METHOD AND VIDEOTEX APPARATUS FOR FAST ACCESS OF REMOTELY LOCATED INFORMATION
This is a continuation, of application Ser. No. 545,070, filed on Oct. 25, 1983, now abandoned.
CROSS REFERENCES TO RELATED
The following is a list of co-pending U.S. patent applications, which are hereby incorporated by reference and made a part hereof, as if they were fully set forth herein:
(1) TERMINAL FOR INFORMATION SYSTEM, by John F. Graham aiid Daniel L. Williams, Ser. No. 545,615, filed Oct. 25, 1983, now abandoned;
(2) INFORMATION SYSTEM TERMINAL OR THE LIKE, design patent application by John F. Graham and Daniel L. Williams, Ser. No. 545,614, filed Oct. 25, 1983, now U.S. Pat. No. DES. 285,562;
(3) METHOD AND APPARATUS FOR RETRIEVING REMOTELY LOCATED INFORMATION, by William R. J. Chorley, Robert Redding, and Christopher Fries, Ser. No. 545,068, filed Oct. 25, 1983, now U.S. Pat. No. 4,649,533;
(4) METHOD AND APPARATUS FOR RETRIEVING INFORMATION, by Anthony Kram, Ser. No. 805,830, filed Dec. 6, 1985;
(5) METHOD AND APPARATUS FOR RETRIEVING INFORMATION DISTRIBUTED OVER NONCONSECUTIVE PAGES, by Peter M. Winter and Neil L. Holman, Ser. No. 545,124, filed Oct. 25, 1983, now abandoned;
(6) METHOD AND APPARATUS FOR ASSISTING USER OF INFORMATION RETRIEVAL SYSTEM, by Anthony Kram, Peter M. Winter, and Neil L. Holman, Ser. No. 545,069, filed Oct. 25, 1983, now U.S. Pat. No. 4,754,326;
(7) METHOD AND APPARATUS FOR INFORMATION RETRIEVAL, by J. William Burk, Jr., Christopher Fries, and Peter M. Winter, Ser. No. 545,128, filed Oct. 25, 1983, now abandoned.
BACKGROUND OF THE INVENTION
1. Technical Field
The present invention relates in general to information retrieval systems. The invention more particularly relates to a method and apparatus for enabling a user to establish a communication path to a remotely located computer in a fast and efficient manner.
2. Description of the Related Art
There have been many different kinds of information retrieval systems, where local terminals are employed to access remotely located computers, designed to provide information for the user of the local terminal. In some systems, a communication path or link is established between the terminals and the computer via conventional telephone lines.
While such systems may be acceptable for some applications, it is somewhat time consuming and unduly complicated for some users, to follow the required access procedure. Such procedures typically include establishing the communication path, responding interactively with the host computer according to an individual log-on procedure, and eventually communicating the nature of the requested information to the computer.
Thus, it would be highly desirable to have a greatly simplified and highly efficient technique for accessing a remotely located computer.
5 SUMMARY OF THE INVENTION
Therefore, it is the principal object of the present invention to provide a new and improved method and apparatus for quickly and efficiently retrieving remotely located information.
10 Briefly, the above and further objects of the present invention are realized by providing a method and apparatus for accessing remotely located information in a greatly simplified manner. The method and apparatus enables a terminal to ac
15 cess a computer located at a distance therefrom, by an uncomplicated easy to understand, log-on procedure. The system includes a group of terminals, which are each able to access a host computer. If desired, the host computer is, in turn, adapted to extend the communica
20 tion path from the terminal, through the host computer, to the remotely located service computer. The user can establish the communication path to the host computer by a single activation of a terminal key. By activating a single other key, the path is then extended from the host
25 computer to the service computer. The activation of a single further key, causes the execution of a selected program.
BRIEF DESCRIPTION OF THE DRAWINGS
30 The above-mentioned and other objects and features of this invention and the manner of attaining them will become apparent, and the invention itself will be best understood by reference to the following description of an embodiment of the invention taken in conjunction
35 with the accompanying drawings, wherein:
FIG. 1 is a functional block diagram of the information retrieval system of the present invention;
FIG. 2 is a functional block diagram of one of the terminals of the system of FIG. 1;
40 FIG. 3 is a face view of the keyboard unit of the terminal of FIG. 2;
FIGS. 4-7 are illustrative views of pages of displayed information, useful in understanding the present invention;
45 FIGS. 8-10 are memory layout diagrams useful in understanding the present invention; and
FIGS. 11 and 12 are flow chart diagrams of the terminal executive program.