Request for Transfer of Microsoft Azure Services Subscription

Just a couple of days ago, I was awarded the Microsoft Most Valuable Professional (MVP) in PowerShell Technical Expertise. Therefore, one of the perks of being a MVP is that each one will receive an annual subscription to MSDN Visual Studio Ultimate where it comes with Microsoft Azure credits to be used.

I have been running all my blogs on the Azure Platform since last year and have been paying a steady amount of money to Microsoft because I believe in giving my readers the best experience in terms of speed. Since I have credits in my account, it is time to convert my Pay-as-You-Go Services to be tied to my MSDN Visual Studio Ultimate Subscription to offset the monthly payment so that we spend it in another way! (However, I foresee using more than the available credits for certain months because I really want to gain more knowledge in testing various scenarios in Hybrid deployments.)

As I was doing a search online, I found this article which detail out the steps to get Microsoft Support make the changes for the subscriber holder but when I am walking through it, it seems to be out-dated and therefore it is vital for me to share the updated one with some screen shots.

Step 1 – Logon to your Microsoft Azure Portal

Step 2 – Navigate to “Support” on the top navigation bar as shown.

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Step 3 – Click on “Get Support” as shown.

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Step 4 – Select your “Subscription” to log a ticket to Microsoft Support.

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Step 5 – Select the type of support ticket, namely “Billing” and “Technical”. However, as long as you do not have support purchased, then you wouldn’t be able to log a support ticket through this mean. In my case, it stated clearly that I only have Billing Support only in the image.

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Step 6 – Select the problem type. There are a couple of Problem Type and I believe that this list has been streamlined over time based on the kind of support ticket being received. For the intent of this blog entry, we will select “Account, Subscription and Account Portal Assistance”.

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Step 7 – Now there is a sub-listing of the Category that is directly linked to the main Category. For this, we will select “Transfer my account, subscription or data”.

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Step 8 – Key in the details so that Microsoft Support can reach out to you.

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Step 9 – Key in any information you would like any agent to picked up. For me, I would go straight to the point and copied out all the information such as I would like to move the services in Source A to Source B subscription. I would recommend people to be more concise as much as possible! This would save the agent time, your time (in terms of replying on clarifications) and this will drastically reduce the ticket time! (Make it a win-win situation!)

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Step 10 – Determine the severity and preferred mode of contact. This is really good as Microsoft do not want to disturb you by phone if you decided to communicate only via Email. This may not be the fastest option but Microsoft respect your choice!

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Lastly, submit the ticket and all is good! Sit back and wait for an agent to get in touch with you.

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Regards,
Milton Goh

2015 Microsoft MVP–PowerShell

I am thrilled to announce that today (1st April 2015) is no longer an April Fool for me! I am awarded the Microsoft MVP status!

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I am really thankful to Matthew Hitchcock (PowerShell MVP and Singapore PowerShell User Group) who has guided me and given me a chance to render my help to him in managing the User Group with him and Benjamin Hodge!

Once again, thank you for all those who have supported me so far in the work that I have done for the community! With this, I am really excited to work with Matthew on all the exciting plans for the community this year!

Cheers!

Regards,
Milton Goh

Synology integrate with OneDrive

When I surfing through the web and I happened to chanced upon Synology website having some keyword of Cloud Storage Provider such as OneDrive, Dropbox and Google Drive. So I went to dived down deeper went I am home.

Upon logging into my Synology NAS (DS412+), I found Cloud Sync in the Package Center. Went ahead to install it and found the following.

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Wow, look at what Synology have done for the consumer out there! We are able to synchronize so many different types of cloud provider via the NAS.

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Please do note that this application is developed by Synology Inc itself and the file type for this package is (.spk). Yes, I do have the interests to see how this package is actually calling OneDrive. Is it the same as the way how OneDrive Client is doing? (Well, I am not sure how can I reversed engineer this just yet.)

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After installation, this appear in the overlay of the Synology Dashboard. Nice looking icon there!

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Now, the real action starts! Selected OneDrive and another pop-up appear to perform the authentication between OneDrive and Synology NAS.

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The usual terms and condition that you will need to agree before proceeding, the kind that is similar to using 3rd-Party Developer Twitter Client to connect to your Twitter account via the API. Well, you have no choice but to agree since you are eager to use the APIs!

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Select the place you would like to place the data (files and folders) that is synchronized between OneDrive and Synology.

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You can even selective synchronization where you only synchronized certain folders from OneDrive.

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After configuration, we can see the console actually starts searching the files and folders to be synchronized and process the synchronization. There is even an icon that is located at the task bar which shows the status of the OneDrive.

I am really happy that Synology is making effort to make sure that the consumer experience is being upgraded at their each major or minor release of the firmware.

Thumbs up to Synology Team!

Cheers.

Regards,
Milton Goh

[Review]–PowerShell Troubleshooting Guide

I am really honour to be provided a copy of this eBook named PowerShell Troubleshooting Guide that is written by Michael Shepard. Courtesy to PacktPub with recommendation from PowerShell MVP Deepak Dhami.

After reading this book for awhile, I decided to post my review according to the word “NICE”. Why this? Well, let’s see.

N – Neat

The structure of this book is being planned and categorized in a way that I personally feel is neat. Although this book is primarily for readers who are not a beginner in PowerShell Technologies, however the book just walked you through bits and pieces the basic in PowerShell so that it caters to beginners who are also fast-learners. (Of course if you required more in-depth learning of PowerShell or if you are fresh to PowerShell, there are tons of books and learning resources out there. Do not worry! Earmark this book for reading purposes when you are ready!)

The book is being structured in a way that it walks you through different aspect of PowerShell such as there is dependency. For example, you need to know Cmdlets before you goes into Functions. You will need to know Functions before going to Scripts. Then go to the next level of meddling with Pipelines and Modules. So all in all, this is a progressive learning over and over again from chapter to chapter.

I – Intuitive and/or Instructional

Adding on to the “Neat” that I have elaborate above, I feel that the content and knowledge that I have received after reading this book is as if I am doing Self-Learning which reminds of me of all the Microsoft Official Curriculum that I have read through while preparing for my Active Directory exam for Window Server 2008. Lots of screenshots have been placed in the book to provide better illustration of the coding that the author was trying to demonstrate. On top of that, do not forget that as a reader, you have access to the ZIP Archive which contains the PowerShell Script and Module used for the various chapter. So it simply save you time to type the command out instead. Although I really encourage PowerShell lovers to type out the command rather than copying because, while you are typing, you can to interface with the various Cmdlets and you may hit into errors when you are selecting the wrong Cmdlets to perform the right tasks.

Reviewing the error messages will definitely help in getting yourself prepared in troubleshooting more complex PowerShell scripts in future.

C – Correct

Well, what do I mean by Correct? Do I meant that the content is Correct or the way the content is structured is Correct?

No, what I actually meant is. The Author have used the Correct way to target at PowerShell lovers. In everything that we do, there may be more than one way to get to the endpoint but usually there is only one way to nail things down and make sure things are done in the Correct manner.

Why is being Correct important? Take for example, if one adopts a different way of writing PowerShell script, then when the scripts are being shared with other Scripters. Then it will take others a lot of time in order to put themselves in the shoes of the original scripter. Sometime it will be worst where one will take some time to refined the scripts to their own style. What could be worst is that, if the timeline is short and there is already a shortage of resources that are available to perform a set of tasks then you wouldn’t want to expense out a resource time to reinvent the whole wheel.

So let’s all adopt to a single lingo and automate the world.

E – Education

I know all books are for learning, but there are definitely books that I have personally read and felt that I have learned nothing much. I would highly recommend this book to all levels of PowerShell lovers so that for beginners will have a taste of PowerShell and for advance players out there, you will get to perfect your skills.

Cheers.

Regards,
Milton Goh

Securing Your Connection using VPN–TunnelBear

During my last trip to Lombok, Indonesia, I was thinking of ways to secure my connection to the content that I accesses from the other side of the world. Therefore while searching for a reliable VPN provider, I pondered on a couple of them and ended up with TunnelBear.

Setup Process

Although most of the VPN providers provide very easy means to get started but what TunnelBear really buy me in is the aesthetic side of things. Let’s take a look on Android platform. You can easily obtain the TunnelBear VPN mobile application from PlayStore via here.

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This is the start. Usually in this era of mobile application design, on first load of an application will be the guide to make sure you get on how to use the application in general in a few swipe and short sentences.

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Once you are done or you maybe a professional in just swiping through, click on “Get Tunneling!”.

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On the first look, what I really like about TunnelBear mobile application is that, it serves the following:

  1. It tells me where is my location (although it is obvious that I should be knowing that!), but who knows shits may happen and the internet gateway that you may be connecting is already routing traffic from another provider or worst, another country. Can you imagine where you are in Singapore and your network routing always route to Hong Kong before it gets your request out? (I wouldn’t want that!)
  2. Just tell me whether my VPN is Connected or NOT.
  3. On just one-click, I am able to get a list of the endpoints that I want to connect to.

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Security prompt: It simply ask you for permission on whether you trust that this application is making changes to your mobile phone.

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What I am trying to explain here is that, I really appreciate how some small animation would buy me in that I have bought something that I prefer. The animation as shown when attempting to connect to an endpoint is that the Bear itself will dig down into the ground from your present location and dig underground all the way till the destination endpoint before coming up from the tunnel that was dug.

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Now I am connected to the Japan TunnelBear server and thus all my traffic will be routed through the connected VPN by TunnelBear.

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A little thing to read while connected via VPN. Although this are just some fun facts but it just tells how much a Service Provider is trying to provide to their customers.

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Here is a list of VPN endpoints that you can choose from and I really like the option where if you don’t know in term of geographically which country is nearer, you can always select the “Closest Tunnel”.

Pricing

I really hate providers who have many different plans which usually made people confused and don’t know which plan to select from. While TunnelBear only has 2 Plans (1 – Free, 1 – Paid) and further boil down to whether you want to pay Month-to-Month or on a yearly basis.

image

There is promotion on-going right now! Go for it!

Any Other Device?

TunnelBear supports Android, iOS and Windows. So let’s take a look at the iOS version.

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It is almost the same as setting up for Android, just that it required installation of the VPN Profile in iOS as shown.

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I have no idea why the Profile isn’t signed. Kind of interested to know why too. I only did an installation on Windows 8.1 on my Toshiba Encore Mini 2 and it also get installed and connected easily without much effort.

Testing

I did a simple verifications after connected using my iPad running on iOS.

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Verifications completed to show that my IP address is from the US instead of Singapore.

I highly recommend the readers of my blog to give TunnelBear a try-out!

Cheers!
Milton Goh

Goodbye Y2014, Welcome Y2015!

I am really thrilled when I am writing this entry as this is the last entry to this blog for the year 2014. This year contains lots of ups and down and many changes have been made this year. Looking at my blog entry that I have made in December 2013 where I detailed out some of the goals that I would like to achieve in year 2014.

Let’s start off with some of the highlights of the year.

Travel

So, how much have I moved around this year?

January – Ho Chi Minh, Vietnam – Leisure
March – Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia – System Center Universe APAC 2014
September – Ho Chi Minh, Vietnam – Business
October – Hong Kong – Leisure
November – Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia – Business
December – Lombok, Indonesia – Leisure

This year is all about the region and hopefully in the following year, I will get to travel more within the APAC region for Leisure and Business purposes.

Career

In November, I made a big switch in my career to focus on Enterprise Mobility where I joined AirWatch by VMware as an Application Support Engineer covering the ASEAN region. Is it goodbye to SharePoint? Well, yes or no. It is because as much as I am interfacing with my clients, I do see a lot of integration between various Enterprise Repositories and the AirWatch platform.

Thank you Dimension Data for the good three years of time!

Community

So… In year 2014, I am involved with…

  • PowerShell Saturday (Singapore) – February, May, August & December – 4 face-to-face sessions
  • PoSHBreakfast aka PowerBreakfast – May, June, July, August, October, November & December – 7 sessions delivered over Lync
  • Community Technology Update (CTU) – November – 1 day face-to-face all day event
  • Entries to my Blog
  • Technical Reviewers for PacktPub

Personal Growth

  • Managed a team of three Software Developers & System Engineers
  • Deep dived into many Technical aspect of stuffs in AirWatch.
  • Soft skill gained when meddling with Enterprise Customers.
  • Gained experience in Product Management

 

So what’s the expectation in Year 2015? Let’s keep it simple.

  1. Be the trusted Enterprise Mobility Expert in APAC
  2. Raise awareness about PowerShell and Enterprise Mobility across APAC
  3. Gather more speaking engagement during PowerShell Saturday and PoSHBreakfast
  4. Help more customers to achieve readiness and achieve better ROI with their Enterprise Mobility Deployment.
  5. Engage in more Product Management activities
  6. Provide more consultancy to Small-Medium Enterprise (SME)
  7. Sharing knowledge with people.

Cheers!

Milton Goh

Why is my Virtual Machine loading so slow in VMware Fusion?

At work, I am assigned a MacBook Air to use it primarily and since it is running Mac OS, there will be times when I definitely will require a Windows image to do whatever I can’t do on a Mac. So there was this Windows 7 Enterprise virtual machine image that was provided by the IT team and have it loaded into VMware Fusion for use. There was this unbearable pain initially when using the image as it is simply crawling for me! When I meant, “Crawling” is that, each operation you made will take between 10-30 seconds to complete and sometimes it will hung there all the while!

I meddled around with the settings such as adjusting the amount of processor or memory that is allocated but to no avail. I was constantly monitoring the utilization on my Mac to make sure that I am not over-allocating too much to the Virtual Machine (VM).

I found this setting that once I toggle with it, the Virtual Machine went on speeding like crazily fast! (OK, just a little exaggerating here as it really makes a lot of difference!)

Screen Shot 2014-12-14 at 3.58.22 pm

Notice the portion that says “Hard disk buffering”. It is now set as “Disabled” as it works for me. Look at the other options that was available.

Screen Shot 2014-12-14 at 3.58.45 pm

So initially when the Virtual Machine is being configured, it was set to “Automatic” and thus the crawling of the whole VM which totally made the performance degraded.

There are a lot of articles online that tells you that you should disable this if you encounter performance degradation.

Cheers.

Milton Goh

[Consumer Review] – AirServer

Recently, I find myself needing to mirror the image from my Apple iPad to my computer during presentation so I went on searching for a tool that can help complete this task. As I uses Apple Mac at work, so I need something that is friendly to Mac but at the same time friendly to Windows too (Kill two birds with one stone).

Happened to chanced upon AirServer when I did an online search so decided to give it a spin since they offered 7 days trial. You may want to give the application a spin by hitting here. (You are not seeing the wrong thing, the link is a referral link that was assigned to my account. Well, I believe in a win-win situation. Definitely, you have all the freewill to hit the download section via the site directly as it doesn’t affect me at all.)

Installation Process

During the installation process on a Windows 8.1 computer, I encountered that there are more pre-requisites that is required as compared to installation on my Mac. Hereby, I will walk through the differences.

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As you can see, since I giving the software a spin and I want to be able to enjoy every single bit out of it. I wish to enable both AirPlay and Miracast.

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This is simple, downloading another driver to get it installed is easy matter since concise instructions was given. Just download the Bonjour Print Services from here and get it installed. Alternatively, if you have iTunes installed, you would have installed the Bonjour Print Services in one way or another.

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Second item on the list flagged out because I have selected Miracast is complex because I am installing it on my Intel NUC and Ethernet Lan was used all the time since I did not add Wireless Card in it. Well, too bad, I will just remove Miracast then.

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Run the check again to make sure all pre-requisites are installed and move ahead by clicking on “Next”. Agree to the EULA and continue.

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If you have downloaded the application via the site, you would have been prompted to either Sign-Up via logging into FaceBook or fill in the basic details to sign-up. Either way would have an Activation Code created on the screen.

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Change to the desire folder to install the AirServer but usually I will just leave it as default.

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This is rather a special way to phrase it. I always get options such as “Do you want to make this application available to yourself.” or “Do you want to make this application available to everyone?”. Something different at once… Click on to get the application installed.

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Usage

After installation, the AirServer application is launched and I am welcome to this screen.

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I seriously thought that I have entered the Activation Code once during registration and it seems like it hasn’t been registered. (To the AirServer Team, is this a bug?) This is the part where Internet Connection is needed as the application will hit back to one of the server at AirServer to make sure that the code entered is valid and not expired.

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Hooray! It is running now! Now time to give it a spin…

I was suppose to get it working by mirroring my iPad display to my Windows 8.1 screen but doesn’t seem working presently. However, all audio that are playing on the iPad are routed to the Windows 8.1 computer via AirServer.

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I don’t think this should be rocket science to setup but definitely doing it on an Apple Mac is way easier compared to Windows.

 

Compatibility

Operating System: Compatible PC / Compatible Mac
Sender: AirPlay Compatible Device or Miracast Compatible Source Device
Network: Source and Destination to be on the same Network. (Be it Wired or Wireless connected)
Internet Connection: Required only for Software Activation.

For this, I am so entice to get Miracast compatible source device. (I promise to write another blog post after I tried AirServer with my newly purchased gadget.)

 

Pricing

As you can see from the chart below which I have grabbed it from AirServer website.

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It just cost US$14.99 in order to enjoy the full function for life (perpetual license). It is not expensive at all for all the convenient it gives you.

Will you give this a spin or you have something better to recommend? Share with me via the comment box or drop me an email.

Cheers!
Milton Goh

Milton and his Microsoft Band

Kudos and big thank to Matthew Hitchcock (Microsoft PowerShell MVP and the Lead for Singapore PowerShell User Group) for bringing me one of this Microsoft Band from the US after his trip there for Microsoft MVP Summit (one of the perk as a Microsoft MVP! I am waiting for this chance to go too!).

Unboxing Process

So I collected this from Matthew on the day where we had our Community Technology Update (CTU) in Microsoft Singapore office. So it looks like this before I unwrap it.

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Finally I ripped off the bag to unveil the surprise inside (of course I know what I was expecting!) but still there is “WoW” factor!

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Matthew has helped to get extra charging cable and I am more than happy to buy it from him because I felt it is really helpful in this scenario.

  1. I could have one plug to my home computer and use it for charging when I am home during the evening.
  2. I could have the other one in my bag where I lug around everyday!
  3. I could use the one in my bag when I goes travelling.
  4. Act as a spare one if either one spoiled.

Now have a closer look at the FRONT OF THE BOX.

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Now have a closer look at the BACK OF THE BOX.

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Now have a closer look at the SIDE OF THE BOX. Now it tells you that this Band is friendly with all the three popular mobile platform but definitely have better integrate with Windows platform such as Cortana.

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I really like the way Microsoft has done this sizing thingy as I have never come across this before! Prior to getting this Band, I did print out the sizing guide downloadable from Microsoft Store US site to do the sizing. Of course with my big size wrist, I am definitely not hanging on with anything below Large.

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Now, after so many images, we are still UNBOXING it. We unbox it from one box to unveil another box.

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Microsoft has packaged it in a way that you are like opening the next watch box such as Hamilton one. (Well, I am aiming for one too but for now, I am still going for Smart Watches.)

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Connecting it for the First Time

First thing to do is to remove the cable from the box and connect it between the Band and your computer.

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Take a look at the back view of the Band.

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The next thing the Band instruct is to get the Application (Microsoft Health App) from the various store.

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It will toggle between this message and how you can connect it via BlueTooth to it from your phone.

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The overall setup is very easy and seamless, there is no complex games in it and no difficulty was faced during the process. For this, we give it a 5 stars out of 5.

 

Setup Process

Welcome screen of the Mobile Application.

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Sign in with your Microsoft Account (Live Account) and you are good to go!

Upon successful pairing up the phone with the Band, you will expect this screen.

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You are able to do some customization and personalization of the look on the face of the Band. Look at how the display changes when different colour and wallpaper is being selected. This will then be synchronized to the Band via Bluetooth.

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It continues to get things set up……

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So by default since this is the best time the Band was setup, there isn’t anything in the statistics.

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Using it for the First Time

The next important thing after buying the Band and Setting it up is, to wear the band. So I put on the band for the first time on a Monday where I set off to work.

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For whatever reason it is that the face of the Band has to be faced down, I wouldn’t know why and I wouldn’t want to pursue it. However, I only know that it is much easier to view messages coming in in a discreet manner compared if the face of the Band were to face up.

I took a long walk but was a little early so I stopped over at the cafe to have a cup of Milk Tea.

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What I like it to measure?

So after wearing it for an hour before grabbing a cup of tea, this is the number of steps that I have walked and measured by the Band.

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The things that I like how the Band gathered is:

  1. My Heart Rate
  2. Steps that I walked
  3. Calories Burnt

 

There are a lot more apps that can be connected to the Microsoft Band for now and definitely more are in the process of building. I have full trust with Microsoft that the next version of this band would definitely have significant improvement!

Cheers.
Milton Goh

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