TV SMITH's Dua Sen: The Magnifier
TV Smith's Dua Sen
TV Smith's Dua Sen. The politically incorrect irregular columnist combines his idiosyncratic observations and tangential commentary into a blog...


by TV Smith

Many streaming radio stations on the Internet broadcast the song title and artist info along with the music. Whether streamed via Winamp, Media Player, Real Player or YM Radio; the smallish information bar is obviously designed for users sitting in front of the computer screen.

What if you like listening to your favourite station away the computer, like me? I usually turn up the Altec Lansing and enjoy the music lounging on the sofa, lazing on the floor or while doing something else at another corner of the room.

When a long forgotten or interesting new song plays, curiosity would force me back to the PC just to glance at the player's tiny title bar. It can be a real pain, if you are at the opposite end and interesting numbers keep popping up. Worse; when you scramble back, the display changes.

I was about to dust off my binoculars one night when it occurred to me that there is a simpler and more elegant solution. MS Windows all along has a built-in screen magnifier for users with low vision. By anchoring the pointer at the title bar, I can now identify a vaguely familiar or eclectic song from bed.

For the uninitiated, you can bring up the useful magnifier by going to All Programs > Accessories > Accessibility > Magnifier. Set the magnification level to 6 and that portion of the screen where your mouse pointer is resting will be magnified and displayed on a separate window on top. At this setting, even the minuscule text on Winamp is visible from 30 feet on a 19'' monitor. Your mileage may vary and it is not quite the application it was originally intended for. Let me know if it works for you. It works great for lazy me, though.

Other than media players, I imagine you may use it for remote viewing of:

G-Mail Notifier's alerts.
IM messages or alerts.
Google News' refreshed headlines.
PPS headers or RSS feeds.
Or any other constantly updated visual information.

© 2005 TV SMITH
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