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ARCHITECTURE OF AN EXPERIMENTAL OFFICE SYSTEM: The Soft Display Word Processor

IP.com Disclosure Number: IPCOM000131356D
Original Publication Date: 1978-Dec-01
Included in the Prior Art Database: 2005-Nov-10
Document File: 14 page(s) / 55K

Publishing Venue

Software Patent Institute

Related People

Jack E. Shemer: AUTHOR [+4]

Abstract

The SDWP system is designed for use by secretarial and clerical personnel to fill in forms, create and edit the texts of documents, and store and retrieve documents electronically. The basic I/O devices include a typewriter-style (capacitanceswitch) keyboard, a CRT display, a character printer, floppy disks, and a cursor-positioning device (see Figure 1). A printer driven by raster-scan techniques and a communication facility can be added as options. The CRT display generates composite alphanumeric and graphic images that emulate 8 1/2 x 11-inch printed pages in both horizontal and vertical page orientations.

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THIS DOCUMENT IS AN APPROXIMATE REPRESENTATION OF THE ORIGINAL.

This record contains textual material that is copyright ©; 1978 by the Institute of Electrical and Electronics Engineers, Inc. All rights reserved. Contact the IEEE Computer Society http://www.computer.org/ (714-821-8380) for copies of the complete work that was the source of this textual material and for all use beyond that as a record from the SPI Database.

ARCHITECTURE OF AN EXPERIMENTAL OFFICE SYSTEM: The Soft Display Word Processor

Jack E. Shemer

Transaction Technology Inc.

J. Richard Keddy

Xerox Corporation

  (Image Omitted: This experimental microprocessor-based office system incorporates architectural features -- such as memory paging and distributed processing -- normally associated with large computer systems.)

One of the major challenges confronting computer engineers is to expand their technology into new application areas. This challenge is coming from two directions: from potential users, who are growing more insistent that computer systems be adapted to their needs and styles as naturally as possible, and -- perhaps ironically -- from manufacturers of computer components, who need an increasing demand for their products in order to sustain business growth with a rapidly advancing technology.

The contemporary office is one of the theaters in which this challenge is being faced, in a variety of ways. Word processing systems are being used to create and edit documents of all kinds. Micrographic and computer-based systems are being used for records management. Integrated systems are beginning to appear that employ communicating word processors and printing devices driven by digital input. As new technologies mature, attention is being given to integrating image processing with voice communication, and one can foresee the time when word processing, image processing, electronic files, and voice communication are combined into remarkably versatile and powerful information storage and communication facilities." 2

But this raises another challenge -- that of devising system organizations and architectures that take maximum advantage of hardware and software technology to make sophisticated applications possible at reasonable costs. A distributed- function architecture is one of the most promising ways of organizing systems of heterogeneous but complementary components, and we decided to use such an architecture to build an experimental word processor.

Two types of word processors are currently being offered: typewriter-based word processors and display word processors. Typewriter-based systems are often referred to as "blind editors" because operators cannot see the effects of the changes they make until a printout is made of the altered text. Instead, they must keep mental images of desired finished outputs in order to edit the stored material. Display word processors, on the other hand, are called "visual editors" because a visual display of the stored material...