3 Steps Up-size in Microsoft Azure

I have to admit that I am no longer one who is managing a production environment since my primary focus is to bring in more customers into the organization. One simple yet cool feature of upsizing in Microsoft Azure that Microsoft has designed really amazed me and bring me to the thoughts that how importance is User Experience.

Take for example, what if one needs to scale up the instance size of Azure Virtual Machine (VM), how many steps to accomplish that?

Step 1 – Navigate to the instance and look for the one that you intend to scale up and select the “Size” as shown below.

Azure-Upsize-Downsize-01

Step 2 – Select your desire configuration based on your requirements and the pricing model which is stated clearly.

Azure-Upsize-Downsize-02

Step 3 – Once confirm, the instance will be required to reboot and the resources will be upgraded shortly.

Azure-Upsize-Downsize-03

Is this kind of features notice by everyone or most just take it as it should be? I personally feel that within the Product Group of Microsoft, they take into consideration of the views and opinions of the Public User and have them implemented into the environment as soon as possible.

For this, let’s give a hands-up to Microsoft!

Cheers,
Milton

3 Steps Up-size in Microsoft Azure

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?

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.

Click on “Recorder” and you are all set to select the screen area that you want to do the recording.

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.

 

Thanks for reading and hope you will find this tool useful!

Cheers,
Milton

Capturing Screen as GIF File

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.

 

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.

 

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.

 

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.

 

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!

 

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

Milton is learning SAPIEN PowerShell Studio 2016!

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