GWKB1056 : Introducing the Small-Talk Ultra

Product: Small-Talk Ultra
Author: Aaron Smith
Date Added: 02/22/2007
Last Modified: 02/22/2007

The Small-Talk Ultra is the first device of its kind. It literally puts the power of a laptop in the palm of your hands. It comes standard with a complete copy of Window-Eyes allowing you to take the accessibility and power offered to you by Window-Eyes wherever you go. Whether you want to take notes in class, listen to music, use high-powered applications at work, surf the web, or anything else you can do with Windows XP combined with Window-Eyes, the Small-Talk Ultra is right there with you every step of the way.

The Small-Talk Ultra contains a 1 GHz processor, 30 GB hard drive, 512 MB of RAM, Microsoft Windows XP Home, a user detachable lithium polymer battery, a custom carrying case, built-in 57 key thumb keyboard, USB 88-key keyboard, USB external DVD-ROM/CD-RW drive, built-in Firewire, a USB 2.0 port, a headphone jack, a built-in speaker, microphone, WiFi, and Bluetooth. With this amount of power and connectivity, the Small-Talk Ultra can do virtually anything that a laptop or desktop computer can do.

Package Contents

  • Small-Talk Ultra Unit
  • Custom Designed Carrying Case
  • Docking Cable
  • Power Supply
  • DVD-ROM/CD-RW Drive (plus USB Cable and Power Supply)
  • Ear Buds
  • Battery (already attached to the unit)
  • Bracket/Stand
  • Car Adapter
  • USB Keyboard
  • System Restore CD

Product Description

When the Small-Talk Ultra is placed in front of you on a flat surface, you should place the unit so the screen is oriented up. This will be referred to as the top panel. The Small-Talk Ultra is 4.9 inches long, 3.4 inches wide, and 0.9 inches thin, and weighs a mere 14 ounces. On the side facing up, there is a 5-inch flat screen color display that is readable both indoors and outdoors. The Small-Talk Ultra can even be used by low vision consumers, which is why it still contains a screen and the functions related to it. There is a rim that goes around the entire screen, and with the screen covering the small, built-in keyboard, there is a power button on the top panel toward the front of the unit on the right corner. To turn the Small-Talk Ultra on, simply press this button. Just to the right of the power button, you will find three small holes, which is where the built-in microphone is located. This can be used to take notes while on the go.
The screen can slide up toward the rear panel of the unit exposing a small QWERTY keyboard (which was just referred to) and a thumb mouse. The Small-Talk Ultra also comes equipped with a small, portable USB QWERTY keyboard that can go anywhere the Small-Talk Ultra can go. This way, you can keep the screen slid down, and still be able to use the Small-Talk Ultra.

Moving your hand toward the front panel, and down to the right, you will feel a USB port, which is USB 1.1 and 2.0 compatible. Moving your finger to the left on the front panel, you will feel a wheel. This is the Thumbwheel. The Thumbwheel can be used for various functions. It can be used to switch between applications, and open new applications. It can also be used to increase or decrease the volume, scroll a window horizontally, or scroll a window vertically. These options may be changed within the Control Panel.

Continuing along to the left on the front panel, you will feel three different ports. The port on the far left is used to connect the AC adapter to the Small-Talk Ultra. You can connect the AC adapter to an electrical outlet to charge the battery or to simply use the Small-Talk Ultra without the battery. The Small-Talk Ultra comes bundled with a docking cable that will plug in to all three of these ports. To do this, you must disconnect the AC cable from the Small-Talk Ultra, and plug in the docking cable. The AC adapter may then be connected to the docking cable, so that the Small-Talk Ultra can be on AC power while the docking cable is connected. We'll discuss the docking cable more in-depth later.

Back to the ports built directly in to the Small-Talk Ultra, if you move your hand around to the left panel, toward the front of the unit, you will find the built-in Firewire port that can be used to connect various Firewire devices, such as DVD burners. Toward the rear of the unit on the left panel is the antenna for the built-in WiFi.

Moving on around to the rear panel, you will feel the built-in speaker. Toward the right of the rear panel, you can feel the digital pen that can be pulled out of the unit to operate the mouse for sighted consumers.

On the right panel, you will feel another antenna that feels just like the wireless antenna, except this antenna is used for Bluetooth. Toward the front of the unit on the right panel, you will find the battery release button. To release the battery, press this button, and the battery will start to come off of the bottom panel. Moving toward the front of the unit, you will find the headphone jack.

The battery takes up the entire bottom panel. Toward the top part of the unit on the left side, you will feel a button on the bottom panel. Below the button, you will feel four holes, which are actually lights. A sighted consumer can press this button to activate the battery fuel gauge. If the battery is almost completely charged, all of the lights will turn on for a few seconds when the button is pressed.

The docking cable that was mentioned earlier provides you with extra connectivity. Its primary use might be when you are at your desk, and do not want to have to reconnect every wire that you have. The Small-Talk Ultra allows you to keep these ports connected to your devices that are not portable, so you only have to connect the docking cable, instead of multiple cables each time you come back to your desk. Feeling along the wire from where it is plugged in to the Small-Talk Ultra, you will first find a Firewire port that can be used to connect high-speed data transfer devices, such as a DVD burner, or other Firewire devices. Continuing down the cable, you will feel the spot where the AC adapter can be connected. Again, this is here so that you can connect the Small-Talk Ultra to AC power while the docking cable is connected. Feel down the cable some more, and you will find a USB port that can be used to connect various USB devices. On down the cable, you will find an audio out to connect headphones or other audio devices. The next two ports on the cable are the Ethernet port and the VGA port to connect to high-speed Internet and an external monitor.

Carrying Case Description

The Small-Talk Ultra carrying case is custom designed, consisting of two compartments: a main compartment that holds the Small-Talk Ultra unit and USB keyboard, and a smaller compartment that holds Small-Talk Ultra accessories (such as the docking cable, and the AC power adapter or other personal computing accessories such as USB/Flash drives, and software media).

When opened, the main compartment expands into two distinct sections. The top section, or section immediately opposite the outside compartment, contains a perforated pouch on the left side, and four Velcro straps and felt screen cover on the right side. The perforated pouch holds the excess USB keyboard cable when connected to the USB port on the Small-Talk Ultra, and is sealed with a Velcro strip. The Velcro straps and felt screen cover are designed to secure and protect the Small-Talk Ultra.

The bottom section of the main compartment contains the USB keyboard. The USB keyboard is held in place by two straps: a stationary cloth strap at the base of the keyboard, and an elastic stop at the top. Additional support can be found underneath the USB keyboard, where two Velcro pads are used to fasten the keyboard in place.

To remove the Small-Talk Ultra, unhook the Velcro straps from the felt screen cover, and unplug the USB keyboard. To secure the Small-Talk Ultra, place the felt screen cover on top of the Small-Talk Ultra screen, and attach each Velcro strap one at a time to the felt screen cover. When the Small-Talk Ultra is secured, plug in the USB keyboard.

To remove the USB keyboard, release the elastic band from the top, and gently pull the keyboard out of the stationary cloth strap, in the direction of the Small-Talk Ultra unit (For added protection the USB keyboard is attached to the bottom of the case with two Velcro pads). To replace the USB keyboard, insert the bottom of the keyboard into the stationary strap, and restrain the top of the keyboard with the elastic band, ensuring that all four corners of the keyboard reside inside the case compartment, and that none of the keys are restricted by either the cloth strap, or elastic band.

Thumb Keyboard Layout

The thumb keyboard, located beneath the movable screen, consists of two main sections, separated by a small, round mouse pointer. To the right of the mouse pointer, you'll find a number pad. Unlike standard keyboard number pads, the thumb keyboard number pad is laid out like a telephone keypad. The top row, moving left to right, contains 1, 2, and 3. The next row contains 4, 5, and 6. The third row contains 7, 8, and 9. The final row contains dash (or underline when used in conjunction with the Shift key), 0, and plus (or equal when used in conjunction with the Shift key). Each of the number pad keys also function as a Function key when used in conjunction with the Fn key (described below). Each number on the number pad, when used with the Fn key, performs the associated function key. In other words, pressing the Fn key, followed by the number 1 key will perform F1. Pressing the Fn key, followed by the number 2 key will perform F2, and so on. The only function keys that differ from their corresponding number keys are those of the last row of the number pad. Pressing the Fn key, followed by the dash key will perform F10. Pressing the Fn key, followed by the 0 key will perform F11. Pressing the Fn key, followed by the equal key will perform F12.

To the left of the mouse pointer, you'll find all the letters of the alphabet, modifier keys such as Shift, Ctrl, Alt, etc., left and right mouse click keys, and several embedded keys. Embedded keys are used to bind additional keystrokes to existing keys when used with the Fn key (also referred to as the function key, although not to be confused with the Function keys located on the number pad). For example, if you press the letter Q, you'll type the letter Q. If you press the Fn key, followed by the letter Q, you'll type an exclamation mark. Embedded keys allow you to have access to all of the keys found on a standard 101 key keyboard without requiring all of the keys to physically exist.

Starting on the left hand side of the thumb keyboard, you'll notice one column of two keys, each spanning two rows of the keys to the right. The top key is the mouse left click key. The bottom key is the mouse right click key. To the right of the mouse click keys, there are four rows of keys. The top row, moving left to right, contains ESC, Q, W, E, R, T, Y, U, I, O, P, Backspace. The second row from the top, moving left to right, contains TAB, A, S, D, F, G, H, J, K, L, semi-colon, and single quote (or apostrophe). The third row from the top, moving left to right, contains backslash, Z, X, C, V, B, N, M, Up Arrow, comma, period, forward slash. The bottom row, moving left to right, contains Shift, Fn, Ctrl, Alt, Space, Left Arrow, Down Arrow, Right Arrow, and Enter.

The Fn key, mentioned previously, can also be used in conjunction with many of the letter keys to perform the following keystrokes: Fn-Q = exclamation mark, Fn-W = at sign, Fn-E = pound sign, Fn-R = dollar sign, Fn-T = percent sign, Fn-Y = caret, Fn-U = ampersand, Fn-I = star, Fn-O = left parenthesis, Fn-P = right parenthesis, Fn-Backspace = delete, Fn-A = left bracket, Fn-S = right bracket, Fn-D = left brace, Fn-F = right brace, Fn-G = tilde, Fn-H = grave accent, Fn-L = external video toggle, Fn-colon= mute, Fn-quote = WiFi toggle, Fn-Up Arrow = Page Up, Fn-comma = screen brightness down, Fn-period = screen brightness up, Fn-space = insert, Fn-Left Arrow = home, Fn-Down Arrow = Page Down, Fn-Right Arrow = end, and Fn-Enter = print screen.

Understanding the Thumb Keyboard Sticky Keys

In an effort make complex keystrokes easily accessible with the small thumb keyboard keys, the Shift, Fn, Ctrl, and Alt keys are sticky. Stick keys allow modifier keys to remain engaged without having to keep the key held down. In other words, instead of pressing, and holding down the Ctrl, Shift, and R keys to perform a Window-Eyes Read to End command, simply press and release the Ctrl key, press and release the Shift key, and then tap the R key. Although the use of sticky keys makes performing complex keystrokes easier on the thumb keyboard, they do have their drawbacks. For example, to use the default Time and Date hotkey (INS-T by default), you have to press Fn-Space to perform the Insert, followed by T. The problem, however, is that the Insert command itself is not sticky, and when followed by the letter T will simply announce, "T." You might think that simply holding down the Fn key, while simultaneously pressing the space bar, and letter T would resolve the problem. The Fn-T key combination, however, is designed to echo the percent sign. There are multiple solutions to this problem:

  1. Press and hold down Fn, and Space Bar, while pressing the letter T twice.
  2. Redefine the Date and Time hot key in Window-Eyes.
  3. Use the USB keyboard for more complex keystrokes involving modifier keys.

USB Keyboard Layout

The USB keyboard is much like a standard 101 key keyboard in that it contains all of the keys you would normally expect to find on a keyboard, including a number pad (which is embedded within the letter keys, and access with the Fn key).

The top row, moving left to right, contains ESC, F1, F2, F3, F4, F5, F6, F7, F8, F9, F10, F11, F12, Num Lock, Print Screen, Scroll Lock, and Pause/Break. The second row from the top, moving left to right, contains 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7, 8, 9, 0, dash, plus, backspace, and home. The third row from the top, moving left to right, contains TAB, Q, W, E, R, T, Y, U, I, O, P, Left Bracket, Right Bracket, Backslash, and Page Up. The fourth row from the top, moving left to right, contains Caps Lock, A, S, D, F, G, H, J, K, L, Semi-Colon, Single Quote (or Apostrophe), Enter, and Page Down. The fifth row from the top, moving left to right, contains Shift, Z, X, C, V, B, N, M, Comma, Period, Forward Slash, Shift, Up Arrow, and End. The bottom row, moving left to right, contains, Ctrl, Fn, Windows, Alt, Tilde, Space, Alt, Windows, Context, Insert, Delete, Left Arrow, Down Arrow, and Right Arrow.

When the num lock is off, the embedded number pad is accessible using the Function Key (Fn) in conjunction with the following keys: Fn-7 = Home, Fn-8 = Up Arrow, Fn-9 = Page Up, Fn-4 = Left Arrow, Fn-5 = Center, Fn-6 = Right Arrow, Fn-P = Dash, Fn-1 = End, Fn-2 = Down Arrow, Fn-3 = Page Down, Fn-Colon = Plus, Fn-0 = Insert, Fn-Period = Delete, and Fn-Question = Slash.

Common Tasks

The Small-Talk Ultra has the power to perform just like and other laptop or desktop computer. There are, however, a few things that are specific to the Small-Talk Ultra that you may want to make note of.

Toggling WiFi using the Thumb Keyboard

If you are not in a position to use the wireless feature of your Small-Talk Ultra, or if you would like to temporarily disable wireless support, you may toggle the WiFi feature by pressing Fn-Single Quote (or Fn-Apostrophe). Toggling WiFi causes the operating system to play a "bonk" sound. To determine if WiFi is enabled, press CTRL-ESC to bring up the Start Menu, press ESC to focus the Start Button, press TAB twice to access the System Tray, and then press the right arrow to move through the System Tray icons. If WiFi is enabled, you will encounter a WiFi network status icon indicating the current state of your WiFi connection (i.e. Wireless Networks Detected, Wireless Network Unavailable, Wireless Connection X, etc.). If you encounter an icon with one of these names, then Wireless support is enabled. If you do not encounter an icon indicating Wireless status, then Wireless support is disabled.

Enabling/Disabling Bluetooth using the USB Keyboard

The Bluetooth settings are managed by the OQO manager software, and are only traversable by using the Window-Eyes mouse hot keys. The USB keyboard is required in order to perform the default Window-Eyes mouse hot keys.

To enable Bluetooth on the Small-Talk Ultra, do the following steps:

  1. Press Windows Key-B
  2. Press O for OQO Manager
  3. Press SHIFT-F10
  4. Press P for Properties
  5. Press CTRL-SHIFT-F
  6. Type in Performance, and press ENTER
  7. Press Function Key - Question Mark (i.e. Single Left Mouse Click)
  8. Press Function Key - J (i.e. Mouse Bottom Left)
  9. Press Function Key - 8 (i.e. Mouse Line Up) 6 times
  10. Press Function Key - Question Mark (i.e. Single Left Mouse Click) to uncheck the Disable Bluetooth Radio button
  11. Press ENTER
  12. Restart your Small-Talk Ultra

Once you have rebooted, Bluetooth will be enabled. To disable Bluetooth, repeat the previous steps, making sure the checkbox mentioned in step 10 is checked.

Changing the Display Brightness Level

To minimize the amount of battery usage, you can turn down the Small-Talk display brightness. Brightness is controlled by using two hot keys on the thumb keyboard: Fn-Comma (to decrease brightness), and Fn-Period (to increase brightness). Each hot key manipulates the brightness level by about 25% (although the screen is never completely blank). Pressing the Brightness Down key four times will turn down the brightness as much as possible. Pressing the Brightness Up key four times will turn up the brightness as much as possible. The brightness level does not rotor, so you can always determine the brightness level by pressing either key four times for orientation.

Changing the Battery

The steps to remove and replace a Small-Talk Ultra battery are the same, regardless of whether you're replacing the single capacity battery with a dual capacity battery, or simply replacing a depleted battery with a fully charged battery.

The Small-Talk Ultra battery is locked in place by a single button, located immediately beneath the antenna (or about an inch above the headphone jack) when the screen is facing you. To release the battery, position the Small-Talk Ultra so that the battery release button is pointing upward. Hold the unit securely with your left hand, and press the battery release button with your right. When the battery is released, it will become disengaged at the top of the unit. Slowly remove the battery,

Using the Volume Scrollwheel

Toggling the Small-Talk Ultra volume is easily done using the volume scroll wheel located on the front of the unit, immediately to the left of the built in USB port. By default, simply moving the scroll wheel will result in no modification of the system volume. This feature prevents changing the volume inadvertently. To enable the volume scroll wheel, press in the scroll wheel. Window-Eyes will announce, "Middle." You may push the scroll wheel toward the left (in a clock-wise motion) to decrease the system volume, or push the scroll wheel toward the right (in a counter clock-wise motion) to increase the system volume. The system volume will remain wherever you set it until modified again, even if your Small-Talk Ultra is rebooted.

Using Standby and/or Hibernate

By default, the Small-Talk Ultra is designed to stay powered on, even when the screen is closed (for use in the custom carrying case, or when using toting the Small-Talk Ultra in your pocket). You may, however, decide to enable Standby or Hibernation modes to conserve battery power. In Standby mode, your Small-Talk Ultra reverts to a minimal power stage (or low power mode), while keeping the current state of your desktop intact in memory. Pressing the power button on the Small-Talk Ultra during Standby mode will cause the unit to revert back to full battery power. In Hibernate mode, your Small-Talk Ultra keeps the current state of your desktop intact in special files on the hard drive, and power is shut down completely. Pressing the power button on the Small-Talk Ultra during Hibernate mode will cause the unit to power up, and restore the current state of your desktop from the hibernate files on your hard drive.

Using the System Restore CD


This CD can be used to restore a Small-Talk Ultra computer to its original factory state. The Windows updates that were available at the time your Small-Talk Ultra was shipped to you, as well as popular software such as Adobe Reader, Mozilla Firefox, MSN Messenger, Spybot Search & Destroy, a demonstration copy of NOD32, and your personal copy of Window-Eyes, will all be installed automatically. Windows will also be configured with factory presets to maximize your Small-Talk Ultra experience.

To activate the Small-Talk Ultra System Restore, do the following:

  1. Power off your Small-Talk Ultra.
  2. Connect your docking cable to your Small-Talk Ultra.
  3. Connect external power to the docking cable.
  4. Connect your DVD-ROM to the USB port on the docking cable.
  5. Connect your USB Keyboard to the USB port on the Small-Talk Ultra (this step is optional).
  6. Power on your Small-Talk Ultra.
  7. When prompted to boot from the CD, press ENTER on the thumb keyboard, or USB keyboard if attached. Note that this prompt cannot be voiced, so you may need sighted assistance to tell you when to press the ENTER key.

The Small-Talk System Restore is completely automated; do not attempt to interact with the install in any way. Doing so may void the restore process. The total time for a full system restore averages around 2 hours. During the last 30 minutes, you will hear synthesized speech notifying you up the restore progress. The restore process is complete when Window-Eyes begins speaking.

Note that software installed via the system restore method may be out of date. You should immediately connect to Microsoft Update to download and install any available updates for Windows. You should also check for any additional software updates.

Obtaining Serial Numbers and Windows XP Installation Key

The Small-Talk Ultra System Restore CD has one additional function aside from restoring your system to the factory default installation: it contains your Window-Eyes, and Small-Talk Ultra serial numbers, as well as your Windows XP installation key.

If you load the Small-Talk Ultra System Restore CD into the CD-ROM drive of an installed copy of Window-Eyes (and assuming autorun is enable), you will be presented with the Small-Talk Ultra System Restore Welcome Screen. This dialog contains the following controls:

Welcome Information – This read-only edit box contains the information necessary to perform a Small-Talk Ultra system restore.

Small-Talk Ultra Serial Number – This read-only edit box contains the 11-digit Small-Talk Ultra serial number.

Window-Eyes Serial Number – This read-only edit box contains the 10 character Window-Eyes serial number.

Windows XP Install Key – This read-only edit box contains the 20 character Windows XP installation key.

Close Button – This button will exit the Small-Talk System Restore dialog.

Small-Talk Ultra specifications and documentation may change without prior notice. Your Small-Talk Ultra may vary slightly from the description in this document. If you have any technical questions concerning your Small-Talk Ultra please contact or call 260-489-3671.