Free Screen Magnifier Software

This isn’t where I usu­al­ly get geeky, but I think this util­i­ty might be use­ful to many read­ers.

I get notices from the Give­away of the Day and Game Give­away Of the Day sites each day as to what they have avail­able that day. They make arrange­ments with var­i­ous soft­ware pub­lish­ers to dis­trib­ute com­mer­cial soft­ware absolute­ly free in return for adver­tis­ing. The catch is that the soft­ware must be down­loaded and installed with­in the 24-hour peri­od of the give­away.

I’ve been watch­ing the site for a year or so, I think, and have down­loaded and tried quite a few pieces of soft­ware. I’ve nev­er found any mal­ware in any of them, although I believe I’ve read men­tion of peo­ple get­ting unwant­ed soft­ware installed in a bun­dle because they did­n’t pay enough atten­tion to what they were agree­ing to dur­ing an install.

Get­ting back to my point, today’s give­away is a nifty util­i­ty that will mag­ni­fy a por­tion of your com­put­er’s screen, enabling you to bet­ter make out tiny print or small details. I did­n’t have one of these installed on my machine until about nine months ago, and I would­n’t want to live with­out it now. There is a free util­i­ty built in to Win­dows, but it isn’t quite as robust as some of the oth­er prod­ucts on the mar­ket. The descrip­tion for this one says:

Mag­ic Lens Max is a real-time, intu­itive and advanced screen mag­ni­fi­er and desk­top view­er to zoom, rotate, enhance, view and cap­ture any area of the screen dis­play. With built-in high­ly opti­mized resam­pling and enhanc­ing fil­ters, Mag­ic Lens Max quick­ly gen­er­ates high-qual­i­ty lens view with clar­i­ty in var­i­ous sit­u­a­tions. It also lets you view­ing in dif­fer­ent col­or mode or through sep­a­rat­ed col­or chan­nels.

As I type this, there’s anoth­er 22 hours and 55 min­utes left to down­load and install Mag­ic Lens Max. Why not give it a whirl?

(Yes, it’s a Win­dows app. Aren’t we the only ones who need such crutch­es?)

Oh — while I don’t find today’s free game offer­ing ter­ri­bly inter­est­ing, I have found some of the games to be very use­ful dis­trac­tions on days that involve too much pain to do any­thing and I can’t focus well enough to read. Pop­ping bub­bles or what­ev­er is a per­fect­ly mind­less pur­suit, and very con­ducive to zon­ing out and get my head away from the pain for a bit. I don’t do “twitch” games, or any­thing that requires a lot of dex­ter­i­ty or is com­plete­ly tied to speed. If I was that dex­trous and/or fast, I’d be doing some­thing more use­ful than play­ing com­put­er games.

“School days, school days, good old golden rule days”

Is that how the lyric goes? I know, I can Google it. I should be in bed. If I get any­where near a lyric archive, I’ll get sucked in and there’s no promise that I’ll get any sleep at all!

That’s impor­tant, as I have my first class tomor­row! It should real­ly be some­thing that I could sleep through, hon­est­ly, as the school insists that I take “Com­put­er Appli­ca­tions” in prepa­ra­tion for my oth­er cours­es. Despite the fact that I have used the MS Office suite for years (well before it was a suite), and have trained count­less oth­ers to use Word and Excel, I haven’t had any for­mal train­ing in using the appli­ca­tions. Because I can’t show any col­lege work that proves that I can use the appli­ca­tions, I have to take the course, like every­one else.

I’m try­ing to think of it as an easy A, but that nev­er works out on these things that I feel I should be able to comp. Did you know that if you know a pro­gram so well that using key­board short­cuts is sec­ond nature to you, the com­put­er­ized tests used by temp agen­cies and the like will decide that you don’t actu­al­ly know the soft­ware very well? They’re look­ing for an exact series of mouse clicks, not the key­board short­cuts. I have this dread­ful fear that the course will use com­put­er­ized test­ing in this course, and there will be prob­lems like that.

Any­way, on a brighter note, after I’ve tak­en that class, I’ll be able to log in and start work on my oth­er class’s assign­ments. It actu­al­ly start­ed Tues­day, but I was­n’t enrolled ’til Wednes­day. The school’s com­put­er sys­tems don’t offi­cial­ly “know” a stu­dent ’til she has swiped her stu­dent ID through the atten­dance what­sis in a class­room at least once. Very frus­trat­ing — I’ve been try­ing to get in to that sys­tem since I was reg­is­tered, and nobody actu­al­ly fig­ured out why I could­n’t do so ’til late today. I’ve yet to get any­one to tell me how to con­tact the pro­fes­sor, either, as the idea of just talk­ing to the human (and I assume there is one) to ask about assign­ments seemed an out­ra­geous notion in that world of ultra-com­put­er­i­za­tion.

The oth­er class is def­i­nite­ly going to stretch me. I’ve nev­er tak­en a sta­tis­tics course before. It’s been, um, near­ly 20 years since I took ANY math class. Please don’t tell me any hell­ish sto­ries about that sub­ject, as I’m ner­vous enough already. If, how­ev­er, you under­stand this stuff are will­ing and able to help me, for good­ness’ sake, speak up! Any help is much appre­ci­at­ed!

I’ve still got to go through the joy of work­ing with the dis­abil­i­ties office. I did meet the coor­di­na­tor, though, and she seemed down­right friend­ly. That was such a shock that I could hard­ly remem­ber the ques­tions I need­ed to ask her! (Good argu­ment for always writ­ing them down ahead of time.)

I am going to have to upgrade my com­put­er, as every course at this school is part­ly online. The min­i­mum tech­ni­cal require­ments start with a proces­sor and video that put my much-loved lit­tle lap­top to shame. I’m unclear as to what they’re expect­ing to do with all that pow­er — it isn’t as if my major is one that involves CAD or any­thing of that sort — and I’m rather annoyed. The geek in me, of course, is thrilled — but the rest of me says, “We can’t afford that!” It’ll mean going back to a desk­top, most like­ly.

It isn’t as though my par­ents were pay­ing the first time around, so they aren’t going to help now, either. Any­body wan­na adopt me to send me to school? You’ll get the world’s most mar­velous grand­daugh­ter, and she’s old enough that you would­n’t be asked to babysit, even.

Yes, I’m only tak­ing two class­es. I’m try­ing to be more rea­son­able about pac­ing and tak­ing care of myself this time. Maybe I won’t end up with pneu­mo­nia again 🙂 And to that end, I’m off to bed now.