Fedex – Review YOUR scheduled jobs.

From the above image, do you see what I see as an “error”? Well, if not, let me point it to you.

  1. This message was received at 7.56 PM.
  2. Reading through the content of this text, it says I have up to 8.00 PM to decide if I would like to opt for self-collection.

Come on FedEx, are you testing your consumer speed in terms of responding to texts OR are you trying to say that the cut-off time is not valid and even if I go past that timing, it will still work?

In the natural human behaviour, I would wait for my parcel/package to be delivered to my doorstep rather than needing to pick it up unless I am in a superb urgency that I need the content of the parcel/package.

I know it is a goodwill of FedEx that they are offering a varieties of options for consumer to “choose”, but please take into consideration of how the system is being designed! You are adversely upsetting your consumer by treating them like super-human. I strongly believe that this will be a cycle where this feature will be deprecated sooner than expected because of the pickup rate.

An enterprise / organisation such as FedEx would (should) have designed it with the best user experience to the end users. Always remember that AdoptionGovernance comes after!

Just my 2 cents worth of my rumbling thoughts.

Cheers,
Milton

Fedex – Review YOUR scheduled jobs.

Hooray! My Third Year as Microsoft MVP!

Hoooooorrrrayyyyy! I am back as a Microsoft MVP as I received the email this morning at 1am (GMT +8).

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

I have to admit that it comes with a mixed feeling as I was in Manila for one of the PowerShell User Group meet-up in Microsoft Philippines office.  During my opening, I did my usual introduction but with the deep feelings that, “Due to the timezone, I am no longer a Microsoft MVP as I am set to expire on 1st July 2017.“. Of course, this isn’t quite valid as if I am swing back to the Seattle (Microsoft HQ) timezone, then I am still a Microsoft MVP!

Took the afternoon flight from Manila back to Singapore and the feeling of “getting renewed” is bothering me as I aren’t sure if I will be a shiny Microsoft MVP when I wake up the next day in my timezone. Through my night yesterday, I keep browsing Twitter under the #MVPBuzz hashtag and see many ways of how other MVPs who are like me trying to find out if they get renewed. The tension got worst through the day when I start seeing negative tweets from fellow MVPs whom their Community Program Manager (CPM) has already informed them they are being retired from the program and move over to the Reconnect program. Moreover, fellow PowerShell MVPs also start sending farewell messages through the Distribution List (DL) and it just creates another sinking moments.

OK, enough of those negative news and I have strong faith with those whom have retired yesterday will all get back to the Team really really soon!

I am really thankful to Microsoft and fellow MVPs who have helped me through this journey. It is really a long journey, lots of fun and tough times as we are battling between work commitment and living up the community spirits. I am glad that I am given the chance and the recognition and I promise that in the next 12 months, my community contributions will be soaring to the next height.

Cheers,
Milton

Hooray! My Third Year as Microsoft MVP!

Microsoft Azure: Schedule an Auto-Shutdown

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

Azure-AutoShutDown-01

Clicking on it further brings me into this simple form.

Azure-AutoShutDown-03

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

Azure-AutoShutDown-04

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

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

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

2) Allow more granular control such as:

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

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

Cheers,
Milton

Microsoft Azure: Schedule an Auto-Shutdown

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

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

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.

 

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.

 

2. Welcome screen

 

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

 

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.

5. Next is the signing up of marketing mailers.

 

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

 

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.

 

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

Using iPad as a 2nd Monitor–Duet Display

What?! Do not TRY again?

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

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

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

All-in-all, there was an error!

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

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

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

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

Just my 2 cents worth.

Cheers,
/M

What?! Do not TRY again?

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.

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?

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.

Just hop off the plane and walking towards baggage area.

 

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.

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.

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.

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

My First Ever Microsoft MVP Summit–Part 1