Scaling on National TV using Microsoft Platforms

clip_image002Colleagues, customers and friends who knows me, only knows i’m into IT Pro work. Those who knows me long enough will know that i secretly still have a passion for coding and creating software. 😉

A buddy on my team, Alex, has been on a secret mission. Well, not that secret now that i am writing this here. Together with a few folks (Chee Soon and Dennis Chai from NCS), came together on an official mission, to build a platform to partner with Mediacorp to scale National Day Parade to televise online, via the XinMSN portal for Singaporeans all over the world.

Powered by XinMSN platform, Visual Studio, Silverlight and Windows Azure. Hmm, wonder if i missed out anything. I am clipping some shots of the site. You can visit it anytime via If you miss the live telecast, its fine, you can watch the parade on demand after 9th Aug 2010. 🙂

Yes. Singapore is celebrating 45 years of independence. For that and having served in the Armed Forces, i am proud to be a Singaporean.



Great Job Alex.. It is just so cool when you see Microsoft platforms and your work coming together seamlessly. Did i also mention the platform features an iPhone app? Go check the site. Microsoft’s platform is truly interoperable.


Its a PC, because i’m Picky

Apart from my brother, who has a MacBook running Windows, i’ve never parted with any money to buy something from Apple. Is MAC really expensive? Gee… I have thought Macs are cheap.


4000 feet of Data Center Computing power in 40 foot container

DCK: Active Power and HP Team on Powered Containers


HP will begin offering containerized power and cooling infrastructure from Active Power, Inc. (ACPW) with its POD data center container, giving customers the ability to rapidly expand both their computing and power capacity, the companies said today.

HP’s Performance Optimized Datacenter (POD) packs up to 3,500 processors into a 40-foot shipping container, offering the computing equivalent of about 4,000 feet of data center space. Active Power’s PowerHouse packages the company’s flywheel UPS system with a backup generator, chiller and switchgear in a 40-foot container.

“The combination of Active Power’s PowerHouse solution and the HP POD enables customers to add data center capacity as they need it, and deploy much faster than with traditional brick-and-mortar construction,” said Steve Cumings, director of Infrastructure for HP’s Scalable Computing and Infrastructure Group.

Companies running short of data center capacity are considering these “data center in a box” products as a way to expand their IT operations until they can build or lease new data centers. The credit crunch has intensified the focus on short-term capacity solutions.

“Organizations are expressing more and more interest in highly flexible and energy efficient turnkey IT solutions due to the extended time and high costs required to build or even update and expand existing data centers,” said Nik Simpson, senior analyst, Data Center Strategies, Burton Group. “Customers want OEMs and infrastructure providers who can help them rapidly expand data center capacity in support of IT and business growth, but also balance capital expenditures and operating expenses.”

Active Power specializes in uninterruptible power supply (UPS) systems using flywheels. A flywheel is a spinning cylinder that generates power from kinetic energy, continuing to spin when grid power is interrupted. See our video demonstration of how a flywheel works).

In most data centers, the UPS system draws power from a large bank of batteries to provide “ride-through” electricity to keep servers online until the diesel generator can start up and begin powering the facility. One of the selling points of flywheels is that they offer a similar level of backup power in a much smaller space, which is particularly important in containerized systems, where space is at a premium.

Active Power has deployed about 18 megawatts of UPS capacity in the PowerHouse configuration to customers including European retailer Tesco PLC. The company is also working with Sun Microsystems to sell PowerHouse solutions to support Sun’s container, the Sun Modular Datacenter S20. Other vendors offering data center container solutions include Rackable (RACK), IBM and Verari Systems.

Dell hasn’t publicly announced its container product, but is building double-decker data center containers for customers, with one 40-foot container filled with servers and storage and another packed with power and cooling equipment.

The HP POD can support very dense server configurations of up to 27 kilowatts of power per rack (see our video tour of the POD for more details). Customers can choose between PODs requiring 450 kilowatts of energy, or a fully-loaded 600-kilowatt version. A standard PowerHouse will support the 450 kilowatt POD, but Active Power has versions that will accommodate the maximum POD density as well, according to Martin Olsen, director of product management for Active Power.

HP says it can deliver a POD container in as little as six weeks. Delivery time is more complicated with power equipment, as strong demand for diesel backup generators has meant lengthy delays for some larger models. The backlogs, which at one time were more than a year for a 2 megawatt generator, have eased somewhat. But supply chain issues place a premium on vendor relationships.

“For our solution, speed of deployment comes down to generator availability,” said Olsen. “Fortunately, we have strong relationships with Caterpillar and Cummins, so it’s usually not a bottleneck.”

External source:


Excellent Appraisal… Think again..

I received this from a fellow teammate. I thought this was hilarious and so cleverly crafted. Enjoy and have fun.
I do not know who really wrote this, but kudos to you for being able to craft such special messages… Awesome and fun.

Teaches me to read between the lines.. 😉


The HR manager received the following appraisal report one day:

   1 Bob Smith, my assistant programmer, can always be found
   2 hard at work at his desk. He works independently, without
   3 wasting company time talking to colleagues. Bob never
   4 thinks twice about assisting fellow employees, and always
   5 finishes given assignments on time. Often he takes extended
   6 measures to complete his work, sometimes skipping coffee
   7 breaks. Bob is a dedicated individual who has absolutely no
   8 vanity in spite of his high accomplishments and profound
   9 knowledge in his field. I firmly believe that Bob can be
   10 classed as an asset employee, the type which cannot be
   11 dispensed with. Consequently, I duly recommend that Bob be
   12 promoted to executive management, and a proposal will be
   13 executed as soon as possible.

Later that day, the same HR manager received the following addendum:


That idiot was standing over my shoulder while I wrote the report sent to you earlier today. Kindly re-read only the odd numbered lines.
Thank you and Have a Nice Day


Community Clips (Internal tool now released to public)

Are you into screen casts?? Or perhaps i should say, making a video out of your screen activities? I used to be using Camtasia, and i still am. However if you want a free alternative, check out Community Clips. A tool released by the Office Lab team.

It used to be a Microsoft Internal Tool. After so much feedback and improvements to the product, we felt this good thing should be shared with everyone… And yes, it was released.

Grab it here.

You can use to create videos effortlessly. Try it.

Here’s a sample of the output.