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Hardware Device to share memory among computers

IP.com Disclosure Number: IPCOM000033277D
Original Publication Date: 2004-Dec-03
Included in the Prior Art Database: 2004-Dec-03
Document File: 2 page(s) / 42K

Publishing Venue

IBM

Abstract

In this article it is proposed to add a storage device to a KVM (Keyboard, video, mouse) switch, in order for this device to behave as a shared clipboard among the controlled computers. The user will be able to perform cut/copy/paste of data from one computer to the others even if the computers are not in networking.

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Hardware Device to share memory among computers

The present article is directed in extending the capabilities of KVM (Keyboard Video Mouse) switches, also known as switch-boxes, by adding a storage device to them that can be used to move data among the computers connected to the KVM.

    We now briefly describe the existing KVM switches as well as the existing clipboard use for data transfer.

    KVM switches are hardware boxes which allow to share Keyboard-Video-Mouse devices among several personal computers (typically from 2 to 16 computers). The box is connected on one side to the video, keyboard and mouse used by the end user, and on the other side it is connected to the different computers using a separate set of cables for each of them. By means of a button on the box the user can direct the data input/output to the different computers. The advantage in using such switch boxes is that only one set of keyboard, video and mouse devices is needed; therefore the space occupancy is reduced, and the user does not need to move when he wants to work on a different machine.

    However, the computers attached to the KVM are not in a real network (unless an additional network is also in place, such as a LAN) and data cannot be moved from one computer to the other. It would be convenient, for users, to have a simple data transfer mechanism amongs those computers, such as a copy and paste to/from a clipboard.

    Modern user interfaces are already enabled to the transfer of data between programs through a system facility called clipboard. The clipboard can be a special file or a buffer (a special area in memory) where data is put temporarily before being copied.

The data to transfer, after being selected (for instance via a mouse), can be copied to the clipboard, either by selecting "Copy" from the Edit menu or by using a shortcut key or by rigth clicking the mouse itself. The data is then placed back somewhere else by pasting it from the clipboard.

    This mechanism is very useful for transferring information from one program to another, or from one document to another. Also files can be copied in this way from one directory to another.

    Extensions to this mechanis...