Biggy: Version 3.0
Biggy: Version 3.0
A Cursor Utility for Windows
Biggy's Home Page: http://www.rjcooper.com/biggy/index.html
RJ Cooper & Associates
27601 Forbes Rd. Suite 39
Laguna Niguel, CA 92677
Reviewed by Rochelle Caviness - May 29, 2001
For people with low vision - the computer is a commonly used tool. It can enlarge text so that it can be read more easily, you can use it to surf the net, or you can even make your computer read to you. However, no matter how useful a tool is, it may also have drawbacks. With computers, a common complaint is that the default cursors are hard to see. Yet, for every problem there is a solution, and the solution for a tiny cursor is, as you might have guessed, a Big Cursor!
One way of getting big cursors is to use a software program called Biggy. Biggy contains a set of BIG cursors. Not only does it let you make your pointer larger, but it can also enlarge all your other cursors, such as the text I-beam and hourglass cursors. Not only does Biggy allow you to enlarge these items, but it also allows you to change their shapes and colors.
While the Biggy cursors are the mainstays of this program, Biggy also contains several useful tools. Two examples of these tools are:
Biggy is available for both Macintosh (it will work on any MacOS) and Windows 95/98/ME/2000 systems. In this evaluation I only looked at the Windows version of the Biggy program. You can download a free, fully-functioning, 14 day trial version of either the Windows or mac versions of Biggy at the following address: http://www.rjcooper.com/biggy/index.html. This page also provides information about the program as well as information on how to order the program.
- The Panic Stopper - If the mouse moves too quickly, the Panic Stopper will kick in and display a stop warning, while actually stopping the movement of the cursor for a few seconds.
- Quick Point - This feature will automatically jump your cursor to the default button of any dialog box that appears. At the same time the button is briefly highlighted to show you where the pointer and button are located. In the default setting, the button is highlighted by the brief appearance of a circle around the button. This allows you to quickly find the button.
- You-Are-Here - This option allows you to find your cursor. It is especially useful if you misplace your cursor on a hard-to-read screen.
- To access all the accessibility options, click on the 'Enabled Advanced' button, in the bottom left corner of the Biggy window.
Besides the Biggy program, there is also a Biggy-Light version. The Biggy-Light verison has the same features as the Biggy program. The only difference is that it has fewer cursors. As with the full verison, you can download a free, 14-day trial version of the program. To download the trial version, or purchase the Biggy-Light program, go to this address: http://www.rjcooper.com/biggy-light/index.html.
Downloading and installing this program is quick and easy. Using a molasses-like 28Kb connection, it only took me seven minutes to down load the program and less than a minute to install it. The installation interface is user friendly, and it will quickly walk you through the installation.
Once the program is installed, your pointer will automatically be switched from your default pointer to a large, animated, red and white pointer. As well, a short cut to the Biggy program, in the shape of a pointing finger, will appear on your main Windows screen. If you want to change the default pointer, all you need do is click on the Biggy short-cut, and the program will open to the cursor category's page. Here you can select from numerous animated and non-animated cursors, including dogs, eyes, arrows, snakes, and a penguin who flaps his wings. You can also select left-handed cursors. There is also a selection of "BIG" biggies - extra large cursors.
As part of my evaluation of this program, I uninstalled it. I had thought that I had switched all my settings back to the default Windows settings, but I was mistaken. However, it is very easy to change back to these settings from Windows itself. All you need do is open your start menu and click on settings, and then on control panel. When the control panel folder opens, click on the mouse folder, often this folder is represented by a picture of a computer mouse. At the top of the page that opens are three tabs, click on the tab marked pointers. You will find a pull-down menu listing all the Windows cursor schemes. Click on the one you want, such as 'Windows Standard', then move your cursor to the bottom of the page and click 'apply' and then 'ok', and all your cursors will be switched to the scheme you have selected.
I found the Biggy program to offer some very nice, highly visible cursors. Many of the cursor options, such as the ability to greatly enlarge the basic arrow, are very useful. Other options are simply fun. For example, you can change the 'working' hourglass (a watch on a Mac) to a man who is hammering. As well, the program contains many accessibility options which may be of help to individuals with low vision.
I'd like to encourage you to check out this program, as well as the full range of products developed by R. J. Cooper & Associates. This is a company dedicated to developing software, and hardware, for use by people with special needs. Their products range from computer games and educational programs for blind children, to a variety of keyboards with extra big keys. They also offer Key Read, a simple screen reading program for use by visually impaired individuals who are new to using computers. To learn more about these and other products offered by R. J. Cooper & Associates, please visit their website, which is located at: http://www.rjcooper.com/.
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