Category Archives: Computer

Microsoft Narrator and some emoticons

Messing around with Windows Narrator, because I found a more complex emoticon I used in the past (>>-x_x–>, an arrow through a dead face) and that led me down the rabbit hole trying to figure out how to make that more accessible. (Short answer: probably too many “standards,” no real way to make it work.)

I tried Apple’s screen reader on an iMac years ago at work. I don’t remember much about the experience, it was pleasant enough, but then I didn’t test it out on any of my old blog posts hahaha! So I don’t know how Apple deals with emoticons. Unless there’s a screen reader on the iPad that I’d have to dig around to test out.

Anyway, here are a few things I noticed with Narrator:

  • Why is “Windows” pronounced as if it rhymes with endows? Isn’t Narrator made by Microsoft?? Confusing.
  • It’ll read some emoticons/punctuation. But it can be inconsistent:
    • Read ^^;; as “caret caret” first (ignoring the semicolons), then “sweating face.” (Which, no! It’s not…sweating! It’s sweatdrops!)
    • Read >.< as “angry face” once, then didn’t read it the second time.
    • The >>-x_x–> emoticon above was read as “x underscore x.”
    • It read ^^ alone as “happy face.” (It’s…not quite…happy, more like bashful happy? Right?)
    • Read o_O; as “confused face” (probably ignoring the semicolon) but o.O was read as “oh dot oh.”
    • It didn’t read >.< but it does understand >_< as “angry face.”
  • For some reason I couldn’t get Narrator to read anything in Pale Moon other than the title of the Window. Strange. I didn’t want to spend my time diagnosing that or trying to figure out Narrator.

I was disappointed it couldn’t read any text coded with abbr and title or aria-label. I supposed there’s a setting I have to configure, but it’s not on by default. So I guess there’s no making emoticons 100% accessible at this point in time. :/ (Read as “uneasy face.” xD [Read as “x d.”]) But at least it read + correctly, so as someone wrote in 2014 that “1+1=2” was often read as “1 1 2”, things have gotten somewhat better over the years…?

so this is Christmas

I’ve heard that this time of season is the most depressing for a lot of people, and while I believed it, I’ve never had a bad time during December. That is, until now. Can I list all the things that were wrong?

I was partly sick from Thanksgiving to maybe a week ago. Mostly it was a middling coughy and phlegmy sickness, not the normal sickness of runny nose/sore throat/inflamed inner ears that I have every year. But still very annoying and I couldn’t do much all those days I wasn’t feeling well. (Barely managed to play with my cousin’s dogs while she was on vacation.)

My brother’s cat kept biting me. (I’ve been trimming her claws lately so she can’t scratch, but she’s decided to use her teeth instead. Argh.) That resulted in a swollen right finger (almost an infection?) for which I had to care for a day and almost made me miss a trip to Disneyland! On my left hand she gouged my palm and left an inch-long cut which is just barely vanishing now. It’s really annoying trying to dress oneself when one’s hands are injured and bandaged, I’ll have you know.

Someone did something unexpected, not exactly pleasant. That’s all I’ll say.

Again felt lost and unsure of what to do with my life. Still no drive to get a job. ._.

My computer was running a bit sluggishly while using Adobe design programs. I’m used to that, never was able to run InDesign, Photoshop, and Illustrator all at once. But the fact that I couldn’t paint in Photoshop with both Firefox and Seamonkey open on Flash-heavy sites was such a pain. (I tried to ask for money for Christmas to buy more RAM for my computer, not sure how successful I would have been if two people hadn’t surprised me with lotso cash. :3 I think, though, that part of my problem was that I had left old SQL files on my desktop totalling over 5 MB. I realized that today when my aunt was explaining virtual memory to my mom, haha! Hopefully moving them off my desktop will speed things up. Then maybe I won’t have to spend so much on RAM!)

I lost my hairclip. This shouldn’t be so bad, but I really don’t know where I lost it and it bugs me. How can I be sure I won’t commit the same mistake again if I don’t know what I did wrong? Also it was a really good hairclip, it lasted me a good few years whereas before I went through hairclips every year. And it was pretty. Then another hairclip that I owned broke. $16 for a really pretty hairclip and the metal busted on one side so it’s kaput. Who said having a lot of hair is envious? I think it’s a bother.

For a few months now my laptop would have times where the Backspace key wouldn’t work. After a while the H key would go out too. Recently the G key joined the random moratorium. Even more recently, shutting down and starting fresh would not get the keys working again. I spent a couple days depressed thinking of my little baby that got me through college just being a useless lump of ancient computer parts. After a trip to Fry’s I had the brilliant idea to just buy an external keyboard. I don’t use my laptop much anyway. Just to listen to music and to use WordPress. But today! Today I started up my laptop and the keys worked!! I’m not holding my breath for this being permanent, but it gave me hope.

On said trip to Fry’s I was wondering why my month sucked so much, and I was beginning to blame it on aforementioned Someone, but I gave myself a hard shake and realized it was mostly my state of mind. Both bad and good things happened this month, I was just in a poor mood, likely because of cold temperatures and ill health, and I was focusing on the bad things. I managed to buck up and wrap Christmas presents and have a great Christmas with my wonderful family.

I wrapped my dad’s present, a JAG hat, in a huge box (“Did you remember to put anything in here?”) with tons of bows and ribbons on it. I noticed there was a serious Cinco de Mayo color scheme because I couldn’t choose among the red, green, and white on the wrapping paper, but no one else commented on it. :P

One brother’s present I wrapped in lots of newspaper ads, trying to make it look less like a DVD, the other’s I put in an empty Scotch tape refill box.

One cousin’s present I had to make a box for, so I used a Robitussin box (my sickness came in handy?) and the other I sandwiched money between two old Dragonball Z VHS cassettes.

Everyone had comments about how I wrapped their presents, so all in all I think it was a successful venture. XD

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fudgetastic (Adobe CS4 woes)

Final update on the Adobe CS4 drama.

I checked Dell’s support site (what a novel idea) for the Stop 7E error and someone mentioned running a Diagnostic test to find out if any parts of the computer were faulty.

Ran the test, got “Error code 0F00:2871 Optical drive BIST—FLASH ROM test failed.” Checked Dell’s support forums again, means I have to replace my CD/DVD drive (I don’t even know what it is…).

The odd thing is, the error only shows up for my DVD burner drive (drive F:), not for the primary CD/DVD drive (drive E:). Does the primary drive use the burner drive for something? Because I managed to reinstall Adobe CS2 just fine on my computer tonight.

Then again, I also noticed that CS2 is on (four) CD install discs, and CS4 is on (two) DVD install discs. Does that account for some odd discrepancy that I have no knowledge of?

CS2 also took only about 30 minutes to install and update, whereas CS4 took 45 minutes to crash and not even complete the install. mreh.

Worry … do I have to replace my primary disc drive, or the burner, or both? Don’t want to spend more money than I have to…

frustrating as fudgetaffy

Me: *walks into a dark and smoky room*
??: *chair swivels around and in it…*
Me: So we meet again, Adobe.
Adobe: *laughs mercilessly*

I bought Adobe CS4 Design Standard today. Almost 500 buckaroonies (got a student version). I was hesitant about spending that much money, but … Adobe shininess! And after I leave school, the price will soar higher than … mylar balloons, I don’t know, choose your own analogy.

So, yeah. I bought it, but left it sitting in my bookbag all day because I had to read three chapters of my book for a midterm tomorrow. Finally gave up on that around 6… took pictures of CS4, then left it sitting on my desk while I ate dinner and got over the apprehension of opening the box, thus losing any chance of getting almost $500 back.

Afterwards, here’s how it went (all times are approximate):
8:00 pm started installing
8:45 inserted second disk
8:46 computer shut down and got a STOP 0x0000007E, 0xC0000005, 0x806E694F, 0xF79ADC30, 0xF79AD92C error
8:47 restarted computer
8:48 PS CS4 was fine, ooh shiny, Illustrator CS4 had only 8 folders in program folder, InDesign CS4 folder was nonexistant
8:49 tried running Illustrator, got same crashing and error skit, haha Adobe
8:50 tried running second installation disk again, was asked which program to open disk with
8:51 tried running first disk, was told I completed installation
8:52 uninstalled most of CS4
9:30 started second install (sans Photoshop, Acrobat, some other things I thought installed all right)
9:57 inserted second disk again
9:58 computer shut down, etc.
9:59 restarted computer
10:00 uninstalled all of CS4
10:50 started writing this entry

So here I am wondering what to do. I suppose tomorrow (after my midterm, which I wanted to get to bed early for, d’oh!) I’ll uninstall CS2 and try CS4 again, maybe they share something that they can’t share? I don’t understand computers.

If that fails, I don’t know… call Adobe support like I did with my last problem installing Creative Suite? But will they be able to help me?

Me: Adobe, I love you so much, why can’t we sort out all the problems between us? Is it because I’m using a Dell? I swear, we’re breaking it off soon, real soon, but could you deal with us in the meantime?
Adobe: *turns away in chair, laughing even more*

Update@4pm: Uninstalled all Adobe software, CS4 still failed to install.

Concluding update to the whole CS4 debacle.

blurred vision

I’ve figured out why it’s hard for me to look at my desktop monitor.

It’s a 20″ widescreen monitor, native 1680×1050, but the text is way too freakin’ small for me at that size. So I’ve got it down to 1440×900, a setting lower.

However, while text is at a good size for me, it is also slightly blurry. Not as bad as when I had it at 1280×768 though. (Because yes, I really am blind and do like my text big…)

The text isn’t as blurry as if I were using Microsoft’s Cleartype though, which I am very grateful for.

The only program this is bugging me in is Firefox/all other cool browsers that don’t have the initials I and E. All my Adobe design programs already antialias or blur the edges of my text, but then they aren’t rendered pixel by pixel, more along the lines of vectors…hahaha, horrible pun.

I could possibly make the screen smaller and pull the monitor closer to my face, but it’s at a comfortable distance at the moment. Maybe a couple inches too far, but not too bad. If I were to get too close, I’d get sick. I don’t know why. Whenever I sit too close to a monitor I get dizzy. Weak, yes!

Yet in computer labs in school I was always leaning as far back as I could possibly go, always sticking out in aisles and hyperextending my arm to reach the mouse and keyboard… Also had to take occasional breaks to rest my weary eyes and head.

I was considering keeping it at native resolution and just zooming in text for browsers, but I realized that the Windows interface text is all tiny and squishy and I probably can’t do anything about that other than using some LARGE PRINT theme that my Grandpa would have.

I guess I’ll just have to learn to live with slightly blurred text and slightly tired eyes at the end of the day.

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