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)

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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)

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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

 

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Patience level getting thinner and thinner.

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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:

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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

Hey #NTUC! You are doing it so wrong!

Couple of days ago, I called into NTUC Union hotline to inform them formally that I wish to have my membership with them cancelled. I have to clarify first:

I am cancelling the membership because:

  1. I do not frequent the supermarket as much as my sibling does, so it makes more sense for them to be the member than myself.
  2. Most of the courses that is made available at a discount is either covered by my company or is irrelevant to me.
  3. I am proud to be the member of the union but it doesn’t make sense for me to be paying for the membership fee if I am not fully utilizing it. (or rather worse, I don’t use it at all for months)

Now here goes the whole process of cancellation:

I called into the hotline on Tuesday morning to request for the cancellation, at this point of time, my details has been verified by the Customer Service Officer (CSO) already. At the end of the call, I was told that I will be receiving a SMS from the system with a link to click on to confirm on the cancellation. Take note, this will take three (3) working days according to the CSO. I personally think it is definitely alright to take that long to process for the current generation of technology but I think there are really way more improvements to be done to improve the workflow and internal process.

So, time moves faster than you can imagine and it is Friday right now where this post is being written in the evening. During the day, I received the following message from NTUC system.

2015-06-05 08.49.15

First thought after reading this message is, “Hmmm. I thought it will be something like if you click on the link and it would have been pre-populated with the details where you just hit the confirm button and the cancellation will proceed.”

However, I was so wrong!

First, take a look at the site which I am suppose to visit.

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What is the problem with this screen?

  • Technically, if this screen is there, why should I even call the hotline?
  • If I have called the hotline, I would have my details verified, why am I entering it again right now?
  • All in all, I have waited three (3) working days to have a link to tell me I should be submitting a form.

It is like, you went to queue for a concert ticket for your favourite idol and you have queued overnight to speak to the counter operator and the first thing they tell you is: “please make all purchases over the internet at whatevertheurlfortheprovider.website.url”

How would you feel?

Next in line:

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What is your thoughts on the selection?

  • Obviously, no company would appreciate people doing cancellation. Therefore it make total sense to not have this option made available as one of the item in the drop-down list.
  • However, how broad is “Others”? Since I am being told to use “Others”, does it mean that I am like the extinct kind of people who actually subscribed to the membership and are performing the cancellation?

Last but not least, I would like to highlight that in such a fast-speed nation where we are so much driven by technology, it is vital that each organization to look at ways to improve the user-experience provided to the end-users.

Spending X amount of dollars in the past may get you this kind of standard, but it doesn’t mean that if you were to not bear with parting with that the same X amount of dollars, you need to accept poor User-Interface.

There are many tools out there to automate certain processes and create the workflow so that respective personnel in the organization can be part of the huge workflow and reduce the turn-around time for all requests to the minimum.

Just my two cents worth of advice.

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

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.

Azure_Transfer_Subscription_01

 

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

Azure_Transfer_Subscription_02

 

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

Azure_Transfer_Subscription_03

 

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.

Azure_Transfer_Subscription_04

 

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”.

Azure_Transfer_Subscription_05

 

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”.

Azure_Transfer_Subscription_06

 

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

Azure_Transfer_Subscription_07

 

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!)

Azure_Transfer_Subscription_08

 

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!

Azure_Transfer_Subscription_09

 

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

Azure_Transfer_Subscription_10

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.

Synology_OneDrive_01

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.

Synology_OneDrive_02

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.)

Synology_OneDrive_03

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

Synology_OneDrive_04

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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.

Synology_OneDrive_06

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!

Synology_OneDrive_08

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

Synology_OneDrive_09

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

Synology_OneDrive_10

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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

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