Browse Prior Art Database

Providing a Keypad Function with a TrackPoint II Pointing Device

IP.com Disclosure Number: IPCOM000117259D
Original Publication Date: 1996-Jan-01
Included in the Prior Art Database: 2005-Mar-31
Document File: 2 page(s) / 80K

Publishing Venue

IBM

Related People

Pinera, CV: AUTHOR

Abstract

Disclosed is a method allowing the TrackPoint II* pointing device of an IBM ThinkPad* laptop computer to function as an alternative to the ScreenReader/2* keypad. Specifically, the TrackPoint II pointing device is used as an 8-position input device, initiating often-used keypad sequences, such as "read next line," and "read current line." The user assigns the most frequently used key sequences to be provided by this method, minimizing his subsequent use of the pop-up keypad, which is particularly inconvenient to use in a mobile environment. Nevertheless, the pop-up keypad is retained for access to other key sequences.

This text was extracted from an ASCII text file.
This is the abbreviated version, containing approximately 52% of the total text.

Providing a Keypad Function with a TrackPoint II Pointing Device

      Disclosed is a method allowing the TrackPoint II* pointing
device of an IBM ThinkPad* laptop computer to function as an
alternative to the ScreenReader/2* keypad.  Specifically, the
TrackPoint II pointing device is used as an 8-position input device,
initiating often-used keypad sequences, such as "read next line," and
"read current line."  The user assigns the most frequently used key
sequences to be provided by this method, minimizing his subsequent
use of the pop-up keypad, which is particularly inconvenient to use
in a mobile environment.  Nevertheless, the pop-up keypad is retained
for access to other key sequences.

      A selection is made by applying a force to the TrackPoint II
button in the appropriate direction.  Preferably, this selection is
not acted upon until the button is released, so the system is not
triggered improperly when the desired direction is not obtained the
first time.  Alternately, the system can be set to trigger on a
choice if a constant directional selection is held for a certain
time.  Each direction is a pie wedge so the user is allowed some
degree of error in the direction in which the TrackPoint II is held.

      If the TrackPoint II button is never to be used as a "mouse,"
this keypad function selection can always be active.  Otherwise, this
keypad function selection is activated by a first key sequence and
deactivated by a second key sequence, allowing the normal use of
mouse functions.

      This method may be implemented with the accelerator mode
"swallowing" all mouse events if the system mouse driver is loaded,
so that mouse movements are interpreted as keypad accelerator
commands.  With this process, the standard mouse driver supplied by
the system is used in both DOS and OS/2* environments.  If normal use
of the mouse is needed, special key sequences are used to enter and
exit an accelerator mode.  When the system is not in the accelerator
mode, the pointing device operates in the normal "mouse" fashion.

    ...