• Tech Tip: Simulate an Android tablet with BlueStacks

    BlueStacks Android EmulatorAndroid is Google’s popular mobile operating system used in millions of phones and tablets. There are many Android specific apps that you may be interested in using even if you don’t own an Android device. If you are a developer you may also want to test out your app in a virtual environment. This can be done using an Android emulator such as BlueStacks.

    BlueStacks allows you to run a version of Android on your computer which functions in a similar fashion to Android on an actual tablet. You can then download apps from Google Play or other sources.

    Your computer does not have to be touch screen to utilize BlueStacks since you can use your mouse to simulate swiping and pressing. This may not feel natural for some apps or games that are touch intensive, but can otherwise be a reasonable alternative. Please note that BlueStacks may also utilize quite a bit of memory as do all virtualization software, so you may notice slower performance if you use it with many other programs  simultaneously.

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  • Tech Tip: Use different profiles in Google Chrome

    A limitation of modern browsers in recent times has been that you can only log into a website under one identity at a time. That means if you are logged in to GMail your friend would have to log you out in order to check his email in GMail. The two Google Accounts could not be accessed simultaneously unless you used an  incognito window or  used different browsers. Thanks to changes made in Google Chrome this is no longer the case.

    The latest version of Google Chrome allows  you to manage multiple identities directly from the browser window. The advantage of this method is that different users can use the same browser without interfering with each other’s settings or tabs. History and preferences are remembered rather than being lost at the end of each session like incognito windows. This is also a great feature for those of us who have separate identities for work and personal use.

    How to switch profiles in Google Chrome

    To switch profiles click on your name on the button a the top right of the browser window.

    Google Chrome Profiles 1

    This will open a menu where you can choose to either switch user or go incognito

    Google Chrome Priofiles

    If you choose to Switch person the Chrome profile manager window will open where you can add another user profile, remove existing ones or browse as a guest.

    google_chrome_multiple_profiles_3

    Each profile uses its own separate window and once the user is done with the profile the window can simply be closed. This is an ideal feature for those who share computers or work with multiple email or social accounts.

    References

    Manage multiple Chrome profiles

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  • SeizerStyle Designs 2015 T-Shirt Concept A

    Design of the month: January 2015

    SeizerStyle Designs 2015 T-Shirts

    Carnival costumes are not the only kind of branding catching our attention at the moment. We thought this time of year was the ideal time to redesign our company t-shirts and this first concept demonstrates the direction in which SeizerStyle Designs branding is heading. A compact design shows that you do not have to be wordy in order to get a message across. The front of the shirt focuses on brand recognition by highlighting our new compact logo and slogan. The back of the shirt highlights the traditional full SeizerStyle Designs logo along with contact information.

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  • Tech Tip: Manage multiple Twitter accounts with TweetDeck

    TweetDeckAnyone who uses Twitter for business may have a separate account for work and personal use. If you do social media marketing you may even be in charge of several Twitter accounts. TweetDeck is a useful tool for managing  multiple Twitter accounts on the web via a single intuitive user interface.

    TweetDeck allows you to configure the appearance of your various Twitter feeds using a column layout. You can add or remove various views including Home, Notifications, Mentions and Activity to name a few. TweetDeck also allows you to schedule tweets to ensure that the right content is tweeted at the right time.

    If you were not previously a TweetDeck user all you need to use TweetDeck are your Twitter credentials. You should sign in with your personal account then add your other accounts. You can then choose which account that you want to be your default. This is a great way to manage tweets for different accounts in one location as well as view the activity of these accounts.

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  • Tech Tip: Read news & blog posts with Feedly

    Feedly LogoFor those of us who read a lot online it can be cumbersome and time consuming to navigate to all our favourite websites searching for updated news and articles. It is much more convenient to get these updates all in one place. Feedly is an RSS aggregator that allows you to subscribe to feeds from most blogs and news sites online.

    Using Feedly you can subscribe to feeds that provide the headline and a summary of  articles  which are automatically updated as new content is published. You can organize your feeds into categories, called collections, to keep related content together. This is a good way to ensure that you keep up with content that would otherwise go unnoticed because you were not on the source’s website when it was published.

    Feedly provides a similar function to that of Google Reader which was discontinued on July 1, 2013. Feedly is also available as an app for Android, iOS and Kindle.

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  • Don’t be afraid of your social media audience

    ScreamingSocial media has exploded in popularity over the past several years and many businesses want to take advantage of this medium of communication. As more and more people interact on various social networks it is an ideal opportunity for companies to reach their target market where they actually hang out. Many businesses approach the foray into the social media landscape timidly and with caution to avoid making any mistakes. Unfortunately this can result in a muted presence or misrepresentation of the brand. To avoid making this mistake it is important to know your target audience, what they like and interact with them from the start.

    A social network is a community not just a marketplace

    CommunityWhile there are many opportunities for marketing your products and services on social networks, the platforms are communities with there own norms and expectations. Interaction is key and people are always looking for interesting content to enjoy and share. This offers businesses a chance to show their personality in a less formal setting than traditional business communication. The more engagement you can have with your fans and followers the more opportunities you get to understand them better. it also creates more exposure for your business which could result in inquiries about your offerings.

    Post meaningful content regularly

    PenThere is always a lot of activity going on in the social media space which means it is easy for your message to get lost in this sea of activity. This means that if you only post content once in a while it is unlikely that the majority of your audience will see it. Lack of activity on social networks may also be misinterpreted as stagnation or lack of activity at your business. Posting content related to your industry or expertise lets the public know that you not only exist but that you are on the ball. It is also a way showing your authority on a topic of interest or support for a worthy cause.

    Use the networks that are right for you

    Social NetworksEach social network has its strengths and weaknesses and may cater to a slightly different audience. Some are highly visual (Pinterest, Instagram) while others combine visuals with text (Facebook, Twitter). Some are also more casual and appeal more to younger age groups than others. You should choose the platforms that are most appropriate for your business and where you can have the greatest impact in spreading your brand message. This is where market research becomes important to help you select exactly the right network to reach your target audience.

    You cannot control the comments or opinions of others on social media sites but that should not deter you from using them. On the contrary, social media is a platform to not only receive favourable reviews but also to address common concerns. Let your brand voice speak freely and reap the benefits of this alternative means of communication.

     

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  • Tech Tip: Use TeamViewer from a USB drive

    TeamViewer PortableThe portable version of TeamViewer brings the useful remote computer access features of TeamViewer to a USB flash drive. This allows you to use TeamViewer without having to install it on the computer you are working on. This is great for situations where you may not have administrative permissions to install programs. It also saves time from having to go through the installation process.

    TeamViewer is a useful tool for troubleshooting computer problems remotely and this portable edition is a great addition to any computer technicians arsenal. You can find TeamViewer Portable on the TeamViewer download page. Simply scroll down to the version labeled for mobile use. After you have downloaded the zip file extract its contents to the USB drive you would like to use it on and you’re all set.

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