Posts Tagged ‘website’

A Great Old New Word Processor

January 23, 2014

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Thanks to some new information, from Web.com, I found out I can write blogs on my website.  As a result of my conversation, I have decided to back off of the website until March, when I will bring it back up with a few design changes.

One of the changes will be that my store will go completely PayPal.  If I accept credit cards, there is a charge of almost 40.00, and I just don’t sell enough to justify the charge.  It will, of course still keep the same name, and feature the same photographs.

The reason I chose 2 months is to make sure I have a clear idea of what I want on the site, and to learn what I need to match it to my vision.  That’s it for the website update.  I’ll let you know when it’s back online.

Now, for what I really wanted to talk about.  Recently, I received my very first Alphasmart product.  I have been hearing about these portable word processors for years in Writer’s Digest, and I felt it would be a huge advantage to my writing; especially at work, on breaks.  I never knew how true that was until I started doing some research.

For those who have never heard of the Alphasmart, here are just a few facts I uncovered.  It was originally designed by Apple for school students, to save the schools the high cost of laptops.  Strangely enough, it never caught on in schools, but it did with writers, both amateur and professionals.  The reason is simple enough.  Because they were designed for kids, they are very durable, and can withstand the occasional falls that laptops would never survive.

The batteries are standard double A’s, and they last for well over a year with regular use.

The model I bought (Alphasmart 2000) was created in 1997ish and the cable it came with to connect to a computer didn’t have a usb connection.  All I did was buy a 2.00 cable to adapt it.  I had a few problems getting my computer to read it, that is, until this morning.  I discovered the connections were reversed.  I switched them, and it worked like a dream.

Now, not only can I transfer what I write on the Alphasmart to my laptop, but I can also use it as an additional keyboard.  (My laptop has occasional problems with R’s and Y’s)

As far as file compatibility, mine uses WordPerfect 5, which Microsoft Word can easily read.

Finally, what’s the cost of such a machine?  When I first heard about them, they were 200.00.  The model I purchased recently was only 20.00, and it works beautifully.  I know this sounds like an ad for Alphasmart, but it’s not.  I am just very excited for the limitless possibilities of this wonderful device.  I feel this will be a true asset to my writing life.

Thank you,

Allen

Oh, what a tangled website we weave.

March 18, 2009

When it comes to websites, the topics are unlimited. As far as what you put into it depends on what you want your website to say. If you’re designing a business site, you would keep it more basic and focused on your business. If you are designing a game and amusement site, you have a little more freedom with add-ons.

I’m a firm believer in “Less is more”, and “Just because you can add something doesn’t mean you should”. How much should you add to your website without losing the purpose? Here are just a few tips on building an effective website that stays in focus.

Use only add-ons that stick to you site’s purpose.  If you have a site for photography, you won’t want to include a link to Yahoo Games.  It would become a distraction.

Determine your target traffic. It’s highly unlikely you’re going to sell Teletubbie sleepwear to 40-year-old bankers. If you know who is most likely to view your site, you can design it to meet their needs.

Don’t add anything you can’t understand. If you add something to your site that you don’t understand, who’s to say your viewers can. Another thing is that you may be sending the wrong message without realizing it.  If you’re going to add something to your site, make sure you know what it is first, and that it sends the right message.

If you want to add colors, try to use colors that will enhance the appearance of your site, not become distracting.  I give the same advice to customers trying to pick frames for their prints.  Try to look at your website as a frame for your business.  If the color of your frame is overpowering, it take all the attention away from your primary subject. If you base the frame on your subject, it will enhance and draw attention to your subject.

Use lettering that’s easy to read. If you try to get too fancy with the lettering, you may confuse some of your viewers. By keeping it simple, you will keep more viewers. Times new roman is a perfect example of easy to read.

Remember, the more cluttered your website is, the more viewers you will turn away. Get rid of the clutter, focus your site, and you will draw visitors to you.

Challenge: Look at your web design and see if you have something that serves no purpose, and then get rid of it. It’s not doing you any good.

Enjoy,
Allen