Frighteningly Curious About Android

I got to mess with a friend’s HTC One X yesterday, and while I failed miserably at using TalkBack, it presented enough of a challenge that I was intrigued.

Most of why I was having issues is because HTC Sense is made of custom widgets, which screen readers have problems with. So, naturally, I want to play around with it more… I have a weakness for geek-related challenges. I know there are some issues with the Nexus 7, but I feel like playing with it would be a lot more interesting than an iPad Mini. I mean… what can I do with an iPad mini that I’m not already doing with my iPhone 4S? It’s basically a 7.9” screen for all my existing apps. I can’t type any more easily on it (in fact, I had issues typing on the iPad 2/3), web navigation can still be tedious, ETC… but Android is an entirely new OS, with (in theory) terminal access.

I’d be interested to hear from any blind people in the comments who have iPad Minis or even regular iPads, and what they’re using them for. I’m trying not to be an impulsive person and buy a Nexus 7.

NVDA service and Internet Explorer Crashes

If you’ve been reading my twitter feed lately, you may have noticed me complaining about excessive IE crashes. Early this morning, I got the idea to find out which module was causing the crashes (based on some forum posts I came across on Google). I had no idea how to do it in Windows 7, but it turns out you just have to look in the Event Viewer (unfortunately, I can’t find said crashes off the top of my head).

So, what was the component causing these crashes? Turns out it was VBufBackend_mshtml.dll. This is the NVDA virtual buffer helper for Internet Explorer. What this does is allow NVDA to read webpages in IE. There are also corresponding libraries to assist in the accessibility of Adobe Reader and Mozilla Firefox/Thunderbird.

Why does this particular dll cause crashes, and more importantly why is it even loading a dll into iexplore.exe when NVDA isn’t running? Presumably, it’s the work of the “Non-visual Desktop Access” service, which I had (foolishly) set to startup type “automatic.” I went in and set it to manual, and haven’t had any crashes today, yet. If the crashes continue, I’ll update this post. If you’re using Xmarks, this isn’t the cause for your crashes if you’re experiencing them.