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Functionally Alterable (Hand) Calculator using Self Identifying Replaceable Keys

IP.com Disclosure Number: IPCOM000081555D
Original Publication Date: 1974-Jun-01
Included in the Prior Art Database: 2005-Feb-28
Document File: 3 page(s) / 51K

Publishing Venue

IBM

Related People

Karp, DP: AUTHOR [+3]

Abstract

There is described herein a technique wherein a unique function is associated with a self-identifiable replaceable key. The salient feature of this apparatus is the capability of removing the key which is no longer required when a new function is called for, and the insertion of a key with such new function. Because of the association of the identification of the key with the logic contained within the key, only one step is necessary. In addition, it is not possible to associate incorrect visual identification with the logic function.

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Functionally Alterable (Hand) Calculator using Self Identifying Replaceable Keys

There is described herein a technique wherein a unique function is associated with a self-identifiable replaceable key. The salient feature of this apparatus is the capability of removing the key which is no longer required when a new function is called for, and the insertion of a key with such new function. Because of the association of the identification of the key with the logic contained within the key, only one step is necessary. In addition, it is not possible to associate incorrect visual identification with the logic function.

The technique is particularly advantageously employed in the achieving of a high degree of flexibility and alterability for display systems, and enables the simple and inexpensive generation of a virtually unlimited variety of graphics.

In the employment of the technique, each key is composed of a ROM (read- only memory) chip, in which a sequence of control words (microinstructions) implements the specified function or circuitry for performing a particular function and a symbolic representation of the function which is depicted on the face of the key.

Reference is made, in this connection, to Figs. 1 and 2 which show plan and side cross-sectional views, respectively, of the key. In these views, structure 10 shows the function identification surface. The self-identifying chip 12 is connected to a control bus via a connector 14. Dashed line 16 in Fig. 1 indicates the control bus position.

In Fig. 3, there is depicted a three-dimensional view of a typical exterior orientation which illustrates the technique. In the latter figure, there is shown a display screen 18 for input, intermediate and final results, uniquely identified replaceable keys 20, digit input keys 22 and fixed universal function keys 24, which are connected via a control bus to a central processing unit, not shown. Fig. 4 is a schematic depiction of logic flow in the arrangement.

In Fig. 4, the self-identified replaceable keys 26 are connected through a mechanical connection interface 28 to a control register 30, whose output appears on control lines generally designated by the numeral 32. Fixed input and digit keys represented by the block 37 are shown as being mechanically connected to fixed control lines, generally designated by the num...