Patents Examined by Kevin A. Kriess
  • Patent number: 6301673
    Abstract: A laptop computer system includes a protected mode microprocessor capable of operating in restricted and unrestricted modes, and an arrangement which in response to a predetermined condition saves information from the processor and then forcibly switches the processor to its unrestricted mode of operation. When running a multi-tasking operating system where an application program is being executed in a restricted mode, a suspend/resume operation can be carried out in which the system is substantially powered down and then powered back up, and will resume the interrupted application with the restricted mode back in effect. Further, set-up changes such as adjustment of the processor speed can be made without exiting the application program running in the restricted mode.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: January 23, 1997
    Date of Patent: October 9, 2001
    Assignee: NEC Corporation
    Inventors: Mark J. Foster, Saifuddin T. Fakhruddin, James L. Walker, Matthew B. Mendelow, Jiming Sun, Rodman S. Brahman, Michael P. Krau, Brian D. Willoughby, Michael D. Maddix, Steven L. Belt, Scott A. Hovey, Mark A. Ruthenbeck
  • Patent number: 6193422
    Abstract: A portable computer system includes an input device such as a keyboard, a display, and a processor which is operable in a normal operational mode and in a reduced power mode, the processor carrying out program execution in each of the normal operational mode and reduced power mode. A timing arrangement switches the processor from its normal operational mode to its reduced power mode in response to the absence of any of a plurality of predetermined events during a predetermined time interval, the predetermined events including actuation of keys on the keyboard and transmission of information to the video display.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: June 22, 1994
    Date of Patent: February 27, 2001
    Assignee: NEC Corporation
    Inventors: Steven L. Belt, Robert J. Grabon, Chandrakant H. Pandya, Jiming Sun, Neysa K. Terry-Gray, Min E. Lee, Norman M. Hack
  • Patent number: 6115548
    Abstract: A method and apparatus for interfacing a serial data signal having an associated data clock signal to a circuit, which is clocked at a slightly higher local clock frequency, employs a D-type flip-flop to sample the data clock signal at the local clock frequency. Another D-type flip-flop stores the sample previous to that stored by the first flip-flop and on the basis of these two stored samples a decision is made as to which clock pulses of the local clock should be passed by a gate to form a modified clock signal. This modified clock signal is used to clock a third flip-flop which reads in the bits of the data signal. The modified clock signal can then be used to clock the data through a shift register so that it can be converted to a parallel format.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: March 12, 1997
    Date of Patent: September 5, 2000
    Assignee: Texas Instruments Incorporated
    Inventor: Peter J. Vinson
  • Patent number: 6035123
    Abstract: A new class of general purpose computers called Programmable Reduced Instruction Set Computers (PRISC) use RISC techniques a basis for operation. In addition to the conventional RISC instructions, PRISC computers provide hardware programmable resources which can be configured optimally for a given user application. A given user application is compiled using a PRISC compiler which recognizes and evaluates complex instructions into a Boolean expression which is assigned an identifier and stored in conventional memory. The recognition of instructions which may be programmed in hardware is achieved through a combination of bit width analysis and instruction optimization. During execution of the user application on the PRISC computer, the stored expressions are loaded as needed into a programmable functional unit. Once loaded, the expressions are executed during a single instruction cycle.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: November 8, 1995
    Date of Patent: March 7, 2000
    Assignee: Digital Equipment Corporation
    Inventors: Rahul Razdan, Michael D. Smith
  • Patent number: 6016393
    Abstract: A distributed computing environment in which agent processes direct their own movement through a computer network. Place processes provide a computing context within which agent processes are interpreted. An agent process controls its movement from one place process to another within the network by using a ticket. An agent process which moves from one place process to another transports definitions of classes of which objects included in the agent process are members. An agent process which moves from one place process to a second place process avoids unnecessary transportation of objects included in the agent process by substituting equivalent objects which are found in the second place process. An agent process sends clones of the agent process to several place processes simultaneously.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: February 10, 1997
    Date of Patent: January 18, 2000
    Assignee: General Magic, Inc.
    Inventors: James E. White, Christopher S. Helgeson, Douglas A. Steedman
  • Patent number: 6003131
    Abstract: A provided computer system has a variety of additional application functions such as television, audio, video, communication, game, home automation functions, etc., as well as general mathematical computation and logic functions. Also, the system has a switch circuit and a booting control circuit. The switch circuit is used in selecting the additional functions which has a plurality of switches corresponding to the functions respectively. The booting control circuit is operated with a first supply voltage VCC.sub.-- A which allows power supply to apply a second supply voltage VCC.sub.-- B to central processing unit, several kinds of memory units and input/output peripherals when at least one of the switches is on.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: March 20, 1997
    Date of Patent: December 14, 1999
    Assignee: SamSung Electronics Co., Ltd.
    Inventors: Sang-Jin Lee, Kyong-Kyu Lee
  • Patent number: 5991875
    Abstract: One embodiment of the present invention relates to a user configurable computer-based system having a processor with an input/output ("I/O") bus. The system comprises a configuration card having non-volatile memory containing computer instructions governing system configuration and a set of contacts in the computer system for receiving the configuration card and to which the non-volatile memory of the configuration card can be connected. The computer system further comprises a stored boot-up instruction that causes the processor to read on its I/O bus the instructions governing system configuration and to execute the instructions governing system configuration as part of the start up of the system prior to accepting normal/other user input.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: September 17, 1997
    Date of Patent: November 23, 1999
    Assignee: Micron Electronics, Inc.
    Inventor: Keith A. Paul
  • Patent number: 5987528
    Abstract: A method for controlling flow, through a computer hardware resource, of information to and from computer applications. When a flow of information is initiated from one of the applications, a determination is made whether the resource is being accessed by another one of the applications and, if so, the flow of information from the first application is delayed. If not, then the flow of information is enabled. When a flow of information is initiated toward the applications, a determination is made to which one of the applications the information is flowing, and the flow is directed to that one application. A graphical interface associates, in the mind of a user, a computer hardware resource with a corresponding real office device, the computer resource enabling the computer to function like the consumer device.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: September 9, 1994
    Date of Patent: November 16, 1999
    Assignee: Compaq Computer Corporation
    Inventors: Billy P. Taylor, Mary P. Czerwinski, Willie Lawson Schoggins, III, Young Howard Lee
  • Patent number: 5983345
    Abstract: A circuit for initializing and monitoring the proper operation of a microprocessor. Both reset procedures, the power-on reset and the operating reset, are performed by a digital circuit.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: July 7, 1997
    Date of Patent: November 9, 1999
    Assignee: Robert Bosch GmbH
    Inventor: Gerhard Mueller-Roemer
  • Patent number: 5978912
    Abstract: A method and system of communicating with a computer through a network prior to booting the computer's operating system or after operating system failure is provided. A multitasking kernel is implemented in a network enhanced BIOS. External references in a NIC device driver are resolved to reference services provided by the network enhanced BIOS. A workstation coupled to the computer through a network may be used to access and set status on the computer prior to loading the operating system or after operating system failure. The multitasking kernel may be operated simultaneously with a conventional BIOS. The computer may be further provided with a means for alerting the workstation in the event of a POST failure or operating system crash.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: March 20, 1997
    Date of Patent: November 2, 1999
    Assignee: Phoenix Technologies Limited
    Inventors: Yuval Rakavy, Ian Anderson, Andrew Garsten, James Roche, Michael Peter R. Burton
  • Patent number: 5974261
    Abstract: A computer system has a processing unit with suspend/resume capability, a memory, and a hard disk drive. In response to a first command from the processor, the hard disk drive sends its status to the processor and the processor stores it in the memory. In response to a second command from the processor, the hard disk accepts from the processor the status retrieved by the processor from the memory, and restores itself to this status. In an alternative embodiment, the hard disk drive response to the first command by storing its status on its own hard disk, and responds to the second command by restoring this status from the hard disk. In each case, an output line from the hard disk used to control a light emitting diode is also selectively used to create an interrupt to the processor which facilitates the systems entry into the suspend mode.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: May 9, 1995
    Date of Patent: October 26, 1999
    Assignee: Vantus Technology
    Inventors: Saifuddin T. Fakhruddin, Jiming Sun, Mark J. Foster, Scott A. Hovey, James L. Walker, Gregory Allen Mart, Randy J. Vanderheyden, Mark A. Ruthenbeck
  • Patent number: 5974468
    Abstract: A method for controlling flow, through a computer hardware resource, of information to and from computer applications. When a flow of information is initiated from one of the applications, a determination is made whether the resource is being accessed by another one of the applications and, if so, the flow of information from the first application is delayed. If not, then the flow of information is enabled. When a flow of information is initiated toward the applications, a determination is made to which one of the applications the information is flowing, and the flow is directed to that one application. A graphical interface associates, in the mind of a user, a computer hardware resource with a corresponding real office device, the computer resource enabling the computer to function like the consumer device.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: May 25, 1995
    Date of Patent: October 26, 1999
    Assignee: Compaq Computer Corporation
    Inventors: Billy P. Taylor, Mary P. Czerwinski, Willie Lawson Schoggins, III, Young Howard Lee
  • Patent number: 5974250
    Abstract: A computer network system having a plurality of nodes, one of which is adapted as an administrator node, the administrator node for securely receiving code information from a code provider disposed external to the network system and for securely sending the code information to at least one of the nodes.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: December 13, 1996
    Date of Patent: October 26, 1999
    Assignee: Compaq Computer Corp.
    Inventors: Michael F. Angelo, Sompong P. Olarig
  • Patent number: 5964875
    Abstract: Improved techniques for facilitating identification of a computer system's hardware features to software executing on the computer system are disclosed. In one embodiment, the software is system management software that serves to monitor and control the computer system to reduce failures and/or improve performance. In a general sense, the invention provides a system feature table within a computer system to describe each of the hardware features of the computer system, including feature data and appropriate access mechanisms for additional information. In addition, a user can be notified when the software does not support all the hardware features of the computer system. The invention also is able to identify locations of failing hardware features for easy replacement or examination.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: September 2, 1997
    Date of Patent: October 12, 1999
    Assignee: Compaq Computer Corporation
    Inventors: Jeffrey S. Autor, Gregory T. Noren, John S. Lacombe
  • Patent number: 5966531
    Abstract: A communication interface for decoupling one software application from another software application such communications between applications are facilitated and applications may be developed in modularized fashion. The communication interface is comprised of two libraries of programs. One library manages self-describing forms which contain actual data to be exchanged as well as type information regarding data format and class definition that contain semantic information. Another library manages communications and includes a subject mapper to receive subscription requests regarding a particular subject and map them to particular communication disciplines and to particular services supplying this information. A number of communication disciplines also cooperate with the subject mapper or directly with client applications to manage communications with various other applications using the communication protocols used by those other applications.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: June 7, 1995
    Date of Patent: October 12, 1999
    Assignee: Reuters, Ltd.
    Inventors: Marion Dale Skeen, Mark Bowles
  • Patent number: 5963738
    Abstract: When a BIOS driver call request is generated in an environment of an OS operating in a protect mode, an IN or OUT instruction is executed to cause an I/O trap SMI generator to generate an I/O trap SMI. The mode of a CPU is switched from the protect mode to an SMM in accordance with the I/O trap SMI. In the SMM, the BIOS driver is executed. When the process of the BIOS driver is completed, the mode of the CPU is returned from the SMM to the protect mode, thereby shifting control to the OS. The BIOS can be directly called in the protect mode without building a routine for switching the CPU operating mode in the OS or application program operating in the protect mode.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: January 27, 1997
    Date of Patent: October 5, 1999
    Assignee: Kabushiki Kaisha Toshiba
    Inventors: Masayo Yamaki, Hiroyuki Tsukada
  • Patent number: 5960206
    Abstract: A method and apparatus for estimating the time needed to install software. Configuration information about the data processing system is obtained, as well as information about data needing conversion that is stored on the system. The stand-alone installation time for each portion of the software to be installed is determined and a menu of the installation options is displayed for selection. In response to the selection of options, a determination of whether the installation will be non-linear is made. Non-linear installation involves the ability to install several portions of the software simultaneously, such as in, for example, multiprocessing, multithreading, or parallel processing. In response to a presence of non-linear processing, installation time is determined for the selected options and displayed to the user.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: March 24, 1998
    Date of Patent: September 28, 1999
    Assignee: International Business Machines Corporation
    Inventors: Eric Lawrence Barsness, Richard Fred Harwood, Jennifer Anne Larson
  • Patent number: 5960213
    Abstract: A PCI compliant device having an internal function and a secondary PCI port for a second PCI device having additional functions. The device adapts its internal function and memory and the functions and memory of the second PCI device such that the host system sees only a single multi-function device, which appears to have the combined memories and functions of the adapter and second PCI device. Preferably the adapter itself includes a graphics pre-processor, and is connected to one or more rendering processors on the second PCI port.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: December 11, 1996
    Date of Patent: September 28, 1999
    Assignee: 3D Labs Inc. Ltd
    Inventor: Malcolm Eric Wilson
  • Patent number: 5951685
    Abstract: A computer system having a processor is provided with a memory controller serially coupled to a serial-access programmable read-only-memory ROM (PROM) through a serial PROM interface of the controller. A random-access memory controller randomly accesses the BIOS code in the serial PROM during power-up of the computer system in response to read requests from the CPU. If the memory controller cannot immediately process the read requests from the CPU, the controller creates wait states for the CPU. An auto-configuring memory controller sequentially accesses the entire BIOS code in the serial PROM during power-up and prior to the running of the CPU and copies it to a portion of base memory, eliminating random accesses to the PROM.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: December 20, 1996
    Date of Patent: September 14, 1999
    Assignee: Compaq Computer Corporation
    Inventor: Charles J. Stancil
  • Patent number: 5951700
    Abstract: A method of determining a pattern of usage of a computer system. The method may be performed by a computer (1) having a bootable writable storage medium and (2) executing a usage-monitor program stored in the boot-up portion of the storage medium. The method may include signaling the presence of the usage-monitor program and overwriting the usage-monitor program with another computer program or a standard boot-sector. Alternatively, the method may be performed by a computer hard disk drive having (1) a vritable storage medium, (2) firmware, and (3) executing a usage-monitor program stored in the firmware. This method may include writing information representative of at least one command sent to the computer hard disk drive on the storage medium.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: February 11, 1998
    Date of Patent: September 14, 1999
    Assignee: Micron Electronics, Inc.
    Inventor: Dean A. Klein