Recently in TidBITS, we've examined a few factors that contribute to poor readability on computer monitors (see Better Typography Coming to a Screen Near You in TidBITS 403, and the followup Web Reading Requires More than Just Character(s) in TidBITS 405). In the followup, we noted the Mac's "paper" approach of displaying black text on a white background can be difficult on the eyes, and several respondents pointed out Apple's CloseView control panel can, in fact, reverse your screen's display (and zoom in as far as 16x for those with vision difficulties). Although it's no longer part of the standard Mac OS installation, it's available online from Apple's Disability Connection (along with Easy Access and MouseKeys for PowerBook) and in Mac OS 8's custom installation options. Please note there are several known issues with CloseView: it's incompatible with some mainstream applications and QuickDraw GX, plus it can have problems in low memory situations, on multiple monitor configurations, and on monitors displaying more than 256 colors. However, for many folks, it's exactly the (free!) solution they need.
iMovie '09: Speed Clips up to 2,000%
iMovie '09 brings back the capability to speed up or slow down clips, which went missing in iMovie '08. Select a clip and bring up the Clip Inspector by double-clicking the clip, clicking the Inspector button on the toolbar, or pressing the I key. Just as with its last appearance in iMovie HD 6, you can move a slider to make the video play back slower or faster (indicated by a turtle or hare icon).
You can also enter a value into the text field to the right of the slider, and this is where things get interesting. You're not limited to the tick mark values on the slider, so you can set the speed to be 118% of normal if you want. The field below that tells you the clip's changed duration.
But you can also exceed the boundaries of the speed slider. Enter any number between 5% and 2000%, then click Done.
Reversing Your View
Set up short abbreviations which expand to larger bits of text,
such as "Tx" for "TextExpander". With the new custom keyboard,
you can expand abbreviations in any app, including Safari and