Browse Prior Art Database

Central Processing Unit-Less Laptop Chained to Host Central Processing Unit

IP.com Disclosure Number: IPCOM000117396D
Original Publication Date: 1996-Feb-01
Included in the Prior Art Database: 2005-Mar-31
Document File: 4 page(s) / 122K

Publishing Venue

IBM

Related People

Bingham, RL: AUTHOR [+4]

Abstract

Today, many (a) test systems and (b) automated data-storage libraries of removable-media have an embedded controller. The embedded controller consists of a single-board computer which can have a single CPU chip. Currently, each of these embedded controllers require a dedicated keyboard/display in order to access the system or diagnose problems.

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

Central Processing Unit-Less Laptop Chained to Host Central Processing
Unit

      Today, many (a) test systems and (b) automated data-storage
libraries of removable-media have an embedded controller.  The
embedded controller consists of a single-board computer which can
have a single CPU chip.  Currently, each of these embedded
controllers require a dedicated keyboard/display in order to access
the system or diagnose problems.

      In many systems, the dedicated keyboard/display is rarely used,
while it adds cost to the product.  What is needed is a low cost
keyboard/display that is lightweight and transportable, especially
one that can be used in an area where there are multiple systems.

      In Fig. 1, a library 100 of removable optical cartridges 120
or bare optical disks 121 is shown.  The removable media is stored in
bins 110 and transported by picker 130 to and from devices 140.  Each
library has a control unit with a PC 145.

      A low cost LAPTOP 150 without an embedded Central Processing
Unit (CPU) computer interfaces with the PC 145.  Call this
stripped-down LAPTOP a LAPTOP-shell.  To keep the cost of the display
of the LAPTOP-shell 166 down and the complexity of the required
circuitry down, the display could be monochrome rather than color.
The keyboard of the LAPTOP shell is 160.

      The LAPTOP-shell is transportable and can be stored on a shelf
or in a filing cabinet.  It is only used when needed.  This
eliminates the need for a dedicated keyboard and display for each
control unit in the same complex.  The LAPTOP-shell can also be used
to service individual library boxes (100).  For high usage
applications, the LAPTOP-shell is attached to a box as in Fig. 1, set
on top of a box, or  placed on a shelf inside or outside a library
box.  Alternately, the LAPTOP-shell could be on the operator's desk
or lap.

      If not wireless, the interface (155) for a LAPTOP-shell
consists of a minimum of 3 connectors, (a) one for the keyboard, (b)
one for the display, and (c) one for a Track Point, mouse, or
trackball.  The preferred embodiment has the LAPTOP-shell powered via
a rechargable battery.  A fourth connector would be needed for power,
if the LAPTOP-shell was not battery powered.

      The preferred embodiment is to make the LAPTOP-shell wireless.
This is why interface 155 is shown as a dashed line.  With this
embodiment, keyed information can be transferred to any controller in
a complex from one station and just one keyboard and display.

      The preferred embodiment is to use wireless telephone circuitry
in the LAPTOP-shell and in each Host PC.

      This wireless concept could also be used in an office or in the
home to transmit keyed information to a controller.  This allows a
user to comm...