Jan 082011

This morning while reading reddit I saw someone who is legally blind ask for some advice on a computer issue.  I saw some suggestions with good intention that really wouldn’t help and some things that were ignorant.  I wanted to address some of them here since I see this in real life all the time being legally blind myself.

The first suggestion that stands out the suggestion of wearing glasses.  That’s a great idea except for the fact that if someone knows they’re legally blind chances are they would already have glasses if they would help.  They Do not help me personally but I know of others who get much help from wearing glasses.  The other thing with this is glasses may help someone and the visually impaired person may even be wearing them but may not correct the vision enough to for them to do what they’re trying to do.

Another Great idea in theory is to get a bigger screen.  While it’s true you can increase the size of everything on a bigger screen keep in mind the visually impaired person may have to be very close to the screen.  A screen which is too big would cause the person to have to physically move their head to read a line or see different parts of the screen.  I sit with my face about six inches from the screen personally so that would be a big problem.  It also prevents me from using a laptop comfortably which actually sucks because I’d love to have one.

Also due to their poor vision transportation can be a big problem for those who are legally blind.  Just because you know someone who is legally blind who drives doesn’t mean everyone drives. I do not drive and honestly I wouldn’t even consider it if I could legally blind because I know how my vision is and would not consider it safe.  At least in the United States public transportation isn’t a priority so many areas have little or no public transportation.

Jan 102009

Microsoft is releasing a public beta of windows 7.  Once I get my older hard drive installed in this computer I think I may give it a try to see what it’s like.  Even though I rarely use windows at this point I need it for a few things like mapping software for our gpsrs and some other little thinks like that.

Vista is on Molly’s laptop and I just don’t like that.  I do like windows XP which I have installed on this computer and dual boot but I won’t be able to use that forever.  Sooner or later it won’t have drivers that I need or that sort of thing.  Her laptop seems pretty stable though so I can’t complain  too much about it.

From what I’ve read windows 7 seems to be easier on memory which is nice.  Even though ram is cheap now I still would rather it be used for what I want it used for.

Jul 022008

I’ve been using Firefox 3 since the beta versions and have been really pleased with it. It seems to be much much faster than Firefox 2 was with sites loading pretty much instantly. It seems to be a little easier on memory and a lot easier on the CPU for me on FreeBSD.

I really haven’t experienced firefox slowing down to a crawl after opening a bunch of tabs like I did in previous versions. It used to happen with few certain sites that seemed to use a lot of java script. I would get the occasional crash on those sites and have experienced exactly zero crashes so far on the release version of FF3.

I like the new location bar a lot. It took a little getting used to because it worked a bit different than I had grown accustomed to but now I don’t think I could go back to the old way of doing things. It just makes more sense to search the way it does now.

I’m really thankful for those people who work on all of this great open source software out there. They do a great job with it.

Feb 252008

I see it it so many places and I just don’t understand why people have to try to make wars and that sort of thing out of which operating system to use.  They all have their pluses and minuses and really in the end isn’t having multiple reasonable choices the best outcome?  It’s great to have different options for different people who work differently. I just believe they all have their place.

I’ll admit windows 95 sucked bad with crashing.  win 98 was better.  I won’t even mention how much I diddn’t like windows 3.1. When I used winxp and the rare occasion that I have to use it now it’s been nothing but stable for me except for some wierd crashes when shutting down.  I never did solve that but that was about a year ago when I decided I wanted to use something other than windows as my main operating system.  There really was no reason to do that other than the fact that I wanted to try something different.  I haven’t used Vista but wouldn’t mind trying it.  I don’t want to pay so much for something I don’t think I’d really use so I don’t have it.

I tried a couple of Linux distros off and on for the past 8 years and none really stuck.  I don’t know why but they just didn’t stick.  I enjoyed them but they just didn’t click with me.  Maybe there were too many different distros that I wanted to try and didn’t have  enough time.

I ended up settling into using DesktopBSD.  I don’t really know why but I just became comfortable with it and have used it almost exclusively for close to a year now.  I’ve been able to solve any issues I have had with a little googling.  Gotta still love the freebsd handbook.  The ports also rock.  Everything is right there for me to use if I need it.  I like the fact that it’s pretty much just Freebsd with a kde automatically installed.  The nice thing about freebsd is everything is in one place. Things just pretty much work the way I expect them to.

Nov 192006

Alt-Text for Links – Displays the url of the link in a popup. I find this handy because I know ahead of time where the link is taking me.

Download Status bar – This extension keeps track of downloads and shows the information in the status bar.

Enhanced History Manager – This basically is an advanced history manager for Firefox.

Forcastfox – Shows weather information in the statusbar of your browser.

Greasemonkey – This is a very useful plugin that allows you to modify webpages on the fly using user scripts. They can add or edit elements of a page to make it more useful or less cluttered.

IE Tab – This extension allows you to open up a link in a tab that uses internet explorer to show the web page in a tab. It’s usefu for those sites that just don’t seem to work in firefox or those ones that require Internet explorere. I rarely use it but it’s nice to know it’s just a click away in those rare situations when I need it.

Image Zoom – This firefox extension allows you to zoom any image on a page. I find this handy with those annoying graphic captchas.. With out this extension there would be a lot more sites that I am not able to use.

PDF Download – Using this handy extension gives you the choice to download a PDF file rather than display it in Firefox itself.

Tab Mix Plus – This adds more options for tabbed browsing. One of my favorite additions is the option to show a download progress bar for each tab.

 Posted by at 8:21 PM