Hard of Hearing 'n Slight of Sight tips 'n tricks


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Oct 19, 2020
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Gonna toss this out there for discussion and comparison. WDYD - > What Do You Do?

I'm getting to that age where most people think I'm Canadian. No offense to the Canucks here, but I tend to say "Eh?" a lot. Hey, it's cheaper than hearing aids! What are the tricks some of you other HoH folks use? I'm up for yapping about decent headphones, tricks to get audio quality up, etc. Volume control is a no brainer, but my wife does like being in the same room with me ... on occasion, so cranking the volume isn't always the best choice!

I'm also getting to that age where my arms aren't long enough ... even with glasses. To top it off, my wife is blind in one eye and has slightly distorted vision in the other. Her desktop settings are important for her comfort. Too bright and too much contrast makes her eye tired and sometimes gives her 'pleated' vision, what other folks get before a migraine headache hits. My trick for myself is to adjust Resolution down. For example, default Resolution for my hardware is 1366 x 768 (16:9) and I change it to 1024 x 576 (16:9) under System Settings -> Displays. That might be the biggest and best effect for me, but it doesn't do that much for my wife. Under System Settings -> Font Selection I adjust the Scaling a little bit too. Next I head to System Settings -> Themes and just play around. Dark themes don't help either of us at all, so we work our way through the brighter themes until we find what works. I tend to lean toward medium to slightly high contrast while my wife prefers low to very low contrast. Oh, she has an HP All-in-1 and I've just set up an elderly Toshiba laptop for portability for her home business, and I have an HP laptop. Currently we both use LMDE4 on all three devices. Before that we used Linux-Mint with the Mate DE, from 2012 til 2020. Before that we used Ubuntu from 2007 til 2012 when they went all Unity on us. That's just about it for System Settings.

Our next biggy is screen brightness and temperature. Blue light is 'hot' and red light is 'cool'. I used RedShift in the past, but now there's QRedShift. I switched to LMDE4 last March, shortly after it was released and I started off with RedShift. There was one Applet that conflicted with it and made my screen flicker. Q is the next generation and it resolved the flickering issue, so, of course, TNG Q to the rescue. Sorry if you're not a Trekkie, you won't get it. I set brightness lower than the default and also lower the gamma a bit, lowering the blue light. I also enable the nighttime shift which lowers the gamma a bit more at around sunset and could lower the brightness too, if wanted. That actually does a couple desirable things. It makes the screen not as bright (duh) and much cooler. That reduces eye strain tremendously. It also helps on days when I spend a lot of time on screen with maintaining the Circadian Rhythm. No, I'm not going all Canadian on yo arses again! Circadian Rhythm is your sleep cycle rhythm. If you experience any trouble with getting to sleep or remaining asleep and you spend quite a bit of time behind the screen, this could be a key issue. For you folks who have jobs that put you behind a screen all day long, check with your IT dept about installing a screen tempering package. Redshift and f.lux are just a couple that work on Microsoft as well as Linux. Keep in mind that most software designers, especially game package designers prefer presenting their wares really-really bright, really-really hot (with a lot of blue light) and with really-really high contrast. All that reeally-reeally messes with your eyes, your head and your sleep. Even if you don't have problems with eye strain, it's worth your while to tone your screens down, all of them. Mobile devices are notorious for being much too blue and bright and most have an app for that ...

Now, how about those once in a while enlargement needs? If you're a coin or stamp collector, or any other object collector, or like getting into ultra fine detail work you might be interested in this little project. Several years ago I made a frame that sat on a table and held a webcam. I could raise and lower it and change angles from horizontal to vertical. I used the Cheese package to pick up the camera view and KMag to enlarge that. I then sent that to our HDTV. Scratches in coins look like valleys. You can read the small print under the fine print on anything. You can use the color filters in KMag to sort of 'stain' anything and bring out more contrast and detail. I wonder how effective this would be with a digital microscope and a room full of biology students, or any group of kids using either a microscope or a webcam? Any teachers and homeschoolers out there want to chime in? I used to be an HVAC tech before retirement. I repaired circuit boards on rare occasions. What I wouldn't have given to be able to carry this setup around with me on the truck! Have I given any jewelry makers or other fine detail hobbyists or workers any ideas?

Linux is a labor saver. Linux is an eye saver. Linux is a work saver. Linux is a lifesaver. GOOD LORD! I just got a vision of someone licking their laptop. I'm done for now.


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Apr 30, 2017
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I just got a vision of someone licking their laptop.

What, doesn't everyone lick their Linux laptop? ;)

Clarkie, just so's you knows - I finally got off me bum and started the Visually Challenged Thread Sunday my time, it's pinned at the top of this Forum.

Only covers half of the challenges you discuss here, but I am hoping that you can be a visitor there with input on what we might assist you and your cheese and kisses (the Mrs.) with.

I'm dealing with login screen issues next.

Good work, and we're glad to have you :)


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