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

Feedback/Suggestions for Microsoft Surface Power Adapter

It has been almost seven months since I bought my Microsoft Surface Pro 2 and have always been a happy user. However, there are a few issues I have found with the Surface and I am going to detail out some of them from now onwards. Definitely, I hope this would bring improvement back to Microsoft so that they can take consumer feedback back to the team to see if this could be possibly fulfilled in future releases.

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From the picture above, you can see that the rubber is tear from my AC cable. The AC cable is one that is used to plug into the power source on one head and on the other end it is connected to the adapter.

I notice that it got tore a couple of months ago after rigorous usage of my Surface Pro 2. Since the day I made my purchase, I have used my Surface Pro 2 as the replacement laptop for my work and/or personal usage. So I realized that it got tore of especially when I do not unplug the AC cable from the adapter before tidying up the cable and kept into a pouch.

I never had such experience before for my previous laptop (Dell XPS 13, HP Elitebook and Lenovo X220) so I find it rather weird.

So hereby, I am putting through this suggestions to Microsoft.

  1. Change the head of the end for the AC cable so that it does not break so easily.
  2. Increase the length of the cable (especially the AC cable section) – Reason being is that, since the adapter has an USB port which has always been very handy for me. I would love the adapter to be near me especially when the power socket is further from where my laptop is situated most of the time. I have always use the USB port to plug my cable to charge my mobile phone. This save me the hassle to bring one more adapter head along and also charge faster this way (comparing to charging using USB port on my Surface Pro 2).

Cheers.
Milton Goh

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