Have been looking for items to help my mother-in-law with her problems re. macular degeneration and since the technology is rapidly improving i thought i'd try our lowly webcam and look for some Linux program to make it work without using it under a chat program like MSNMessenger or Skype. So i searched webcam and came across a program we already have installed called VLC Media Player. i just connect the webcam, chose Media>Video Capture Device>Video for Linux 2, turned on my webcam and voila! webcam image on screen!
i then checked to see how much text could be amplified and it appears that the closer you hold to image to the lens, the larger the text appears giving what appears to be a 1x to 10x magnification. The webcam would need to be place on some sort of stand so that you could vary the height from the object -- an old bunsen burner stand might do for a start...
Very happy! Another problem solved with PCLinuxOS!!!
Have a great day!