Laser Computer UI Accessibility Tweak

In order to somewhat accommodate my low vision disability on the laser cutter computer, I have tweaked a few of the Windows 7 display, theme and mouse pointer properties in the Windows Control Panel.

  • An aero theme with the custom VHS Big Red Arrows background image was enabled. Full Windows 7 display magnification features requires an Aero theme. The original theme was backed up in the theme manager.
  • The mouse pointer was enbiggened and given mouse trails so it is easier to find. Tapping CTRL will also “ping” a brief circle animation around the pointer now, as well.
  • Icon and font size has been increased from small to medium, which will activate upon the next account log-in. Not sure how often the machine is reset.

These changes were briefly tested to ensure that the LaserCAD driver could still talk to the laser cutter. IF these UI tweaks somehow borked the setup, reverting to previous should be straightforward in the Windows Control Panel. These Windows UI changes should be benign and easily reversible, and were the result of some quick experimentation. Therefore I opted to leave them in after experimentation and to document the changes in Slack and here, without spawning an LCC approval process. No software, drivers, hardware, firmware were installed, deleted, upgraded, harmed, or otherwise abused in the process.

You can use several accessibility keyboard shortcuts if you have problems seeing the laser cutter computer screen.

  • WIN + “+” enables display accessibility and zooms in the display; currently set for full screen in 25% zoom increments.
  • WIN + “-” zooms out the display.
  • WIN + ESC disables display accessibility.
  • CTRL + ALT + “i” inverts RGB screen colors (like a photo negative); useful as a quick and crude “dark mode”. White screen background appear blindingly over-exposed to me.

Note that WIN + ESC will exit any of these magnification or color inversion features if they are inadvertently left on or triggered.