2 (4GB) to repair
    • 23rd May 2015 – Sent in my dad ASUS ZenFone 2 (2GB) to repair and to collect my ASUS ZenFone 2 (4GB).
    • 24th May 2015 – Sent in my ASUS ZenFone 2 (4GB) AGAIN and collected my dad ASUS ZenFone 2 (2GB).
    • 26th May 2015 – Collected my ASUS ZenFone 2 (4GB)

And what’s the result till now? Both device still doesn’t work at all.

 

  1. Look at the frequency that I have been visiting the service centre although it is for two devices.
  2. Every time I collected my device, I asked the customer service officer (CSO) on what was fixed but all they could tell me is that some parts has been replaced and tested. This is not good enough in my opinion.

Let’s take a look at some of the screen shot I have in terms of the receipt for the repair:

Dad’s ZenFone 2 (2GB)

Capture1

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So the engineer within ASUS Singapore have determined it is the motherboard that is faulty, therefore they have replaced it. However, problem still persists after changing the heart of the device.

 

My ZenFone 2 (4GB)

Capture3

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So, all the ASUS engineer could do is to change the motherboard. Now, I wonder, is it changing from someone else reported set to my device and shit just goes round and round. Smile

 

Capture5

Patience level getting thinner and thinner.

Capture6

 

Where I think the problem lies…

So let’s summarize on my thoughts on where the problem actually lies:

  1. The product actually sucks. Well, someone elsewhere may/would defer my statement as they may be enjoying their own set right now. It is ok, this is just my personal perspective or rather a perspective at least from a family of two out of fives putting our pledge and trust on ASUS mobile devices.
  2. The service centre that ASUS Headquarter has contracted to sucks. It is because they are the only contact person I ever spoke to during my whole period of getting my mobile device working fine all over again. No matter how much unhappiness I pour onto them, all they can do is to accept it and forget about it. I couldn’t explain more than enough my frustrations, the first time ever in my life after using the LG brand many years back where I have so much problem with the mobile phone.
  3. The engineer who are doing the actual fixing sucks. Well, all I could say they are the king behind the scene because whatever action they do, they either made one customer a happy person or a simple tweak on the phone could potentially just pissed another customer away. So, I am the lucky one.
  4. There is simply no clear communications between the service centre and the technical team that is doing the fixing. Look at the image below:

Capture

You saw? +Serv is the authorized service centre where it is part of ASUS job to outsource as much process as possible in order to make life easier for everywhere especially ASUS has been trying to lower the responsibility on customer support.

 

What’s next?

Well, all I could say is:

  1. ASUS, I have given up on your mobile phone device business. I shall not be contributing to the success of your BU anymore.
  2. Now the two devices are sitting in the drawer potentially being another paperweight (really an expensive one with no unique design).

I had my fair share of ranting, if you think you could regain my confidence level in you, please feel free to reach out to me. Else, let’s bid farewell and hope buyers out there who are thinking of getting a ZenFone 2 device, please do enough research before jumping into action!

Cheers,
Milton