Patents Assigned to AST Research, Inc.
  • Patent number: 6366935
    Abstract: A portable lightweight combination laptop and pad computer has a display mounted on a main housing for movement between a closed position and an open position. In the closed position, a keyboard is covered by the undersurface of the display and the display viewing surface remains visible so that the computer may be used in the pad mode with a conductive stylus for data and command entry. In the open position, the keyboard is exposed so that the computer may be used in a laptop or desk top mode, or in a combined mode including the pad mode. The display is mounted to the housing by a four bar hinge mechanism, and a pair of latches are provided approximately mid-way between the front and rear portions of the housing along the side margins to securely latch the display in the closed position for storage, transit or use in the pad mode.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: January 18, 2001
    Date of Patent: April 2, 2002
    Assignee: AST Research, Inc.
    Inventors: Jeff C. Hawkins, John J. Daly
  • Patent number: 6219681
    Abstract: A portable lightweight combination laptop and pad computer has a display mounted on a main housing for movement between a closed position and an open position. In the closed position, a keyboard is covered by the undersurface of the display and the display viewing surface remains visible so that the computer may be used in the pad mode with a conductive stylus for data and command entry. In the open position, the keyboard is exposed so that the computer may be used in a laptop or desk top mode, or in a combined mode including the pad mode. The display is mounted to the housing by a four bar hinge mechanism, and a pair of latches are provided approximately mid-way between the front and rear portions of the housing along the side margins to securely latch the display in the closed position for storage, transit or use in the pad mode.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: August 29, 1995
    Date of Patent: April 17, 2001
    Assignee: AST Research, Inc.
    Inventors: Jeff C. Hawkins, John J. Daly
  • Patent number: 6170024
    Abstract: A computer system having dual paths for controlling a peripheral device electrically associated with a host computer. The peripheral device is electrically connected to the host computer and to an independent control circuit. Control inputs for the peripheral device and data and/or control inputs for the host computer are generated by a keyboard or other input device and transmitted to an input controller which directs certain data and/or control inputs to the host computer for processing and directs certain peripheral device control inputs to a state machine for the generation of peripheral device control signals. In such a manner, the independent control circuit provides for the control of the peripheral device while the host computer may process data unrelated to the control of the peripheral device. In one aspect, control of the peripheral device may be effected by both the host computer and the independent control circuit.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: November 23, 1999
    Date of Patent: January 2, 2001
    Assignee: AST Research, Inc.
    Inventors: Carl K. Wakeland, John M. Prickett
  • Patent number: 6100875
    Abstract: An apparatus and method emulates mouse pointer functions utilizing a keyboard having an additional special function key. When the special function key is depressed, designated keys on the keyboard are interpreted as "mouse keys" which may be used to direct a pointer on a computer screen in a manner similar to a conventional mouse pointer. In one embodiment, the keys used as cursor movement keys during normal operation are designated as "mouse keys" which effect the movement of the pointer on the screen when the special function key is depressed. In addition, other keys may be used as left and right mouse buttons and as mouse lock keys. In one embodiment, the pointer speed is gradually increased when the user continuously holds any of the cursor movement keys down for a preselected interval.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: December 28, 1993
    Date of Patent: August 8, 2000
    Assignee: AST Research, Inc.
    Inventors: Michael Ken Goodman, Charles Frederick Raasch, Farzad Noorbehesht
  • Patent number: 6064766
    Abstract: A keyboardless entry computer system includes a transparent input screen that generates positional information when contacted by a stylus, and a display screen mounted physically below the input screen such that a character that is displayed can be seen below the input screen. The system includes a computer that has been programmed to compile the positional information into Strokes, to calculate Stroke characteristics, and then compare the Stroke characteristics with those stored in a database in order to recognize the symbol drawn by the stylus. Key features of the system are: (1) transparent position sensing subsystem; (2) underlying display on which to mimic drawing of sensed positions and to show characters or symbols; (3) means to convert sensed positions first into plotted Points and then into recognized characters or symbols; and (4) means to "learn" to associate sensed input positions with a character or symbol.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: December 18, 1998
    Date of Patent: May 16, 2000
    Assignee: AST Research, Inc.
    Inventor: Ralph Sklarew
  • Patent number: 6035358
    Abstract: A computer processing unit (CPU) module is described. The present CPU module accommodates a CPU and includes a power supply, a power good detection circuit and a clock speed selector, all of which are integral to the CPU module. The power supply provides the CPU module the ability to convert power supplied to the CPU module to power as needed by the CPU. The power good detection circuit provides the CPU module the ability to notify the mother board of a power supply to the CPU which is below the operating voltage of the CPU (e.g., a power failure or insufficient voltage). The clock speed selector provides the CPU module the ability to automatically set the clock speed to that required by the CPU without modification to the BIOS stored on the mother board or changing components.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: October 13, 1998
    Date of Patent: March 7, 2000
    Assignee: AST Research, Inc.
    Inventor: Roy K. Tanikawa
  • Patent number: 6014428
    Abstract: Method and a system for a user-customizable interactive voice mail/voice response system are disclosed. In a preferred embodiment, an interactive voice mail/voice response ("IVR") system of the present invention enables a user to build and operate custom IVR functions using voice templates. An interactive voice mail/voice response ("IVR") system of the present invention enables a user to build and operate custom IVR menus. The system comprises a voice menu system that includes a plurality of menus, each comprising a plurality of script records implemented using voice templates made up of voice template elements of various types, the characteristics and behavior of which will be determined by their user-designated type and the characteristic of the voice response record with which they are associated. As a result, the voice elements, and in turn, the voice templates they comprise, dynamically exhibit a behavior that is appropriate to the current environment.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: June 12, 1998
    Date of Patent: January 11, 2000
    Assignee: AST Research, Inc.
    Inventor: Richard J. Wolf
  • Patent number: 6002799
    Abstract: A keyboardless entry computer system includes a transparent input screen that generates positional information when contacted by a stylus, and a display screen mounted physically below the input screen such that a character that is displayed can be seen below the input screen. The system includes a computer that has been programmed to compile the positional information into Strokes, to calculate Stroke characteristics, and then compare the Stroke characteristics with those stored in a database in order to recognize the symbol drawn by the stylus. Key features of the system are: (1) transparent position sensing subsystem; (2) underlying display on which to mimic drawing of sensed positions and to show characters or symbols; (3) means to convert sensed positions first into plotted Points and then into recognized characters or symbols; and (4) means to "learn" to associate sensed input positions with a character or symbol.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: January 23, 1995
    Date of Patent: December 14, 1999
    Assignee: AST Research, Inc.
    Inventor: Ralph Sklarew
  • Patent number: 5999994
    Abstract: A computer system having dual paths for controlling a peripheral device electrically associated with a host computer. The peripheral device is electrically connected to the host computer and to an independent control circuit. Control inputs for the peripheral device and data and/or control inputs for the host computer are generated by a keyboard or other input device and transmitted to an input controller which directs certain data and/or control inputs to the host computer for processing and directs certain peripheral device control inputs to a state machine for the generation of peripheral device control signals. In such a manner, the independent control circuit provides for the control of the peripheral device while the host computer may process data unrelated to the control of the peripheral device. In one aspect, control of the peripheral device may be effected by both the host computer and the independent control circuit.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: January 25, 1995
    Date of Patent: December 7, 1999
    Assignee: AST Research, Inc.
    Inventors: Carl K. Wakeland, John M. Prickett
  • Patent number: 5961613
    Abstract: A computer network includes a network server in communication with a plurality of user terminals. The network server includes disk drives which store data accessible via the user terminals. To increase power efficiency of the network server, the number of accesses to the disk drives is monitored and a histogram is generated to display the distribution of disk accesses over time. A network administrator subsequently selects time intervals to spin down one or more of the disk drives during periods of disk inactivity as depicted in the histogram. In a preferred embodiment, the network administrator uses the histogram for failure analysis to determine which disks are more likely to fail over long time periods.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: September 2, 1997
    Date of Patent: October 5, 1999
    Assignee: AST Research, Inc.
    Inventor: Richard M. DeNicola
  • Patent number: 5946377
    Abstract: User-customizable method and system for enabling a user easily and conveniently to navigate one or more IVR systems regularly accessed by the user are disclosed. In a preferred embodiment, a script-based DTMF information retrieval system of the present invention enables a user to build scripts that may be used to access information in an IVR system so that the need for remembering menu picks, account numbers and passwords is eliminated. Using the system of the present invention, a user may enter information about a service, such as the telephone number and name thereof. The user may then enter information about one or more accounts within each service, including account numbers and any passwords associated therewith. At that point, the user may construct scripts that can be used automatically to access information from or execute orders in connection with the service. Each script includes script records of various types depending on the type of action to be performed.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: October 10, 1995
    Date of Patent: August 31, 1999
    Assignee: AST Research, Inc.
    Inventor: Richard J. Wolf
  • Patent number: 5933526
    Abstract: A keyboardless entry computer system includes a transparent input screen that generates positional information when contacted by a stylus, and a display screen mounted physically below the input screen such that a character that is displayed can be seen below the input screen. The system includes a computer that has been programmed to compile the positional information into Strokes, to calculate Stroke characteristics, and then compare the Stroke characteristics with those stored in a database in order to recognize the symbol drawn by the stylus. Key features of the system are: (1) transparent position sensing subsystem; (2) underlying display on which to mimic drawing of sensed positions and to show characters or symbols; (3) means to convert sensed positions first into plotted Points and then into recognized characters or symbols; and (4) means to "learn" to associate sensed input positions with a character or symbol.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: June 7, 1995
    Date of Patent: August 3, 1999
    Assignee: AST Research, INc.
    Inventor: Ralph Sklarew
  • Patent number: 5900014
    Abstract: A system for facilitating debugging of software running within an information processing unit includes an external trigger state machine which selectively overrides the cacheability attribute of a cache line. An in-circuit emulator (ICE), which is used for debugging purposes, monitors addresses read by and written to a CPU. If an address which is of interest for debugging purposes is detected by the ICE, then the ICE issues a trigger signal. The trigger signal causes the external trigger state machine to designate the cache line associated with the detected address as a non-cacheable operation (i.e., to override the cacheability attribute) . Thus, the data associated with the cache line is written out to the main memory module where the data can be observed by an ICE, rather than to an internal cache memory location where the data would be invisible to an ICE.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: December 19, 1996
    Date of Patent: May 4, 1999
    Assignee: AST Research, Inc.
    Inventor: Brian R. Bennett
  • Patent number: 5901313
    Abstract: An application management system for achieving a common user access (CUA) interface throughout multiple applications of a computer system is described. The system includes an operating environment having an application control module (ACM) that is run-time bound and executable by the applications. The ACM furnishes generalized procedural codes for each application. The application uses data structures to define the appearance and operation of the application to the ACM. The system also integrates the application program interfaces (API's) of an operating environment graphic user interface (GUI) system and a database management system (DBMS) within the ACM. The invention reduces the programming required for applications and improves consistency in programming across multiple applications.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: September 2, 1997
    Date of Patent: May 4, 1999
    Assignee: AST Research, Inc.
    Inventors: Julie M. Wolf, Charles D. Lanier, Bryan L. Helm
  • Patent number: 5898890
    Abstract: A first and second electronic devices are connected by two data lines arranged in a wired-AND configuration so that each device can signal the other device by forcing one of the two-wires into a "low" condition. An inventive method uses serial transfer of a predetermined numbers of bits in a digital word delimited by start and stop bits which are, in turn, defined by their relation to a clock signal on one of the data lines. The start and stop bits are chosen to be in a particular state during the "active" portion of the clock signal. Thus, the need for clocked gates or multivibrators is eliminated. In the preferred embodiment, the method and apparatus are used in a digital multimeter to intercouple a microprocessor and an electronic measuring circuit so that the microprocessor can control the measuring circuit and receive measured values from the circuit.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: August 7, 1997
    Date of Patent: April 27, 1999
    Assignee: AST Research, Inc.
    Inventors: Jerry J. Heep, Douglas R. Curtis
  • Patent number: 5892503
    Abstract: A multimedia console keyboard provides a convenient user interface to provide multimedia functions easily accessible to the user. In general, the multimedia console keyboard provides speakers, microphones, volume control, brightness control, contrast control, a pointing device, an electronic keyboard template with contact sensitive ICON and a real time clock/calendar alarm and computer power control switch at the keyboard. The multimedia console keyboard provides an integrated analog-digital preprocessor with audio compression and expansion capabilities and other analog capabilities. Integrated audio allows for a closed-loop voice activation and control for the computer.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: May 28, 1997
    Date of Patent: April 6, 1999
    Assignee: AST Research, Inc.
    Inventor: Jason Seung-Min Kim
  • Patent number: 5883625
    Abstract: A system and method for automatically arranging objects inside a container of a graphical user interface in a visually attractive and effective manner. In a departure from the art, selectable grid styles are provided for arranging cells into different configurations inside the container. Depending on the grid style available, the cells may be placed in any one of many different grid styles, such as rectangular, rhombus-shaped, or circular. Furthermore, identifiers are utilized for placing objects such as icons or buttons in each cell and ordering the objects for other user applications. In this way, different grid styles can be utilized and/or easily changed and new grid styles can easily be added.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: April 22, 1996
    Date of Patent: March 16, 1999
    Assignee: AST Research, Inc.
    Inventors: Chris Crawford, Douglas Bonser
  • Patent number: 5873449
    Abstract: A workstation includes a support assembly with at least one longitudinally extending rail. A longitudinally extending conveyor is slidably mounted to the rail for sliding movement between a home position, where the conveyor is predominately provided for working on a workpiece, and a second position, where one end of the conveyor is provided adjacent to a conveyor line. The conveyor has a longitudinal length that allows an access space between the conveyor and one of the lines when the conveyor is provided in the home position.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: November 26, 1996
    Date of Patent: February 23, 1999
    Assignee: AST Research, Inc.
    Inventor: Timothy B. Davenport
  • Patent number: 5875232
    Abstract: A personalized voice mail identification system is enclosed. In a preferred embodiment, the system of the present invention resides on a personal computer (PC) connected to a phone line via a TAPI-compliant or other appropriate device for enabling telephone functions to be performed by the PC. In one aspect of the invention, when a caller calls a system subscriber, a callerID code, if present, is detected and a determination is next made whether there is an ID recording comprising the spoken caller's name associated with the callerID code already stored in a database of the system. If there is an ID recording for the caller in the database, the recording is accessed and played to the subscriber as part of a call screening function.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: September 9, 1996
    Date of Patent: February 23, 1999
    Assignee: AST Research, Inc.
    Inventor: Richard J. Wolf
  • Patent number: RE37431
    Abstract: An intelligent help system which processes information specific to a user and a system state is described. The system incorporates a monitoring device to determine which events to store as data in an historical queue. These data, as well as non-historical data (e.g. system state), are stored in a knowledge base. An inference engine tests rules against the knowledge base data, thereby providing a help tag. A display engine links the help tag with an appropriate solution tag to provide help text for display.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: October 2, 1996
    Date of Patent: October 30, 2001
    Assignee: AST Research, Inc.
    Inventors: Charles D. Lanier, Richard J. Wolf, Leticia Villegas