Apex FAQ

Frequently Asked QuestionsBrailleNote Apex and KeySoft 9.0.0


1.      BrailleNote Apex hardware. 12.      BrailleNote Apex software (Keysoft 9.0). 23.      Visual Display. 34.      Optional applications (Extensions). 35.      Using the BrailleNote Apex as a Braille display for PC screen readers. 46.      Exchanges and Trade-in from other BrailleNote platforms. 5 

1.        BrailleNote Apex hardware

Q: What are the differences between a BrailleNote mPower and a BrailleNote Apex?A: Apex is the continuation of the BrailleNote family’s tradition of excellence. Thinner (0,78 in.) and lighter (1,8 lb) than any other notetaker in the industry, it features a crisp 32 cells Braille display and updated connectivity, including built-in Wi-Fi, Ethernet and Bluetooth. Compared to the mPower, Apex has 8 GB of permanent memory and runs on the new Windows CE 6 operating system. The BrailleNote Apex also has a replaceable battery and a VGA port to easily connect a visual display. Q: Is there a BrailleNote Apex QWERTY model?

A: Yes, the BrailleNote Apex is also offered with a full QWERTY keyboard.

Q: What is the use of the scroll wheel?A: The newly designed scroll wheel allows for effortless navigation in menus, documents and e-mail lists.  It allows you to intuitively perform a set of actions without using Braille commands. The Scroll wheel can perform different actions depending on the current application. The Scroll Wheel is a feature only found on the BrailleNote BT. Q: Can I turn it OFF the Scroll Wheel?A: To activate or deactivate the Scroll wheel, Press SPACE with O, then W.This is an On/Off toggle command; in other words it will alternate between on and off each time you press SPACE with O, then W. Q: Do the BrailleNote Apex supports SDHC cards?A: Yes. The BrailleNote supports standard SD cards up to 2 GB and 4 to 32 GB SDHC cards of all classes.  Q: Can I connect multiple Bluetooth devices?A: Yes, the new Bluetooth manager can connect two Bluetooth devices at the same time. Q: Can I interchange the power adaptor of the Apex with one of the Stream or of the mPower?A: No. Please only use the appropriate power adapter for each device.  Q: What’s the use of the LEDs?A: Near the middle of the rear edge are three LED indicators. They are blue, green and amber in color. These are for Bluetooth and Wi‑Fi functionality and the last one serves as a power/charging indicator.When the unit is powered on, the amber LED will light up. If the AC cord is plugged in and the battery is recharging, this LED will blink. It will turn off when the unit is powered down. Q: What about the LEDs on the Ethernet port? A: The Ethernet port is equipped with two LEDs. The left LED indicates connection speed. If the LED is on (it is green), you are connected on a 100 Mbs network. If it is not on, you are connected to a 10 Mbs network. The LED on the right of the Ethernet port is the link integrity and activity LED. It is amber in color. This LED will be on if a valid connection is made and it will blink when data is sent or received.  Q: What are the different types of Resets available on Apex? A: Resets in Apex are different from the mPower. There are three types of Resets: Software, Hardware, and Clear settings. The Reset button is located at back corner of the left edge.Software resets are performed during installation of upgrades and when the unit is not behaving normally. To perform a soft reset, simply press the reset button.Performing a Hardware reset is similar to removing the battery.  Data currently not saved will be lost. The Apex will require more time to restart than it would for a Software Reset. To perform a hard reset, keep the reset button pressed for more than 5 seconds.The Clear Settings Reset is the equivalent of a Software Reset where all user settings are deleted. This erases all configurations, but does not affect your data.To obtain additional information on Resets, please consult Appendix C of the User guide. Q: How do I synchronize the internal clock?A: The internal clock will automatically be adjusted to the correct time for your time zone when you connect to the internet or to a PC, without any operations required. 

2.        BrailleNote Apex software (Keysoft 9.0)

Q: How do I upgrade the software? A: Simply copy the new software file .hwi to any SD card or thumb drive, insert it in the unit and turn the unit on. You will be asked to press the Reset button. When the BrailleNote starts up, press Y to start installation. Upon pressing Y, it will perform installation and reboot. When you are returned to the main menu, the installation will have been completed. Alternatively, you can also download the upgrade file into the Flash memory and follow-up the process as mentioned above. Q: Is there a BrailleNote GPS trial option in KeySoft 9.0?A: Yes, the BrailleNote Apex also offers you the opportunity to tryout the acclaimed Sendero GPS. After 90 days, you can purchase the full license at a discounted price. Q: What is the version of Internet Explorer running on Apex?A: Apex runs will the latest available version of Internet Explorer 6, the latest version available for mobile platforms.

3.        Visual Display

Q: How can I use an external VGA screen?A: It is possible to connect a stand‑alone monitor directly into the BrailleNote's VGA port, bypassing the need for a computer.To use the VGA display option, connect a VGA monitor into the VGA port located at the back of the BrailleNote Apex. To activate the display, follow these steps:Select the Options Menu on your BrailleNote, From the Options Menu, select "Visual Display" by stepping through the menu until you get to Visual Display and pressing Enter, or by pressing V.Press V for VGA. Alternatively, press space with dots 3-4 to view the available options and press Enter when the VGA option is announced.

4.        Optional applications (Extensions)

Q: Is there optional application for the BrailleNote Apex?A: Optional applications such as the Oxford Concise Dictionary and Thesaurus, the Nemeth tutorial or the BrailleNote GPS are available in the BrailleNote Apex. To purchase optional software please contact one of our sales representatives. Q: How do I install an optional application? A: Optional applications such as the dictionary, the Nemeth tutorial or the GPS are already installed into the device. To activate the Dictionary after a purchase, you will be provided with an Authorization key. Simply copy the provided Authorization key into an SD card and insert it into the BrailleNote Apex. The device will then recognize the extension and activate it. If you purchase the optional application at the moment of purchase of your BrailleNote Apex, the application will be already activated. 

5.        Using the BrailleNote Apex as a Braille display for PC screen readers

Q: Can I use the Apex as a Braille terminal for my PC?A: Yes, you can use your BrailleNote’s keyboard to input Braille or navigate with your computer screen reader using the Braille Terminal Mode. Apex offers updated connectivity options. Connections through USB client is now possible and Bluetooth communication can be initiated from the PC Q: How can I connect the BrailleNote Apex as a Braille Terminal?

A: BrailleNote can act like a remote Braille line or terminal. You can then run a screen reader, for example Window‑Eyes, JAWS, or HAL on a desktop PC, using the BrailleNote BT as its Braille display. To access the Braille Terminal, either go to the Main Menu and press T, or from anywhere, press BACKSPACE with ENTER with T. KeySoft prompts "Braille Terminal Port? Currently Bluetooth". To select USB client, press U. To select Bluetooth, press B. To select USB serial, press S. Once the type of connection has been selected, press ENTER and KeySoft displays: "Braille Terminal." Note that the USB serial option will only be made available if the USB serial adapter cable is plugged into the BrailleNote. Please refer to the “Braille Terminal for Screen Reader” section of the User Guide for more information.

Q: Apex offers various ways to connect as a Braille Terminal for PC, what is the simplest way to connect?A: The simplest way is to connect your Apex to the PC using the client USB cable that is included with the BrailleNote Apex.  Installing a USB client driver on your PC is required. Q: How do I install the USB client driver on my PC?A: Detailed instructions for installation are provided in our Support web site at: http://www.humanware.com/en-usa/support/braillenote_apex/software/braille_terminal_tools . Note: please make sure to select the appropriate driver according to your 32 bit or 64 bit PC processor.Q: How can I connect via Bluetooth?A: To use Apex in Braille terminal mode via Bluetooth, initiate the connection from the PC, not from the BrailleNote. Use pin 0000.  Q: Can I use BrailleNote Apex as a Braille Terminal with Jaws?You can use the BrailleNote Apex as a Braille display with JAWS if you are using a PC with Windows Vista or Windows XP. We are presently working with Jaws providers in order to offer this functionality with the new Windows 7 operating system.To communicate with Apex, you must use a com port value 9 or lower.  To modify this on your PC do the following:

1.       In Start menu go to Settings/Control Panel and open System.

2.       Select the "Hardware" tab and select the device Manager button.

3.       In the Device Manager window, open Ports (COM & LPT) and select Apex Virtual USB COM Port 1 (COMX).

4.       Right click or press the applications key on your keyboard and select properties.

5.       Select the port settings tab and click the "Advanced" button.

6.       In the com port drop down list, select an available com port value 9 or lower.

7.       Click OK.

8.       Back in the properties dialogue box click OK.

9.       Back in the Device Manager window, you will now notice that your BrailleNote Apex's com port value is now 9 or lower.  In JAWS braille options set BrailleNote as your active braille display and set the communication port to the new lowered com port value.  You will have to restart jaws after making these changes for the Apex to begin running as a terminal for JAWS.

  Q: Can I use BrailleNote Apex as a Braille Terminal with Window-Eyes?A: You can use the BrailleNote Apex as a Braille display with Window-Eyes in any PC with Windows Vista, Windows XP or the new Windows 7 operating system.

6.        Exchanges and Trade-in from other BrailleNote platforms

Q: I just bought an mPower, can I exchange it for an Apex?A: Humanware offers Exchange and Trade-in plans between other BrailleNote products and the new BrailleNote Apex. The policy regarding pricing, type of platform, timeframe and other general conditions varies by country. Please contact your regional Humanware office in the USA, Canada, UK, New Zealand and Australia for more information and orders. USA: 1 800 722-3393 UK/Europe: +44 1933 415 800 Canada: 1 888 723-7273 Australia/Asia: +61 2 9686 2600New Zealand:  +64 3 384 4555 Q: I have an Oxford Dictionary in my mPower, can I transfer it if I buy an Apex? A: If you purchased an Oxford Dictionary for your mPower and are now purchasing an Apex, we will give you an Authorization key to access the Dictionary on the new device. Q: I have a BrailleNote GPS in my traded mPower, can I transfer it to my new Apex?A: If you used a BrailleNote GPS in your BrailleNote, you can get the GPS application on the new device. If you have GPS version 6.0 and up in your traded BrailleNote, Humanware will provide an Authorisation Key to activate the Navigation feature. You can use the Bluetooth GPS receivers and electronic maps already running with the mPower. Note that Apex do not have CF Card slot, therefore, you will need to save your maps to an SD card.If you have an older GPS version (less than 6.0), prior to using the GPS in Apex, you must purchase and upgrade prior to get the Authorisation Key to activate the Navigation feature in Apex. Maps compatible with version 6.0 and up are also required.  Q: If I buy an Apex in exchange of my mPower, what happens to my SMA counts?A: Any SMA counts that are still active in the mPower will be transferred to the Apex.  Q: If I keep my mPower, are my SMA counts for mPower still valid?A: Yes, we will provide two future upgrades for mPower devices.  Q: Can I buy a Software Maintenance Agreement (SMA) for my BrailleNote Apex?A: Yes, SMAs for the BrailleNote Apex are available. They cover two software upgrade versions.  Q: Can I transfer my data from my traded BrailleNote to Apex?A: Before sending your BrailleNote mPower unit back to Humanware, please assure you keep a copy of the personal data that you will like to transfer into your BrailleNote Apex unit. We recommend following the migration procedure described in our Web support site at: http://www.humanware.com/en-usa/support/braillenote_apex/manuals . The proposed procedure is an effective method to transfer the contents of your flash disk, including your emails, documents, address list, planner and connections settings.