Browse Prior Art Database

Keyboard for Portable Personal Computer

IP.com Disclosure Number: IPCOM000039160D
Original Publication Date: 1987-Apr-01
Included in the Prior Art Database: 2005-Feb-01
Document File: 3 page(s) / 54K

Publishing Venue

IBM

Related People

Demke, KR: AUTHOR [+3]

Abstract

A new keyboard is shown above which provides (1) total personal computer (PC) compatibility, (2) small footprint, and (3) excellent usability. A totally portable PC requires total keyboard compatibility with earlier PC models, such as PC1. This means access to all PC1 scan codes (or their equivalent). The PC1 keyboard itself is not acceptable because of the need for a small footprint. Total PC compatibility with a small footprint is achieved by the following: Some of the PC keyboard scan codes are mapped onto a new smaller area key top. This significantly reduced the total area of the keyboard. These represent 20 of the total keys. The smaller keys are used for functions that are not normally touch typed (i.e.

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Keyboard for Portable Personal Computer

A new keyboard is shown above which provides (1) total personal computer (PC) compatibility, (2) small footprint, and (3) excellent usability. A totally portable PC requires total keyboard compatibility with earlier PC models, such as PC1. This means access to all PC1 scan codes (or their equivalent). The PC1 keyboard itself is not acceptable because of the need for a small footprint. Total PC compatibility with a small footprint is achieved by the following: Some of the PC keyboard scan codes are mapped onto a

new smaller area key top. This significantly reduced

the total area of the keyboard. These represent 20 of

the total keys. The smaller keys are used for

functions that are not normally touch typed (i.e., F1

through F10, Escape, Num Lock, Scroll Lock, Insert,

Delete, 4 cursor keys, and the Fn Key).

Full-sized keys are used for the remaining 58 keys.

These include the 47 standard keys in the QWERTY (main)

area, Tabs, Caps Lock, Space Bar, 2 shift keys, 2 Alt

Keys, Enter, Backspace and Print Screen. The total

keyboard is shown in the figure.

Since there are an insufficient number of keys that can

exist within the constrained area of the keyboard to

map all PC scan codes, a new shift (code) key called Fn

was added. This allows

the portable PC keyboard another level of scan codes.

Now, by embedding the functions of the numeric keypad,

Plus, Minus, Multiply, Divide, Page Up, Page Down,

Home, End and Num Lock in the QWERTY and cursor areas,

and using FN as an access key, makes the full set of

PC1 functions available.

In addition, there are extra scan codes available

through the Fn key (now currently unassigned). Thus,

the portable keyboard is not only compatible with PC1,

but with all existing PC keyboards. Likewise, it can

be made upwardly compatible with future PC keyboard

offerings as well. This gives a portable keyboard that

could be used for any PC application where small

footprint is desirable or required. Excellent usability was...