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Comment Re:A Mac (Score 1) 197

Windows also have those features built in and the ability to invert the screen but Windows has one extra, it has high contrast themes, including white on black. What put me off even considering Mac is the lack of high contrast themes as I *need* white on black text in my UI. Inverting the screen is great but not when all your photos and videos are inverted, too.

I'm not saying Windows is better, I'd love to use OSX for some needs but the lack of high contrast themes is a let down. I hope it's something they add at some point.

Comment 20/200 Sysadmin here.. (Score 1) 197

This is my set of tools/techniques in Windows.

1) I use Windows 8, you now have high contrast themes and full screen magnification together (this wasn't possible on 7 below)

2) Not all, but more and more applications support the built in high contrast themes these days. When I find an application that doesn't I usually email the company/developer and politely ask them to fix it and offer to beta test any changes. Sometimes that helps.

3) I use the built in Windows magnifier combined with an Autohotkey script to give me the ability to zoom with ctrl+alt+mousewheel
3a) Here's my auothotkey script:
ctrl+alt+mousewheel up/down to zoom in /out
ctrl+alt+middleclick to toggle invert colours
windowskey+F12 to hide the bloody magnifier so it doesn't get in my way when alt tabbing :)

4b) Windows 8.1 onwards has a bug where the magnifier jumps/glitches (on all GPUs, Intel, AMD, nVidia) so I've replaced magnify.exe from Win8.0's ISO)

5) I use Altdrag to give me the ability to scroll inactive Windows and resize windows via alt+mouseclicks

6) I use Palemoon (or Firefox) in High Contrast mode (it detects Windows's theme)
6a) I use this plugin to quickly flip between high contrast page rendering and normal colours

I hope that helps the OP and anyone else that may have low vision. I have 20/200 in both eyes, nystagmus, suffer from migraines and many, many other eye issues but this combo, so far, is the best I've found. I'm not needing a screen reader yet, I can still play first person shooters, I mostly just have an issue with small print and cannot tolerate, at all, bright themes but dimming my monitor down does nothing as I have major issues with contrast, so it has to be white on black.

Submission + - What's out there for poor vision? 1

hackwrench writes: I like to read on my computer, but when I resize text to be comfortably big, web pages and browsers handle it badly, and some applications don't offer an option to enlarge. Some applications even are bigger than the screen, which Windows doesn't handle well. Lastly, applications consist of bright backgrounds which feels like staring into a headlight. Windows' built in options like magnifier are awkward. What tools are there for Windows to increase text size, make things fit inside the screen, and substitute colors that windows use?

Comment Re:Alright, time to pirate it! (Score 1) 134

I just had a look for myself now to see if it was still active, this is a little worrying:

Says the advertising stuff can be disabled though but I'm always suspicious.

Download Admin

The installation of gimpshop is managed by DownloadAdminâ. For more information on how DownloadAdmin works, please go HERE.

Ech, whatever happened to a regular installer?

Comment Re:Alright, time to pirate it! (Score 1) 134

I tried to like The GImp, it is an amazing app, no doubt about that, but I agree, the UI is.. awkward.

What ever happened to GimpShop?

I'll admit part of my issue with The Gimp is the long history of using Photoshop 5,6,CS and having to try adapt to their UI - just not happening. for Windows is very cool though still too feature limited but it has potential, very slim, fast, even follows the Windows colour scheme (yay!) - I hope it eventually has most of Photoshop CS's featureset.

Comment Re:I worked with a blind guy once (Score 2) 79

Yeah I worked briefly with a guy who did mostly normal office work and was completely blind, he used JAWS (a screen reader for Windows) and man, that dude could format *perfect* documents, spreadsheets. Being blind or severely visually impaired forces you to build mental maps of things and do things in your head more.

I'm sure it's similar to how Stephen Hawking works, though he has good eyes (as far as I know) not being able to use his hands has forced him to do stuff in his head.

Comment Re:Accessibility is still a sad joke! (Score 1) 79

Thanks for the heads up dude, appreciate it :)

If I ever do use Macs regularly (tbh I don't at all yet) I'll be sure to check it out.

From my limited research there was some app called Chameleon or something for OSX, but was for an older version - but seems dead in the water now. I did try a few theme 'hacks' for OSX but they were pretty poor at best.

As for my case, yeah I grew up in the early DOS dsays, hated mice, prefer using hotkeys (even for minimising/moving windows around), I can navigate around a Windows UI extremely rapidly despite being born with bilateral macular atrophy, nystagmus and a visual acuity of 20/200 in both eyes even after implanted lenses, (phew!)

So having to sit very close to the screen (and I do mean really close..) and inverting the screen, well, you can imagine a maxed-out-brightness 27" when you have to quickly flip to the default theme for a while.. PAIN.

I could turn down the brightness, but because of the macular atrophy, I have very bad contrast sensitivity, things are either too dark or too bright.

My major gripe (and it's a big one) is the "locked-down" and "no shits given" approach most companies take.

I'm a legally blind sysadmin (but may have to look for new work soon because of my eyes) - the big issue is that while accessibility is improving in a lot of ways (and it really is) - it's still basic and doesn't cater for power users, it almost feels there's an assumption out there that people with handicaps can't be sysadmins, programmers, artists, musicians, scientsists etc so only very 'basic' support is put in place.

Comment Re:Accessibility is still a sad joke! (Score 2) 79

Yeah I've looked into OSX, and I installed ML on my PC (Hackintosh) and I've researched it a lot and played on a few Macs.

I agree on OSX the inversion thing is great, but Windows Vista,7, 8 has that too and it works well, Windows 8 lets you have a white on black theme AND full screen magnification - something Win7 and below lacked.

As I said in my post though, the issue is, it inverts *everything* - which means, say, browsing a website with photos I'd have to invert/uninvert often, which for me is a big problem, having flashes of white light etc

Please correct me if I'm wrong but OSX has no high contrast - white on black themes. Also I couldn't find an easy/comfortable way of using the magnifier, I greatly prefer Win8's magnifier - it has a few limitations but I found OSX's one annoying.

I've also got my magnifier configured so that I can use CTRL+ALT + Mousewheel or WIN+Mousewheel to zoom in/out very quickly, and CTRL+ALT+Middleclick to toggle invert.

As for the VM thing, yeah I can do that but when a VM is in fullscreen mode you can't access all your host OS's hotkeys, so things like the magnifier don't work, you have to unfullscreen the VM, but then you have the issue of 'stuck' keys.

Apple does take the cake for iOS though, Android is lacking majorly but improving.

All I want is a system-wide theme and apps that follow the colours I've chosen. I don't think that's a lot to ask for.

if Apple did a dark theme, made it a 'law' per se for apps to follow the colours then I'd be all over it. Though I'd probably have to Hackintosh because I want a tower I can upgrade, can't afford a Mac Pro and an iMac doesn't cater for my hardware needs.

Comment Accessibility is still a sad joke! (Score 4, Informative) 79

Very few developers give a shit about accessibility. It's still largely a joke. I run Windows 8 and use High Contrast themes, but so many apps still don't comply with the HC colour schemes.

Applications often have hard coded font colours/sizes - so you end up with black on black text (oh my goth!) or apps that don't render properly with a non-standard DPI.

Microsoft still insists on locking down Windows so that you need to resort to replacing system files to enable custom themes.

The web is horrible in High Contrast mode using IE or Firefox.

Linux is better in some regards but there are still apps that have hard coded font colours, I haven't used a Linux desktop in a while (I use Debian and just ssh for my needs) but last time I used Gnome/KDE and others there were still issues.

Google Chrome is the worst, there are addons like Hackervision etc but they slow down the browser and are not a perfect solution, better than nothing and a huge help for a lot of people but it's still lacking.

And on mobile phones/tablets: To have white on black text in apps I have to root my phone, install a custom rom (I use SlimROM) and I have to resort to third party sources for modified APKs that have white on black text. Which is obviously a security risk.

Yes you can invert the entire screen on Android, iOS but that inverts *everything* and that also means that if you have a black keyboard, then your keyboard becomes white, or that page you're looking at has various bright/dark areas that, well, just invert to the opposite. It makes so much more sense to let users choose their desired text colour, background colour and other things and use those.

It's even worse when companies don't give a shit about their users, I've emailed many developers/companies asking politely to follow the Windows colour scheme, some have been helpful but the majority don't respond or care.

It's outrageous that in 2015 it's easier to overclock adn watercool my CPU than it is to change the UI colours/fonts on my computer.

Microsoft has made improvements, Windows 8 now lets you have a high contrast theme AND fullscreen magnification (like good ol' Compiz did) and I've written a bit of Autohotkey script to improve it but it's still lacking, you can't change many elements of the High Contrast theme, if you want the window borders to be non-white, you have to change the Button Text colour value (or it's something else non-related to window borders)

Another issue (for me) is that low vision options for phones is always a case of: Normal users get the cool themes/GUI but low vision means you get the unchangable theme, why not just let us set the colours/layouts/styles *WE* want and work with that? ie: Windows 8's high contrast theme is very useful and a big improvement but because I can't tweak it much, I am forced to have white lines (window borders/outlines of things) everywhere, which is NOT eye-friendly if you have retina problems or suffer from migraines (lots of outlines/grids = migraine attack)

So if anyone reads my comment and is a developer, please run your OS in a High Contrast theme, see how various apps don't comply, see how much of a fuckup it is trying to surf the web with a high contrast theme and try improve your code to comply and encourage your friends to do the same.

It's also not just us low vision chaps that hate white UIs, so many of the users I assist at work ask me how to change the colours/fonts to make it clearer/less bright/comfortable because staring at a PC/phone/tablet all day is NOT comfortable for many.

(please excuse brevity, software accessibility issues gets my blood boiling) :)

Comment A blow to those with visual impariment. (Score 1) 192

WhatsApp+ was a great solution for me and others with eye problems. Sure it's not a legitimate build and all that but sadly it was the only way I could use WhatsApp. WhatsApp Plus allowed me to customise the UI in such a way that I could easily see it, ie: white fonts on a black background, large text etc

The official app is very limited for changing the layout. It does let you choose a dark background, but you're still left with black text with white bubbles (backgrounds around text) - which does help but it's not enough for me and others to make it easy on the eyes.

I tried emailing their support twice, no replies.

Sure I could use other apps for messaging but since most people use WhatsApp in my environment, getting all your friends, colleges to switch to something else - not exactly going to happen.

It's not just WhatsApp that are unwilling to enable UI customisation, pretty much ALL the apps on Android (and other platforms) offer next to no UI tweaks.

You can invert the entire device's display but that means *everything* is inverted, which sucks for viewing photos.

It really angers me that, in 2015, we're living in a software ecosystem where bright white backgrounds are the norm and there's no easy way to change.

Comment Re:News for Nerds? (Score 1) 764

"and should have the same rights. I find it sad that announcements like this still make headlines"

Except they don't have the same rights, and I agree in the sense that it's sad that this IS news/news worthy now, but only in the sense that if they did have the same rights and were treated equally then this would just be a case of "Yeah, so what?" But unfortunately we have a long way to go until these matters are a non-issue.

Comment Re:What's stopping me you ask... (Score 2) 550

I had ICLs implanted in 1997, I'm severely myopic, -22 diopters in each eye and my VA still 20/200 without glasses now since the operation. I also had the swelling in one eye because of the procedure but fortunately I was rushed back to hospital (OMG the pain of eye swelling.. ech!) but everything is OK now so far about 17 years later, mostly except that I'm developing cataracts (I'm 34 now) and have to get that treated but as a severely myopic person I'm at a high risk for retinal detachments, whee! WE MAY HAVE TO PUT A BAND AROUND YOUR EYEBALL!

I have a ton of other eye issues - extremely crap contrast sensitivity, bad photophobia, non-degenerative macular dystrophy, astigmatism and bilateral amblyopia. And just for kicks some neurological visual issues thrown in for more fun!

Can't use a black on white GUI at all, and if I turn the brightness down then there's not enough light to see it so I have Windows 8 (or whatever O/S I'm using) set to some form of white on black/dark grey and then I can sit with the screen on max brightness for hours on end without any issues. (So please, any developers reading this, PLEEEASE follow the colour scheme set by the operating system/user choice or allow custom colours, some of us really battle to function). The stock Gmail app on Android, for example is barely visible to me and after about 5 mins I feel literally sick.

My verdict is: If you're coping with glasses, don't be too eager to get any procedure done. There are always risks and no matter how small the chance of failure is, it's not something want to lose, I don't really regret my ICL operation simply because my glasses were HUUUGE and HEAVY and cause headaches, face pain, so work out the pros/cons.

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