Microsoft Brisbane loves User Groups

Here in the Microsoft Brisbane office each week there is usually at least one User Group that you can attend. Sometimes two are on at the same time. The topics and subjects are varied.

Power BI – enable you transform data into rich visualizations. They focus primarily on Microsoft Power BI and other related Data Analytics technologies.

CRM – Topics focus on Microsoft Dynamics365 business, technical and end user. We also love discussing the latest industry news and exciting new trends. (Great food at this one!)

QLD ALM – Application Lifecycle Management, Microsoft Visual Studio and its associated products, technologies and practices

C# Mobile Developers – For those of you with Xamarin Studio, or Visual Studio with Xamarin and are building for iOS/Android/Windows mobile/Watches/HoloLens stories.

Brisbane Infrastructure Group – The original and biggest (members) user group in Brisbane.

Brisbane Cloud User Group – My user group, focusing on all things Microsoft Cloud.

Azure User Group – This user group has more of a developer focus.

.Net User Group – Focused around software development in the Microsoft space.

SQL User Group – Users of Microsoft SQL Server dedicated to sharing knowledge with each other

Office 365 User Group – The group aims to share Office 365 + EMS knowledge and best practice in an open and supportive environment.

Women in IT – A passionate group building the next generation of Digital leaders in Entrepreneurship, Digital Marketing, Design, Strategy and Technology.

Now, I know I missed a few, you can find even more here.

If you would like to sponsor, present or attend, please reach out at the above links. If you have any trouble, please DM myself.

Some of these user groups even have special all day events. These varied User Groups are exciting for the IT community. Most of these groups are free and appreciate the support from Microsoft at all levels, theaters, catering, but most importantly great guest speakers from time to time.

See you at the next User Group…

Aaron Whittaker @aaronw2003

Making your Azure Virtual Machines go faster

Everyone always wants everything to go faster. More RAM (Memory) and more CPU.

There are two simple ways to do this with an Azure Virtual Machine. Simply select your VM in the Azure portal

And adjust the size up/down. If the desired new VM size is supported on the current hardware cluster hosting the VM, then the resize operation is a simple reboot operation.

More information on this can be found here.

The same can also be done via PowerShell

Stop-AzureRmVM -ResourceGroupName RGName -Name VMName -force # we need to stop VM for all list all available options

$vm = Get-AzureRmVM -Name VMName -ResourceGroupName RGName

$vm.HardwareProfile.VmSize = “Standard_D1_V2” # specific the VM size needed

Update-AzureRmVM -VM $vm -ResourceGroupName RGName

Start-AzureRmVM -ResourceGroupName RGName -Name VMName # start the VM if needed

Aaron Whittaker @aaronw2003

Largest FREE Microsoft eBook Giveaway!

Microsoft Director of Sales Excellence – Eric Ligman has just announced the Largest Free Microsoft Ebook Giveaway.

This is exciting news, the topics include Windows 10, Office 365, Office 2016, Power BI, Azure, Windows 8.1, Office 2013, SharePoint 2016, SharePoint 2013, Dynamics CRM, PowerShell, Exchange Server, System Center, Cloud, SQL Server and more!

  1. How many can you download? ANSWER: As many as you want! This is a FREE eBook giveaway, so please download as many as interest you.
  2. Wow, there are a LOT listed here. Is there a way to download all of them at once? ANSWER: Yes, please see the note below on how to do this.
  3. Can I share a link to your post to let others know about this giveaway? ANSWER: Yes, please do share the good news with anyone you feel could benefit from this.
  4. I know you said they are Free but whats the catch? ANSWER: There is no catch. They really are FREE. This consider it a, Thank you,for being a customer or partner of Microsoft.
  5. Ok, so if they are free and you’re encouraging us to share this with others, can I post a link to your post here on sites like Reddit, FatWallet, and other deal share sites to let them know, or is that asking too much? ANSWER: Please do. In fact, I would encourage you to share a link to this post on any deal site you feel their users could benefit from the FREE eBooks and resources included below. Again, I WANT to give away MILLIONS of FREE eBooks!
  6. Are these time-bombed versions of the eBooks that stop working after a certain amount of time or reads? ANSWER: No, these are the full resources for you to use.

These are available in multiple formats, for more details and downloads please check here.

Happy Reading.

Aaron Whittaker @aaronw2003


Democratic Movement towards Blockchain political voting

** Not a political ad or sponsorship, but rather an interesting look at real world uses of Block-chain technology.

Part 2 of a 2 part series.

Click here to read part 1 first

Now to drill into the item which I see huge potential in.

Imagine a political party with no policies on Education, Taxes, Health, or anything else. Sounds crazy, right? So crazy that it just might work. No potential in-fighting.

The Flux voting system has been around for 18 months. The Flux Party is attempting to win enough seats at federal and state levels in Australia enabling voters to directly influence the outcome of legislation that affects them, through the Flux app that has been built based on the block-chain.

How does it work, once a Flux member is voted into parliament?

All registered voters of that region/electorate which the Flux member represents are able to download the voting app. Even if the public didn’t vote for a Flux member, if they are in the electorate they still have a right to vote through the App to influence the decision of the FLUX member when they are in Parliament. All sorts of policies and bills will be summarised to enable the public to make informed decisions and vote accordingly. Once a vote is in the Flux member table this response/result as his vote in parliament. Sounds easy right? The underlying technology that allows this is the Blockchain, with a publicly verified ledger. This creates a fairer democracy. How many people think that the last election results are 100% accurate? Phase two would be to bring the same voting technology for voting members as shown by Homer below in a booth (perfect for the elderly); in addition this could also be an App on your phone.


Other countries have already started voted in this fashion.

Advantages for FLUX political party:

  • The majority of the electorate rule. **The larger part of the people who choose to vote in the electorate.
  • Votes you can trust – The voting system is not running on a Server anywhere, it is distributed across a public network, much like how Bitcoin works. This is a public ledger where anyone can verify that every vote is above board.
  • Stops backroom deals- Flux makes backroom deals difficult and ineffective.
  • Empower voters- Flux lets passionate Australians become fully involved in the political process, and to focus on the issues they care most about, and are best suited to impact.
  • Encourages criticism and debate- Flux encourages a culture of criticism. Voters examine new policy before it’s enacted.
  • Ends corruption- Big banks and corporations will have to win over ordinary people, not just wander parliament corridors with brown paper bags to win over Canberra insiders, the way it should be.
  • A launchpad for ideas- Flux encourages Australians to bring their great ideas for their communities to the political arena. You won’t have to be a powerful political organisation to innovate for Australia’s benefit.

So next time you are required to vote, ask all parties the questions that mean the most to you. Perhaps you will agree on Education reforms with one party, and Healthcare with another party. With FLUX you can have both. If you don’t agree with everything from your favored party, FLUX is the answer for you. All comments are welcomed on this new technology. But remember Technology isn’t what FLUX is about, it is about transparency. We now have the technology to remove all Parliament members, this is a step towards the future.

Aaron @aaronw


New uses for Block-chain (distributed ledger technology)

Part 1 of a 2 part series.

I watched this video on YouTube and started thinking about the new uses for Blockchain (distributed ledger technology) that will most definitely be coming in the future. The Blockchain makes things Transparent, Democratic, Decentralized, Efficient, and Secure

I have summarised the items discussed in the video. The 18 Industries that will benefit from Blockchain.

  1. Banking- Access to banking, little fees, instant delivery.
  2. Cyber Security- Although the data is public, it is also verified by all. Eliminate middle men attacks.
  3.  Supply Chain Management- Documents in a permanent public ledger, remove resource waste, verify fair trade status and track origin.
  4. Forecasting- Research approach will change.
  5. Networking and IoT- Central location not need to communication.
  6. Insurance- Remove reliance on trust, identity, real world data, crop insurance.
  7. Private Transport and Ride Sharing service – Secure with no third party required (look out UBER).
  8. Cloud Storage- Robust storage
  9. Charity- to track donations and remove corruption
  10. Voting- identity registration, votes not changing,
  11. Government- reduce bureaucracy. Dubai aims to put all documents on the Blockchain by 2020.
  12. Public Benefits- Assess and distribute welfare in a streamlined way.
  13. Heath care data- Secure data, share with authorised people.
  14. Energy management- Buy direct from the providers removing middle layers.
  15. Music- Artists to get paid direct removing record label taking their cut.
  16. Retail- Trust verified buyers and sellers removing the middle man (Amazon).
  17. Real Estate- Remove bureaucracy, fraud, remove paper based documents, transferring property more easily.
  18. Crowd Funding- Remove the need for a middle man services (gofundme), and smart orders can release funds only when certain achievements are met.

We do say from time to time in IT that this is something that you must learn and get your head around. I believe that this is the case with Block-Chain. Click here for my second part of the series where I look deeply at voting with Block-Chain.

Aaron @aaronw