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LEXTRON SYSTEMS, INC.

Saratoga, CA 95070

More or less current (10/23/98) listing of patents with Dan Kikinis as the inventor of record. Not all patents are, however, held by Lextron. To view an entire patent, click its hyperlink. Patents are on IBM's(tm) patent server. No affiliation whatsoever exists between IBM and Lextron Systems, Inc.


US05832214 Method and apparatus for data security for a computer

A secure password log-in system for a computer having a keyboard with a keyboard data link to a keyboard controller comprises a data diverter circuit interposed in the keyboard data link between the keyboard and the keyboard controller; a boot read-only memory (ROM) having at least one pre-stored password for comparison with a password entered by a user; a boot controller connected to the boot ROM; and a bypass data link between the data diverter circuit and the boot controller. The boot controller, executing a boot routine from the boot ROM, causes entered keystrokes constituting a password to be diverted via the bypass data link to the boot controller.

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US05822266 Apparatus and method for minimizing DRAM recharge time

A Dynamic random access memory has multiple registers dedicated to each column, and is controlled to refresh by reading multiple bit values from distinct capacitance storage cells consecutively, followed by consecutive refresh steps for the same capacitance storage cells equal in number to the number of consecutive read steps. As each bit value is read. it is stored in a distinct bit register reserved for that cell. The interleaved refresh provided minimizes DRAM access time, and provides a memory architecture wherein distinct, separate register arrays may be dedicated to and support distinctly different functions, such as servicing a CPU and a video system.

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US05822230 Personal digital assistant module having a broadcast pointer device

A personal digital assistant module with a local CPU, (central processing unit) memory, and I/O (input/output) interface has a host interface comprising a bus connected to the local CPU and a connector at a surface of the personal digital assistant for interfacing to a bus connector of a host general-purpose computer, providing direct bus communication between the personal digital assistant and the host general-purpose computer. In an embodiment, the personal digital assistant also stores a security code. The personal digital assistant according to the invention forms a host/satellite combination with a host computer having a docking bay, wherein upon docking a docking protocol controls access by the host to memory of the personal digital assistant based on one or more passwords provided by a user to the host. In another embodiment the personal digital assistant also has an expansion port connected to the local CPU, and expansion peripheral devices may be connected and operated through the expansion port. Connectable devices may include input devices such as pointer devices, that may in some cases be stored in a compartment fashioned for the purpose in the personal digital assistant.

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US05821924 Computer peripherals low-power-consumption standby system

A system for lowering the power output of a computer peripheral device connected to a host computer during periods of inactivity of the host or the peripheral device senses a power management command at the peripheral device generated at the host computer. Time sensing means at the host senses inactivity, and gerating circuitry generates a power-management command. Detection circuitry in the peripheral device senses the power-management command, and controls power-using circuitry in the peripheral device in response. In an embodiment applicable to peripherals having a microprocessor, the system may be incorporated entirely in software at the host and the peripheral device. In dumb devices, the system requires add-in and/or add-on apparatus cooperating with software.

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5815681 Integrated network switching hub and bus structure

A network switching hub is implemented on an IC chip, and has a bus connected to external ports through sets of que switch transistors, source to drain for data switched onto the bus, the queue switch transistors gated simultaneously by control lines from an on-board arbitrator controller following a preprogrammed arbitration scheme. Data is switched off the bus and hub by port adapter controllers connected to read amplifier receivers connected directly to the on-chip bus, the port adapter controllers enabled by the arbitrator controller following the same preprogrammed arbitration scheme. Ports may be serial or parallel, and may be adapted to special purposes, such as PCI and hub to hub connection for expansion.

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5815093 Computerized vehicle log

A vehicle accident recording system employs a digital camera connected to a controller, a non-volatile memory, and an accident-sensing interrupter. The controller accesses images from the digital camera periodically and stores the images in a limited space of n sectors. After all n sectors are filled, each new image is overwritten to the oldest stored image. In the event of an accident, the interrupter causes the operation of storing images to cease. The result is a recorded history of n images spanning a time period up to the incidence of an accident of the number of images stored times the average time period between images. In a preferred embodiment the system has a communication port whereby the stored images may be downloaded after an accident to a digital device capable of displaying the images, thereby providing a visual record of the time period immediately preceding an accident. In alternative embodiments vehicle operating data is recorded, positional information is accesses and recorded, and on-board control routines convert raw data to meaningful information.

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5812870 Personal organizer with interface for recording digital voice files

A digital assistant computer device has an audio input interface and a memory adapted to receive audio input of significant time extent, and to convert the input and store it as a digital sound file. The digital assistant in one embodiment has a CPU and bus, input and display apparatus, on-board memory, and a microphone and digital signal processor for accepting and converting audio input. In some such embodiments the on-board memory is flash memory

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5805921 Enhanced integrated device electronics (EIDE) interface for controlling communication between CPU and nine storage drives including tape drive, CD-ROM drive, and seven hard disk drives

An IDE interface communicates with peripheral devices not conforming to ST506 specification by providing firmware to microcontrollers mounted on the non-conforming peripheral devices to translate between the data structure of an ST506 specification device and the data structure of the non-conforming device. CD-ROM and cartridge tape drive communication is provided. An enhanced IDE interface communicates with multiple peripheral devices by adding a selective ability to the firmware of the conventional IDE interface.

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5805902 Structure and method for issuing interrupt requests as addresses and for decoding the addresses issued as interrupt requests

An interrupt control circuit for use in a computer system has a CPU, a peripheral I/O device, and a bus having address lines for carrying signals to and from the peripheral I/O device. Interrupt requests generated by the I/O device are encoded as address signals which are transmitted on the address bus lines. A predetermined set of addresses are set aside to represent the interrupt requests. The interrupt control circuit is coupled to the address bus lines to receive the encoded interrupt requests. The interrupt control circuit has an address decoder which receives address signals from the I/O device. When these address signals represent an address within the predetermined set of addresses set aside to represent the interrupt requests, the address decoder uses the address signals to create a plurality of interrupt control signals. The interrupt control signals are provided to an interrupt latch/decoder which uses the interrupt control signals to create interrupt request signals. The interrupt request signals are provided to an interrupt controller. In response, the interrupt controller and the CPU process the interrupt request.

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5805901 Structure and method for mapping interrupt requests in a high-speed CPU interconnect bus system

A compressed I/O bus system for a general-purpose computer multiplexes 32 bit data and addresses on 32 of 42 dedicated parallel signal paths, and optimizes the bus structure by mapping bus requests made by peripheral devices to "high" memory portions of system RAM not dedicated to other purposes. In one aspect a bus controller is programmable to select translation routines stored in system RAM allowing various models and types of CPUs to be supported. Supported CPUs are interchangeable in the system. In another aspect a default interface attached to the compressed I/O bus of the invention, and translates bus states between the optimized compressed bus and one of an ISA bus or an EISA bus.

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5799068 Smart phone integration with computer systems

A business telephone system employs digital signal processing in a digital telephone having a serial link for connection to a general-purpose computer. The Smart Phone is the central intelligence for the system, which may utilize a PBX connected in a LAN network to multiple computers, including file servers, and each computer may have one or more Smart Phones connected. In one embodiment, docking bays in the phone provide an ability to interchange finctional modules, including DSP modules. The docking bays and functional modules may be configured to PCMCIA standards. In another embodiment, a docking bay, which may also be PCMCIA, has a physical window allowing access to an input area on a docked module, wherein the docked module is an intelligent module with a CPU, a memory, and a bus structure, affording control of the smart phone and the entire system through the input interface of the docked module. In various embodiments the external form of the system may vary, and in one embodiment, the smart phone elements are integrated with a desktop or a portable computer having docking bays to receive and connect functional modules, such a DSP modules and/or an intelligent module.

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5799067 Smart phone integration with computer systems (see above)

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5797036 Apparatus which prepares a master map portraying location of devices relative to bus interface circuits and copying the pertinent portion of the master map to each bus interface circuits

An I/O control system for a general-purpose computer having multiple bus branches separated by routing circuitry prepares a digital map of I/O device locations on the bus branches, and copies versions of the maps to registers in the routing circuitry on startup and reset. The routing maps provide immediate routing information for I/O requests issued by one or more CPUs in a system, allowing the routing circuitry between bus branches to immediately route requests to the proper device with a minimum of wait states. In one aspect I/O devices are polled for location at startup and reset, and in another aspect, a universal map protocol is a part of the BIOS or storage accessible by the BIOS, making a system self-configuring and providing the necessary information for the mapping for the routing circuitry.

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5794259 Apparatus and methods to enhance web browsing on the internet

A system for filling fields in Internet forms follows executable control code to associate stored fill entities with field names, and to place the stored fill entities into fields in the Internet form. In one embodiment association is automatic to the extent that names of fill entities match field names in the form. In another embodiment a display list is provided superimposed on the form, the display having selectable stored entity names. In this embodiment of the invention entity names may be selected from the superimposed list and caused to fill selected fields sin the form. In some embodiments both features are provided. In yet another embodiment a WEB browser is adapted to download database entities from a remote server through an Internet connection directly to a memory que without immediate display. The stored entities are separately selectable from the memory que for display and processing independent of operation of the WEB browser or the Internet connection.

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5793957 Satellite digital assistant and host/satellite computer system wherein coupling the host and the satellite by a host interface communication system results in digital communication and synchronization of files

A personal digital assistant module with a local CPU, memory, and I/O interface has a host interface comprising a bus connected to the local CPU and a connector at a surface of the personal digital assistant for interfacing to a bus connector of a host general-purpose computer, providing direct bus communication between the personal digital assistant and the host general-purpose computer. In an embodiment, the personal digital assistant also stores a security code. The personal digital assistant according to the invention forms a host/satellite combination with a host computer having a docking bay, wherein upon docking a docking protocol controls access by the host to memory of the personal digital assistant based on one or more passwords provided by a user to the host. In another embodiment the personal digital assistant also has an expansion port connected to the local CPU, and expansion peripheral devices may be connected and operated through the expansion port.

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5792025 Method and apparatus for reducing repetitive motion injury risk to typist and pointer-device operators

A system to reducing repetitive motion injury (RMI) risks comprises a wrist-resting device having one or both of a heater and a vibrator in the device. In preferred embodiments edges of a support pad for the device are rounded significantly to avoid the possibility of sharp edges impeding a user's blood circulation. In another aspect a control system is provided for monitoring user activity and weighting each instance of activity according to stored parameters to accumulate data on user stress level. In the event a prestored stress threshold is reached, a media player is invoked to provide rest and exercise for the user.

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5790644 Computer-to-telephone interface

A portable computer, such as a laptop, notebook, or palmtop computer, comprises control routines for providing a sophisticated touch-tone dialer operable through an existing or supplied output speaker, enabling calls to be routed without making a wired direct connection between the telephone equipment and the computer. In one embodiment a system is provided for transmitting computer-usable data over a phone connection through a pre-stored relationship between DTMF tones and ASCII code.

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5790100 Broadcast pointer device with add-on sleeve

A general-purpose computer has a compartment for storing a pointer, device such as a mouse or a trackball, such that the may be removed from the compartment and deployed for use. The device may be a mouse, a trackball, or other type, and may communicate with the host computer by a cable, an infra-red system, ar by an inductively coupled system. In one embodiment the computer has a broadcast pointer system, and the device includes any conventional writing instrument or stylus, fitted with an echo device encapsulated in a body having an engagement element for mounting the echo device to the conventional writing instrument or stylus.

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5779334 Enhanced video projection system

A color video projector system has separate light sources for producing separate beams of light which are passed each first through color filters to provide separate color beams before being processed by video-controlled light shutter matrices and then combined into a single beam projectable to provide a full-color video display with superimposed color spots rather then side-by-side color spots. In a preferred embodiment the color beams are red, green, and blue. In another aspect of the invention a single white-light source is used, and the beam of white light is split by a prism system into separate color beams, which are redirected to impinge as parallel beams on a monochrome LCD array. The LCD array is switched by a controller driven in accordance with a video signal, and the emerging beams are recombined and focused on a surface to produce a dynamic color image.

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5774734 Variable-voltage CPU voltage regulator

An integrated CPU has an on-board switching voltage regulator with an electrically-erasable programmable read-only memory electronically accessible for storing a feedback reference coefficient for control. In further embodiments, output voltage is tuned via a second EEPROM storing an electronically accessible value in concert with a solid-state resistor ladder. In other embodiments, signals on interrupt lines to the CPU are monitored to provide a prewarning of impending activity by the CPU requiring dramatically increased current flow. In yet other embodiments, solid state circuitry is provided to reduce or eliminate capacitors used for dealing with input current surges to the CPU.

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5753064 Duplicate copies from a printer or copier

A print-through form comprises a top and a base layer with the top layer having a pattern of openings in at least one region, the pattern of openings having center-to-center distances substantially less than the size of characters or other elements to be printed. Ink applied to the region or regions with openings forms characters on the top layer by marking the area between the openings, and on the base layer in the same operation through the openings, marking the area on the base layer exposed by the openings through the first layer. More than two copies in a single printing pass may be accomplished with forms of more than two layers, wherein the patterns of openings expose area on all the intermediate layers and the base layer. In various embodiments forms may comprise sheets affixed by peelable adhesive, by folding larger sheets, and by edge gluing with removable strips made by perforation lines. Some forms are made to be fed through traction feeders from continuous webs.

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5752075 Integrated computer Scanner printer in a single system enclosure sharing control circuitry and light source wherein a single CPU performing all of the control tasks

An integrated computer, scanner, and printer has elements of all three in a single enclosure with a single CPU performing all of the control tasks for the three, usually separate, devices. The three functions also share memory space, and control circuitry for the scanning and printing operations are interfaced directly to the system bus of the computer. Control routines in a preferred embodiment are integrated into a single system BIOS. In embodiments of the invention, a light source, such as a laser source, used for electrostatically writing images on a drum for printing, is diverted and also used for scanning operations. In another alternative embodiment, a device-driver-software transparent extended enhanced parallel port is provided for expansion of the bus into an external copy of the internal bus, such that expansion ports may be transparently provided in an external docking box.

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5746602 PC peripheral interactive doll

An interactive system for teaching, entertaining, and habituating a child utilizes an interactive entity such as a doll, the doll having a microphone, a speaker, and control circuitry adapted for driving the speaker and microphone and a bidirectional communication link to a personal computer (PC). Scripted data stored at the computer directs doll activity and verbal articulation, and utilizes response from the child through the doll to the PC in directing output to the doll. In alternative embodiments the interactive doll has also servo-mechanisms for providing doll motion, such as eye and mouth and limb movement, which may be coordinated with verbalization in different scripts by commands retrieved at the computer and sent to the doll. In a preferred embodiment environments and applications are provided on CD-ROM disks which may also provide the operating application for the interactive doll system. Systems may be adapted for a broad range of functionality, such as acquaintance of a child with foreign languages, story telling, indirect interaction between an adult and a child through the medium of the doll, and much more.

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5727159 local copy and background

 

5727159 IBM

System in which a Proxy-Server translates information received from the Internet into a form/format readily usable by low power portable computers

A system is provided wherein relatively low-end computers, such as portable, battery-powered computers ordinarily incapable of Internet browsing functions may be used to browse the Internet. The enhanced computing ability for such portables is provided by a unique arrangement having a Proxy-Server with adequate computing power for all World Wide Web (WWW) browsing and downloading functions, and further capable of transposing downloaded files to alternative, low-information-density form suitable for rapid processing and display by connected portable and other low-end computers. In some embodiments the data link from the connected low-end units is a TCP/IP pipe, supporting TCP/IP protocol, but not the many sophisticated extensions usually associated with TCP/IP. In embodiments wherein battery-powered units are used, connected to the Proxy-Server, battery life is exhibited far beyond what would be expected for a battery-powered computer with computing power for browsing the Internet directly.

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5721958 Apparatus and method for peripheral device control with integrated data compression

An apparatus and methods are provided for pre-compressing data to be sent to a peripheral device in a computer system, sending the data to the peripheral device as a compressed data stream, and decompressing the data for use in the peripheral device in a real-time format. In a preferred embodiment, a unique peripheral device controller is provided having a data handling and decompression pipeline for receiving and decompressing an incoming compressed data stream in concert with a state machine for sensing the states of elements of the peripheral device, and for providing the decompressed data stream to data-using elements of the peripheral device. The peripheral device can be any device for which large amounts of data are typically needed, including, but not limited to printers, video displays, robotic driving devices, and data recording and media writing devices. Alternative methods are disclosed for compressing and decompressing data in systems according to the invention.

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5721936 Timer-controlled computer system power management

A system for managing power levels for a general purpose computer having a standby and a full-power mode of operation provides apparatus and a method for monitoring times of user input and control routines for using the times of user input to calculate optimum times for initiating full power operation and standby mode. The control routines are configured to provide the optimum times to a real time clock that remains powered in the standby mode, which triggers switching elements to initiate full power and standby mode. In one embodiment of the system, startup and standby may be initiated either by user input or automatically by the power management system. Startup and standby initiation times may be different for different days and time periods based on both preprogrammed and calculated values.

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5721837 Micro-personal digital assistant including a temperature managed CPU

A personal digital assistant module with a local CPU, memory, and I/O interface has a host interface comprising a bus connected to the local CPU and a connector at a surface of the personal digital assistant for interfacing to a bus connector of a host general-purpose computer, providing direct bus communication between the personal digital assistant and the host general-purpose computer. In an embodiment, the personal digital assistant also stores a security code. The personal digital assistant according to the invention forms a host/satellite combination with a host computer having a docking bay, wherein upon docking a docking protocol controls access by the host to memory of the personal digital assistant based on one or more passwords provided by a user to the host. In another embodiment the personal digital assistant also has an expansion port connected to the local CPU, and expansion peripheral devices may be connected and operated through the expansion port. In another embodiment the local CPU has temperature sensing circuitry incorporated in at least one portion of the IC comprising the CPU, clock adjustment circuitry connected to the at least one portion, and control circuitry connected to the temperature sensor and to the clock adjustment circuitry, the control circuitry configured for driving the clock adjustment circuitry to provide an operational clock rate as a function of a temperature indication provided by the temperature sensor.

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5717570 Enhanced mini-tower computer architecture

A computer enclosure has a drive bay for multiple hard disk drives implemented in the rear panel rather than in the front as is conventional, providing sufficient storage capacity for use as a file server in a mini-tower architecture. In an alternative embodiment side panels are designed for quick removal by moving a panel against a spring element for release. In one embodiment access to the drive bay in the rear panel is controlled by a security door with a lock, and security screws for the removable side panels are located behind the security door. In another embodiment, a fan bracket is provided allowing a single fan to be located in different positions, or for multiple fans to be used. Fans may be easily added or replaced without powering down the computer, and provision is made in the fan bracket for mounting a speaker for the system.

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5715477 Apparatus and method for peripheral device control with integrated data compression

An apparatus and methods are provided for pre-compressing data to be sent to a peripheral device in a computer system, sending the data to the peripheral device as a compressed data stream, and decompressing the data for use in the peripheral device in a real-time format. In a preferred embodiment, a unique peripheral device controller is provided having a data handling and decompression pipeline for receiving and decompressing an incoming compressed data stream in concert with a state machine for sensing the states of elements of the peripheral device, and for providing the decompressed data stream to data-using elements of the peripheral device. The peripheral device can be any device for which large amounts of data are typically needed, including, but not limited to printers, video displays, robotic driving devices, and data recording and media writing devices. Alternative methods are disclosed for compressing and decompressing data in systems according to the invention.

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5708840 Micro personal digital assistant

A personal digital assistant module with a local CPU, memory, and I/O interface has a host interface comprising a bus connected to the local CPU and a connector at a surface of the personal digital assistant for interfacing to a bus connector of a host general-purpose computer, providing direct bus communication between the personal digital assistant and the host general-purpose computer. In an embodiment, the personal digital assistant also has a means for storing a security code. The personal digital assistant according to the invention forms a host/satellite combination with a host computer having a docking bay, wherein upon docking a docking protocol controls access by the host to memory of the personal digital assistant based on one or more passwords provided by a user to the host. In another embodiment the personal digital assistant also has an expansion port connected to the local CPU, and expansion peripheral devices may be connected and operated through the expansion port. Also disclosed are various embodiments for host systems compatible with personal digital assistants according to the invention, and a scanner system useful with displays of both personal digital assistants and hosts.

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5708776 Automatic recovery for network appliances

An automatic recovery system for a network appliance features a watchdog processor that monitors operation of the appliance and initiates reboot as necessary. A primary and a secondary boot partition are provided in the system, in some embodiments on the same mass storage device, and in other embodiments on a different mass storage device. In the event reboot is unsuccessful from the primary boot partition, reboot is initiated from the secondary boot partition. The watchdog processor executes automatic recovery software stored in a non-volatile storage device, which may be a part of the same IC as the watchdog processor.

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5706336 Telephone system circuitry for discriminating between voice and data transmissions

A selective call-waiting system for telephony use samples transmission on a busy line if the line subscribes to the selective call-waiting service, and avoids interrupting the transmission with a call-waiting signal if the transmission is data-type. If the transmission on the busy line subscribing to the selective call-waiting service is voice-type, the system sends a call-waiting signal. Signal analyzers are disclosed, as well as methods for practicing the invention.

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5692199 Personal digital assistant module having a host interconnect bus without an interrupt line and which handles interrupts as addresses associated with specific interrupts in memory

A personal digital assistant module with a local CPU, memory, and I/O interface has a host interface comprising a bus connected to the local CPU and a connector at a surface of the personal digital assistant for interfacing to a bus connector of a host general-purpose computer, providing direct bus communication between the personal digital assistant and the host general-purpose computer. In an embodiment, the personal digital assistant also stores a security code. The personal digital assistant according to the invention forms a host/satellite combination with a host computer having a docking bay, wherein upon docking a docking protocol controls access by the host to memory of the personal digital assistant based on one or more passwords provided by a user to the host. In another embodiment the personal digital assistant also has an expansion port connected to the local CPU, and expansion peripheral devices may be connected and operated through the expansion port.

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5689654 Digital assistant system including a host computer with a docking bay for the digital assistant wherein a heat sink is moved into contact with a docked digital assistant for cooling the digital assistant

A personal digital assistant module with a local CPU, memory, and I/O interface has a host interface comprising a bus connected to the local CPU and a connector at a surface of the personal digital assistant for interfacing to a bus connector of a host general-purpose computer, providing direct bus communication between the personal digital assistant and the host general-purpose computer. In an embodiment, the personal digital assistant also stores a security code. The personal digital assistant according to the invention forms a host/satellite combination with a host computer having a docking bay, wherein upon docking a docking protocol controls access by the host to memory of the personal digital assistant based on one or more passwords provided by a user to the host. In another embodiment the personal digital assistant also has an expansion port connected to the local CPU, and expansion peripheral devices may be connected and operated through the expansion port. Docking structures and cooling apparatus and methods are disclosed.

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5680126 Modular portable computer

A modular computer has a framework with module bays for receiving CPU modules, power modules, and peripheral function modules such as floppy and hard disk drives. The framework has a built-in compressed bus and a variety of function modules which can be plugged into any one of the module bays. Function modules include, but are not limited to, CPU, power, floppy disk, hard disk, RAM memory, LAN communication, modem, FAX communication, and data acquisition. In some embodiments function modules are provided for communicating with separate input means, such as voice, keyboards, and pen-pads. In one aspect the module bays and the function modules are configured according to dimensional and connective standards of the Personal Computer Memory Card International Association. In another aspect a modular portable computer has a flexible, rollable, keyboard with a system for transmitting keystroke signals by magnetic induction.

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5672408 Duplicate copies from a printer or copier

A print-through form comprises a top and a base layer with the top layer having a pattern of openings in at least one region, the pattern of openings having center-to-center distances substantially less than, the size of characters or other elements to be printed. Ink applied to the region or regions with openings forms characters on the top layer by marking the area between the openings, and on the base layer in the same operation through the openings, marking the area on the base layer exposed by the openings through the first layer. More than two copies in a single printing pass may be accomplished with forms of more than two layers, wherein the patterns of openings expose area on all the intermediate layers and the base layer. In various embodiments forms may comprise sheets affixed by peelable adhesive, by folding larger sheets, and by edge gluing with removable strips made by perforation lines. Some forms are made to be fed through traction feeders from continuous webs.

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5671120 Passively cooled PC heat stack having a heat-conductive structure between a CPU on a motherboard and a heat sink

A computer structured with a motherboard has ICs mounted on one side of the motherboard and connections for ports and peripheral devices on the opposite side. The motherboard is mounted to a heat sink plate with heat-conductive structure compressed between the ICs mounted to the motherboard and the heat sink plate, so heat generated by the ICs is conducted into the heat sink plate. The heat sink plate forms one wall of an enclosure for the computer, and as an external wall, radiates heat from the ICs into the surroundings. A riser card with expansion slots is connected to the motherboard in a manner that expansion cards may be mounted to expansion ports either at the front or the rear of the enclosure. The enclosure is adapted to stand with the heat sink plate vertical to take advantage of convection as well as radiation cooling, and in some embodiments the outside surface of the heat sink plate is grooved or channeled to increase the area for radiation, and to aid convection flow.

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5663916 Apparatus and method for minimizing DRAM recharge time

A Dynamic random access memory has multiple registers dedicated to each column, and is controlled to refresh by reading multiple bit values from distinct capacitance storage cells consecutively, followed by consecutive refresh steps for the same capacitance storage cells equal in number to the number of consecutive read steps. As each bit value is read. it is stored in a distinct bit register reserved for that cell. The interleaved refresh provided minimizes DRAM access time, and provides a memory architecture wherein distinct, separate register arrays may be dedicated to and support distinctly different functions, such as servicing a CPU and a video system.

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5655138 Apparatus and method for peripheral device control with integrated data compression

An apparatus and methods are provided for pre-compressing data to be sent to a peripheral device in a computer system, sending the data to the peripheral device as a compressed data stream, and decompressing the data for use in the peripheral device in a real-time format. In a preferred embodiment, a unique peripheral device controller is provided having a data handling and decompression pipeline for receiving and decompressing an incoming compressed data stream in concert with a state machine for sensing the states of elements of the peripheral device, and for providing the decompressed data stream to data-using elements of the peripheral device. The peripheral device can be any device for which large amounts of data are typically needed, including, but not limited to printers, video displays, robotic driving devices, and data recording and media writing devices. Alternative methods are disclosed for compressing and decompressing data in systems according to the invention.

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5648799

Some background information

Low-power-consumption monitor standby system

An apparatus and methods are provided for pre-compressing data to be sent to a peripheral device in a computer system, sending the data to the peripheral device as a compressed data stream, and decompressing the data for use in the peripheral device in a real-time format. In a preferred embodiment, a unique peripheral device controller is provided having a data handling and decompression pipeline for receiving and decompressing an incoming compressed data stream in concert with a state machine for sensing the states of elements of the peripheral device, and for providing the decompressed data stream to data-using elements of the peripheral device. The peripheral device can be any device for which large amounts of data are typically needed, including, but not limited to printers, video displays, robotic driving devices, and data recording and media writing devices. Alternative methods are disclosed for compressing and decompressing data in systems according to the invention.

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5644714 Video collection and distribution system with interested item notification and download on demand

A video jukebox service has a world-wide array of file servers interconnected by data links and having video input apparatus. Each file server has a plurality of connected clients. Video clippings input at the video input apparatus are shared with the other file servers and stored in a database at each file server. Clients are notified of availability of video clippings, and clippings are downloaded to client stations on demand. In a preferred embodiment, the file server network is a toriodal arrangement, and client communication nodes equal in number to the number of file servers are interconnected in a toroidal fashion as well. Individual client stations are connected to individual ones of the client communication nodes, with the overall network in the form of nested toroids.

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5640302 Modular portable computer

A modular computer has a framework with module bays for receiving CPU modules, power modules, and peripheral function modules such as floppy and hard disk drives. The framework has a built-in compressed bus and a variety of function modules which can be plugged into any one of the module bays. Function modules include, but are not limited to, CPU, power, floppy disk, hard disk, RAM memory, LAN communication, modem, FAX communication, and data acquisition. In some embodiments function modules are provided for communicating with separate input means, such as voice, keyboards, and pen-pads. In one aspect the module bays and the function modules are configured according to dimensional and connective standards of the Personal Computer Memory Card International Association. In another embodiment heat sink structures in module bays are translatable to contact docked modules to extract waste heat. Such structures in other embodiments are configured to engage docked modules to prevent removal until a security procedure is accomplished.

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5635853 Inherently balanced voltage regulation and current supply for bus termination

An inherently balanced electrical supply system for a bus provides improved reliability for bus termination in computer systems. The system is particularly well suited for applications such as personal computer systems. The apparatus includes a single current source that is fed into a feeder line connected to opposite ends of the bus at a point at about the center of the feeder line. The feed path is thus divided into two equal-length segments connected to opposite ends of the bus. Integrated circuit chips connected to the bus, when switched on, draw essentially equal amounts of current through each feeder segment, creating substantially equal voltage drops at both ends of the bus, minimizing the voltage difference. Alternative bus configurations are provided in embodiments of the present invention to suit various board spacing requirements.

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5634080 Hand-held portable computer having an electroluminescent flat-panel display with pixel elements at right angles to the plane of the display and an excitation direction parallel to the plane of the display

A personal digital assistant module with a local CPU, memory, and I/O interface has a host interface comprising a bus connected to the local CPU and a connector at a surface of the personal digital assistant for interfacing to a bus connector of a host general-purpose computer, providing direct bus communication between the personal digital assistant and the host general-purpose computer. In an embodiment, the personal digital assistant also stores a security code. The personal digital assistant according to the invention forms a host/satellite combination with a host computer having a docking bay, wherein upon docking a docking protocol controls access by the host to memory of the personal digital assistant based on one or more passwords provided by a user to the host. In another embodiment the personal digital assistant also has an expansion port connected to the local CPU, and expansion peripheral devices may be connected and operated through the expansion port.

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5633920 Smart phone

A business telephone system employs digital signal processing in a digital telephone having a serial link for connection to a general-purpose computer. The Smart Phone is thus the central intelligence for the system, which may utilize a PBX connected in a LAN network to multiple computers, including file servers, and each computer may have one or more Smart Phones connected. In one embodiment, docking bays in the phone provide an ability to interchange functional modules, including DSP modules. The docking bays and functional modules may be configured to PCMCIA standards. In another embodiment, a docking bay, which may also be PCMCIA, has a physical window allowing access to an input area on a docked module, wherein the docked module is an intelligent module with a CPU, memory, and a bus structure, affording control of the smart phone and the entire system through the input interface of the docked module.

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5632545 Enhanced video projection system

A color video projector system has separate light sources for producing separate beams of light which are passed each first through color filters to provide separate color beams before being processed by video-controlled light shutter matrices and then combined into a single beam projectable to provide a full-color video display with superimposed color spots rather then side-by-side color spots. In a preferred embodiment the color beams are red, green, and blue.

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5631847 System for network file server failure notification

An error notification system operated independently of a connected computer receives signals indicating an error condition in operation of the computer, matches the signal with a prerecorded message, and dials phone numbers from a priority list of responsible parties. When a call is answered, the notification system announces the message, informing the answering agent of the error condition, and requests a response requiring a person. If the requested response is not given, the system dials the phone number next in priority, and so on, until a person answers and provides the human response. The system is applied to networked computers, such as file servers, and in one embodiment, the answering party can initiate corrective action.

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5628031 Personal digital assistant module implemented as a low-profile printed circuit assembly having a rigid substrate wherein IC devices are mounted within openings wholly between opposite plane surfaces of the rigid substrate

A personal digital assistant module with a local CPU, memory, and I/O interface has a host interface comprising a bus connected to the local CPU and a connector at a surface of the personal digital assistant for interfacing to a bus connector of a host general-purpose computer, providing direct bus communication between the personal digital assistant and the host general-purpose computer. In an embodiment, the personal digital assistant also stores a security code. The personal digital assistant according to the invention forms a host/satellite combination with a host computer having a docking bay, wherein upon docking a docking protocol controls access by the host to memory of the personal digital assistant based on one or more passwords provided by a user to the host. In another embodiment the personal digital assistant also has an expansion port connected to the local CPU, and expansion peripheral devices may be connected and operated through the expansion port. In yet another embodiment a low-profile construction technique is used wherein discrete elements are assembled wholly enclosed within openings in a rigid substrate having interconnects on a surface of the substrate.

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5623597 Secure data storage system for a computer wherein a heat transfer apparatus cools a data storage unit in a fireproof safe in absence of a fire and ceases transfer in the event of a fire

A secure data storage system for a computer has a data storage system with a data interface to the computer mounted on a heat sink structure within a fireproof enclosure. A heat transfer system connected to the heat sink structure and to a wall of the fireproof enclosure transfers heat from the heat sink structure to outside the fireproof enclosure. A thermostat controller mounted outside the fireproof enclosure, upon detecting a temperature indicating of a fire, causes the heat transfer system to cease transferring heat from inside the fireproof enclosure to outside the fireproof enclosure and blocks passage of heat from outside the fireproof enclosure to inside the fireproof enclosure via the heat transfer system. Both passive and active heat transfer systems are disclosed. In another aspect of the invention, security for entered passwords is provided by diverting password keystrokes from a keyboard to a special controller, bypassing the keyboard controller. In one embodiment the special controller is also a read/write controller simulating an interface to a local hard disk, but in reality transferring data to be stored via a data link to the data storage unit in the fireproof enclosure.

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5619659 System for extending ISA bus without using dedicated device driver software by using E.sup.2 P.sup.2 interface which provides multiplexed bus signal through standard parallel port connector

A bus interface system for expanding the I/O capability of a portable computer utilizes a parallel port connector with master interface circuitry connected to the internal ISA I/O bus of the portable computer and driving a 25-conductor Centronics-type cable as an intermediate bus. The master interlace circuitry is device-driver-transparent, and multiplexes address data, and control information over a byte-wide avenue of the intermediate bus according to premapped state translation tables. In a preferred embodiment a single peripheral I/O device comprising a slave circuitry may be connected to the 25-pin port, and the slave circuitry demultiplexes the intermediate bus states, providing a synthesized sub-set of ISA states to drive the peripheral device. In another embodiment a docking box comprises a bus with multiple I/O ports, such as a network port, a COM serial port, and additional floppy and hard disk drives. Power circuitry is provided for driving a single connected peripheral device, and for recharging a docked portable computer.

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5615393 Computer system having a cordless keyboard and an induction coil in a plug-in electronic card module

A computer system has a cordless keyboard having an on-board power supply and a magnetic field generator with the keyboard adapted for coding keystrokes made on the keyboard in a dynamic magnetic field broadcast by the magnetic field generator. There is also an electronic card module having an induction coil for receiving the coded keystrokes in the dynamic magnetic field and having decoding circuitry connected to the induction coil for converting the coded keystrokes in the dynamic magnetic field into standard serial bus data. A computer as part of the system has a docking bay adapted for receiving and engaging the electronic card module and connecting the decoding circuitry in the electronic card module by means of multi-pin connectors to an internal bus of the computer.

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5613906 Method and apparatus for waste heat removal from a computer enclosure

A hot-air chimney for a computer in an enclosure, for the purpose of removing hot air generated by ICs within the enclosure, is fabricated in the shape and form of an expansion card for the computer. The chimney has a base panel in the shape of the expansion card, and an enclosed passage formed on the base panel. The chimney also has an end flange fashioned to simulate an end panel of the expansion card, and the enclosed passage is open to an opening in the end flange. In computers wherein expansion cards are installed parallel to and overlying a motherboard, the hot-air chimney is installed in place of an expansion card adjacent to the motherboard. An opening positioned in the base panel into the enclosed passage, and positioned to overlie a heat-producing IC on the motherboard, conducts heated air from the IC into the enclosed package and then outside the enclosure via the opening in the end flange. The chimney is particularly effective for computers with fan-mounted Ics, such as a CPU with a cooling fan. In some embodiments an EMI-grounding grid is provided over the opening in the end flange of the hot-air chimney.

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5600800 Personal computer system having a docking bay and a hand-held portable computer adapted to dock in the docking bay by a full-service parallel bus

A personal digital assistant module with a local CPU, memory, and I/O interface has a host interface comprising a bus connected to the local CPU and a connector at a surface of the personal digital assistant for interfacing to a bus connector of a host general-purpose computer, providing direct bus communication between the personal digital assistant and the host general-purpose computer. In an embodiment, the personal digital assistant also stores a security code. The personal digital assistant according to the invention forms a host/satellite combination with a host computer having a docking bay, wherein upon docking a docking protocol controls access by the host to memory of the personal digital assistant based on one or more passwords provided by a user to the host. In another embodiment the personal digital assistant also has an expansion port connected to the local CPU, and expansion peripheral devices may be connected and operated through the expansion port.

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5596639 CD-PROM

Data on a CD-PROM disk is selectively accessed in a secure manner by selectively encoding binary digital passwords and decryption keys onto the same disk in a separate area. Passwords and decryption keys may be programmed onto the disk after manufacture, such as at the point of sale, by selectively obliterating the readability of bits in addressable sectors. A binary digital key is then later recognized as the result of a string of addressable sectors, with the readable and unreadable sectors providing the digital string. In an embodiment, a manufacturer may place several or all versions and features of a large program on a single CD-ROM, encrypted, and later provide keys to enable only selected ones of the features and versions for retrieval. By programming a password or decryption key over an area of a programming region having a storage capacity of at least a megabyte, and in some cases several megabytes, existing methods of intercepting and defeating such security schemes may be defeated.

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5590382 Personal digital assistant module having a multi-portion keyboard with inductive coupling

A personal digital assistant module with a local CPU, memory, and I/O interface has a host interface comprising a bus connected to the local CPU and a connector at a surface of the personal digital assistant for interfacing to a bus connector of a host general-purpose computer, providing direct bus communication between the personal digital assistant and the host general-purpose computer. In an embodiment, the personal digital assistant also stores a security code. The personal digital assistant according to the invention forms a host/satellite combination with a host computer having a docking bay, wherein upon docking a docking protocol controls access by the host to memory of the personal digital assistant based on one or more passwords provided by a user to the host. In another embodiment the personal digital assistant also has an expansion port connected to the local CPU, and expansion peripheral devices may be connected and operated through the expansion port. In yet another embodiment, a full-sized re-geometrically reconfigurable keyboard is provided with cordless communication to the personal digital assistant.

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5586498 Duplicate copies from a printer or copier

A print-through form comprises a top and a base layer with the top layer having a pattern of openings in at least one region, the pattern of openings having center-to-center distances substantially less than the size of characters or other elements to be printed. Ink applied to the region or regions with openings forms characters on the top layer by marking the area between the openings, and on the base layer in the same operation through the openings, marking the area on the base layer exposed by the openings through the first layer. More than two copies in a single printing pass may be accomplished with forms of more than two layers, wherein the patterns of openings expose area on all the intermediate layers and the base layer. In various embodiments forms may comprise sheets affixed by peelable adhesive, by folding larger sheets, and by edge gluing with removable strips made by perforation lines. Some forms are made to be fed through traction feeders from continuous webs.

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5579524 Optimized power supply system for computer equipment

A power supply system for a general purpose computer has plural power supplies for powering selected groups of components. One of the power supplies serves the keyboard and its controller, and the keyboard controller is configured to turn the other power supply or supplies on and off in response to user input at the keyboard. The use of separate power supplies increases the efficiency of the computer when operating in reduced power modes.

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5579489 Hand-held portable computer having capability for external expansion of an internal bus

A personal digital assistant module with a local CPU, memory, and I/O interface has a host interface comprising a bus connected to the local CPU and a connector at a surface of the personal digital assistant for interfacing to a bus connector of a host general-purpose computer, providing direct bus communication between the personal digital assistant and the host general-purpose computer. In an embodiment, the personal digital assistant also stores a security code. The personal digital assistant according to the invention forms a host/satellite combination with a host computer having a docking bay, wherein upon docking a docking protocol controls access by the host to memory of the personal digital assistant based on one or more passwords provided by a user to the host. In another embodiment the personal digital assistant also has an expansion port connected to the local CPU, and expansion peripheral devices may be connected and operated through the expansion port.

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5565897 Interactive system for calibration of display monitors

A system for adjusting signals to a CRT in a video monitor utilizes an interactive display having shapes that appear rectangular on a properly adjusted monitor and dragging handles associated with the shapes. Control routines executed on a host computer associate pointer position and movement in dragging the handles with creation of signals to be sent to the monitor to correct signals to the CRT to produce a properly sized, positioned, and shaped display. In one embodiment, digital values are placed in serial packets on a VSYNC line from the host to the video monitor, and a microcontroller in the monitor receives the digital values and drives circuitry in the monitor according to the received commands and data to adjust the signals to the CRT to correct the display.

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5563947 CD-PROM

Encrypted data on a CD-PROM disk is managed by selectively encoding binary digital decryption keys onto the same disk in a separate data area. A decryption key or keys may be programmed onto the disk after manufacture, such as at the point of sale, by selectively obliterating the readability of bits in addressable sectors. A binary digital key is then later recognized as the result of a string of addressable sectors, with one or the other of readable or unreadable sectors being recognized as a logical 1 and the other as a logical 0. In an embodiment, a manufacturer may place several or all versions and features of a large program on a single CD-ROM, encrypted, and later provide keys to enable only selected ones of the features and versions for retrieval.

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5561772 Expansion bus system for replicating an internal bus as an external bus with logical interrupts replacing physical interrupt lines

A compressed I/O bus system for a general-purpose computer multiplexes 32 bit data and addresses on 32 of 42 dedicated parallel signal paths, and optimizes the bus structure by mapping bus requests made by peripheral devices to "high" memory portions of system RAM not dedicated to other purposes. In one aspect a bus controller is programmable to select translation routines stored in system RAM, allowing various models and types of CPUs to be supported. In this aspect, supported CPUs are interchangeable in the system. In another aspect a default interface attaches to the compressed I/O bus of the invention, and translates bus states between the optimized compressed bus and one of an ISA bus or an EISA bus.

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5542035 Timer-controlled computer system shutdown and startup

A system for managing power levels for a general purpose computer having a standby and a full-power mode of operation provides apparatus and a method for monitoring times of user input and control routines for using the times of user input to calculate optimum times for initiating full power operation and standby mode. The control routines are configured to provide the optimum times to a real time clock that remains powered in the standby mode, which triggers switching elements to initiate full power and standby mode. In one embodiment of the system, startup and standby may be initiated either by user input or automatically by the power management system. Startup and standby initiation times may be different for different days and time periods based on both preprogrammed and calculated values.

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5539878 Parallel testing of CPU cache and instruction units

A method for testing CPU microprocessors having internal cache involves testing one IU and a portion of the internal cache, then loading a cache test routine to the tested portion of internal cache and causing that routine to be executed by the tested IU to test the previously untested portion of the internal cache while simultaneously testing any other IUs and circuitry on the CPU microprocessor. A system is disclosed for performing the method.

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5539621 Network communication unit with client and resource node array double layer ICs on printed board with connectors on housing

An interconnection topography for microprocessor-based communication nodes consists of opposite arrays of client nodes and resource nodes, with each client node connected to one resource node by a data transfer link, each resource node connected to a resource trunk by a data transfer link, and each node connected to just four neighboring nodes by data transfer links. Communication nodes in the topography are microprocessor controlled, and comprise random access memory and data routing circuitry interfaced to the data transfer links. In one aspect resource nodes are provided with a map of the interconnection topography for use in routing data. In another aspect, individual ones of the communication nodes are programmed as servers for receiving client requests and scheduling routing of resource data.

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5539616 Modular portable computer

A modular computer has a framework with module bays for receiving CPU modules, power modules, and peripheral function modules such as floppy and hard disk drives. The framework has a built-in compressed bus and a variety of function modules which can be plugged into any one of the module bays. Function modules include, but are not limited to, CPU, power, floppy disk, hard disk, RAM memory, LAN communication, modem, FAX communication, and data acquisition. In some embodiments function modules are provided for communicating with separate input means, such as voice, keyboards, and pen-pads. In one aspect the module bays and the function modules are configured according to dimensional and connective standards of the Personal Computer Memory Card International Association.

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5537343 Digital assistant system having a host computer with a docking bay and a moveable heat sink for cooling a docked module

A personal digital assistant module with a local CPU, memory, and I/O interface has a host interface comprising a bus connected to the local CPU and a connector at a surface of the personal digital assistant for interfacing to a bus connector of a host general-purpose computer, providing direct bus communication between the personal digital assistant and the host general-purpose computer. In an embodiment, the personal digital assistant also has a means for storing a security code. The personal digital assistant according to the invention forms a host/satellite combination with a host computer having a docking bay, wherein upon docking a docking protocol controls access by the host to memory of the personal digital assistant based on one or more passwords provided by a user to the host. In another embodiment the personal digital assistant also has an expansion port connected to the local CPU, and expansion peripheral devices may be connected and operated through the expansion port. In one embodiment, a personal digital assistant module and a computer having docking bays is provided also having movable heat sink structures for contacting and cooling docked modules.

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5532719 Remote control of display functions

A system for making display adjustments in a monitor connected to a general-purpose computer converts user inputs at the host computer to digital commands and data words, and places the commands a data as serial packets on the VSYNC line to the monitor. A controller in the monitor receives the serial packets and controls adjustment circuitry in the monitor to adjust display characteristics according to the commands a data received. Adjustments include adjustments to brightness, contrast, display position on a monitor screen, display size and aspect ratio, and commands may include commands to switch display modes, and in some cases to signal the monitor to assume alternative power-using modes, such as a standby mode.

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5528480 Highly efficient rectifying and converting circuit for computer power supplies

A power supply for producing a regulated dc output from an ac primary input incorporates a convention rectifying and filtering circuitry feeding a switching circuit for providing a high frequency, substantially rectangular voltage waveform to a high frequency transformer. The output of the transformer is provided to a synchronous buck converter having a grounded line and an ungrounded line, with a first FET switch in the ungrounded line and a second FET switch connected from the output of the first FET switch to the grounded line. A controller in the synchronous buck converter switches the FETs according to the input voltage waveform to achieve rectification. In another aspect, two FETs are placed in opposite polarity in the ungrounded line and switched together, and the controller also alters the duty cycle of the switching in accordance with the magnitude of a regulated output produced from the output of the synchronous buck converter, to achieve precise regulation. Power supplies are provided with multiple outputs of different regulated voltage, which may be externally enabled and disabled.

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5522089 Personal digital assistant module adapted for initiating telephone communications through DTMF dialing

A personal digital assistant module with a local CPU, memory, and I/O interface has a host interface comprising a bus connected to the local CPU and a connector at a surface of the personal digital assistant for interfacing to a bus connector of a host general-purpose computer, providing direct bus communication between the personal digital assistant and the host general-purpose computer. In an embodiment, the personal digital assistant also stores a security code. The personal digital assistant according to the invention forms a host/satellite combination with a host computer having a docking bay, wherein upon docking, a docking protocol controls access by the host to memory of the personal digital assistant based on one or more passwords provided by a user to the host. In another embodiment the personal digital assistant also has an expansion port connected to the local CPU, and expansion peripheral devices may be connected and operated through the expansion port. In yet another embodiment, an interface is provided via an interactive, menu-driven display and an on-board speaker to allow a user to select parties to be called, and to dial the parties, including credit card charge data, via DTMF tones generated by the on-board speaker.

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5515510 Communications internetwork system connecting a client node array to a resource array

An interconnection topography for microprocessor-based communication nodes consists of opposite arrays of client nodes and resource nodes, with each client node connected to one resource node by a data transfer link, each resource node connected to a resource trunk by a data transfer link, and each node connected to just four neighboring nodes by data transfer links. Communication nodes in the topography are microprocessor controlled, and comprise random access memory and data routing circuitry interfaced to the data transfer links. In one aspect resource nodes are provided with a map of the interconnection topography for use in routing data. In another aspect, individual ones of the communication nodes are programmed as servers for receiving client requests and scheduling routing of resource data.

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5502838 Temperature management for integrated circuits

A system for controlling temperature buildup in an IC employs a temperature sensor to provide an indication of the IC temperature to a control circuit which is configured to provide an operational clock rate to the IC which is less than the system clock rate, based on a function of the temperature of the IC or its package. In one embodiment temperature sensors are implemented as solid-state circuitry within different functional areas of a single IC, such as a microprocessor, In other embodiments, operating voltage is lowered as operating frequency is lowered. In yet another embodiment temperature sensing of multiple processors in a system is provided to a controller or controllers which are configured to allocate workload between the processors as a means to limit temperature rise, as well as to lower operational clock rate and to lower operating voltage.

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5491744 Selective call waiting

A selective call-waiting system for telephony use samples transmission on a busy line if the line subscribes to the selective call-waiting service, and avoids interrupting the transmission with a call-waiting signal if the transmission is data-type. If the transmission on the busy line subscribing to the selective call-waiting service is voice-type, the system sends a call-waiting signal. Signal analyzers are disclosed, as well as methods for practicing the invention.

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5473506 Cooling a large microprocessor in a small module

A modular computer with docking bays for receiving functional modules and connecting the functional modules to internal computer circuitry has translatable heat-sink structures for contacting docked functional modules to extract waste heat generated by operation of the functional modules. The structures are mechanically actuated to retract to provide clearance for insertion and withdrawal of functional modules, and to advance to contact modules when docked. Heat-sink structures are shaped in some embodiments to securely retain docked modules, and in some instances, the translation of the heat-sink structures is by electrically operable actuators, which may be actuated by signals from a CPU of the modular computer. In these instances, the computer may be configured to require a security code or special input sequence to retract the heat-sink structures allowing a module to be removed.

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5457785 CPU-independent and device-driver transparent system for translating a computer's internal bus signals onto an intermediate bus and further translating onto an expansion bus

A bus interface system for expanding the I/O capability of a portable computer utilizes a parallel port connector with master interface circuitry connected to the internal ISA I/O bus of the portable computer and driving a 25-conductor Centronics-type cable as an intermediate bus. The master interface circuitry is device-driver-transparent, and multiplexes address, data, and control information over a byte-wide avenue of the intermediate bus according to premapped state translation tables. In a preferred embodiment a single peripheral I/O device comprising a slave circuitry may be connected to the 25-pin port, and the slave circuitry demultiplexes the intermediate bus states, providing a synthesized sub-set of ISA states to drive the peripheral device. In another embodiment a docking box comprises a bus with multiple I/O ports, such as a network port, a COM serial port, and additional floppy and hard disk drives. Power circuitry is provided for driving a single connected peripheral device, and for recharging a docked portable computer.

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5430609 Microprocessor cooling in a portable computer

A CPU IC package for a computer system is cooled by a layer of compressible, heat-conducting material compressed between the IC package and a heat sink plate. In one embodiment the heat sink plate is a wall element of an access panel providing access to the interior of the computer system. Closing the access panel compresses the heat-conducting material between the IC package and the heat sink plate. To provide mechanical stability, the heat-conducting material is fastened to one of the heat sink plate and the IC package. In alternative embodiments the plate may be mounted outside the enclosure of the system with the heat-conducting material extending through an opening in a wall of the enclosure.

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5424866 Dynamic holographic display with cantilever

A dynamic holographic display has an array of reflective surfaces formed on cantilever structures substantially parallel to the surface of a substrate, such as a silicon wafer. A holographic image is formed by controlling electrical currents passed through the cantilever structures to position the reflective surfaces of the cells in the array so the topography forms a hologram, and reflected light interferes to form a holographic image. In a preferred embodiment, control is by computer and positions of reflective surfaces are determined by calculation from dimensional data available to the control computer.

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5416610 Integral computer scanning system

A photovoltaic film provided with a computer allows the computer to be used as a scanner as well as a conventional computer. In a preferred embodiment the photovoltaic film is transparent, and is applied directly to the display screen of the computer system. The film is connected to signal processing means connected to the internal bus structure of the computer. A hard copy document is positioned adjacent the film, and control routines loaded to and run on the computer control pixel illumination on the computer screen in a scanning protocol. Illumination of pixels in conjunction with characteristics of the hard copy at the pixel position cause the signal generated by the photovoltaic film to alter in voltage. Signals from the film are processed and used to generate a bit pattern as the scanned image. In an alternative embodiment the photovoltaic film is a part of a separate sheet applicable to a computer screen and connectable to an expansion card for connection to the computer, providing a system useful with existing computers.

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5412538 Space-saving memory module

A low-profile printed circuit board has discrete components mounted within openings provided in a rigid substrate forming art of the board. The components are mounted with leads soldered to mounting pads on the surface of the board, and arranged around the periphery of the openings. The stand-off design of discrete components for mounting to the surfaces of boards allows such components to be mounted within openings simply by reversing the orientation of the components relative to the board. In a preferred embodiment a DRAM card is a four-level board with circuitry on each side of a thin, flexible substrate and each side of a rigid substrate, the two substrates spaced apart by a thin, insulating layer. The rigid substrate has openings with DRAM modules mounted within the openings, and further modules are mounted on the opposite surface in the conventional manner.

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5390673 Magnetic resonance imaging system

A magnetic resonance imaging system has an elongate hand-held probe with a permanent magnet positioned within the probe to align the pole axis of the permanent magnet with the central axis of the probe. A burst/sense electromagnetic coil is positioned to provide a magnetic field coaxial with that of the permanent magnet. The burst/sense coil provides high frequency bursts to excite nuclei in a sample with the end of the probe held proximate a surface of the sample. Bursts are alternated with sensing periods to sense echo from resonating nuclei in the sample. The sensed point in a sample volume can be moved by altering the burst frequency. In another aspect a bias field is provided by the burst/sense coil, and deflection coils are used to move the sensed point through a slice by deflecting the summed permanent and bias field. Different slices are sensed by changing the bias field and repeating sensing an array of points in a new slice. The probe is integrated with a general-purpose computer to provide control, recording of sensed values, assembly of bit maps, and display of images.

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5389952 Low-power-consumption monitor standby system

A system for lowering the power output of a video display monitor for a computer during periods of operator inactivity senses the presence or absence of horizontal synchronization (HSYNC) and vertical synchronization (VSYNC) signals, which are normally supplied by the host computer to synchronize data transfer to the video monitor with horizontal and vertical sweep circuitry. Time sensing means at the host senses inactivity, and suspends one or another of the HSYNC and VSYNC signals. Sync sensing and control means in the monitor senses the absence of one or both of the HSYNC and VSYNC signals, and controls power-using circuitry in the monitor in response. In an embodiment applicable to monitors having a microprocessor, the system may be incorporated entirely in software at the host and the monitor. In dumb monitors, the system requires add-in and/or add-on devices cooperating with software.

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5365230 Inductively coupled keyboard

A self-contained keyboard for computer transmits keystroke data to a host computer via scan codes encoded in a variable magnetic field. In a preferred embodiment the keyboard generates magnetic bursts by electrical current bursts in a loop of a electrical conductor. A receiving loop connected to demodulator circuitry in the body of the computer produces emf spikes according to the magnetic bursts transmitted from the keyboard. The demodulator circuitry reproduces digital scan codes in a register for communication to the computer CPU according to the emf spikes monitored from the receiving loop.

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5331509 Modular notebook computer having a planar array of module bays and a pivotally attached flat-panel display

A modular notebook computer has a framework with module bays for receiving CPU modules, power modules, and peripheral function modules such as floppy and hard disk drives. The framework has a built-in compressed bus and a variety of function modules which can be plugged into any one of the module bays. Function modules include, but are not limited to, CPU, power, floppy disk, hard disk, RAM memory, LAN communication, modem, FAX communication, and data acquisition.

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5331434 Integral computer scanning system

A photovoltaic film provided with a computer allows the computer to be used as a scanner as well as a conventional computer. In a preferred embodiment the photovoltaic film is transparent, and is applied directly to the display screen of the computer system. The film is connected to signal processing means connected to the internal bus structure of the computer. A hard copy document is positioned adjacent the film, and control routines loaded to and run on the computer control pixel illumination on the computer screen in a scanning protocol. Illumination of pixels in conjunction with characteristics of the hard copy at the pixel position cause the signal generated by the photovoltaic film to alter in voltage. Signals from the film are processed and used to generate a bit pattern as the scanned image. In an alternative embodiment the photovoltaic film is a part of a separate sheet applicable to a computer screen and connectable to an expansion card for connection to the computer, providing a system useful with existing computers.

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5278730 Modular notebook computer having a planar array of module bays

A modular notebook computer has a framework with module bays for receiving CPU modules, power modules, and peripheral function modules such as floppy and hard disk drives. The framework has a built-in compressed bus and a variety of function modules which can be plugged into any one of the module bays. Function modules include, but are not limited to, CPU, power, floppy disk, hard disk, RAM memory, LAN communication, modem, FAX communication, and data acquisition.

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5266531 Dynamic holographic display with cantilever

A dynamic holographic display has an array of reflective surfaces formed on cantilever structures substantially parallel to the surface of a substrate, such as a silicon wafer. A holographic image is formed by controlling electrical currents passed through the cantilever structures to position the reflective surfaces of the cells in the array so the topography forms a hologram, and reflected light interferes to form a holographic image. In a preferred embodiment, control is by computer and positions of reflective surfaces are determined by calculation from dimensional data available to the control computer.

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5262759 Removable computer display interface

A portable computer is configured to accept removable modular display panels of different types that plug into a structure hinged to the body of the computer. Each display panel has a sliding engagement means fixed along a lower edge, and the hinged structure has a mating sliding engagement means along an upper edge and parallel to the axis of the hinge, allowing a display panel to engage and disengage in the direction of the axis of the hinge. In another aspect of the invention, in the motion of engaging a display, a two-part, multi-pin electrical connector is also engaged, for conveying control signals to the display. In an embodiment of the invention, display modules adaptable to the computer have a code stored in a memory device that is accessible on start-up by the computer, to identify and load a display driver routine capable of driving the display module assembled to the computer.

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5239227 High efficiency panel display

An electroluminescent display has a viewing surface with electroluminescent cells arranged in a dot matrix array over the surface, each cell having a height orthogonal to the surface from five to ten times any dimension parallel to the surface and each cell having electrodes on opposite sides to apply an electrical field across the cell parallel to the surface of the display. The dimension between the electrodes is no more than two microns, allowing the display to operate at low voltage levels. Thin film and thick film methods for constructing the display are disclosed.

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5220521 Flexible keyboard for computers

A keyboard for a computer molded from a flexible material, and rollable into a cylinder for transport and storage. In a particular embodiment, the keyboard is assembled in two layers, one having molded dome structures for key, and the other sensors and flexible traces for converting keystrokes to electrical signals.

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5151724 Dynamic holographic display with cantilever

A dynamic holographic display has an array of reflective surfaces formed on cantilever structures substantially parallel to the surface of a substrate, such as a silicon wafer. A holographic image is formed by controlling electrical currents passed through the cantilever structures to position the reflective surfaces of the cells in the array so the topography forms a hologram, and reflected light interferes to form a holographic image. In a preferred embodiment, control is by computer and positions of reflective surfaces are determined by calculation from dimensional data available to the control computer.

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5099301 Electroluminescent semiconductor device

An electroluminescent semiconductor device in which the drain of a MOSFET acts as the driver for a manganese doped zinc sulfide electroluminescent layer. The zinc sulfide layer is coated with a layer of metal which prevents the emission of light from the electroluminescent layer except through an aperture extending through the metal layer. Alternatively, the aperture is omitted and laser emission is induced from a semi-reflective end plate positioned on a side of the electroluminescent layer.

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