• Web Design

    Music And Ting: A Niche Market

    In the ever competitive world it is hard to break through with an idea of something that hasn’t either been done or attempted before. This can be discouraging especially when you have to compete against established successful businesses. Niche markets however can help you develop a strong and passionate user base that can virally spread awareness of your product or service.

    Music And Ting is an example of a site created by SeizerStyle Designs to take advantage of a niche market. It was created to showcase artists, producers and songwriters who did not have a place to show their work and receive feedback from an audience of listeners. Today with the proliferation of such sites the relevance of Music And Ting may be justifiably questioned. Plans to continue development of the site independently of SeizerStyle Designs failed to materialize and it has now drastically stagnated. Despite this I am reluctant to write it off just yet.

    I believe the cultural appeal of the Music And Ting brand can still resonate within the Caribbean and beyond. For this to happen it will need an infusion of development and attention that SeizerStyle Designs alone may not have the time and or resources to provide. It is not too late to revive the brand and to solidify the catalogue of original songs, beats and lyrics submitted by members and to give them the exposure they deserve.

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  • Windows Keyboard Shortcuts

    A good way of increasing productivity is to know your windows keyboard shortcuts. A list of these shortcuts can be found below or at Microsoft’s Site.

    General Windows keyboard shortcuts

    Press To
    CTRL + C Copy
    CTRL + X Cut
    CTRL + V Paste
    CTRL + Z Undo
    DELETE Delete
    SHIFT + DELETE Delete selected item permanently without placing the item in the Recycle Bin.
    CTRL while dragging an item Copy selected item.
    CTRL + SHIFT while dragging an item Create shortcut to selected item.
    F2 Rename selected item.
    CTRL + Move the insertion point to the beginning of the next word.
    CTRL + Move the insertion point to the beginning of the previous word.
    CTRL + Move the insertion point to the beginning of the next paragraph.
    CTRL + Move the insertion point to the beginning of the previous paragraph.
    CTRL + SHIFT + or or or Highlight a block of text.
    SHIFT + or or or Select more than one item in a window or on the desktop, or select text within a document.
    CTRL + A Select all.
    F3 Search for a file or folder.
    ALT + ENTER View properties for the selected item.
    ALT + F4 Close the active item, or quit the active program.
    ALT + Enter Display properties for the selected item
    ALT + SPACEBAR Opens the shortcut menu for the active window.
    CTRL + F4 Close the active document in programs that allow you to have multiple documents open simultaneously.
    ALT + TAB Switch between open items.
    ALT + ESC Cycle through items in the order they were opened.
    F6 Cycle through screen elements in a window or on the desktop.
    F4 Display the Address bar list in My Computer or Windows Explorer.
    SHIFT + F10 Display the shortcut menu for the selected item.
    ALT + SPACEBAR Display the System menu for the active window.
    CTRL + ESC Display the Start menu.
    ALT + Underlined letter in a menu name Display the corresponding menu.
    Underlined letter in a command name on an open menu Carry out the corresponding command.
    F10 Activate the menu bar in the active program.
    Open the next menu to the right, or open a submenu.
    Open the next menu to the left, or close a submenu.
    F5 Refresh the active window.
    BACKSPACE View the folder one level up in My Computer or Windows Explorer.
    ESC Cancel the current task.
    SHIFT when you insert a CD into the CD-ROM drive Prevent the CD from automatically playing.

    Dialog Box Windows Keyboard Shortcuts

    Press To
    CTRL + TAB Move forward through tabs.
    CTRL + SHIFT + TAB Move backward through tabs.
    TAB Move forward through options.
    SHIFT + TABtd> Move backward through options.
    ALT + Underlined letter Carry out the corresponding command or select the corresponding option.
    ENTER Carry out the command for the active option or button.
    SPACEBAR Select or clear the check box if the active option is a check box.
    or or or Select a button if the active option is a group of option buttons.
    F1 Display Help.
    F4 Display the items in the active list.
    BACKSPACE Open a folder one level up if a folder is selected in the Save As or Open dialog box.

    Natural Windows keyboard shortcuts

    You can use the following keyboard shortcuts with any keyboard that includes the Windows logo key and the Application key.

    Press To
    Windows key Display or hide the Start menu.
    Windows key + BREAK Display the System Properties dialog box.
    Windows key + D Show the desktop.
    Windows key + M Minimize all windows.
    Windows key + Shift + M Restores minimized windows.
    Windows key + E Open My Computer.
    Windows key + F Search for a file or folder.
    Windows key + CTRL + F Search for computers.
    Windows key + F1 Display Windows Help.
    Windows key + L Lock your computer if you are connected to a network domain, or switch users if you are not connected to a network domain.
    Windows key + R Open the Run dialog box.
    Application Key Display the shortcut menu for the selected item.
    Windows key + U Open Utility Manager.

    Accessibility Windows keyboard shortcuts

    Press To
    Right SHIFT for eight seconds Switch FilterKeys on and off.
    Left ALT + left SHIFT + PRINT SCREEN Switch High Contrast on and off.
    Left ALT + left SHIFT + NUM LOCK Switch MouseKeys on and off.
    SHIFT five times Switch StickyKeys on and off.
    NUM LOCK for five seconds Switch ToggleKeys on and off.
    Windows key + U Open Utility Manager.

    Windows Explorer keyboard shortcuts

    Press To
    END Display the bottom of the active window.
    HOME Display the top of the active window.
    NUM LOCK + * on numeric keypad Display all subfolders under the selected folder.
    NUM LOCK + + on numeric keypad Display the contents of the selected folder.
    NUM LOCK + - on numeric keypad Collapse the selected folder.
    Collapse current selection if it’s expanded, or select parent folder.
    Display current selection if it’s collapsed, or select first subfolder.
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  • News

    Windows Won’t Boot But Linux Will

    Update: Dual Booting Problem Resolved

    On my PC I dual boot with Ubuntu Linux and Windows XP, but last week my Windows setup crashed. While in Windows I got an error saying some files were corrupted and could not be read which advised me to run chkdsk (checkdisk is a Windows disk checking utility). That was the last time I was able to log into Windows since. All attempts so far have ended up in the blue screen of death even using the Windows XP installation CD. I was able to run chkdsk using the recovery console but no errors were found. Fortunately my linux partition was unaffected.

    So now I am solely running Ubuntu, which is my preferred operating system anyway, and I haven’t got around to fixing my Windows setup yet. The main reason for this is that to fix the Windows problem I may have to mess with the computer’s master boot record and it is very possible that this could end up affecting the currently working Ubuntu partition also. Therefore, I may have to reinstall two operating systems and restore all backed up data, which is a good bit of downtime. I’ve decided that what I will do instead is wait till next month when Ubuntu 8.04 is due to come out and tackle the problem then – killing two birds with one stone.

    Most of the tools I use for website and graphic design are either open source or I am familiar with open source alternatives to them that work on any platform. The notable exception is Adobe Flash. Support for the CMYK colour model like in Adobe Photoshop is also lacking but that is mainly used for jobs being professionally printed and not for images for the web.

    I have not completely ruled out the possibility that Windows crashed because of a hardware problem with my hard drive, however all diagnostics including but not limited to chkdsk found no problems, so I’ll have to keep monitoring the situation.

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  • Graphic Design

    Redo My Logo

    Redo My Logo is a special offer where you can get your logo “refreshed” by SeizerStyle Designs at a discounted price. Since your logo is the most important visual cue in identifying your company Redo My Logo is an offer you cannot miss if you have a logo that needs a “facelift”. We can modify your logo as little or as much as you want to provide the desired effect.

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  • Web Design

    Keeping Content Updated

    To maximize the usefulness of your website you need to have content that is relevant to your visitors. This means that you need to keep your content updated. Visitors like to see activity on a site for them to continue visiting it regularly. If your content becomes stale it is very likely that the number of hits your site gets will decrease.

    I know this is a challenge as sometimes things are slow or difficult to express. However, I also know many times information is given to the media and not put up on an organization’s website. This basically depreciates the value of the website as it should be the primary source of information about the organization.

    I am not suggesting that anyone put up irrelevant information just to keep a site updated, but I am encouraging us to maximize the usefulness of the websites we have paid for.

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  • News

    SeizerStyle + 2008 = Fire Straight

    Happy, New Year! We are into another year of challenges, accomplishments, joys, sorrows and surprises. Knowing this, it would be futile going into 2008 without a set of objectives. Therefore, for 2008 it is our intention to bring you “fire straight” meaning exciting new projects, a positive outlook and a much more aggressive marketing strategy than last year.

    Our first order of business for the year is to utilize all our assets. This would include our many under-publicized sub-domains and various other none web related activities we undertake. Expect for all of these to be more visible this year.

    Secondly, we would like to forge meaningful alliances. We are willing to work with groups or individuals in situations which could be mutually beneficial. If we provide a service that you need and you provide a service that we need it makes sense to at least consider combining efforts to provide a superior service.

    Also, this year we intend to experiment in transparency. This simply means allowing our visitors to see and comment on the stuff we are working on that they usually wouldn’t know about.

    This is by no means an extensive list, but it should provide you with an idea of where we are heading this year. We wish all our clients, visitors and readers a prosperous and productive 2008.

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  • Tech Tip

    Tech Tip: Unfreeze Windows Explorer [Windows]

    Sometimes Windows Explorer freezes and your computer becomes unresponsive. The taskbar may disappear or clicking on an icon may appear to do nothing. This may be caused by an error in Windows Explorer and you may need to restart the explorer.exe process.

    To restart the explorer.exe process:

    • Press Alt + Ctrl + Del simultaneously to bring up the Task Manager or right click on the taskbar and click Task Manager.
    • Click on the Processes tab then search the list of processes for explorer.exe. Tip: You can sort the processes alphabetically by clicking on the Image Name heading.
    • Right click on explorer.exe then click End Process (your taskbar may disappear).
    • Click on the Applications tab in Task Manager then click on the New Task button at the bottom right. In the dialog box that pops up type explorer.exe (your taskbar should reappear).
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  • Graphic Design

    2008 SeizerStyle Designs Calendars

    Our SeizerStyle Designs 2008 Calendars are now available for download. These calendars are SeizerStyle Designs branded and highlight the public holidays in Dominica for 2008. They are designed to be printed on 8.5″ x 11″ size paper and are freely available for anyone who is interested. Click on the images below for the full sized version.

    2008 Calendar A

    2008 Calendar B

    2008 Calendar C

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  • Web Design

    The Rise Of Social Networking

    Over the last couple of years social networking has risen dramatically in mainstream popularity. Sites that allow people of similar interests to connect and communicate with each other are nothing new, however, new technology and improvements in internet availability have vastly magnified the impact of social networks.

    With the emergence of video, music and picture sharing sites, in conjunction with their comment and contact/friends list features, interactivity is more or less expected in websites. This is especially true if your target audience is the young demographic. Bearing this in mind it is prudent to consider if your site (and ultimately its visitors) would benefit from social networking features.

    Not all websites require the same amount of interactivity and it would be ill-advised to add unnecessary features to a site that just detracts from its intended purpose. That said, social networks are here and they are popular, therefore they cannot be ignored.

    Some popular social networks include: MySpace, Facebook, and Hi5.

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