Singapore MVP Summit – day 3 (pt 1)

I’m now paying for my shopping sins (well, working). This morning I hit the shops in search of a new digital camera for myself and Stuart.The HP camera I brought with me decided to die and so is no good. Stuart was after a Canon IXUS 50 to give his Dad for his birthday so I thought I’d look for 2.

A caught a taxi up to Mustafa’s which is in Little India. It’s a huge department store with just about anything you can think of for sale. The prices, though, didn’t seem to be as good as I’d expected so I walked down to Sim Lim Square and did some further checking. I’d checked the price of the Canon camera in Australia so had something to measure the bargain against.

After some poking around, and price hunting, I found the right camera and the right price so I’m now the proud (and poor) owner of a new Canon IXUS 50 digital camera (plus one for Stuart). It’s amazing – in these big shopping complexes there are simply dozens of stores selling the same electrical goods, competing with each other on price. It makes me wonder how any of them make any money, especially when you consider they need to pay rent and other fixed costs, staff wages, and then have some profit left over. I guess my bargaining didn’t help their bottom line too much , but then I’m the buying and so am only in it for me! Interesting to be on the other side of the counter every once in a while – gives you a different perspective on business.

After what is now the last of my shopping, I walked back to the hotel, stopping for some lunch on the way. I’m keeping myself locked in my hotel room in order to get some work done before the cocktail party starts at 7pm. I believe Wayne is arriving later tonight from Sydney, but not until after the party kicks off.

I’ll endeavour to post back here after the event – if there’s anything to report. The real fun starts tomorrow so stay tuned.

I owe, I owe, it’s off to work I go…..

Singapore MVP Summit – day 2

Very sad news – the Ferraris had all gone by the time I went outside. Turns out the event was only for the Friday night. So I’m afraid there are no pictures.

After breakfast I headed out for a walk to some of the shopping complexes. There are so many in Singapore and each one is just a little bit different. I covered a lot of ground though – from the hotel I made my way up to Bugis Junction, then Sim Lim Square. From there I walked to Orchard Road and walked almost to the far end – as far as Takashimaya.

Orchard Road is where a lot of the more classy shops are located, including the Mont Blanc store where I went for a bit of a drool. I did visit a tailor and arranged to get some trousers and shirts made for me. The price was amazingly cheap compared to Australia, particularly for custom made clothes. I’ll drop in for a fitting on Tuesday night and collect them on Thursday before flying home.

I then walked back to the hotel complete with a couple of detours to other shopping complexes on the way.

The sun gets rather hot here, even when cloudy, and combined with the humidity, the day can take quite a bit out of you so I visited the hotel pool for a bit of a swim. The pool itself is very nice and was not at all crowded.

I visited a food hall next door to the hotel for some dinner – the food is so incredibly cheap here but good quality. There is such a diverse range of tastes to experience too – you name it you can probably find it.

I finished off the night with another free VoIP call home to Vivienne and the kids, followed by some work. I’ll do a bit more touring around tomorrow before the conference starts, together with getting a pile of work done too which needs to be finalised before the week starts.

Till tomorrow then J

Singapore MVP Summit – day 1

So I’ve arrived in Singapore after around 7.5 hours flying. The flight left the Adelaide International Airport around 11:10am and arrived in Darwin a bit over 3 hours later. The flight itself was fine (Airbus A330-300) although the TV set for my seat didn’t work at all so no movies (caught up on some reading instead).

Brief stop over in Darwin then back on the plane to Singapore. I was in a different seat and this one too had TV problems. Aparently this particular plane has more entertainment system problems than any other in the fleet so if you’re boarding a Qantas Airbus A330 called “Esperence” don’t get too excited about the movies as you could get disappointed.

I arrived in Singapore later than initially planned by about 40 minutes and caught a MaxiCab to the hotel. Costs a little more (set fee of S$35) but it tends to be a nicer drive.

The first thing I saw when arriving at the hotel were a WHOLE BUNCH OF FERRARIS!!!!! There’s a conference in the hotel for Ferrari resellers by the looks and so there’s just a few Million $$$ parked out the front. My mates Robert Lecons and Martin Baily would love it here – might have to take some photos for them.

Checked into my room (1118) which is quite nice. Of course the first thing I looked for was the cable connection for the Internet link – what a geek! This trip I’ve brought with me a little NetGear RP614 router and a Netcomm V-100 VoIP device plus a telephone I bought yesterday. Got myself connected to the broadband service and called Vivienne at home as I’d set up one of these VoIP devices there too. So I phoned her for free and the voice quality was fantastic. You wouldn’t know it was across the ‘net.

Of course she had friends over watching a video so will call me back later, but just being able to use the technology to call home for free is amazing. Visit for more information on my new “toy”. Will be very useful for travelling and keeping in touch with home.. When I’m not travelling we’ll have it setup in the office for cheaper long distance calls.

So, getting settled in and thought I’d update you. Tomorrow will be a chance for some shopping and looking around (plus drooling over the Ferraris outside) and get some work done without the mobile phone ringing every few minutes. The bulk of the other MVPs are arriving tomorrow and Sunday.

Signing off until tomorrow. G’nite 🙂


PS – just called my parents to say hi. The VoIP phone call to their PSTN service was only 60c for 6.5 minutes. Now that’s amazing.

MVP Regional Summit – 3 sleeps away

On Friday I fly to Singpore for the Asia MVP Regional Summit. This will be my first big MVP get together and I’m looking forward to it. It will be a chance to meet other MVPs and talk about both technical and business related topics.

Whilst it’s mostly going to be a “geek fest” I’m sure we’ll have a lot of fun. The Monday night event is scheduled to be held at the Singapore Zoo which should be amazing.

So, only 3 sleeps to go. I’ll try to update this blog as things happen, provided I’m not breaking any NDAs or embarrasing anyone who can get me back;)

I think Vivienne has prepared quite the shopping list for me too – perhaps I’ll leave the MasterCard at home 🙂

Stay tuned…..

April SBS Users Group Wrapup

Last night (Monday April 18) we held the April Adelaide SBS users group meeting.

Firstly, thanks to HP for hosting us, and special thanks to Stacey Nakos for staying back to keep the doors open.

Michael Jenkin presented us with our groups membership certificate to Culminis, which is a global organisation dedicated to helping user groups develop and grow. It’s early days at the moment with our membership and as I learn more about what this offers the group I’ll be updating this BLOG and the user group website.

Peter Teichert from SDM presented Microsoft CRM to us. Peter’s dynamism and energy kept us all awake and tuned in to what he was presenting. Microsoft CRM is currently at version 1.2 and is already a amture and well featured product. I’m certainly no expert on the product (which is why Peter was presenting!) but more information can be found on the Microsoft site or by contacting SDM.

Our next meeting is tentatively booked for May 23 at HP again (148 Frome Street, Adelaide) starting 6:30pm. More details will be posted here, on the group web site and posted to the Yahoo mailing list when available. The topic will most likely be SBS 2003 service pack 1 which is expected to be released to market over the next few weeks.

Thanks to all who attended – see you next month.