Browse Prior Art Database

Auto-Locator for Compact Disk-Read Only Memory Storage Cases

IP.com Disclosure Number: IPCOM000117410D
Original Publication Date: 1996-Feb-01
Included in the Prior Art Database: 2005-Mar-31
Document File: 4 page(s) / 118K

Publishing Venue

IBM

Related People

Becker, CH: AUTHOR [+5]

Abstract

CD-ROMs are increasingly displacing diskettes as a primary means for delivery and access of computer programs and data. Unlike diskettes, however, CD-ROMs are not self-contained; that is, they require a separate protective storage-case for proper care. Most CD-ROM drives accept only bare CD-ROM disks, requiring that they be removed from this protective case.

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

Auto-Locator for Compact Disk-Read Only Memory Storage Cases

      CD-ROMs are increasingly displacing diskettes as a primary
means for delivery and access of computer programs and data.  Unlike
diskettes, however, CD-ROMs are not self-contained; that is, they
require a separate protective storage-case for proper care.  Most
CD-ROM drives accept only bare CD-ROM disks, requiring that they be
removed from this protective case.

      This leads to the problem of locating the storage case for a
particular CD-ROM.  Often when the user wants to insert a CD-ROM into
the drive, he or she finds that a previously-used CD-ROM is still in
the drive.  After swapping the CD-ROMs, he or she now has the
original bare CD-ROM in one hand and the storage case for the new
CD-ROM in the other.  The original case must now be located,
sometimes a difficult task when the environment is cluttered or a
large library of CD-ROMs is available.  Since by definition the user
has a new task at hand, such searching is distracting and
time-consuming.  Worse yet, the user may simply set down the bare
disk or even misplace it into the empty case of the disk just
inserted!

      Disclosed is a simple circuit integrated into a CD or CD-ROM
storage case to facilitate location of the storage case in a
cluttered environment or extensive library.  Also disclosed are
several variations  and extensions to the basic concept.

      The main implementation of the invention takes the form of a
simple circuit which is built into the CD-ROM storage case.  This
circuit consists of a mechanism to detect whether a disk is present
in the case, a Light-Emitting Diode (LED), a transistor circuit, and
a battery.

      The disk-detection mechanism may be a physical presence switch
which is closed when a disk is present and open when no disk is
present, an optical detector, or any other mechanism that provides a
signal indicating the disk present state.

      The rechargeable battery may be a small watch-type battery, or
may be a polymer battery molded into the case itself.

      When a disk is removed, the signal is fed to the transistor
circuit, which illuminates the LED.  Optionally the LED may be made
to blink to be more noticeable and to conserve power via the
duty-cycle of the blinking.  This provides an easy visual indication
for the empty storage case.

      The following are extensions and alternatives to the main
implementation.

      The automatic response circuitry avoids distracting lights
when they are not needed.  In this version, the LED circuitry is only
activated when a "where are you" signal is received from the host PC.
In this way, when a user cannot find a CD-ROM in a messy office, it
can be located by typing in the title of the CD-ROM on the user's
computer.  Alternately, the icon associated with that CD-ROM could be
clicked on.  The mislaid case of the CD-ROM sends out a signal.

      This signal may be in the f...