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BigShot v 2.02

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BigShot Version 2.02
http://www.bigshotmagnifier.com/

BigShot's Creator is:
Ai Squared
P.O. Box 669
Manchester Center, VT 05255

Reviewed by Rochelle Caviness - August 4, 2001

BigShot 2.0 is a screen magnifying software program designed specifically to relieve eyestrain and computer vision syndrome (CVS). It works with both desktops and laptops, and will magnify any Windows-based program up to 200%. When the program is engaged, a small toolbar window will appear. This toolbar contains buttons that allow you quick access to the main features of this program. These features include an option to change the desired magnification, buttons to enable and disable zooming, buttons to change between the active window and full screen zoom, an exit button, and a button to access to the setting's dialog box.

BigShot is fully customizable. You can set the magnification level anywhere from 105% to 200% via 5% increments. As well you have the option of enlarging the full screen on merely the active windows. When the program is active, you have the option of controlling its features by using the mouse and pointer, or via hot key shortcut combinations. These hot key combos, such as using Alt + Insert, which allows you to enable the zoom function, makes this program very easy to use for people with low vision. You can also use the hot key combos to scroll around the displayed screen. The key combinations used for the hot key shortcut combos can be altered if desired, or when necessary because of conflicts with the hot key combos used by other programs.

One very useful feature of this program is that the magnification application can be disabled with one click, without exiting the program. This is especially useful for those times when someone else needs to use your computer or when you need to take a peak at something that you do not want magnified. Screen tracking is another handy feature. Whenever you move the cursor, mouse, or use the keyboard, the tracker will automatically scroll over to the area in which you are working. This feature insures that the area in which you are working is always in plain view.

Two Things Missing - Sort of...

BigShot is, at its core, an excellent and easy-to-use screen magnification system. Its installation is quick and effortless. As well, the program ran flawlessly on my computer, which is running Windows 98. I do not have any complaints against the program itself, but I would like to see to items added to the future versions of the program.

Firstly, this program contains a very detailed help file that serves as a step-by-step guide to using and customizing this program. Although this program is not difficult to use, and many of its operating parameters are very intuitive, the help file can be very handy when you are first learning to use the program. The BigShot toolbar, which provides quick access to the main features of this program does not have a button to directly reach the help files. I feel that having such a button on the toolbar would be very helpful. Despite the absence of this button, help is not far away. The help files can be easily found via the option's button on the toolbar, from the program's main folder, from the icon that will appear in the task bar when the program is open, or via the start menu.

The second item that this program lacks is a preprinted list of all the hot key combos so that an individual with low vision can quickly access these combos. This is a very minor item, but it is something that can be very helpful for people who rely on the hot key combos. As with the help button, this information is easily found. A complete list of all the hot key combos and their functions can be found in the settings dialog box under the shortcut tab. As well, a list of the hot key combos can be found in the help section on the shortcuts. This 'help' page can be printed out, so you can make your own copy of the hot key combos if desired.

Summary:

I was very impressed with the BigShot program. It was easy to use and did exactly what it said it would do - magnify the computer screen so that it would be easy to use, thereby reducing eyestrain and the chances of developing CVS. This program will benefit both individuals with low vision who need extra help to view the computer screen, as well as enabling individuals who spend a lot of time on the computer to treat their eyes a little nicer. And the nicer you are to your eyes, the nicer they are to you - or so one would hope :)

System Requirements:

BigShot works on any PC Compatible computer using Windows 95/98, ME, 2000 and NT 4.0 as its operating system.

It also requires a system running a Pentium or Compatible processor with MMX and,
32 Mb Ram
16 bit High Color or a 24 or 32 bit True Color Display Driver

Free Trial Offer:

Before buying BigShot, you can download a free, 30 day trial version that will introduce you to the product. Additional information about this product can be found at www.bigshotmagnifier.com, as well as a link to the free trial download. In addition, information about BigShot and Ai Square's other low vision products can be found on the Ai Square website located at: http://www.aisquared.com

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