My new role – WW Education – Cloud Solution Architect

As you guys probably detected, I’ve been missing from the blogging scene for a while.

I intend to use this place to document the news I come across, and the interesting learnings.

While you can enjoy catching up on the news, it is more for me as a diary on what I come across.


Skydrive is now rebranded as OneDrive

Yesterday Microsoft announced the rebranding of Skydrive into OneDrive. Personally, from a feeling and attachment perspective, I’ve already grown so familiar with Skydrive. On a personal level, i get 21GB of storage, if you’re new, you get a default 7GB. In any case, for teachers and students, you get Skydrive Pro.

By the way, Office 365 A2 plan is free for all validated Education institution.

In Office 365 A2, one gets 25GB of storage, known as Sky Drive Pro.

Going forward, Consumer Skydrive is now called One Drive. and Skydrive Pro in Office 365, becomes OneDrive for Business. Check out the link announcement. Seriously to me, it is just a rebrand, but as always, when a rebrand comes, new perspectives about the services will come. Can’t wait to see the innovations impacting and improving the way we work, learn and play.

I’ll really need to discipline myself and start writing. Losing my writing edge. 😉

Moving to applying Microsoft Technology in the Education Space in Singapore

Hi Guys,

I’ve been missing on the information super highway for about 2 years if you do realized. Most of you asked where have I been? I’ve joined another team in Microsoft Singapore, but I didn’t lose my technical skills, neither did I lose my evanglism passion. I still love applying technology and making big differences in everyone’s life.

Past 2 years

DPE was one of the most fun places in Microsoft. But I had to try something different, having done IT Pro Evangelist for 4 years and running TechNet and MSDN in Singapore. I won’t say I’ve done a super good job, but those in the Singapore community space, you know I have done a lot. However, I wanted to do more. I took the plunge and decided to try moving into Public Sector. I was the Accounts Technology Strategist for Defense and Homeland Security. It was an exciting role, but due to nature of the job, the conversations and technologies being put in place, you probably now know why I kept so quiet on the Cyberspace.

Write to me if you like to know more about the technologies applied. Yes, Microsoft has a lot of technology in the Defense and Homeland Security space.

Moving into Education

About 4 months ago, I started going deep into Education. I am now the Business Development Manager – Education Partnerships in Public Sector. I have a nice boss, and I’m working hard to learn the robes. It is really cool and its like, going back to where I begun my career. For those close to me, you know I started my first few roles in Ngee Ann Polytechnic, taking on Tech Support Roles, to System Analysts role, and even a part time lecturer. That was cool.

I am so looking forward to partnering with all the education institutions in Singapore. Microsoft has a lot to contribute and made available a lot of resources to Education. Write to me if you like to know more.

The contents are of this blog represents the work and experiences I have been working it. It does not represent official positions of Microsoft in any ways. Please still refer to official information via web site. All materials shared here, are personal, and to aid in spreading the good word, and experiences of my job at Microsoft.


I Left My Heart in Seattle, Washington

Written by MVP Lead, Lilian Quek

Passport – checked.

Boarding Pass – checked.

Luggage – checked.

Yes, and I was hyped up and on my way to attend the eagerly anticipated event each year.

The 2009 MVP Global Summit at Seattle, Washington.


This year’s MVP Global Summit was another breakthrough in the MVP Award Program history. We hosted some 1,500 MVPs in attendance and offered more than 680 technical sessions during the four-day Summit held at the Microsoft’s headquarters in Redmond, Washington. With all the concerted effort by the MVP Summit Team and of course with appropriate strategic planning, no task is tough for the MVP Summit Team.

MVP Gala Welcome @ the Summit

Held at the Washington State Convention & Trade Center (WSCTC), the opening ceremony brought the MVP community together and kicked start the 2009 MVP Global Summit with a great big bang! Toby Richards, General Manager of Microsoft’s Community and Online Support declared the 2009 MVP Global Summit opened and extended his warmest welcome to some 1,500 MVPs to the gala event, provided an update on the program development and outlined the plans for the next four-day Summit. This was followed by irrepressible Rich Kaplan, Corporate Vice President, Customer and Partner Advocacy, Microsoft who delivered an uplifting message on the ‘Voice of Community’ whereby he talked about the impact of the community, listening systems and the integral role of MVPs in these systems.


Keeping up to the beat of the high-energy afternoon, MVPs were quickly ushered to the welcome reception area to meet up with their MVP Leads. All attendees were treated to a much-deserved and scrumptious feast and where they dined, wined, mingled and discoursed about the day’s earlier events.


The Southeast Asia MVP Entourage

What was to follow in the next two days were a series of mind-boggling and intense deep-dive sessions whereby MVPs get to hone their technical skills through the 680 sessions offered during the conference. During the deep-dive sessions, MVPs get to interact closely with a variety of Microsoft’s product teams, sharing critical feedback to help enhance and improve the solutions that Microsoft offers to its customers and communities.

    A Rock ‘n’ Roll Star is BORN!!!

This year, the attendee party was held once again at the Experience Music Project/Science Fiction Museum & Hall of Fame (EMP). The atmosphere was lively and happy, mixed with a sense of unity and communal bonding. Folks turned up in their rock and roll attire and made the day rewind to the good Elvis Presley’s days. Backed by a live band, the attendees were entertained to a three hour of Rock-a-raoke concert. Superb entertainment and sumptuous food gave great satisfaction to our MVPs and all! The vibrant and attention-grabbing performance by the MVP from the various countries kept everyone’s eyes glued on the stage. Will “Michael Jackson” be making a return appearance? No words could describe the heart-throbbing performance by Singapore MVP Sarbjit Singh Gill who belted out the hard rock band AC/DC’s song ‘Highway to Hell’ and wowed the crowd away with his ravishing performance and prowess vocal. Encore!!! Needless to say, that night, an undisputed KING of Rock ‘n’ Roll was born @ EMP and ruling his way into the hearts of thousands of his fans worldwide.


MVP Summit Wrap Up and “I’m a PC and I’m a MVP!”

clip_image015As the 2009 MVP Global Summit came to a wind down, it was the emotional good bye to this engaging and enriching experience for all MVPs. Saving the best for the last, MVPs were treated to an array of keynote speeches delivered by the energetic Steve Ballmer, Chief Executive Officer, Microsoft  who spoke on ‘Community Impact and Futures’ and Mike Nash, Corporate vice president, Windows Product Management, Microsoft  who provided an eye opener on ‘Windows 7’. As one might thought those were just the icing on the cake, Mike Nash and Steve Ballmer held a surprise filming of MVPs shouting “I’m a PC and I’m a MVP!” that may be incorporated into future online promotions of the Microsoft  “I’m a PC!” campaign. Indeed, this surprise added an extra ‘flavour’ to this meaningful Summit.

This was then followed by the keynote speeches delivered by S. Somasegar, Senior Vice President, Developer Division, Microsoft  who touched on ‘Dev 10’ and last but not least, Bob Kelly, Corporate Vice President, Infrastructure Server Marketing, Microsoft who covered ‘Software and Services and Azure.’

The opportunity to catch up with fellow Worldwide MVPs, product group, executives and Microsoft CEO Steve Ballmer coupled with good food are the quintessential ingredients for a great MVP Global Summit! I leave the MVP Global Summit with this heart-felt wish – that we may once again re-connect with one another as the evening progresses and that we may continue to extend our MVP community network through similar Summit in the years to come!


Subscribe to Local Technical Newsletters

If you are an IT Professional or Developers, you would want to sign up for these free newsletters from Microsoft.

The newsletters are unique as they are usually very technically inclined.

In Singapore, there are 2 newsletters which will keep you in touch with the products/technologies/what’s hot and how-to type of newsletter.

For IT Professionals –> Sign Up For TechNet Flash


For Developers –> Subscribe to MSDN Flash


For Security Newsletter -> Sign up for the monthly newsletter


Skydrive is now in SouthEast Asia !!!


Skydrive is now in SouthEast Asia. Countries covered are Indonesia, Malaysia, Philippines, Singapore and Thailand.

What is Windows Live SkyDrive?

Ever want to show pictures to friends or family when you’re not at home? Or edit a document you’re working on when you’re out of town?

With Windows Live™ SkyDrive, you can store up to 5GB of files that you can access from virtually anywhere! All you need is a computer and an Internet connection. And your information is protected too – it can only be accessed using your Live ID username and password. It’s up to you who sees what, and SkyDrive is integrated with other Windows Live services. No more worrying about losing your documents or misplacing a flash drive.

Click here to watch a demo of Windows Live SkyDrive
What’s new in this release of SkyDrive?

· Comments. You can leave comments on any file in SkyDrive and see all of the recent comments people have left for you.

· Captions. A picture’s worth a thousand words, but sometimes you need a few more. Now you can add captions and descriptions to your files and photos

· Browsing widget.  When you click on any file, you can speed through all the files in the folder:

· Larger photo previews – we’ve made the photo previews even bigger.

How many files does 5 GB really let people store?

5GB of free storage equates to approximately 30,000 Office documents of average size, or 30,000 digital photos at a resolution of 1200×1200.   

Is there a limit to the size of individual files uploaded?

Yes, there is a 50MB limit on each file uploaded.


Become a fan of Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation

Bill Gates and wife, Melinda, in Year 2000, started the foundation to give back to the society. You may have heard of the various hype about the foundation. But now, if you are on Facebook, you can be a fan of the foundation and put your voice to it.

Others have joined the fan group and suggested ways of improving the world. Personally, i support the foundation in its directions to reduce extreme poverty. Show your support.


I’m down and out for 5 days…because of HFMD

Today is the 5th day i am out of action.

If you have emailed me, you would have received my OOO (Out of Office) reply. A couple of work colleagues and friends asked me what happened that i warrant a 5 day MC?

Majority of them quizzed for Wisdom tooth extraction? No, it is not. Mine’s been removed, all 4 of them. Plus i won’t want to do it this week either. I could have met Simon Brown yesterday and Steve Cellini today. Who are they? They are very senior executives in the Microsoft ranking. I shan’t going into that. I was supposed to have a chance at making some scorings that could potentially be very positive for my career in Microsoft.

Never mind that. What took me down was HFMD (Hand, Foot, Mouth Disease). I just want to share that this is NOT JUST A KIDDY Disease. It strikes adults. My elder girl got it. Ironically, not from child care.

Let my story be a warning to you;

(Sunday) Day 1: My girl was having fever. It wasn’t HFMD then. It was a bacteria infection and doc gave the usual dose of paracetamol and anti-biotics. Doctor certified that it is not HFMD. Since Friday, my girl has not gotten to the childcare. In case you wondering why. In Singapore, on the news, HFMD is spreading like wild fire. Check the home page of Ministry of Health.

(Tuesday) Day 3: Everything seems to have settled down over the past 2 or 3 days. However, on Tuesday night, my girl started having fever again. Her hands and feet had minor red/pinky spots. Plus my girl kept saying "Mouth Pain". Worrying its HFMD, we rushed her down to the same PD Clinic the very next morning.

(Wednesday) Day 4: The very morning, i skipped work and rush down to the PD Clinic. I told the PD Clinic that it is a HFMD suspect case. I was given priority and saw the doctor right away. Doctor certified, "Yes, its HFMD. We’ll have to keep her away from ChildCare". But the ironic thing is, she hasn’t been to childcare for the past 5 days. Doctor said it takes 3 days to incubate and develop the symptoms. We have not brought her anywhere since Sat (Day 0) except for the clinic. SHE CAUGHT HFMD FROM THE CLINIC. Damn it, that would be the last place anyone would expect to catch HFMD. MOH has been telling all child care and pre-schools to be very careful about HFMD.

Day 4 to Day 7: Over the past few days was horror. My girl cannot sleep properly, refuse to eat and drink. We had to force her on occasions. Through occasions, she begs for water, but drinks minimally. Its simply heartbreaking. Oh, she always ask for mouth cream. And yes, she lost quite a lot of weight. She had ulcers in her mouth and throat.

(Sunday) Day 8: In the evening, My wife and i started showing symptoms of HFMD infection. No fever, but we started having little ulcers and a few spots on the hands and feet. We reckon that we have caught it from my elder girl. On the same night, my younger girl started showing symptoms too.

(Monday) Day 9: We rushed down to the clinic (Me, wife and 2nd girl). It was confirmed HFMD. We had to stay away from everyone for 5 days at least.

(Friday) Day 13: Here i am sitting at the coffee table writing this blog. The past 2 weeks has been killing for me. Sleepless nights, can’t eat properly, can’t drink. We now understand how my elder girl and my younger girl have felt. BTW, my elder is turning 3 years old and my younger girl is 8 months. Things are getting better, but i really want to share my experiences with everyone. Its a very painful experience.

Here are some symptoms (after getting infection of HFMD);

  1. Fever within 3 days of infection
  2. Mouth starts getting small blisters and develops into ulcers within 4 days of infection
  3. Hands, Feet, Elbows, Knees and Thighs will develop red spots within 4 days of infection and develops into small blisters. DO NOT BURST THE BLISTERS.
  4. From day 1, you are infectious for about 8 days

These are ways to contain its spread;

  1. Wash your hands well before any food
  2. In fact wash your hands regularly
  3. Do not share food
  4. Do not share fork and spoon.
  5. When coughing or sneezing, turn away from anyone and cover your nose and mouth.
  6. No kissing 😉
  7. Stay away from pregnant ladies. If they catch it, there will be complications

How it transmit;

  1. Through contact. Transmission mechanism is very similar to flu transmission.
  2. Cough and sneezing, the droplets that flew around in the air. (Please remember to cover)
  3. Apparently, a space that has been infected, remains infected for 24 hours unless disinfected by a disinfectant. Use Dethol handwash… 😉

Now my serious take;

HFMD is not a KIDDY ONLY DISEASE. Adults can get it too, and trust me, its worse then than kid gets it. I see more ulcers and more blisters and spots. But because we know we must eat and drink still, it is less dangerous for us. But kids don’t understand, they simply stop eating and drinking. Now that is DEADLY.

Why is MOH emphasizing so much on the Child Care Center. Please take a look at the clinics which a lot of children visit. My girl got it from a PD Clinic. Its a specialist clinic in a private hospital. That would be the least expected place of infection. Can MOH do something about it? Giving advisories to clinics isn’t enough.

Parents: If you bring your child to the clinic, make sure you carry them and don’t let them run around and play the toys there. The PD Clinic that i went to, my girl was playing with the toys there. The clinics do not disinfect their toys, doesn’t make sense anyway. You can’t have a person disinfect every time a kid plays the toy.

I think for the time being, all clinics should hide all their toys. Its more serious on adults, but spreads more easily amongst kids. Hey, wake up. Adult don’t play toys and share toys. Adults don’t jump onto the toys the moment you see them. Kids do, and they don’t care and don’t understand the consequences.

MOH, please do something to the clinics. My suggestions;

  1. Get all clinics to keep all toys, else disinfect them regularly (hourly basis? Hmm, maybe not enough)
  2. Have clinic set up priority for HFMD suspects carrying the symptoms. This will lessen the exposure timings that kids can spread.
  3. Perhaps Parents can call in first to highlight that it is bringing in a HFMD suspect to prepare the clinic.
  4. When entering a clinic, kids disinfect their hands like child care does. Take temperature if needed.

Those are my suggestions, take it as it deems fit.
Just yesterday, in the news. I heard over 1000 cases in the past week. I guess my whole family of 4 makes up part of that 1000. Just taking my times into considerations;

1 week of no work for me and my wife; we estimate to lose $3000 worth of income, less the amount of money making opportunities. Assuming everyone in that 1000 cases, has 1 parent who take cares of the children, and each one loses $1000 a week. Damn, we’re talking about losing 1000 x $1000 = $1,000,000 !!!

Now can someone takes things serious and look into where the spreads can take place. If you’re from MOH and you want to know which clinic, email me –