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Building my own RSS feed generator using .NET Core and the new System.Text.Json assembly

It’s that time again! And by this I mean I was thinking of grabbing a cup of coffee, splashing out a few lines of code and have something useful come out. The way I seem to make learning easier for me is to build something. Many times when I’m in the middle of debugging some code, I realize the solution I’m about to build has probably been done a thousand times already, by more experienced people. But that’s more than fine, as I’m always learning. The problem I’ve written earlier how I transformed my WordPress-based blog to a static website (see Running a static site in Microsoft Azure using WordPress for content management). This solution is still in use today,… Read More »Building my own RSS feed generator using .NET Core and the new System.Text.Json assembly
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A look at Azure costs based on a real solution

I’ve used and worked with Microsoft Azure for a decade now. Often I’m working in customer subscriptions, and don’t have to worry about the cost that much. Obviously many times customers are querying about long-term cost, and what operating expenses they should plan and budget for. My own Azure subscriptions are financed by myself, and I get some credits through the Microsoft MVP program also. I try to minimize services that cost more, and often use free tiers or shutdown and destroy instances I don’t need for a few weeks. I wrote about tracking and working with AKA.MS URLs in March this year. In essence, it’s a small solution that triggers whenever someone tweets anything that matches http[s]://, resolves the… Read More »A look at Azure costs based on a real solution
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Everything is subscription-based – so how much am I paying for the services I use every month?

I wrote about closing down my Dropbox account last week. During the weekend I had some time to reflect back on that decision (for which I am still happy with), and also the amount of money I paid for Dropbox over the months. It was close to $1400 in total over 10 years, or so. I’ve been an entrepreneur for 10 years. For the first two years, I struggled, quite a bit, with making ends meet. I think it’s part of the journey when you decide to bootstrap your business. After a few years, the business started looking better and I was able to pay myself a decent salary. Far from the salaries and bonuses, I got while working at… Read More »Everything is subscription-based – so how much am I paying for the services I use every month?
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Getting started with Windows Terminal

About three months ago, Microsoft announced a new command-line interface for Windows called Windows Terminal. Occasionally I am seeing it being called Microsoft Terminal also. The announcement was done during Microsoft Build 2019 in May, and you can view that introductory session here: There is also an amazing video, which I think is called a sizzle video, here: The idea with Windows Terminal is to go beyond the traditional Command Prompt, that has been around in Windows (and before that, in MS-DOS) for decades. We got PowerShell in late 2006, and that’s a very capable and viable alternative to Command Prompt. But then again, PowerShell is still very much a management and task automation framework with a scripting language. Windows… Read More »Getting started with Windows Terminal
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Saying goodbye to Dropbox

I’ve been a Dropbox user for 10 years. During this time, I think I’ve paid about $1400 in subscription fees. I’ve used the service through the Plus plan, and I’ve also had the Unlimited (Packrat) version history for half of the time. It’s a great service. I simply love it; it’s simple, reliable, fast and with 2 TB of storage it’s always been enough for me. I’ve had Dropbox on my mobile devices, integrated with Microsoft Azure, my Synology device and other services that needed to access my data. Recently, Dropbox went public, and the service started changing. And not to my liking. The new Dropbox Desktop App felt needless, and I started thinking if I still wanted to use… Read More »Saying goodbye to Dropbox
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Building a command-line utility using .NET Core and C# to track my car

I’m still partially on vacation mode, as school and other obligations won’t resume until next week. The fun part about the Finnish summer holidays is that the whole country essentially shuts down and hibernates for 6 weeks. This provides a nice way to think about other stuff than work, as customers and colleagues are mostly offline or unreachable until mid-August. I’d been thinking of checking out how I could get data from my car. I drive a Tesla Model S, which is a nice car to drive. Part of the experience of owning an electric car such as Tesla is that you get software updates over the air, and these are all manageable through the mobile app. It’s been rock… Read More »Building a command-line utility using .NET Core and C# to track my car
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Upgrading Synology DS412+ RAM to 4 GB

This is a quick post, as this was a quick procedure. I’ve been running a Synology-branded NAS for ages. 86 months, or over 7 years now. It runs 24 hours a day on my desk, and it’s fantastic. It provides plenty of disk space (at 4 * 4 TB I get a net of 10.5 TB storage), and it supports a variety of services such as running Docker-based containers, VPN services and similar. The downside is that Synology has chosen to use cheap and low-powered Intel processors in their devices. This is presumably to keep the cost down and more importantly, to save on power consumption. While the device is idle, it draws about 41 Watts, and when hard drives… Read More »Upgrading Synology DS412+ RAM to 4 GB

SharePoint Saturday HELsinki 2019 tickets are now available!

For the fourth time, SharePoint Saturday HELsinki 2019 will be held on September 28. This is a free event, organized by myself and my fellow MVP Jussi Mori. We’ve got a stellar lineup of speakers: You can view details for the event here, and get your free ticket here. See you in September!
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Thoughts from Microsoft Inspire 2019 announcements

Microsoft Inspire (formerly Worldwide Partner Conference, or WPC) was held in Las Vegas in mid-July. I didn’t attend, as the event overlaps heavily with the Finnish summer holiday season, where Finland practically shuts down between midsummer’s eve (late June) to early August. Thankfully Microsoft is doing a tremendous job in sharing the news and announcements that were made during Inspire. It’s also the start of Microsoft’s new fiscal year; thus, it’s an optimal time for Microsoft to tweak, fine-tune, and change partner incentives, licensing plans, and other partner-related practices. Instead of merely recapturing what was announced, I wanted to dive a bit deeper and think about what the announcements and initiatives mean for Microsoft Partners. I’ll keep the focus on… Read More »Thoughts from Microsoft Inspire 2019 announcements
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Becoming passwordless in Microsoft 365 using Surface Go and a FIDO2 key

I purchased a Surface Go device in the summer of 2018 while I was visiting New York City. It was also the same weekend when Surface Go was made available, so I opted for the 8 GB/128 GB model, without LTE. I figured I would use the device on the road, and when writing in coffee shops. Almost a year later, I find I haven’t had too much use for the device. In my daily routines, I use my workstation PC at home and my Lenovo laptop when on the road. I rarely, if ever, take the Surface Go with me, even if it now shares the same charging capability via USB-C with my Lenovo Thinkpad. It’s a little bit… Read More »Becoming passwordless in Microsoft 365 using Surface Go and a FIDO2 key