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.

Laptop Research & Shopping

Sam and I spent most of our date time look­ing at lap­tops. Yes, we’re final­ly replac­ing the one that died last sum­mer. Yay!

I find it eas­i­er to put what I find online in con­text after hav­ing actu­al­ly played with a bunch of machines tonight, so I’ll be doing a lot of research online.

Any­body have any strong rec­om­men­da­tions or good/bad expe­ri­ences to share? Knowl­edge of any places that give “edu­ca­tion­al dis­counts” that aren’t just “steer your stu­dents to us and we’ll give you a lit­tle low­er price on your own machines” deals? Sure expe­ri­ence exor­cis­ing Vista from a “Vista-com­pat­i­ble” PC? Please speak up!
Con­tin­ue read­ing “Lap­top Research & Shop­ping”

Boo, Motorola!

Maybe I’m just spoiled from years of Nokia phones, and being able to just down­load the Nokia Phone Suite free from their web site to sync my phone and PC, or put ring­tones and pho­tos on the phone. But hon­est­ly, I find it absolute­ly ridicu­lous that Motoro­la wants me to pay them $30 to $40 for the equiv­a­lent soft­ware to work with their phones!

It does­n’t, as far as I can see, do any­thing more than what the Nokia soft­ware does. They sell plen­ty of phones, and it can­not be that unusu­al for peo­ple to want to back up the data on them. So why are they goug­ing cus­tomers this way?

I can see charg­ing some amount if the cus­tomer wants a CD with the soft­ware on it mailed out, but charg­ing for the down­load is ridicu­lous.

And when I try to reg­is­ter for an account on their sup­port site, I keep get­ting error mes­sages say­ing that my email address is invalid. I tried a bunch of dif­fer­ent address­es, even the ISP address that I nev­er, ever use—no joy.

I can’t reg­is­ter the phone, either, because you have to pick your mobile provider, and mine isn’t list­ed, and there isn’t an “oth­er” option.

Boo!