I am a visually-impaired user who wants to switch to Linux, but so far I've spent more time on these forums than actually using Ubuntu (I'm writing from XP right now). I know that disabled users are a minority in the Linux world, and although there are quite a few applications for our needs, most of them are buggy or barely work.

So I'm asking you, the more knowledgeable users of this community, even if you don't need a screen magnifier, please try it for just a few minutes! Maybe you'll be able to identify (or even fix) some of the problems it has.

I'll give you the directions below, although there might be some inaccuracies due to the fact that I'm writing from memory:

1) Go to System > Preferences > Assistive Technologies
2) Check "Enable assitive technologies"
3) Log out and back in

At this point, you'll see a little magnifier window that is probably obscuring the program's menu box. But you can access the Magnifier Settings by pressing ALT+F2, then ALT+F3. Now click on the button under the Profiles window (I don't remember the exact name, but it's somewhere to the right). A new window will open with more settings. If you have a 1024x768 display, I recommend these settings:

Left: 0
Right: 1023
Top: 540
Bottom: 767

Now that (hopefully) you have it working in the lower third of your screen, please use it a little and tell me if you encounter any of the problems below:

- The magnified image is rendered very poorly, with black spots and patches all over and CPU usage goes up to 100%.

- Magnifier freezes whenever a password box (like the Synaptic one) locks the screen or when I try to open more than one app.

- When writing something in Firefox, the focus jumps to the upper-left corner of the screen, instead of following the cursor.

- Nautilus crashes sometimes after clicking through a few folders.

- BitTorrent doesn't start when the magnifier is working.

If you know anything about programming, please investigate these problems! Maybe you can help me find solutions. I did file bug reports in launchpad (36008 and 36013) but there are no fixes yet.

I know that a new compiz-mag is in the works, but I don't know when that will be ready and if xgl-compiz will be usable from a stability point of view.

Thank you very much for your time and I'm looking forward to reading your replies.