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

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

Learning to appreciate

Something suddenly struck my mind during lunch time today. So it goes where I have take-away some sushi (Salmon Sashimi) from Umi Sushi today when I made a trip down to Funan IT Mall during lunch hour. Just when I have settled down at my client place and almost ready to enjoy the sashimi.

So as per my dietary habit, I will enjoy my sashimi with light soy sauce and wasabi. Call it lucky or unlucky, I was given a pack of light sauce which I had difficulty tearing it open and finally gave up because:

  1. I am in my customer premises
  2. I shouldn’t be dirtying the place here
  3. I should be careful with my attire

Eventually I gave up on opening the pack of light sauce and tried to eat it without the sauce. At this point of time, this struck me that sometimes I (or maybe there are others) who enjoyed food or stuffs with additional topping which somehow destroy or cover up the original taste.

In this manner, we do not actually get to enjoy the originality of the things. Therefore, I think it is a good start that we should learn to appreciate things in its original manner and look at things in a different aspect.

If you were me, would you join me in appreciate food without any added sauce?

Cheers,
Milton

Silly Mistake

Just two nights ago when I was happily opening up the wrapper for my new router, ASUS RT-AC3200, thinking that it always easy to configure this brand of router as it is purely chicken feet!

However, this time round, it took me more than 30 minutes to get things right which I find it really wrong as I am a loyal fan of ASUS in terms of their networking side of business. (Previously using RT-N66U – known as the Black Knight).

So to give a slight background of why it is not a clear-cut configuration while the firmware itself has already catered to what our Internet Service Providers (ISP) is required in terms of the settings. I am signed up with our local telecom (SingTel) on their Mio plan where I have both the Fibre Internet connection and Cable TV box that is connected using the Fibre connection.

In the past, customer usually have to rely heavily on the hardware provided by SingTel or even any other providers out there due to the configuration that is preset on the router itself to allow connection to services like TV (Mio-TV) and Voices (Mio-Voice). So we are blessed that ASUS have that all covered for us in a few clicks and all is done.

Now the problem is that, I was way to excited to use this new monster and I have plug my ethernet lan cable from the router to my computer (while doing configuration) to lan port 4. This port is proprietary to the Cable Services (Mio-TV) so naturally it doesn’t seems to work for me. So the error occurred when ever I am trying to pull in the DNS configuration automatically, the screen would have frozen. So I thought, “Oh Shucks”, did this monster just died on me!

So the only thing I could do is to do a hard reset on the router to return it to the factory configuration and try all over again! So I did it for more than thrice (blame it on the eagerness in me from the support background). So in the end, I finally realise that whenever I reaches to the DNS configuration page, my computer will lose it IP address and in return gotten the private IP. Feeling amiss, I look at the port that I have used on the router.

This is really a silly mistake that I have ever made. Hope my dear readers will take note while configuring their ASUS router.

Cheers,
Milton

Unable to establish FTP connection to Azure FTP Service

It must really been a long time since I try to connect to the FTP for my Microsoft Azure Web App to get access to the files. So I happily downloaded my favourite FTP companion, FileZilla and tried to login with the credentials extracted from Azure Portal. However, I am faced with the following issue as shown in the screen shot below.

Screen Shot 2015-06-02 at 10.17.19 pm

It seems like it is trying to connect via TLS with Implicit mode. More explanation on implicit mode can be found here.

Solution

On the port textbox, force it to use port 990 and all works like a charm! Back to rock and roll… 🙂

Regards,
Milton