USA, 3: Epic and local IT industry excursions

Photo from Epic System's campus

This post is about our first excursion with the international student group to see Epic System’s HQ. During the first days I also walked around the town a bit in search of wall plug adapters, and accidentally made contact with the local IT industry.

Getting my weird EU tech working in the States

I took some tech with me to States – namely a laptop, its dock and a couple of mobile phones. I didn’t want to purchase transformers and charger for all my devices, so I took a couple of converters with me from Finland, and thought I’d buy a few more from the States.

Photo from Epic System's campus

Photo from Epic System’s campus. It’s funny to see guns explicitly forbidden for someone, who’s coming from a country where guns are always pretty much forbidden from being taken anywhere.

In search of converters (from European plug to American) I walked around the town a bit. Surprisingly, even though Whitewater is definitely a town with a lot of international students (because of the university), neither of the larger stores carried any suitable cables or converters that would enable me to use my european laptop charger and dock in here. Walmart had nothing (shame on them – Supercenter, they say?), and local Winchester Hardware had some converters but not for Europeans. Luckily, I found a smaller store when googling for related businesses, and decided to go see what they had to offer.

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Fixing Lenovo T460S Wifi connectivity issues (removing the evil versions of Intel Dual Bank Wireless-AC 8260 driver)

I recently received a new work laptop – Lenovo T460S. A cute little thing with impressive performance and reasonably good battery life. However, what people frequently complaing about online in regards of this laptop, is its absolutely, horribly awful wifi. This, in turn, is probably caused by it’s bad wifi chip, Intel Dual Bank Wireless-AC 8260. And they’re right – it’s a load of crap.

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USA, 2: Traveling to Chicago O’Hare for Business and Leisure

Plane was broken

This is the second post about me and my wife’s excursion to USA. We’ll be spending 6 months in the country, to study, attend conferences, travel and compare the culture to Finland. Hopefully we’ll learn something about ourselves and the world along the way!

Transatlantic flight

The trip from Kangasala to Whitewater was definitely not a fast one. Driving from Kangasala to Helsinki-Vantaa Airport in Finland took a few hours, we had to wait for the flight for a couple of hours, before a 4-hour flight to Keflavik (in Iceland). 

Leopard 2

You don’t see tanks that often in Finland, but this one we overtook while traveling to Helsinki-Vantaa Airport. I’m guessing it was driving some 50 km/h, which was pretty impressive!

While waiting on Helsinki-Vantaa, we met a Finnish woman living in America with her husband, who was a descendant of Finnish immigrants from a century ago. She had been living in the USA for a couple of decades, and had apparently integrated really well – she was really open about politics, and extremely critical to Obama’s term as a president. She was also almost ecstatic about Trump’s presidency. If that’s not a succesful integration, I don’t know what is!

This experience was, I guess, our first firsthand contact with the American politics. Before the trip, all that was somewhat foreign and pretty distant – all that ranting and flaming on Twitter didn’t really concern us.

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Getting Connect-MsolService (and other SharePoint Online cmdlets) to work


In this post, I’ll try to archive everything you need to download and install to get commandlets like Connect-MsolService working. I’ve had to do it a couple of times when changing laptops, so it’s good to document them somewhere 🙂

Required installations:

  1. Microsoft Online Services Sign-In Assistant for IT Professionals RTW
  2. SharePoint Online Management Shell
  3. Windows Azure Active Directory Module for Windows PowerShell (v1)

Now, to run cmdlets like “Connect-MsolService”, just start SharePoint Online Management Shell (or PowerShell).

If you also need Azure Remote Management (AzureRM) cmdlets, run this in an elevated PowerShell:

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USA, 1: Initial Thoughts

I’m staying in the United States of America for the first 6 months of 2017 for both work and leisure. In case you’d need to contact me during that time, that’s doable by normal means (Twitter/email). Just the timeframe’s a tad different due to my location being 8 hours from Finland (-6 UTC time zone). This blog post kind of sets the initial mood and expectations for the trip.

Excuse me – who’s doing what?

So – we are going to United States. But why?

Well, that’s a valid question. I mean, who in their right mind would want to stay in the USA any more than they have to, now that Trump is going to be the president? I don’t think at least many Finns would like to do that (my guess is that around 80% of Finns would vote for a democrat, no matter who it was), but we are going to do that anyway. Continue reading