Patents Assigned to Micron Electronics, Inc.
  • Patent number: 6205021
    Abstract: A method for operating an input device and a laptop computer. The input device may be attached to or detached from the laptop computer and may be accessed by a user in either the attached or detached positions. The user may secure the laptop computer in a stowed configuration without removing the input device and may access the input device immediately upon re-positioning the computer from the stowed configuration to an unstowed configuration. The user may access the input device by manipulating a joystick, touch pad or rotatable sphere. In one embodiment, the user may rotate the rotatable sphere by moving it with the fingers when the input device is attached, and by inverting the input device and moving the input device across a flat surface when the input device is detached.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: February 26, 1998
    Date of Patent: March 20, 2001
    Assignee: Micron Electronics, Inc.
    Inventors: Dean A. Klein, Hoyt A. Fleming, III
  • Patent number: 6200386
    Abstract: An apparatus for additively de-marking a packaged integrated circuit die bearing engraved marking indicia on an exterior surface thereof. The marked surface of a packaged die presented by a handling device is covered by an applicator with an overlayer of material to fill the engraved markings and provide a surface suitable for re-marking. The covering material may be applied in a flowable state by applicator contact or by non-contact dispensing, or may be applied by the applicator as a preformed segment. A pre-treatment device may be employed to treat the package exterior surface to be covered to enhance bonding of the covering material thereto. Bonding of the covering material to the package surface, or solidification of the covering material, may be enhanced by use of a post-application curing station.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: February 2, 1998
    Date of Patent: March 13, 2001
    Assignee: Micron Electronics, Inc.
    Inventor: Robert L. Canella
  • Patent number: 6202083
    Abstract: A method for updating a wallpaper for computer display, which operates on a server attached to a computer network. This method includes receiving a request from a client to fetch a wallpaper, and selecting the wallpaper from a collection of wallpaper based upon a personal profile of a user. It also includes retrieving the selected wallpaper, and sending the wallpaper across a network to the user on the client. In one embodiment of the present invention, the wallpaper is selected based upon a personal interest of the user. In a variation on the above embodiment, the client automatically requests new wallpaper at periodic time intervals, and also upon system initialization. Another embodiment of the present invention includes allowing the user to request an alternate wallpaper if the user does not care for the new wallpaper. Another embodiment includes registering a user for access to a collection of wallpapers for which there is restricted access.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: May 18, 1998
    Date of Patent: March 13, 2001
    Assignee: Micron Electronics, Inc.
    Inventor: Michael P. Chrabaszcz
  • Patent number: 6201688
    Abstract: An apparatus for securing a display housing to a base of a laptop computer. In one embodiment, the base has a widthwise dimension, a depthwise dimension, and a thickness and the display housing has a depthwise dimension that exceeds the depthwise dimension of the base. The laptop computer can further include a latch coupled to at least one of the display housing and the base. The latch can have an engaging portion that moves between a secured position to secure the display housing to the base, and an unsecured position to allow the display housing to be pivoted away from the base. The latch can translate or rotate between the secured position and the unsecured position.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: October 6, 1998
    Date of Patent: March 13, 2001
    Assignee: Micron Electronics, Inc.
    Inventor: Michael V. Leman
  • Patent number: 6202111
    Abstract: A software architecture for the hot add and swap of adapters. The software architecture allows users to replace failed components, upgrade outdated components, and add new functionality, such as new network interfaces, disk interface adapters and storage, without impacting existing users. The software architecture supports the hot add and swap of off-the-shelf adapters, including those adapters that are programmable.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: October 1, 1997
    Date of Patent: March 13, 2001
    Assignee: Micron Electronics, Inc.
    Inventors: Walter August Wallach, Mehrdad Khalili, Mallikarjunan Mahalingam, John M. Reed
  • Patent number: 6202160
    Abstract: A fault tolerant system for independent powering of diagnostic processes through a remote interface by use of a serial (local) or modem (dial-in) gateway. A server connects to a local or remote facility which includes a client computer. If the internal server power is off, the remote interface provides independent external power to portions of the server to facilitate reading of the server internal status or to remotely power up the server from the client computer. The remote interface provides bias power to a chassis microcontroller and a system recorder comprising a non-volatile memory and a microcontroller. The management of the server devices is directed by a network of microcontrollers without intervention of the server operating system software.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: October 1, 1997
    Date of Patent: March 13, 2001
    Assignee: Micron Electronics, Inc.
    Inventors: Tahir Q. Sheikh, Karl S. Johnson
  • Patent number: 6198625
    Abstract: A portable computer system may include a planar hinge to enable a display unit to be folded down on top of a base unit. The planar hinge may be located near an outside edge of the display unit, accommodating a large display. The display may occupy space near the bottom of the display unit that is ordinarily occupied by a hinge assembly. The base unit may include blade connectors to conduct power and output signals to female connectors on the display unit. Alternatively, the blade connectors may be located on the display unit while the female connectors may be incorporated in the base unit.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: June 3, 1999
    Date of Patent: March 6, 2001
    Assignee: Micron Electronics, Inc.
    Inventor: Michael V. Leman
  • Patent number: 6199173
    Abstract: A network of microcontrollers for monitoring and diagnosing the environmental conditions of a computer is disclosed. The network of microcontrollers provides a management system by which computer users can accurately gauge the health of their computer. The network of microcontrollers provides users the ability to detect system fan speeds, internal temperatures and voltage levels. The invention is designed to not only be resilient to faults, but also allows for the system maintenance, modification, and growth—without downtime. Additionally, the present invention allows users to replace failed components, and add new functionality, such as new network interfaces, disk interface cards and storage, without impacting existing users. One of the primary roles of the present invention is to manage the environment without outside involvement. This self-management allows the system to continue to operate even though components have failed.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: October 1, 1997
    Date of Patent: March 6, 2001
    Assignee: Micron Electronics, Inc.
    Inventors: Karl S. Johnson, Walter A. Wallach, Ken Nguyen, Carlton G. Amdahl
  • Patent number: 6195084
    Abstract: The resist to be used for the method of this invention in producing a semiconductor device is patterned by a procedure which comprises the steps of disposing in the direction of a semiconductor wafer a first mask having circuit patterns repeatedly formed at a plurality of positions, then shielding those of said plurality of circuit patterns which overlap the edge of the semiconductor wafer with a blind to an extent such that the remaining circuit patterns are not shielded, exposing a resist overlying the semiconductor wafer by using the first mask held in a state partially shielded by the blind, projecting light through a second mask provided with a light passing pattern defined by a shielding film to an area of the resist to which the edge of the blind is transferred, and developing the resist.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: October 14, 1997
    Date of Patent: February 27, 2001
    Assignee: Micron Electronics, Inc.
    Inventor: Stephen C. Murphy
  • Patent number: 6195717
    Abstract: A method for expanding the loading capacity of a PCI bus in an information processing system having a multiple bus architecture. In one embodiment, the method comprises connecting a processor-to-PCI bridge to a plurality of PCI-to-PCI bridges to generate multiple PCI buses. A plurality of add-in board connectors are coupled to each of the generated PCI buses. In another embodiment, the method comprises connecting two or more processor-to-PCI bridges to a plurality of PCI-to-PCI bridges to generate multiple PCI buses. The resulting system expands the loading capacity of a PCI bus while adding fault-tolerance and resistance to single point failures.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: October 1, 1997
    Date of Patent: February 27, 2001
    Assignee: Micron Electronics, Inc.
    Inventors: Michael G. Henderson, Carlton G. Amdahl, Dennis H. Smith, Don Agneta
  • Patent number: 6192478
    Abstract: An embodiment of the present invention provides a facility for securing the use of a distinguished operation, such as a computer system administration operation, to authorized users. The facility first displays an ornamental image to a user. The displayed ornamental image contains a visual key feature that the facility uses to discern the authority of the user to perform the distinguished operation. The facility then determines whether the user has selected the key feature within the ornamental image. The facility invokes the distinguished operation only in response to a determination that the user has selected the key feature. In this way, only authorized users informed to select the key feature may invoke the distinguished operation.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: March 2, 1998
    Date of Patent: February 20, 2001
    Assignee: Micron Electronics, Inc.
    Inventor: Dennis D. Elledge
  • Patent number: 6192480
    Abstract: Disclosed is a method relating to implementation of a power management utility. The method relates to adjusting the hardware performance settings of particular hardware devices on a computer in order to extend the charge of an attached computer battery. As the user adjusts the hardware settings, the computer notifies the user whether the performance of any software applications loaded on the computer would be adversely affected by the hardware settings. In a preferred embodiment, the computer automatically detects all software applications on the computer and inputs the minimum operating requirements for each application into a data structure. As the user manipulates the hardware power settings, the computer accesses the data structure and compares it to the power settings. The computer then notifies the user if the power settings are set below desired levels for any of the applications on the computer.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: July 18, 1997
    Date of Patent: February 20, 2001
    Assignee: Micron Electronics, Inc.
    Inventor: Jeff Barrus
  • Patent number: 6192434
    Abstract: A software architecture for the hot add and swap of adapters. The software architecture allows users to replace failed components, upgrade outdated components, and add new functionality, such as new network interfaces, disk interface adapters and storage, without impacting existing users. The software architecture supports the hot add and swap of off-the-shelf adapters, including those adapters that are programmable.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: October 1, 1997
    Date of Patent: February 20, 2001
    Assignee: Micron Electronics, INC
    Inventors: Walter August Wallach, Mehrdad Khalili, Mallikarjunan Mahalingam, John M. Reed
  • Patent number: 6186800
    Abstract: The present invention provides for an apparatus for grounding and supporting a circuit board such as a motherboard in the chassis of a computer. The apparatus enables use of either a specially manufactured motherboard or an off-the-shelf motherboard in a standardized chassis. Embodiments of the apparatus provided for use with specially manufactured motherboards allow for grounding and support of the motherboard without the use of conventional fasteners such as screws that require tools for installation and removal.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: January 13, 1999
    Date of Patent: February 13, 2001
    Assignee: Micron Electronics, Inc.
    Inventors: Dean A. Klein, Michael V. Leman
  • Patent number: 6189109
    Abstract: A fault tolerant method by which individual components of a server are monitored and controlled through independent, programmable microcontrollers interconnected through a microcontroller network. An external agent can control and monitor the microcontrollers by extending the interconnection network beyond the physical server. Intervention of the server operating system software is not required and is not utilized for the access and control operations. The method includes the processes running on a remote interface so as to enable communication between the microcontroller network and an external modem that communicates with a remote client machine. The remote interface also provides for connection to a local client machine.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: October 1, 1997
    Date of Patent: February 13, 2001
    Assignee: Micron Electronics, Inc.
    Inventors: Tahir Q. Sheikh, Karl S. Johnson, Ken Nguyen
  • Patent number: 6184518
    Abstract: One embodiment of the present invention provides a rotary encoder having a rotatable disk with multiple index points. These index points contain information specifying an angular position of the index point. This allows the rotary encoder to be calibrated by turning it through a sufficient angular displacement to ensure that an index point passes over an optical sensor. This sufficient angular displacement is less than a complete revolution because there are multiple index points along the circumference of the disk. This design allows a rotary encoder to be calibrated without turning it through a complete revolution. This is advantageous where turning the rotary encoder through a complete rotation is not possible or is inconvenient, for example in applications such as a wind direction indicator, a rudder position indicator or a joystick. Thus, the one embodiment of the present invention can be characterized as an optical rotary encoder including a rotatable disk.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: June 3, 1998
    Date of Patent: February 6, 2001
    Assignee: Micron Electronics, Inc.
    Inventor: Dean A. Klein
  • Patent number: 6185696
    Abstract: A computer system includes a dual basic input-output system (BIOS) read-only memory (ROM) system to initialize the computer. When the computer is first powered on or reset, the primary BIOS ROM is initially enabled. The computer analyzes the contents of the primary BIOS memory to detect data errors. If a data error is detected, a chip enable circuit disables the primary BIOS ROM and enables a secondary BIOS ROM containing essentially the same initialization instructions as the primary BIOS ROM. If no errors are detected in the secondary BIOS ROM, the initialization of the computer proceeds using the secondary BIOS ROM. As part of the initialization procedure, the contents of the secondary BIOS ROM are copied to a random access memory. The primary BIOS ROM can then be reprogrammed with the contents of the secondary BIOS ROM using the copy in random access memory, or from the secondary BIOS ROM itself.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: May 27, 1998
    Date of Patent: February 6, 2001
    Assignee: Micron Electronics, Inc.
    Inventor: Michael J. Noll
  • Patent number: 6185645
    Abstract: One embodiment of the present invention provides a method for removing power and signals from a bus card in a computer system when the bus card is inadvertently removed from the computer system while the computer system is operating. The method includes sensing a movement of the bus card from a bus connector in the computer system while the computer system is operating, and in response to the movement, removing power and signals from the bus card. The present invention can thereby prevent damage or failure of the computer system when a bus card is inadvertently removed from the computer system by powering down the bus card and/or removing signals from the bus card before it is completely removed. Another embodiment of the present invention includes sensing an insertion of the bus card into the bus connector, and in response to the insertion of the bus card, resetting the bus card.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: June 8, 1998
    Date of Patent: February 6, 2001
    Assignee: Micron Electronics, Inc.
    Inventors: Dean A. Klein, Hoyt A. Fleming, III
  • Patent number: 6179486
    Abstract: A software architecture for the hot add and swap of adapters. The software architecture allows users to replace failed components, upgrade outdated components, and add new functionality, such as new network interfaces, disk interface adapters and storage, without impacting existing users. The software architecture supports the hot add and swap of off-the-shelf adapters, including those adapters that are programmable.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: October 1, 1997
    Date of Patent: January 30, 2001
    Assignee: Micron Electronics, Inc.
    Inventors: Walter August Wallach, Mehrdad Khalili, Mallikarjunan Mahalingam, John M. Reed
  • Patent number: 6178624
    Abstract: A method for attaching processors and other components to printed circuit assemblies. One particularly useful application for several embodiments of the invention is attaching a single-edge-contact processor to a PCB. In one embodiment, a mounting-module for attaching a component to a PCB is attached to the PCB prior to being shipped to a final device manufacturer. The component has a component height greater than a desired shipping height for the printed circuit board. The mounting-module, more particularly, may have a base attached to the printed circuit board and a component holder attachable to the base. The base and component holder together may have a first height less than the desired shipping height when the component holder is in a detached or lowered position. As such, the base may be attached to the printed circuit board prior to shipping without adversely impacting the shipping costs.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: November 19, 1997
    Date of Patent: January 30, 2001
    Assignee: Micron Electronics, Inc.
    Inventor: Robert Magette