Browse Prior Art Database

Specification of Keyboard Key Functions

IP.com Disclosure Number: IPCOM000047215D
Original Publication Date: 1983-Oct-01
Included in the Prior Art Database: 2005-Feb-07
Document File: 1 page(s) / 11K

Publishing Venue

IBM

Related People

Troan, LE: AUTHOR

Abstract

This system allows a "universal" keyboard to be loaded with specifications for each key. Most current keyboards are hardwired to return make/break actions on certain keys, allow others to be typamatic and some to click when pressed and/or released. However, many keyboards have begun to incorporate inexpensive microprocessors to perform the above functions. The presence of a microprocessor in the keyboard itself makes it convenient to provide key function assignment at the keyboard level. This approach to the problem of flexible key assignment involves passing a table from some upstream source to the keyboard microprocessor. The upstream node could be the terminal to which the keyboard is connected, the controller to which the terminal is connected, or a host computer, for example.

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Specification of Keyboard Key Functions

This system allows a "universal" keyboard to be loaded with specifications for each key. Most current keyboards are hardwired to return make/break actions on certain keys, allow others to be typamatic and some to click when pressed and/or released. However, many keyboards have begun to incorporate inexpensive microprocessors to perform the above functions. The presence of a microprocessor in the keyboard itself makes it convenient to provide key function assignment at the keyboard level. This approach to the problem of flexible key assignment involves passing a table from some upstream source to the keyboard microprocessor. The upstream node could be the terminal to which the keyboard is connected, the controller to which the terminal is connected, or a host computer, for example. This table would enable specification of which keys click, which generate input codes when pressed, which also generate codes when released, the specific codes, whether the keys are typamatic and even the typamatic rate. Then, as each key is operated, the keyboard processor, having reference to the table, can create the needed data (and repetition rates, etc.) for transmission upwardly to the terminal device.

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