Aqua Color and Low Vision, OT: Small Apple Monitors

Discussion in 'Apple' started by Veli-Pekka Tätilä, May 26, 2007.

  1. Hi,
    I'm a sight-impaired guy whose considering switching and needs both
    VoiceOver and Zoom plus good and clear colors to manage OS X optimaly. But
    sadly, Aqua does only let you toggle between the normal and graffite look as
    wel as change the selection and desktop color (image). To be able to
    efficiently get the big picture in dialogs, I'd need much better contrast.

    For me to get the big picture unmagnified to complement VoiceOver prompts,
    it is important that windows, dialogs, fields, popups, buttons, title bars
    and other major or focucible UI elements have as great a contrast
    difference in their background colors as possible. I'd also need a clear
    indication of the focus like a thick frame or reverse video. This gives the
    clearest overall picture of the layout with my sight, though a Mac friend of
    mine thinks such a look is pretty darn ugly, <smile>.

    For example, in my current OS I'm using dark cyan for dialogs, light yellow
    fields and popups, black title bars and if I could I would use white on dark
    blue buttons and multiline fields to maximize contrast. I find dark on light
    easiest to read in long passages.

    So provided that Apple does not add more editability in Leopard, I sent a
    polite e-mail to their accessibility address about this ages ago, what
    choices for apps do I have?

    I reckon there are many Mac equivalents of Windowblinds out there. However,
    I'm not interested in skinning, per se, merely changing the colors. So are
    there apps that do this without skinning e.g. hooking graphics and
    redrawing, or apps that allow easy re-coloring of an Aqua:ish skin?

    I'm postulating it would be pretty tedious to make a skin using the new
    colors, especially if the colors may initially need to be tweaked fairly
    regularly to find what works best. The situation is similar to the inability
    of using a solid RGB color on the desktop but having to put that color in a
    pixmmap image in stead. This is at least an order of magnitude slower for me
    compared to typing in RGB triplets by hand, which is how I deal with color,
    and seeing the change in real time.

    Another thing that worries me is support. My understanding is that Apple
    frowns upon low-level tweaks like this so might I not be elligible for tech
    support if I use such a tweaker? Not that I've needed support often in my 15
    years of Microsoft Oses so far, being a tinkerer and a power-user at heart.
    Also, when new OS releases come out, how long does it take for the skinning
    apps to stay in sync?

    I've been browsing Apple's human interface guidelines and it seems to me
    there are about twice as many controls in OS X as there are in the Win32 APi
    including a dedicated look called Brushed Metal. Further more, I've read
    somewhere that the UI changes slightly from app to app, and that QuickTime
    and or iTunes in particular, undergo pretty frequent tweaks. Does this mean
    I need a separate skin for regular apps, brushed metal and every ap that
    tweaks either slightly? I do have an accessible Winamp classic skin I made,
    so if I could reuse that, it would rock. Umm, can I force a brushed metal
    app to use plain aqua in stead? This is a bit like resorting to Windows
    classic and killing the Theme service for good measure.

    This would be slightly unrelated, but one thing I've been looking for is a
    Mac display that's still 15 inches and is not a wide screen one. 1024x768
    makes things small enough for the little sight I have including a very small
    FoV , large displays make mainstream gaming harder and monitors with 16:10
    aspect ratios are even worse. Further more, I would not want to setle for a
    Mac Mini but don't have enough cash for a Pro model iether, nice and
    headless as it would be, though. Paying for a redundant monitor I won't be
    using feels like overkill. But frankly speaking, this monitor thing is a bit
    of a problem whether or not my next machine will be a Mac.

    For more info on my sight, by the way, you can go here:
    Veli-Pekka Tätilä, May 26, 2007
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