CA2361371A1 - Electronic book having library catalog menu and searching features - Google Patents

Electronic book having library catalog menu and searching features

Info

Publication number
CA2361371A1
CA2361371A1 CA 2361371 CA2361371A CA2361371A1 CA 2361371 A1 CA2361371 A1 CA 2361371A1 CA 2361371 CA2361371 CA 2361371 CA 2361371 A CA2361371 A CA 2361371A CA 2361371 A1 CA2361371 A1 CA 2361371A1
Authority
CA
Grant status
Application
Patent type
Prior art keywords
system
electronic
textual data
method
book
Prior art date
Legal status (The legal status is an assumption and is not a legal conclusion. Google has not performed a legal analysis and makes no representation as to the accuracy of the status listed.)
Abandoned
Application number
CA 2361371
Other languages
French (fr)
Inventor
John S. Hendricks
Michael L. Asmussen
Current Assignee (The listed assignees may be inaccurate. Google has not performed a legal analysis and makes no representation or warranty as to the accuracy of the list.)
Adrea LLC
Original Assignee
Discovery Communications, Inc.
John S. Hendricks
Michael L. Asmussen
Discovery Communications, Llc
Adrea Llc
Priority date (The priority date is an assumption and is not a legal conclusion. Google has not performed a legal analysis and makes no representation as to the accuracy of the date listed.)
Filing date
Publication date

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Classifications

    • HELECTRICITY
    • H04ELECTRIC COMMUNICATION TECHNIQUE
    • H04NPICTORIAL COMMUNICATION, e.g. TELEVISION
    • H04N7/00Television systems
    • H04N7/08Systems for the simultaneous or sequential transmission of more than one television signal, e.g. additional information signals, the signals occupying wholly or partially the same frequency band, e.g. by time division
    • H04N7/087Systems for the simultaneous or sequential transmission of more than one television signal, e.g. additional information signals, the signals occupying wholly or partially the same frequency band, e.g. by time division with signal insertion during the vertical blanking interval only
    • H04N7/088Systems for the simultaneous or sequential transmission of more than one television signal, e.g. additional information signals, the signals occupying wholly or partially the same frequency band, e.g. by time division with signal insertion during the vertical blanking interval only the inserted signal being digital
    • HELECTRICITY
    • H04ELECTRIC COMMUNICATION TECHNIQUE
    • H04NPICTORIAL COMMUNICATION, e.g. TELEVISION
    • H04N1/00Scanning, transmission or reproduction of documents or the like, e.g. facsimile transmission; Details thereof
    • H04N1/00095Systems or arrangements for the transmission of the picture signal
    • H04N1/00098Systems or arrangements for the transmission of the picture signal via a television channel, e.g. for a series of still pictures with or without sound
    • HELECTRICITY
    • H04ELECTRIC COMMUNICATION TECHNIQUE
    • H04NPICTORIAL COMMUNICATION, e.g. TELEVISION
    • H04N7/00Television systems
    • H04N7/025Systems for the transmission of digital non-picture data, e.g. of text during the active part of a television frame
    • HELECTRICITY
    • H04ELECTRIC COMMUNICATION TECHNIQUE
    • H04NPICTORIAL COMMUNICATION, e.g. TELEVISION
    • H04N7/00Television systems
    • H04N7/08Systems for the simultaneous or sequential transmission of more than one television signal, e.g. additional information signals, the signals occupying wholly or partially the same frequency band, e.g. by time division
    • H04N7/087Systems for the simultaneous or sequential transmission of more than one television signal, e.g. additional information signals, the signals occupying wholly or partially the same frequency band, e.g. by time division with signal insertion during the vertical blanking interval only
    • H04N7/088Systems for the simultaneous or sequential transmission of more than one television signal, e.g. additional information signals, the signals occupying wholly or partially the same frequency band, e.g. by time division with signal insertion during the vertical blanking interval only the inserted signal being digital
    • H04N7/0882Systems for the simultaneous or sequential transmission of more than one television signal, e.g. additional information signals, the signals occupying wholly or partially the same frequency band, e.g. by time division with signal insertion during the vertical blanking interval only the inserted signal being digital for the transmission of character code signals, e.g. for teletext

Abstract

An electronic book selection and delivery system for distributing books and other textual information and for cataloging and searching the electronic books. The textual information is encoded onto an electronic signal and transmitted via any one of a number of different mediums. A viewer or library unit stores the electronic books for display on the viewer. A user may catalog and view menus of the stored electronic books organized according to various criteria, and the user may also search for particular electronic books within the stored electronic books.

Description

ELECTRONIC BOOK HAVING LIBRARY
CATALOG MENU AND SEARCHING FEATURES
Related Applications This application is a continuation-in-part of Application Serial Number 08/336,247, filed November 7, 1994, entitled ELECTRONIC BOOK SELECTION AND
DELIVERY SYSTEM, which is a continuation-in-part of Application Serial Number 07/991,074, filed December 9, 1992, entitled TELEVISION PROGRAM PACKAGING
AND DELIVERY SYSTEM WITH MENU DRIVEN SUBSCRIBER ACCESS and U.S.
Serial No. 08/160,194, entitled ADVANCED SET-TOP TERMINAL FOR CABLE
TELEVISION DELIVERY SYSTEMS, filed December 9, 1993, all of which are incorporated herein by reference. The present application is related to Application Serial Number 09/237,828, entitled ELECTRONIC BOOK ELECTRONIC LINKS, filed January 27, 1999, which is also incorporated herein by reference.
Background Of The Invention Sparked by the concept of an information superhighway, a revolution will take place in the distribution of books. Not since the introduction of Gutenberg's movable typeset printing has the world stood on the brink of such a revolution in the distribution of text material. The definition of the word "book" will change drastically in the near future. Due to reasons such as security, convenience, cost, and other technical problems, book and magazine publishers are currently only able to distribute their products in paper form. This invention solves the problems encountered by publishers.
Summary Of Invention A first system consistent with the present invention produces an electronic signal containing a representation of textual data. The system transmits and receives the electronic signal, and it displays a particular library menu relating to the textual data and based upon a user-entered selection.
A second system consistent with the present invention produces an electronic signal containing a representation of textual data. The system transmits and receives the electronic signal, and it searches the textual data, based upon a user-entered parameter, in order to locate a portion of the textual data relating to the parameter.

A first method consistent with the present invention includes coding text data onto an electronic signal. The electronic signal is transmitted over a transmission medium and received from the transmission medium. A particular library menu is displayed relating to the textual data and based upon a user-entered selection.
A second method consistent with the present invention includes coding text data onto an electronic signal. The electronic signal is transmitted over a transmission medium and received from the transmission medium. The textual data is searched, based upon a user-entered parameter, in order to locate a portion of the textual data relating to the parameter.
A third method consistent with the present invention generates and displays a particular menu for a plurality of electronic books. A plurality of electronic books are stored for display on an associated viewer. A request is received from a user for a menu relating to the electronic books. The menu is generated, based upon the user's request, and displayed on the viewer.
A fourth method consistent with the present invention searches a plurality of electronic books. A plurality of electronic books are stored for display on an associated viewer. A request is received from a user for a search relating to the electronic books.
The search of the electronic books is performed based upon the user's request, and results of the search are displayed on the viewer.
Brief Description Of The Drawings Figure 1 is a block diagram of the primary components of the electronic book selection and delivery system.
Figure 2 is a schematic showing an overview of the electronic book selection and delivery system.
Figure 3 is a schematic of the delivery plan for the electronic book selection and delivery system.
Figure 4 is a block diagram of the operations center.
Figure Sa is a flow diagram of the processing at the operations center and uplink.
Figure Sb is a block diagram of the hardware configuration for an uplink site.

Figure 6a is a block diagram of the hardware configuration for a four component home subsystem.
Figure 6b is a block diagram of the hardware configuration for a single component viewer and library for a home subsystem.
Figure 6c is a schematic of a two unit home subsystem.
Figure 7 is a flow diagram of the processes performed by the video connector.
Figure 8 is a block diagram for an example of a library unit.
Figure 9 is a flow diagram of some of the processes performed by the library on the received data stream.
Figure 10 is a flow diagram of the processes performed by the library unit on information requests from the viewer.
Figure 11 is a block diagram showing the components for an example of a viewer.
Figure 12a is a flow diagram of some of the processes performed by the viewer on an information request from a subscriber.
Figure 12b is a flow diagram of a process performed by the viewer on an information request from a subscriber to display various library menus.
Figure 12c is a flow diagram of a process performed by the viewer on an information request from a subscriber to search for electronic books.
Figure 13 is a chart depicting the menu structure and sequencing of menus in the menu system.
Figure 14a is a schematic of an introductory menu.
Figure 14b is a schematic showing an example of a main menu.
Figure 14c through Figure 14q are schematics showing examples of submenus.
Figure 14r is a schematic showing another example of a main menu.
Figure 14s and Figure 14t are schematics showing examples of screens for a book.
Figure 14u is a schematic showing an example of a main menu.
Figure 14v is a schematic of an electronic book classification system.
Figure 14w is a schematic showing an example of a menu for presenting search options.

Figure 15 is a schematic diagram of an electronic book system for a bookstore or public library.
Figure 16a and Figure 16b are schematics of hardware modifications or upgrades to a set top converter.
Figure 17 is a schematic showing a set top terminal that includes a data receiver and data transmitter.
Figure 18a is a schematic of a book-on-demand system.
Figure 18b is a schematic of an operations center supporting a book-on-demand system.
Detailed Description The electronic book selection and delivery system is a new way to distribute books to bookstores, libraries, and consumers. The technological breakthroughs of this invention provide a secure electronic system for both delivering selected books and receiving payments. The system has an unusual combination of features that provides the consumer with a daily use household appliance that has a high tech aura while being very practical, portable, and easy to use.
The clear advantage of the system is that it eliminates the distribution of any physical object such as a paper book or computer memory device from any book distribution system. The purchase of a book becomes a pay-per-readTM event avoiding the overhead, "middle-men," printing costs, and time delay associated with the current book distribution system. Published material and text such as the President's speech, a new law, a court decision on abortion, or O.J. Simpson's testimony can be made immediately available to the consumer at a nominal fee.
The system is a novel combination of new technology involving the television, cable, telephone, and computer industries. It utilizes high bandwidth data transmissions, strong security measures, sophisticated digital switching, high resolution visual displays and user friendly interface software.
The primary components of the text delivery system are the subsystem for placing the text onto a video signal and the subsystem for receiving and selecting text that was placed on the video signal. The preferred embodiment of the system includes additional components and optional features that enhance the system. The system may be configured for use by bookstores, libraries, and consumers. The system for consumer use is made up of four subsystems, namely: ( 1 ) an Operations center, (2) a 5 video distribution system, (3) a home subsystem including reception, selection, viewing, transacting and transmission capabilities, and (4) a billing and collection system.
The Operations center performs several primary functions: manipulating text data (including receiving, formatting and storing of text data), security encoding text, cataloging books, providing a messaging center capability, and performing uplink functions. The system delivers the text from the Operations center to consumer homes by inserting data within analog video signals. The insertion of text is generally performed with a text generator and an encoder at an uplink site that is within or near the Operations center. The system can be several lines of the Vertical Blanking Interval (VBI), all the lines of the analog video signal, or a digital video signal to transmit text data. Using the VBI delivery method, the top ten or twenty book titles may be transmitted with video during normal programming utilizing existing cable or broadcast transmission capability without disruption to the subscriber's video reception. Using the entire video signal, thousands of books may be transmitted within just one hour of air time. Nearly any analog or digital video distribution system may be used to deliver the video signal with included text.
The home subsystem performs four primary functions: connecting to the video distribution system, selecting text, storing text, and transacting through a phone or cable communicating mechanism. The components of the home subsystem may be configured in a variety of hardware configurations. Each function may be performed by a separate component, the components may be integrated, or the capability of existing cable set top converter boxes and televisions may be utilized. Preferably, a connector, library unit and viewer unit are used. The connector portion of the home subsystem receives the analog video signal and strips or extracts the text from the video. The home library stores the text signal, provides a user friendly software interface to the system and processes the transactions at the consumer home. The viewer provides a screen for viewing text or menus.
The viewing device is preferably a portable book shaped viewer which stores one or more books for viewing and provides a screen for interacting with the home library unit. A high resolution LCD display is used to both read the books and to interact with the home library software. An optional phone connector or return-path cable connection initiates the telephone calls and, with the aid of the library, transmits the necessary data to complete the ordering and billing portion of the consumer transaction. The billing and collection system performs transaction management, authorizations, collections and publisher payments automatically utilizing the telephone system.
As shown in Figure 1, the primary components of the electronic book selection and delivery system 200 are an encoder 204, a video distribution system 208, a connector 212, and a text selector 216 as shown in Figure 1. The encoder 204 places textual data on a video signal to form a composite signal. A variety of equipment and methods may be used to encode text data onto a video signal. The video distribution system distributes the video signal from the single point of the encoder 204 to multiple locations which have connectors 212. The connector 212 receives the digital or analog video signal from the video distribution system 208 and separates, strips or extracts the text data from the composite video signal. If necessary, the extracted text data is converted into a digital bit stream. Text selector 216 works in connection with the connector 212 to select text.
Using a connector 212 and text selector 216 combination, various methods of selecting and retrieving desired text from a composite or video signal are possible. Text may be preselected, selected as received or selected after being received and stored. The preferred method is for the connector 212 to strip all the text from the video signal and have the text selector 216 screen all the text as received from the connector 212. The text selector 216 only stores text in long term or permanent memory if the text passes a screening process described below.

An overview of a preferred embodiment is shown in Figure 2. The system 200 includes: an operations center 250 including an uplink site 254, a video distribution system 208, a home subsystem 258 including a video connector 212, a library 262, a viewer 266, and a phone connector 270, and telephone system 274 and a billing and collection subsystem 278. The operations center receives textual material from outside sources 282 such as publishers, newspapers, and on-line services. The operations center 250 receives this textual material in various digital formats and converts them to a standard compressed format for storage. In so doing, the operations center 250 creates a pool of textual material that is available to be delivered to the home system. Normally, the text material is grouped by books or titles for easy access. The operations center 250 includes an uplink site for placing the text onto a video signal and sending the composite video signal into a video distribution system. The uplink site would generally include an encoder (not shown in Figure 2) to encode the text onto a video signal.
Many analog and digital video distribution systems 208 can be used with this text delivery system 200, such as, cable television distribution systems, broadcast television distribution systems, video distributed over telephone systems, direct satellite broadcast distribution systems, and other wire and wireless distribution systems. Nearly any distribution system which can deliver a video signal will work with the text delivery system. It is also possible to distribute the text without using a video signal as described below. For example, the text may be represented and transmitted within an electronic signal through a network 201, such as the Internet or a wide area or local area network.
The transmission through the network 201 may include analog or digital electronic signals using wire or wireless transmission, and it may include known techniques for transmitting signals through a network such as the Internet.
The home subsystem performs five primary functions, ( 1 ) connecting with a video distribution system, (2) selecting data, (3) storing data, (4) displaying data, and (5) handling transactions. An important optional function of the home sub-system is communicating using a telephone communication system. The home subsystem is made up of primarily four parts: a video connector 212 or similar type of connector for connecting with a video distribution system, a library unit 262 for storing and processing, a viewer unit 266 for viewing menus and text and a telephone connector 270 for connecting with a telephone communications system 274.
The billing and collection subsystem 278 may be co-located with the operations center 250 or located remote from the operations center. The billing and collection subsystem 278 is in communication with the home subsystem via telephone-type communication systems. Any of a number of telephone type communication systems, such as, a cellular system, will operate with the billing and collection system. The billing and collection system 278 records the books or portions of text that are selected or ordered by the subscriber. The billing and collection system 278 will charge a subscriber's credit account or bill the subscriber. In addition, the billing and collection system 278 will monitor that amount due to publishers or other outside sources 282 who have provided textual data or other services such as air time to enable the text delivery system 200 to operate.
Figure 3 is an expanded overview of a preferred delivery plan for the electronic book selection and delivery system 301. It is a comprehensive delivery plan to support various types of users and various billing systems. Figure 3 shows that publishers 282 will provide text transfer 302 to the operations center 250' and receive payments 306 from the billing and collection system 278'. A separate channel uplink site 254' is shown in this configuration receiving data 310 from the operations center 250' . The operations center 250' has three separate sections (318, 322, 326) one for text receiving, formatting and re-entry 318, a second for security encoding 322 and a third section for catalog and messaging center functions 326.
The collection and billing system 278' shown has two sections (330, 334) one for transaction management, authorizations and publisher payments 330, and the other for customer service 334. The customer service section 334 provides for data entry and access to customer account information. Transaction accounting information 338 is supplied to credit card companies 342 by the transaction management section 330 of the billing and collection system 278'. The credit card companies 342 provide billing 346 to customers either electronically or by mail.
Three methods for communicating between the subscriber base 348 and the billing and collection system 278' are shown: by telephone switching 350 alone, cellular switching 354 and telephone switching 250 combined, and by use of the cable system 358 and the telephone switching 350. The system shown supports both one-way 362 and two-way cable communication 366 with subscribers. Libraries and schools 370 as well as bookstores 374 may use the delivery system.
Libraries and schools 370 would have a modified system to allow the viewer to be checked-out or borrowed while bookstores 374 would rent or sell the viewer and sell electronic book data. The bookstores 374 as well as the libraries and schools 370 may be serviced by cable 378. Optional direct broadcast systems (DBS) 382 can also be used with the system 200.
I. The Operations Center Figure 4 is a schematic of an operations center 250 which includes an uplink 254.
The Operations center 250 gathers text or books by receiving, formatting, storing, and encoding. A data stream 302 containing text is received at the operations center by a data receiver 402. The data receiver 402 is under the control of a processor 404.
After reception, the data stream is formatted using digital logic for formatting 406 which is also under the control of the processor 404. If any additional text is being generated at the operations center 250 locally for insertion into the distributed signal, the text generation is handled through text generator hardware 410 which may include a data receiver and a keyboard (not shown). Following processing by the text generator, the additional text can be added to the text received the combining hardware 414 that includes digital logic circuitry (not shown).
The processing at the operations center is controlled by a processor 404 which uses an instruction memory 416. The processor and instruction memory may be supplied by a personal computer or mini-computer. To perform the catalog and messaging functions, the operations center 250 uses a catalog and message memory 420 and the text generator 410 if necessary.
The data stream of text, catalog and messages is preferably encoded by a security encoding module prior to being sent to the uplink module 254. Various encoding 5 techniques may be used such as the commercial derivative of NSA's encryption algorithm, Data Encryption System (DES), and General Instrument's DigiCipher II may be used by the security encoding module 424. Following encoding, the encoded text may be stored in text memory 428 prior to being sent the uplink 254. It is preferred that a first-in-first-out text memory arrangement is used under the control of the processor 404.

10 Various types of memory may be used for the text memory 428 including RAM.
The operations center may use file server technology for the text memory 428 to catalog and spool books for transmission as is described below.
To transmit textual data, the delivery system 200 may use high bandwidth transmission techniques such as those defined by the North American Broadcast Teletext Standard (NABTS) and the World System Teletext (WST) standard. Using the WST
format (where each line of the Vertical Blanking Interval contains 266 data bits), a four hundred page book, for example, may be transmitted during programming using four lines of the Vertical Blanking Interval at a rate of approximately one book every 1.6 minutes (63,840 bits per second). Alternatively, books may be transmitted over a dedicated channel, which interrupts programming so that 246 lines of video can be used to transmit approximately 2,250 books every hour (3.9 Mbits per second). A
teletext type format is the simplest but possibly the slowest text format to use with the system. In either event, an encoder is utilized at an uplink site to insert textual data into the analog video signal. In many other respects, the delivery of the textual information is completed using existing cable television plants and equipment. Finally, textural and graphical information may be transmitted over any telecommunications network including a public switched telephone network (PSTN) and the Internet.
Figure Sa is a flowchart of the steps involved in processing text from the publisher or provider 282 that occurs at the operations center 250. As shown in block 500, the publisher 282 processes data files of text for books, compresses, encrypts and sends the data files to the operations center or uplink. Text files for books are preferably sent one book at a time. As shown in block 504, the uplink 254 or operations center 250 receives and processes the data stream from the publisher 282. Generally, part of this processing includes encryption and error correction.
As shown in block 508, files are broken into smaller packets of information.
Header information is added to the packets. The bit stream is converted from a serial digital bit stream to an analog bit stream that is compatible with an NTSC
video signal.
Block 512 shows the switching of analog data into the video lines of a video signal. The analog data is either placed in the VBI or the active video lines.
Figure 5b is an example of a hardware configuration to perform some of the functions for blocks 508 and 512. A video feed 516 is received and processed through a sync stripper 520. The sync signal 532 is used by the digital logic control 524. The digital logic control 524 receives the sync signal 532 and a serial digital bit stream 528 for processing. The digital logic control 524 passes the serial digital bit stream to the Digital to Analog converter 536 and outputs a control signal 540 for the video switch 544. The video switch 544 integrates the video feed 516 and analog data stream 548 into a video feed with analog data signal inserted 552.
As an alternative to cable or television delivery methods, the telephone system may be used to transmit books to the subscribers. An average book would take about 7 minutes to transmit over the public telephone system. Using the telephone system, it is not necessary to combine video and text into a composite signal. In most other respects, the operations center would remain similar whether text delivery was by telephone or cable. It is preferred that file server technology (such as that described in U.S. Patent No.
5,262,875, entitled AUDIO/VIDEO FILE SERVER INCLUDING
DECOMPRESSION/PLAYBACK MEANS, issued to Mincer, et al., and, U.S. Patent No. 5,218,695, entitled FILE SERVER SYSTEM HAVING HIGH-SPEED WRTTE
EXECUTION, issued to Noveck, et al., both of which are incorporated herein by reference) be used at the operations center 250 with a telephone system text delivery method. The telephone transmission may occur, for example, through network 201, such as the Internet, or through telephone system 274.
II. The Home Subsystem The hardware configuration for a four component home subsystem 258 is shown in Figure 6a. Figure 6c shows a hardware configuration for a two component home subsystem. The home subsystem 258 performs several functions, such as receiving data and video transmissions, stripping the data from the video signal, screening and storing the data, providing user friendly interface software, displaying menus and text, processing transactions, initiating telephone calls and transmitting billing data.
Various hardware configurations may be utilized to achieve the desired functions of the home subsystem.
For example, as shown in Figure 6c, the home subsystem 258 can be configured to utilize the reception and channel tuning capability of the current installed subscriber base of cable converter boxes and televisions 601. The home subsystem 258 can also be designed as an advanced set top terminal converter box with menu generation capability, electronic memory and a telephone modem as described in section V below.
The electronic components which make up the home subsystem 258 can be arranged in a variety of ways. In the four unit subsystem of Figure 6a the viewer 266 and library 262 are wired together while the remaining components communicate through RF
transceivers 604. In this version of the home subsystem 258 the library 262 and viewer 266 are housed as two units. 1n another version of the home subsystem 258, as shown in Figure 6b, the functions of library 262 reside within the viewer 266 as one unit, and both the library 262 and the viewer 266 are contained within a common housing.
Figure 6c shows a two unit home subsystem with certain optional features. The viewer 266 is generally equipped with a high resolution viewing area 602, digital logic (including a key 605, security 606, and a microprocessor 621), video graphics control and memory 607, power supply circuitry 602 (not shown), an optional battery 603 and an optional RF transceiver 604. In a two unit arrangement, the library 262 contains the connector function to the delivery system 200, connector function to a public telephone communications system, and memory 600 (which may be removable and portable 600').

More specifically, the library 262 would include data stripping functions 617, digital logic 609, memory storage 600, power circuitry 610, optional telephone connections 611 (including cellular or PCN 611'), optional battery (not shown), optional tuner module 613 and an optional RF transceiver 604. The video connector 212 and the public telephone system connection 270, as well as the removable portable memory unit 600 of the library may be broken out into separate components. (Figure 6c shows a removable portable hard disk memory 600' with removable cartridges 614.) The home system 258 may include an attached keyboard 267 or a wireless keyboard 268. Both the attached keyboard 267 and the wireless keyboard 268 may be used to communicate with the viewer 266 or the library unit 262. The wireless keyboard 268 may communicate via radio frequency (RF) signaling, for example.
Therefore, the home subsystem 258 may have as many as six separate components which communicate with each other. The two, three, four, five, or six separate components which make up the home subsystem 258 can communicate with each other in a variety of ways, including hardwired connection 615, RF transceiver 604 and other wireless methods.
RF communications are preferred in the home because they allow the separate components to be located throughout the home without restriction. The data communicated between the units is preferably secure data. In addition, the library 262 may provide power to the viewer 266 through the hardwired communication link 615.
To receive and strip the data from the video signal at the consumer's home, either a cable interface device or cable connector is used. The cable connector device includes a tuner 613, while the cable interface device makes use of existing tuning equipment in the home. In either configuration, data is stripped from the video signal and stored at the subscriber's location in the library 262. The phone connector 270 and modem 611 initiate telephone calls and transmit ordering and billing information to the operations center 250 or billing and collection system 278. The phone connector 270 may also be used to receive electronic books from the delivery system 200. The library 262 is the intelligent component of the home subsystem 258, incorporating the hardware and software necessary to store the text data, generate menus and effect the purchase transactions. In addition to an RF transceiver 604, the library 262 also includes the necessary jacks and connections to allow the system to be connected to the viewer 266. As shown in Figure 6c, the library 262 communicates the text data to the viewer in a secure format which requires a key 605 for decryption. The text is generally only decrypted page by page just before viewing.
a. The Video Connector Figure 7 shows the flow of the processes performed by the video connector 212.
The video connector receives the video signal 608, tunes to the channel containing the text data 612, strips the text data from the video signal 616, and communicates the text data stream to logic components in the library 620.
The connection to the video distribution system is preferably a cable connector to a cable television delivery system, as shown in Figure 6c. The cable connector includes a data stripper circuit 617, which accepts video input from either a set top converter, TV or VCR 601, or an optional tuner block 613 that receives the CATV signal through the cable connector 212'. The data stripper circuit 617 strips data out of the video, and outputs a digital bit stream to the digital logic portion 609 of the library unit 262. The data is embedded in the video signal either in the vertical blanking interval or the active video portion in an encrypted and compressed format. The data stripper circuit 617 can be placed inside the set top converter box 601, TV, or in the library unit. The data stripper circuit 617 outputs the digital bit stream to be used by the library digital logic 609.
The video connector 212 may also contain a channel tuner module 613 that can tune to the video channel and provide access to the video that contains the data to be stripped. Using the optional tuner module 613, a set top converter, VCR, or TV
tuner is not needed in the home subsystem. The optional tuner module 613 would instead receive the CATV signal directly through the cable connector 212'.
b. Library An embodiment of the library 262 for a two unit home subsystem is shown in both Figure 6c and Figure 8. The embodiment shown includes the following optional parts the video connector 212, phone connector 270, RF transceiver 604, and battery pack 624 in addition to a removal portable memory 600', microprocessor 628, instruction memory unit 632, digital logic 636, and power unit 640.
The library 262 contains a digital logic section 609 (not shown in Figure 8) which 5 includes the microprocessor 628, the digital logic 636 and the instruction memory unit 632. The microprocessor 628 is preferably a secure microprocessor such as the Mot SC21 device sold by Motorola. The digital logic section 609 will receive the serial digital bit stream from the data stripper circuit 617 and process the data.
Error correction will also be performed by the digital logic section 609 and the data will be checked for 10 proper address. If the address of the data is correct and the library 262 is authorized to receive the data, the data will be transferred to the memory storage unit 600, 600'.
Authorization to receive the data is provided by the cable headend or another distribution point. An authorization code may be sent in the serial digital bit stream. The digital logic section 609 will send appropriate text and graphical data to the memory storage unit 15 600, 600'. It transfers this data in a compressed and encrypted format and the data remains stored in a compressed and encrypted format.
i. Memory Stora a Unit The memory storage unit of the library 262 may be a removable portable memory unit 600 (as shown in Figures 6a, 6b and 8). A variety of options are available for memory storage: a hard disk drive, such as an 80 megabyte, a 200 megabyte, a hard disk with removable platters, and CD ROM. Referring to Figure 6c, a hard disk drive unit 600' which contains removable platters may also be used. This would provide virtually unlimited library storage capacity. Data will be stored in the memory storage unit in a compressed and encrypted format. As is also shown in Figure 6c, the data will also contain a key or unique LD number that matches the LD or key of the viewer 266. This matching of a unique key or LD number prevents unauthorized transfer of text data from the memory storage unit to an unauthorized viewer. Small memory devices such as smart cards, electronic memory cards or PCMCIA cards (personal computer memory card industry association) may also be used to store the data.

ii. Power Circuitry As shown in Figures 6b and 8, the library 262 will accept power from either AC
wall power or optional battery power. It is preferred that the power circuitry provide all the voltage necessary from either the battery 624 or AC unit for the various circuitry in the library. Preferably the power circuitry will also provide power to the viewer through a single data cable when connected to the viewer. The power circuitry will recharge the battery using AC power when in operation. With the optional battery unit 624 installed, the library 262 becomes a portable unit and can still provide power to the viewer 266.
In order to extend battery life, power conservation measures may be utilized, such as shutting down the memory system when not in use. When the viewer 266 is being utilized and the library circuitry is not being utilized, virtually all power may be shut down to the library 262.
iii. Connection to the Public Telephone S, s The connection to the telephone system is preferably provided by a modem 611.
Various available modems may be used to perform this function. As shown in Figure 6c, cellular phone or PCN phone connections 611' may also be provided. When the home subsystem 258 is first initialized, the modem will be used to transfer the name and credit card information of the consumer to the billing and collection subsystem 278.
The telephone connection 270 may be utilized each time a book is purchased by a consumer to complete and record the transaction. The telephone connection 270 may be used as a means for receiving the text data from the operations center, by-passing the video distribution system. The phone connection 270 may be a separate unit as shown in Figure 6c. Alternatively, network 201 may also be used to receive the text data from the operations center, by-passing the video distribution system.
iv. Library Processin,~
Figure 9 shows an example of some basic processing performed by the library on the data stream received from the video connector 212 or stripper circuit 617. First the data stream is checked for error correction by block 650. If an error is detected, block 654 de-interleaves the data followed by block 658 running a FEC (Forward Error Correcting) algorithm. The combination of block 650, 654 and 658 perform the error correction needed on the data stream. If no error correction is necessary the data proceeds to block 662 where packets are individually checked for packet address.
If the address is a unique address, block 666 checks whether the address of the packet matches the library box ID number. The library box ID number is a unique number associated with that library 262 which is used to ensure security of the data.
Block 670 determines whether an electronic file has already been opened into which the data packet can be saved. If no data file has been opened then block 674 opens a new data file for that packet. If an electronic file has been opened, then the packet is saved in that electronic file on disk, block 678. Next, the process checks to see if this is the last packet for a particular book for a particular textual data block being received 682. If it is the last packet of information, then the electronic file is closed and the directory of available electronic files is updated 686. Following either block 682 or 686, the process returns to receive another data packet from the data stream received from the data stripper block.
With the packet address is checked and the address is determined to be a broadcast address, the process determines the type of message that is being sent 690. The message is then stored in appropriate electronic message file 694 and the process is returned to block 650 to receive another data packet and perform another error check.
Using the process of Figure 9, the library is able to receive, store and update directories related to the textual data and graphical data that can be used to depict pictures in a given book. Variations of the processes are possible depending on the format of the data and operating system of the library 262.
Figure 10 shows an example of the processing of information requests from the viewer 266 at the library 262. Information requests from the viewer 266 are received either through the cable connecting the viewer 266 to the library 262 or through wireless transmissions such as RF. It is possible in some embodiments for subscribers' requests to come from a set top converter box 602.

Information requests received from the viewer 266 generally fall into three categories: ( 1 ) directory data of electronic books stored in the library 262, (2) index of all available electronic books on the system, and (3) requests for a specific electronic book (Block 700). Process block 704 answers a request from the viewer 266 for a directory of data showing the electronic books stored at the viewer 266. The directory of data is sent to the viewer 266 so that it may be displayed to the subscriber. Process block 708 handles requests from the viewer 266 for an index of all available electronic books on the system. The library 262 will obtain an index of all the available electronic books on the system and transmit that index, process 712, with menu information to the viewer 266. Process block 716 replies to a request from the viewer 266 for a specific electronic book. The library 262 opens an electronic file for the specific electronic book requested by the viewer 266 and transmits the record or transmits the information on a packet-by-packet basis to the viewer, 720. This process of transmitting the specific electronic book, record, or packets to the viewer 266 continues until the last record or packet has been sent, 724.
In addition to the processes shown on Figure 10 in handling a request for a specific electronic book, the library 262 also orders and receives specific electronic books from the operations center 250 using the process as described in 716.
Following a request for a specific electronic book which is not stored at the library 262, the library 262 will proceed to determine the next available time the electronic book will be on the video distribution system 208 and ensure reception and storage of that electronic book (process not shown). In performing this process, the library 262 will transmit to the viewer 266 information on when it will obtain the text data for the electronic book so that the subscriber may view the electronic book. In addition to timing information, price and other ordering information may also be passed by the library unit 262 to the subscriber.

c. The Viewer Figure 11 is a block diagram of a viewer 266 showing its internal components.
The viewer 266 of Figure 11 is similar to the viewer 266 depicted in Figure 6c. The viewer 266 is designed to physically resemble a bound book. The viewer 266 is made up of five primary components and four optional components: (1) LCD display 602, (2) digital circuitry (not shown), (3) video graphics controller 607', (4) controls 740, (5) book memory 728, (6) optional power supply circuitry 736, (7) optional battery 603', (8) optional RF transceiver 604, and (9) optional cellular or mobile communicator (not shown).
(1) A high resolution LCD screen, preferably of VGA quality, is used by the viewer 266 to display text and graphic images. The screen is preferably the size of one page of a book.
(2) Digital circuitry that includes a secure microprocessor 621, instruction memory 732, and digital logic. Data is transferred to the viewer 266 in compressed and encrypted format. The secure microprocessor 621 compares the ll~ number of the viewer 266 with the incoming data stream and only stores the text data if the ID
number of the viewer 266 matches that within the incoming data stream. It is preferred that the viewer 266 not output text data or other data and that the data is decompressed and decrypted only at the moment of viewing and only for the current page being viewed.
These measures are preferred because they provide additional security against unauthorized access to data.
(3) A video graphics controller 607' that is capable of assisting and displaying VGA quality text and graphic images is included in the viewer 266. The graphics controller 607' is controlled by the digital circuitry described above. Text may be displayed in multiple font sizes.
(4) The viewer 266 of Figure 11 has touch panel controls 740. The controls 740 allow the consumer to select stored books and books from catalogues, move a cursor, and turn pages in a book. Typically, the preferred controls include forward and reverse page buttons 741, a ball 743 for cursor movement, a selection button 745, a current book button 747 and a bookmark button 749 (see Figure 14a). Other control features could be incorporated into the touch panel controls 740 including a touch pad, for example.
Finally, the display 602 may be made touch sensitive.
(5) Book memory 728 for at least one book or more of text is included in the 5 viewer 266. The memory 728 stores text and any graphics which represent pictures in a book. The memory 728 can also store menu graphics data. Two different memory devices may be used in the viewer 266, one for the instructions for the microprocessor 621 in the digital circuitry and a second type of memory may be used for the book memory 728. Various memory devices available on the market may be used such as, 10 ROM, RAM or a small hard disk. Since a book requires approximately 0.6 megabytes of storage, a small hard disk providing approximately 60 MBytes of storage provides memory to store approximately 100 books. Text for books may be stored in various font sizes so that larger or smaller fonts may be recalled from memory 728 as desired.
(6) Power supply circuitry 736 in the view will accept power from either an 15 AC power source or from an optional battery 603', or the library 262. The power supply circuitry provides the necessary voltages to accommodate the various systems within the viewer 266.
(7) An optional battery 603' is provided in the preferred embodiment. The battery 603' is automatically recharged when AC power is available.

20 (8) An optional RF transceiver 604 which provided two-way data link between the viewer 266 and other components of the home subsystem can also be included in the viewer 266.
(9) Also, the viewer 266 may include a cellular transceiver (not shown) for mobile communications.
The viewer 266 of Figure 11 has parts available for providing a library connection 744, electronic card memory 748, CD ROM units 752, and a portable memory unit (such as that shown in Figure 6c 600'). Various electronic memory cards such as PCM
CIA can be used with this viewer 266.

Security, low power consumption and excellent display technology are desired features of the viewer 266 design. The viewer 266 should be lightweight and portable.
The viewer 266 contains a software operating system that allows electronic books to be stored, read and erased and includes the capability to order books and retain them in memory for a predefined period of time determined by the system operator. The software can be configured to allow the book to be read during a period of time (i.e., two weeks) and then automatically erased, read once and erased, or held in memory permanently.
Each viewer 266 has a unique key 605. All of the data storage is encrypted with the key 605 for an individual viewer 266 to prevent more than one viewer device 266 accessing the text file or book file.
Figure 12a is a flow diagram of some of the processes executed by the viewer 266. Generally, the viewer 266 receives inputs from the subscriber through touch panel controls 740. The subscriber's information requests are then processed 800 by the viewer 266.
If the subscriber requests a menu of available books, process block 804 will select a book menu. Process block 808 will open the electronic files which list the books that are available (related to the category of topic of the menu) and display the menu with the names of the available books.
If the subscriber selects a particular electronic book to read, then process block 812 will process the selection and determine the electronic file that contains the specific electronic book. Process block 816 will open the file for that specific electronic book and normally access the first page. (If a pointer has already been set in that electronic book's file, the process may default to that pointer.) Process block 820 will then determine which page needs to be displayed. Process block 820 will determine whether a next page, previous page or a bookmarked page needs to be displayed. If the pointer for the electronic file is not in the correct location then process block 828 will move the pointer and obtain the previous page of data from the stored file. Otherwise, process block 824 will normally obtain the next page of text from the stored electronic file.
Process block 832 will decrypt and decompress the text data and send the data to the video display. The video display will generally have a video display memory associated with it and process block 832 will send the data directly to that video display memory. The circuitry for the display then completes the process of displaying the page of text.
If the subscriber, through the controls 740, requests (from process block 800) that the power be turned off, then the process, 836, of turning the power off will be initiated.
Process block 840 saves the pointer in memory to the page number in the book that the viewer 266 is currently reading. Process block 844 closes all the electronic files and signals the power circuitry to shut down the power to the various circuits in the viewer 266. With these examples of basic processes the viewer 266 is able to display book selections and display text from those books.
Figures 12b and 12c are flow diagrams of additional processes executed by viewer 266 and include functions related to display of various library menus and searching for electronic books. These processes may be implemented by software stored in memory 732 for controlling operation of microprocessor 621 in viewer 266.
Alternatively, these processes may be executed by microprocessor 628 in library 262. In addition, they may reside in modules, implemented in software, hardware, or a combination.
These processes permit a user to view different types of library menus based upon various criteria and thus increase the versatility of the viewer in presenting information to a user. For example, a user may retrieve and view all electronic books stored in the viewer 266 by a particular author or having a particular title. A user may also view electronic books within a particular category or genre. Upon viewing retrieved electronic books with these menu functions, a user may select a particular electronic book.
Therefore, the library menu and searching functions permit more flexibility and versatility in the manner in which a user may view and retrieve electronic books, simplifying the retrieval of particular electronic books for the user by typically reducing or eliminating a need for the user to manually search through a list of displayed electronic books in order to locate a particular one of the electronic books.

As shown in Figure 12b, process block 801 displays a main library menu.
Process block 803 determines whether a user has entered a request for a particular type of library menu, and this process block may correspond with process block 800 for information requests. In order to enter a request, a user may manipulate controls 740 to enter various selections or other information. If a user did not enter a request for any particular type of library menu, process block 805 generates and formats a default library menu, which may include, for example, a numerical listing of the stored electronic books.
The viewer 266 may display the default menu.
Traditional libraries with paper, or hard-copy, books may be organized according to one of several different classification schemes. For example, the Library of Congress (LC) classification system may be used to organize book in a law library. The Dewey Decimal Classification (DDC) system is the most widely used book classification system in the world. Both the LC and DDC systems classify books according to one of several classes. For example, the DDC provides ten main classes of knowledge. The DDC
number for a particular book may be a nine-digit number, for example. The DDC
system is available in electronic format to be used in an on-line classification scheme.
Categorization according to Library of Congress numbers is explained in, for example, the following text, which is incorporated herein by reference: Lois Mai Chan, "Immroth's Guide to the Library of Congress Classification," Libraries Unlimited, Inc., pp. 19-51 (4''' ed. 1990). Categorization according to Library of Congress numbers and Dewey Decimal Classification System numbers is explained in, for example, the following text, which is incorporated herein by reference: Sheila S. Intner &
Jean Weihs, "Special Libraries: A Cataloguing Guide," Libraries Unlimited, Inc., pp. 211-241 (1998).
Books may also be categorized according to an International Standard Book Number (ISBN). In general, ISBNs are unique numbers identifying books, and the ISBNs are assigned by a variety of agencies. Book publishers apply to these agencies in order to obtain a range of ISBNs with a unique prefix, and the publishers assign those numbers to their books. The publishers choose which of those numbers to assign to their books and, while the prefix usually identifies a publisher, the ISBNs typically have no relation to the subject matter of the books to which they are assigned. An ISBN is usually ten characters long, the first nine characters identifying a book and the last character used as a checksum. ISBNs are explained in, for example, the following text, which is incorporated herein by reference: "The ISBN System Users' Manual,"
International ISBN
Agency, Druckerei Gerike GmbH, 1000 Berlin 36, pp. 4-23 (1986).
Once a library is organized according to a classification scheme such as the DDC, a particular book can be easily located by reference to the book's DDC number.
Furthermore, with on-line DDC systems, a particular book can be located by use of author and title information, for example. If an author's name is specified, the computerized DDC system should produce a list of all books in the library written by the author. A screen display or printout can then be viewed, listing each book and its associated DDC number. Using the DDC number, a subscriber can locate a desired book on a bookshelf in the library.
In addition to a book classification system, the library may logically organize books having a common theme or characteristic. For example, all physics books would be located in one physical location in the library. The physical presence of books on a shelf helps a subscriber find material on a desired topic.
The electronic book home system 258 may have an electronic equivalent of a physical bookshelf. For example, as shown in Figure 14u, the default menu may optionally include a display providing an illustration of a bookcase containing books of particular categories, for example, in certain shelves, such as a shelves 874 and 876.
Additionally, the home system 258 may include a book classification system that allows the subscriber to organize his electronic books in a manner similar to that used by a library. That is, the electronic books may be organized according to the DDC
or similar system, for example. The DDC system may be adapted to the delivery system 200 by using an electronic version of the DDC system. Any electronic book provided by a content provider may have, as part of its electronic data, the DDC number, for example.
The home system 258 may incorporate software to interpret the DDC system and to generate a database of current holdings within the home system 258.

Figure 14v shows an electronic book library classification system 1200 that may be used to organize electronic books.
As shown in Figure 12b, if the user entered a request for a particular type of library menu, process block 807 displays options for the various library menus and 5 receives a request for a library menu from a user. The types of library menus may include, for example, the following: an alphabetical listing or index of the electronic books by title (process block 809); an alphabetical listing of the electronic books by author (process block 811); a listing of the electronic books by ISBN or DDC
number (process block 813); a listing of electronic books within a particular category (process 10 block 815); and a user-defined menu of the books (process block 817). The categories may include, for example, all electronic books concerning a particular subject matter and one or more DDC categories. Examples of categories are shown in Figure 14d.
The user-defined option permits a user to define a menu, such as, for example, all electronic books by a particular author within a particular category, or electronic 15 books concerning a particular time period. In order to enter text to specify a user-defined option, or other options, the viewer 266 may present the user with a listing of the letters of the alphabet, as shown in Figure 14j, and permit the user to enter a textual information using controls 740. Alternatively, a user may make use of a wired or wireless keyboard for entering information. An example of other information to include within a displayed 20 menu or index includes summary and end note information associated with each of the electronic books in the index.
Process block 819 generates a library menu based upon either a user's entered option or a user-defined option. The generation of the menu typically occurs by accessing data associated with the electronic books, and this data may include a header 25 file, associated with each electronic book, that contains information about the electronic book. Alternatively, the accessed data may include text within the electronic book, such as an ISBN, LC, or DDC number, or the full text of the electronic book.
Therefore, process block 819 may use the header information, or search the full text or a sub-set of the full text of the electronic book, in order to generate a library menu.

The information contained in the header file is used to identify and categorize each electronic book for display and searching purposes. As new electronic books are loaded on the viewer 266 or library unit 262, this header information is extracted from the header file and stored in a database resident on the viewer 266 or library unit 262, such as in memory 600 or 600'. Upon the user making a selection from a menu, software residing on the viewer 266 or library unit 262 functions to: access this database to retrieve the header information for all resident electronic books; search the relevant fields of each database record to determine whether the electronic book matches the requested criteria; and compile the resulting information for electronic books where matches occurred.
Table 1 Title:

Authors:

Primary Author:

Author 2:

Author 3:

Author 4:

Author 5:

ISBN #:

LC#

DDC#

Publisher:

Edition Number:

Date of Publishing:

Related Categories:

Category 1 Category 6 Category 2 Category 7 Category 3 Category 8 Category 4 Category 9 Category 5 Category 10 Related Keywords:

Keyword 1 Keyword 6 Keyword 2 Keyword 7 Keyword 3 Keyword 8 Keyword 4 Keyword 9 Keyword 5 Keyword 10 User Defined Criteria 1:

User Defined Criteria 2:

User Defined Criteria 3:

User Defined Criteria 4:

User Defined Criteria 5:

Book Summary/Description:

User Entered Notes:

This process supports either the display of a default menu (process block 805), such as all electronic books by selected display option, or the display of only electronic books matching selected search options. The header information associated with each electronic book typically includes the information shown in Table 1 and can be stored, for example, in records or other database structures.
Book summary and end note information associated with each of the electronic books can be displayed on the viewer 266 along with the book title to provide the user with additional information prior to determining whether to select a particular electronic book for reading. Summary and end note information may include information entered by the user, such as a user's notes, and is typically stored in the field "user entered notes"
in the header file for each book.
Users can also create user-defined criteria to associate with each electronic book.
Alternatively, the user can create and later view notes associated with each electronic book. This user-created information is also stored in the database. These user-defined criteria and notes can be created by entering textual information using the presented alphabet and manipulating controls 740 as described above, or alternatively via an on-screen simulated keyboards using controls 740 to select keys on the keyboard, or finally via a remote keyboard electronically connected to the viewer 266 or library unit 262.
After the appropriate library menu is generated, either in process block 805 or 819, process block 821 displays the library menu on the viewer 262. The library menu provides an indication of the electronic books within the menu; for example, it may list the books by title and author, as shown Figure in 14c. Upon display of the library menu, a user typically has an option to select and view a particular electronic book. Process block 823 determines whether the user has selected an indication of a particular electronic book. Selecting an electronic book may involve, for example, using ball 743 to position the cursor on the indication of a book and using button 745 to select the electronic book. If a user has selected an electronic book, process block 825 retrieves and displays the selected electronic book on viewer 266, an example of which is shown in Figure 14s.

Process block 827 determines whether a user has another request for a library menu. If so, process block 807 displays the library menu options and the process of displaying a library menu is repeated.
In addition to displaying various types of library menus, the viewer 266 or library 262 may permit a user to search a database of stored electronic books. An example of this process for searching is illustrated in Figure 12c. Process block 829 receives a search request, and this process block may correspond with process block 800 for receiving an information request. Process block 831 displays search options on viewer 266 and permits a user to select a particular type of search.
Figure 14w shows an example of a main menu 854 on the viewer 266 for displaying search options. A user may select one of the sections 1201 to enter an option, and this selection may occur by using the cursor to "click on" the appropriate section.
In section 1202, a user may enter the text to search, and the user may enter the text using the displayed letters or keyboard, or other types of keyboards, as described above. For a user-defined search, the viewer may prompt the user to select the multiple search criteria by selecting the appropriate sections 1201 and entering text in section 1202 for each selected criteria.
Process block 833 receives a search parameter entered by a user, and this search parameter may include, for example, one of the following: a word or grouping of words in the title (process block 835) or other classification number such as an LC
or DDC
number; an author name (process block 837); an ISBN (process block 839); a type of category (process block 841); and user-defined criteria (process block 843).
User-defined criteria may be useful for a user to create particular type of search involving varying parameters. For example, a user may want to search for all electronic books in a particular category having a particular word in the title. A user may enter textual information, as possibly required for a search parameter, as explained above using a presented alphabet and manipulating controls 740, such as is shown in Figure 14j.
After receiving the search parameter or parameters, process block 845 searches the database of stored electronic books in library 262 in order to locate any electronic books satisfying the search criteria. The searching may be accomplished using the process as described with respect to process block 819. Process block 847 determines whether the requested electronic books were located in the database. The system may search for the requested electronic books by, for example, accessing and searching data associated with the electronic books such as the appropriate fields of the header information shown in Table 1 for all stored electronic books, the full text of the electronic books, or a sub-set of the full text of the electronic books.
The searching may be accomplished using searching algorithms known in the art, examples of which include the following: sequential search; basic sequential search;
self-organizing sequential search: move-to-front method; self organizing sequential search: transpose method; optimal sequential search; jump search; sorted array search;
binary search; interpolation search; interpolation-sequential search; hashing;
practical hashing functions; uniform probing hashing; random probing hashing; linear probing hashing; double hashing; quadratic hashing; ordered and split-sequence hashing;
reorganization schemes; optimal hashing; direct chaining hashing; separate chaining hashing; coalesced hashing; extendible hashing; linear hashing; external hashing using minimal internal storage; perfect hashing; recursive structures search; binary tree search;
randomly generated binary trees; random binary trees; height-balanced trees;
weight-balanced trees; balancing by internal path reduction; heuristic organization schemes on binary trees; optimal binary tree search; rotations in binary trees; deletions in binary trees;
m-ary search trees; B-trees; 2-3 trees; symmetric binary B-trees; 1-2 trees; 2-3-4 trees;
B-tree variations; index and indexed sequential files; digital trees; hybrid tries; tries for word-dictionaries; digital search trees; compressed tries; Patricia trees;
multidimensional search; quad trees; and K-dimensional trees.
If no electronic books were located satisfying the search parameter, process block 849 typically displays a message on the viewer indicating that no electronic books were found. If electronic books are located, process block 851 displays the results of the search on viewer 266, providing an indication of the found electronic book or books; for example, it may list the electronic books by title and author, as shown Figure 14c. A user typically may have the option to select any of the found electronic books, which may involve processing similar to that performed by process blocks 823 and 825.
After the search, process block 853 determines whether a user requests another search.
d. Menu System 5 It is preferred that the electronic book system have a menu system for selecting features and books from the electronic book system. The operating software and memory required for the menu system is preferably located at the viewer 266. However, it can also be located at the library 262, or the library 262 and the viewer 266 can share the software and memory needed to operate the menu system. Since the menus are usually 10 displayed on the viewer 266 and it is preferred that the viewer 266 be capable of operating in the absence of the library 262, the basic software and memory to create the menus is more conveniently located at the viewer 266.
The preferred menu system is a system which allows sequencing between menus and provides menu graphics for graphical displays such as on the viewer 266.
In a system 15 which uses a set top converter, these menus may also be displayed on a television screen:
In the simplest embodiment, the menus provide just basic text information for the subscriber to choose from. In more sophisticated embodiments, the menus provide visual displays and icons to assist the subscriber.
Figure 13 depicts a menu system with sequencing. The primary menus in the 20 system are an introductory menu 850, a main menu 854 and various submenus 858. In the embodiment shown, there are three levels of submenus. In certain instances one or two submenus is sufficient to easily direct the subscriber to the selection or information requested. However, there are features in which three or more submenus makes the user interface more friendly for the subscriber. Each level of submenus may consist of various 25 menus. The particular menu displayed depends on the selection by the subscriber on the previous shown menu. An example of this tree sequence of menus are the help submenus 887, 888. Depending upon the specific help requested, a different menu is displayed.
An example of an introductory menu 850 is shown on Figure 14a. Generally the introductory menu 850 introduces the viewer 266 to the system and provides initial guidance and instruction. The introductory menu 850 is followed by a main menu 854, an example of which is shown in Figure 14b. The main menu provides the viewer with the basic selection or features available in the system. For example, Figure 14b shows that the viewer 266 is able to choose by a point and click method, six available options; (1) free previews, (2) books you can order, (3) books in your library, (4) your current book, (5) help, and (6) other system features. Following a selection on the main menu, a submenu is shown.
Figure 13 shows ten available primary or first level submenus. They are ( 1 ) account set up 862, (2) free previews 866, (3) books in your library 872, (4) books you can order 878, (5) your current book 884, (6) help 887, (7) available features 890, (8) messages 893, (9) account information 896 (10) outgoing message submenu 898.
Figure 14c is an example of a first level submenu for books in your library 872. This "Book In Your Library" submenu shows six available books by title and author and provides the subscriber with the ability to check a different shelf of books or return to the main menu.
Figures 14d and 14e show other submenus for books that may be ordered using the "Books You Can Order" submenu.
The "Account Set Up Menu" 862 and further submenu us related to account set up (which provide instructions and account input 864) are shown in Figures 14f through Figure 14m. These submenus allow initialization of an account at the operations center and orders to be charged to credit cards. The submenus include the ability to enter data related to your credit cards.
Free previews for books 866 are also provided by submenus (868, 870).
Examples of the free preview menus are shown in Figure 14n, Figure 140, and Figure 14p.
Referring to Figure 13, submenus are shown on the "Books In Your Library"
submenu 872 and are preferably broken into shelf numbers with submenus for each shelf 874, 876. The submenus on the "Books You Can Order" submenu 878 is similarly broken out into submenus by shelves 880, 882. These shelves may each be a category or genre of books. Books may be grouped into categories such as best sellers, novels, fiction, romance, etc. See Figure 14d.
Refernng to Figure 13, the submenu for "Your Current Book" allows a subscriber to select a current book 884 and then determine what page to view. This selection is confirmed with submenu 885. The help submenu provides the subscriber with additional help screens 888. The submenus for available features 890 are preferably broken out into a separate submenu for each feature 891, 892. Examples of these features include the library menu and searching features explained with respect to Figures 12b and 12c.
Referring to Figure 13, messages can also be sent with the electronic book selection and delivery system. A level one message screen provides the subscriber with the ability to select from the various pending messages he has 893. Each message is then shown on a separate submenu screen 894, 895. An example of such a submenu is shown in Figure 14q.
Referring to Figure 13, account information is shown on a level one submenu and then follow-on submenus show the recent orders and your account balance 897.
There is also a level one submenu for outgoing messages 898 which has a follow-on submenu used as an input screen 899.
In addition to the specific features and submenus described in Figure 13 and Figure 14a through Figure 14q, many other variations and features are possible. Figure 14r is an example of a main menu with additional features and submenus available.
Examples of available features 890 identified in Figure 13 include the library menu and searching features explained with respect to Figures 12b and 12c.
When a book is finally selected for viewing on the system it will appear on the screen as shown in Figure 14s for the title and Figure 14t for a page of text.
III. The Billing_And Collection System The billing and collection system utilizes the latest technology in electronic transaction and telephone switching to track orders, authorize deliveries, bill consumers, and credit publishers automatically. The telephone calls initiated by the phone connector are received by the billing and collection system which responds immediately without human intervention by placing the order and charging the consumers credit card account.
Data is compiled periodically and publishers are credited for sales of their books. The billing and collection system may also connect with subscribers through two-way cable connections, cellular or other communication means.
It is preferred that the billing and collection system communicate with the operations center to track changes in available books and to provide statistical data to the operations center.
IV. Library and Bookstore System The electronic book system can be modified to be used at public libraries and bookstores. Figure 15 shows one possible arrangement of components for a public library or bookstore location. The main unit at public library or bookstore is the file server 900. The file server 900 is a large electronic memory unit that can store thousands of books. Various electronic storage means may be used in the file servers, such as hard disks and read-write CD ROMs and read only CD ROMs.
The system comprises five components; a converter or video connector 904, a controller 908, a viewer 912, and a catalog printer 916. The software for controlling the system is primarily located in the controller. The converter or video connector 904 is similar to those described above. In this configuration the controller unit 908 monitors the data being transferred to the file server by the converter 904. The controller 908 is preferably provided with a viewing screens and several control buttons. When it is necessary to have a larger screen to perform more sophisticated controlling of the system a viewer may be connected to the controller 908 and the viewer screen and controls may be used.
The controller 908 is only able to download books to the viewer 912 which are authorized to receive books from the particular file server. For security reasons it is not desirable that the public viewer 912 have access to more than one file server.
In this way, security can be maintained over the text data for books. It is preferred that the public viewer 912 be limited to receiving one or two books at a time from the controller 908.

When the user of the public viewer 912 needs a new or additional book he returns the viewer 912 to the library where he receives a new book from the controller 908.
In order to track the books that are available on the file server, the titles of the available books may be printed on a catalog printer 916. The catalog printer 916 is connected to the library controller 908 and the titles of the books are downloaded to the catalog printer 916. None of the coded text for any of the books can be printed using the controller 908 and catalog printer 916 of this system. In order to maintain security over the data, none of the book data is allowed to be downloaded to the printer.
Once a complete printout of available book titles, magazines, or other textual material is complete, a hard copy of the catalog 920 can be maintained at the file server.
The system shown may also be used at bookstores. The bookstores can rent the public viewer 912 to customers with the text for one or two books loaded onto the viewer 912. The viewer 912 may be provided with an automatic timeout sequence. The timeout sequence would erase the textual data for the books after a certain period of time, for example, two weeks. It is expected that after a period of time (perhaps within two weeks) the renter would return the public viewer 912 to the bookstore and receive additional books for viewing. Using this arrangement, it is also possible for the bookstore to (permanently) sell a viewer 912 to a regular customer. The customer then returns to the bookstore from time to time to receive textual data for a book which the customer can then store permanently on his own viewer 912. Various other configurations are possible for bookstores and libraries using the file server and viewer 912 described.
V. Use Of Set Toy Converter Existing set top converter boxes such as those made by Scientific Atlanta or General Instruments are presently unequipped to handle the book selection system of the present invention. Although set top converters may be built which include the library functions, hardware modifications are necessary in order to use the book selection system with existing set top converter technology.
Figures 16a and 16b are examples of hardware modification. A port is used to attach hardware upgrades described below to a set top terminal. Two upgrades are possible to set top converters 601 to assist in receiving and selecting electronic books.
A menu generation card upgrade (Figure 16a) and an information download unit (Figure 16b). Each of these upgrades may be connected to the set top terminal unit through an upgrade port. A four wire cable, ribbon cable or the like may be used to connect the 5 upgrade to the set top converter 601.
A card addition 950 to a set top converter 601 is depicted in Figure 16a. The card 950 shown provides the additional functionality needed to utilize the book selection system with existing set top converter 601 technology. The card 950 may be configured to slip inside the frame of a set top terminal and become part of the set top terminal, an 10 advanced set top terminal. The primary functions the card 950 adds to the set top converter 601 are the interpreting of data signals, generating of menus, sequencing of menus, and, ultimately, the ability of the viewer 912 to select a book using either the television or a viewer 912. The card 950 also provides a method for a remote location, such as the cable headend, to receive information on books ordered. The books ordered 15 information and control commands may be passed from the cable headend to the card 950 using telephone lines.
The primary components of the card 950 are a PC chip CPU 952, a VGA graphic controller 954, a video combiner 956, logic circuitry 958, NTSC encoder 960, a receiver 962, demodulator (not shown), and a dialer 611'. The card 950 operates by receiving the 20 data text signal from the cable headend through the coaxial cable. The logic circuitry 958 of the card 950 receives data 964, infrared commands 966, and synchronization signals (not shown) from the set top converter 601. Menu selections made by the viewer 912 on the remote control are received by the set top converter's 601 IR equipment and passed through to the card 950. The card 950 interprets the IR signal and determines the book 25 (or menu) the subscriber has selected. The card 950 modifies the IR command to send the information to the set top converter 601. The modified IR command contains the channel information needed by the set top converter 601. Using the phone line 968 and dialer 611', the card 950 is able to transmit books ordered information to the cable headend. It is also possible to receive the books over the telephone lines and by-pass the video distribution system.
These commands are passed through the interface linking the set top terminal's microprocessor with the microprocessor of the hardware upgrades. In this way, subscriber inputs, entered through the set top terminal keypad or remote control, can be transferred to any of the hardware upgrades for processing and responses generated therein can then be sent back to the set top terminal for display. In the preferred embodiment the IR commands 966 are transferred from set top terminal 601 to hardware upgrade.
Hardware upgrades may include a microprocessor, interactive software, processing circuitry, bubble memory, and a long-term memory device. In addition to these basic components, the hardware upgrade may make use of an additional telephone modem or CD-ROM device.
The information download hardware upgrade 1001 (shown in Figure 16b) allows the subscriber to download large volumes of information from the operations center or cable headend using the set top converter 601. The hardware upgrade 1001 will enable subscribers to download data, such as books and magazines, to local storage.
Primarily, the hardware upgrade 1001 is an additional local storage unit 1003 (e.g., hard disk, floppy, optical disk or magnetic cartridge and may include a microprocessor 1005, instruction memory 1007, and a random access memory 1009, as shown in Figure 16b).
Preferably, a small portable viewer 912 is also provided with the upgrade 1001 to enable downloaded text to be read without the use of a TV.
The downloadable information may be text or graphics supplied by the operations center or cable headend. With this upgrade, books may be downloaded and read anywhere with the portable reader. Using this upgrade, books may be downloaded and stored in compressed form for later decompression. The books would be decompressed only at the time of viewing. Important text that the public desires immediate access may made available through this system. Text such as the President's speech, a new law, or a recent abortion decision rendered by the Supreme Court may be made immediately available.
In the preferred embodiment, book ordering information is stored at each set top terminal until it is polled by the cable headend using a polling request message format.
An example of a polling request message format consists of six fields, namely:
( 1 ) a leading flag at the beginning of the message, (2) an address field, (3) a subscriber region designation, (4) a set top terminal identifier that includes a polling command/response (or P/F) bit, (5) an information field, and (6) a trailing flag at the end of the message. A
similar response frame format for information communicated by the set top terminal to the cable headend in response to the polling request may be used.
Figure 17 shows a preferred set top terminal that includes a data receiver 617' and a data transmitter 1011. The data transmitter provides upstream data communications capability between the set top terminal 601 and the cable headend. Upstream data transmissions are accomplished using the polling system described and, using a data transmitter 1011. Both receiver 617' and transmitter 1011 may be built into the set top terminal 601 itself or added through an upgrade module. Regardless of the specific hardware configuration, the set top terminal's data transmission capabilities may be accomplished using the hardware shown in Figure 17.
Figure 17 shows RF signals, depicted as being received at by a data receiver 617' and tuner 613 working in unison. Both of these devices are interfaced with the microprocessor 1013, which receives inputs 1015, from the subscriber, either through a set top terminal's keypad, a remote control unit or viewer 912. All cable signals intended for reception on the subscriber's TV are accessed by the tuner 613 and subsequently processed by the processing circuitry 1017. This processing circuitry 1017 typically includes additional components (not shown) for descrambling, demodulation, volume control and remodulation on a Channel 3 or 4 TV carrier.
Data targeted to individual set top terminals is received by the data receiver 617' according to each set top terminal's specific address or ID. In this way, each addressable set top terminal only receives its own data. The data receiver 617' may receive set top terminal 601 specific data in the information field of the signal frame described or on a separate data Garner located at a convenient frequency in the incoming spectrum.
Any received data includes information regarding books and menus available for selection. The subscriber may enter a series of commands 1015 using a keypad or remote control in order to choose a channel or program. Upon receipt of such commands, the set top terminal's microprocessor 1013 instructs the tuner to tune to the proper frequency of the channel carrying data and subsequently instructs the processing circuitry 1017 to begin descrambling of this data.
Upon selection of a book, the microprocessor 1013 stores any selection information in local memory (not shown) for later data transmission back to the cable headend. The set top terminal's microprocessor 1013 coordinates all CATV
signal reception and also interacts with various upstream data transmission components.
Typically, the data transmitter 1011 operates in the return frequency band between 5 and 30 MHZ. In an alternative embodiment, the frequency band of 10 to 15 MHZ may be used. Regardless, however, of the frequency band used, the data transmitter 1011 sends information to the cable headend in the information field of the response frame described.
Those skilled in the art will recognize that a number of variations and combinations of the above-described set top terminal hardware components may be used to accomplish upstream data transmissions.
VI. Books-On-Demand System The electronic book system described may also be configured in a book-on-demand style. Figure 18a shows one example of a configuration for a book-on-demand system. A book on demand system requires more powerful two-way communications between the consumer's home, bookstore or library and either the operations center 250 or a distribution site 1020 such as the cable headend. This type of two-way communication can be provided by the hardware shown in Figure 17 and described above.
Refernng to Figure 18a, in a book-on-demand system, the subscriber selects the book to be download from an available menu of books. The available menu is usually sent to the subscriber location by the distribution site 1020. After his selection, information about his selection (or request) is then communicated to either a distribution point 1020 (such as a cable headend) or the operations center. Upon receipt of this request, the needed textual and graphical information for the book is spooled and sent to the subscriber. In this manner, books are only sent when requested by the subscriber and are sent immediately upon demand for the book.
In order to support such a demand system, the text delivery and distribution must be conducted on a strong nodal architectured distribution system, such as, a video-on-demand cable or telephone television system, or through use of individual telephone calls on the public telephone system.
The book-on-demand system allows for a greater selection of books to the subscriber and limits the amount of communicated book data that is unnecessary or unneeded. It also provides the book to the subscriber in a much timelier fashion.
In addition to a stronger distribution system, a book-on-demand system requires a distribution point 1020 to have more sophisticated equipment to spool out the textual information. This can be accomplished using file server technology 1024 for storing the books and ATM 1028 or telephone-type switching (not shown) to distribute the textual information. The file server 1024 and distribution technology that can be used in configuring such a book-on-demand system is described in U.S. Patent No.
5,262,875 and U.S. Patent 5,218,695, cited above.
Figure 18a shows an embodiment for a book-on-demand system that utilizes file server technology. In addition to books, the embodiment of Figure 18a will support distribution of nearly any digital data. Books or textual files are received from publishers 282 and other sources through local feeds 1032, ATM 1028, or by satellite dish 1036.
The data is then stored in memory 1040 at the file server 1024. Preferably, distribution point 1020 is a cable headend that receives requests from subscribers and delivers text to subscribers over a two-way communication system (such as a video-on-demand system (VOD) 1044).

The library 262 can be connected to either a basic premium-type service cable system 1048, a near video-on-demand type cable system (or pay-per-view (PPV) 1052) or a video-on-demand cable system 1044. In connecting with either of these three systems the library 262 may access the cable directly or may access the system through 5 a set top terminal 601', 601 ", or 601 "'.
Using the two-way video-on-demand system 1044, a subscriber is able to request a specific book title and receive that text immediately following its request.
To accomplish this, the distribution point 1020 transmits a list of available books through the cable delivery system to the library 262. The library 262 displays the list of available 10 books on a menu or similar format. As described earlier, it is preferred that the library 262 use menus which list categories of available books to form its request from the distribution point 1020. After selecting a book the library 262 then sends a request signal on the two-way communication system 1044 back to the distribution point 1020.
This request signal can be handled in two ways. Either the library 262 initiates the request or 15 the distribution point 1020 polls the various libraries on to the two-way system 1044.
Upon receiving the request for the book title, the text associated with that book title is transmitted to the library 262 using the two-way cable system 1044.
Figure 18b is an expanded view of an operations center 250 that supports a regional or national book-on-demand system. In fact, the operations center 250 shown 20 supports distribution of nearly any digital data. The operations center 250 supports multiple feeds to receive digital information by tape 1060, 1060', ATM 1028, or satellite 1036. The information is processed through an input MUX 1064 and a small file server 1068 before reaching the master file server 1072. Digital data such as books received from publishers 282 is then stored on the master file server 1072. It is preferred that the 25 digital data is stored compressed in a standard format such as MPEG2.
A system controller 1076 provides control over the regional or national book-on-demand system. Books may be packaged into groups to provide feeds to various cable headends. In addition, scheduling and marketing research are conducted at the operations center 250. In order to handle the scheduling and market research, book buy data is received at the operations center 250 through a multiplexes 1082. Book buy information can be provided by the operation center 250 to the billing and collection subsystem.
The operations center 250 is also equipped to insert messages or advertisements into the file server. These messages or advertisements will eventually be received by the subscribers.
The master file server 1072 uses an output multiplexes 1080 and ATM 1028 as well as satellite connections to distribute digital data. In the preferred embodiment, cable headends receive text data on books from the master file server 1080 through the output multiplexes 1028 and an ATM system 1028. After receiving the digital book data, the cable headends store the books in a local file server 1024. Figure 18a's distribution point 1020 is an example of a cable headend which may receive data from the operations center 250 of Figure 18b through an ATM hookup 1088 or satellite hookup.

Claims (106)

1. A system for transmitting and receiving text, and displaying an indication of the text, wherein the text is transmitted in an electronic signal, comprising:
a processor that produces an electronic signal containing a representation of textual data;
a transmitter, connected to the processor, that transmits the electronic signal;
a connector that receives the electronic signal; and a display, connected to the connector, that displays a particular library menu relating to the textual data and based upon a user-entered selection.
2. The system of claim 1, wherein the processor produces the electronic signal as a video formatted composite signal.
3. The system of claim 1, wherein the processor produces the electronic signal as a signal to be transmitted over a telephone system.
4. The system of claim 1, wherein the display displays an electronic representation of books on a book shelf, related to the textual data.
5. The system of claim 1, wherein the display formats the menu according to title, author, International Standard Book Number, classification number, or category, related to the textual data.
6. The system of claim 1, wherein the display comprises a microprocessor that receives an indication of a selected portion of the textual data identified by the menu, and wherein the display displays the selected portion of the textual data.
7. The system of claim 1, wherein the display displays a default menu.
8. The system of claim 1, wherein the connector comprises a set top terminal with a memory for storage of the selected textual data, and the display comprises a television.
9. The system of claim 1, wherein the display comprises a portable, hand-held viewer.
10. The system of claim 1, wherein the processor comprises an encoder.
11. The system of claim 1, wherein the transmitter module comprises a broadcast television transmitter.
12. The system of claim 1, wherein the transmitter comprises a cable television transmitter.
13. The system of claim 12, wherein the connector further comprises a cable connector, that extracts textual data from a video formatted composite signal.
14. The system of claim 1, wherein the display comprises:
a library unit, connected to the connector, for processing the textual data, comprising:
digital logic for screening the textual data; and a first memory for storing the textual data; and a viewer, electronically communicating with the library unit, for displaying the textual data as text.
15. The system of claim 14, wherein the library unit and the viewer are contained within a common housing.
16. The system of claim 14, wherein the viewer comprises:
a second memory for storing textual data received from the library unit;
a microprocessor, connected to the second memory, for controlling the functions of the viewer;
a digital display circuit, connected to the microprocessor, for creating displays; and a liquid crystal display, connected to the digital display circuitry, for displaying text.
17. The system of claim 16, wherein the second memory for storing textual data comprises a removable electronic card memory.
18. A method for distributing text material in textual data form using an electronic signal and a transmission medium, comprising:
coding textual data onto an electronic signal;
transmitting the electronic signal over a transmission medium;
receiving the electronic signal from the transmission medium; and displaying a particular library menu relating to the textual data and based upon a user-entered selection.
19. The method of claim 18, wherein the coding step comprises producing the electronic signal as a video formatted composite signal.
20. The method of claim 18, wherein the displaying step comprises displaying an electronic representation of books on a book shelf, related to the textual data.
21. The method of claim 18, wherein the displaying step comprises formatting the menu according to title, author, International Standard Book Number, classification number, or category, related to the textual data.
22. The method of claim 18, further comprising:
receiving an indication of a selected portion of the textual data identified by the menu; and displaying the selected portion of the textual data.
23. The method of claim 18, wherein the displaying step comprises displaying a default menu.
24. The method of claim 19, wherein the receiving step comprises receiving the video signal from a set top terminal with a memory for storage of the selected textual data, and the displaying comprises using a television to display the menu.
25. The method of claim 18, wherein the displaying step comprises using a portable, hand-held viewer to display the menu.
26. The method of claim 18, wherein the coding step comprises using an encoder for coding the textual data onto the electronic signal.
27. The method of claim 18, wherein the transmitting step comprises using a broadcast television transmitter for transmitting the electronic signal.
28. The method of claim 19, wherein the transmitting step comprises sending the textual data without any video, using the textual data to fill an entire channel of video, and using a cable television transmitter to send the textual data.
29. The method of claim 28, wherein the receiving step comprises extracting textual data from the video formatted composite signal.
30. The method of claim 18, wherein the displaying step comprises:
using a library unit connected to the connector for processing the textual data; and using a viewer, electronically communicating with the library unit, for displaying the textual data as text.
31. The method of claim 30, further comprising using a common housing to contain the library unit and the viewer.
32. A system for transmitting, receiving, and searching text, wherein the text is transmitted in an electronic signal, comprising:
a module that produces an electronic signal containing a representation of textual data;
a module, connected to the producing module, that transmits the electronic signal;
a module that receives the electronic signal; and a module, connected to the receiving module, that searches the textual data, based upon a user-entered parameter, in order to locate a portion of the textual data relating to the parameter.
33. The system of claim 32, wherein the producing module comprises a module that produces the electronic signal as a video formatted composite signal.
34. The system of claim 32, wherein the searching module comprises a module that searches the textual data according to title, author, International Standard Book Number, classification number, or category, related to the textual data.
35. The system of claim 32, further comprising:
a module that receives an indication of a selected portion of the textual data identified by results of the searching module; and a module that displays the selected portion of the textual data.
36. The system of claim 32, further comprising a module that displays information related to results of the searching module.
37. The system of claim 36, wherein the displaying module comprises a module that displays an electronic representation of books on a book shelf, related to the textual data.
38. The system of claim 33, wherein the receiving module comprises a set top terminal with a memory for storage of the selected textual data, and the displaying module comprises a television.
39. The system of claim 36, wherein the displaying module comprises a portable, hand-held viewer.
40. The system of claim 36, wherein the producing module comprises an encoder.
41. The system of claim 32, wherein the transmitting module comprises a broadcast television transmitter.
42. The system of claim 33, wherein the textual data is sent without any video and fills an entire channel of video and wherein the transmitting module comprises a cable television transmitter.
43. The system of claim 42, wherein the receiving module further comprises a cable connector, comprising a module that extracts textual data from the video formatted composite signal.
44. The system of claim 33, wherein the producing module places the textual data into the vertical blanking interval of the video formatted composite signal and wherein the selecting module comprises a vertical blanking interval extractor to select a portion of the textual data.
45. The system of claim 36, wherein the displaying module comprises:
a library unit connected to the connector for processing the textual data comprising:
digital logic for screening the textual data; and a memory for storing the textual data; and a viewer, electronically communicating with the library unit, for displaying the textual data as text.
46. The system of claim 45, wherein the library unit and the viewer are contained within a common housing.
47 47. The system of claim 45, wherein the viewer comprises:
a memory for storing textual data received from the library unit;
a microprocessor, connected to the memory, for controlling the functions of the viewer;
a digital display circuit, connected to the microprocessor, for creating displays; and a liquid crystal display, connected to the digital display circuitry, for displaying text.
48. The system of claim 47, wherein the memory for storing textual data comprises a removable electronic card memory.
49. A method for distributing text material in textual data form using an electronic signal and a transmission medium, comprising:
coding textual data onto an electronic signal;
transmitting the electronic signal over a transmission medium;
receiving the electronic signal from the transmission medium; and searching the textual data, based upon a user-entered parameter, in order to locate a portion of the textual data relating to the parameter.
50. The method of claim 49, wherein the coding step comprises producing the electronic signal as a video formatted composite signal.
51. The method of claim 49, wherein the searching step comprises searching the textual data according to title, author, International Standard Book Number, classification number, or category, related to the textual data.
52. The method of claim 49, further comprising:
receiving an indication of a selected portion of the textual data identified by results of the searching; and displaying the selected portion of the textual data.
53. The method of claim 49, further comprising displaying information related to results of the searching.
54. The method of claim 53, wherein the displaying step comprises displaying an electronic representation of books on a book shelf, related to the textual data.
55. The method of claim 50, wherein the receiving step comprises receiving the video formatted composite signal from a set top terminal with a memory for storage of the selected textual data, and the displaying comprises using a television to display the menu.
56. The method of claim 53, wherein the displaying step comprises using a portable, hand-held viewer to display the menu.
57. The method of claim 49, wherein the coding step comprises using an encoder for coding the textual data onto the electronic signal.
58. The method of claim 49, wherein the transmitting step comprises using a broadcast television transmitter for transmitting the electronic signal.
59. The method of claim 50, wherein the transmitting step comprises sending the textual data without any video, using the textual data to fill an entire channel of video, and using a cable television transmitter to send the textual data.
60. The method of claim 59, wherein the receiving step comprises extracting textual data from the video formatted composite signal.
61. The method of claim 53, wherein the displaying step comprises:
using a library unit connected to the connector for processing the textual data; and using a viewer, electronically communicating with the library unit, for displaying the textual data as text.
62. The method of claim 61, further comprising using a common housing to contain the library unit and the viewer.
63. A system for transmitting and receiving text, and displaying an indication of the text, wherein the text is transmitted in an electronic signal, comprising:
means for producing an electronic signal containing a representation of textual data;
means, connected to the producing means, for transmitting the electronic signal;

means for receiving the electronic signal; and means, connected to the receiving means, for displaying a particular library menu relating to the textual data and based upon a user-entered selection.
64. An electronic book catalog system for use with an electronic book unit, comprising:
a connector coupled to the electronic book unit, the connector receiving data related to an electronic book, the data including book classification data;
a memory that stores the received data; and a processor that processes the stored data to produced an index of electronic books.
65. The system of claim 64, wherein the index is a user-defined index including one of author, time period, type of book, and book classification.
66. The system of claim 64, wherein the index is a standard library index.
67. The system of claim 66, wherein the library index is a Dewey Decimal Classification system.
68. The system of claim 66, wherein the library index is a Library of Congress classification system.
69. The system of claim 64, wherein the index includes an entry for the electronic book.
70. The system of claim 69, wherein an index entry is generated automatically when the electronic book is received at the electronic book unit.
71. The system of claim 69, wherein the index entry is generated manually after receipt of the electronic book.
72. The system of claim 64, wherein the index is displayed on a display.
73. The system of claim 64, wherein the electronic book unit is used to order electronic books, and wherein when an ordered electronic book conforms to an index electronic book, the electronic book unit provides a menu window indicating that the ordered electronic book exists in the electronic book unit.
74. The system of claim 64, wherein the electronic books are delivered to the electronic book unit via a telecommunications network.
75. The system of claim 74, wherein the telecommunications system is a cable television system.
76. The system of claim 74, wherein the telecommunications system is a wireless television system.
77. The system of claim 74, wherein the telecommunications system is a broadcast television system.
78. The system of claim 74, wherein the telecommunications network is a public switched telephone network.
79. The system of claim 74, wherein the telecommunications network is a wireless telephone network.
80. The system of claim 64, wherein an entire index is displayed on a display.
81. The system of claim 64, wherein a portion of an entire index is displayed on a display.
82. The system of claim 81, wherein the portion of an entire index is based on a user-defined entry, the user-defined entry selected from the group including author, book category, key word, time period.
83. The system of claim 80, wherein the display is a viewer.
84. The system of claim 80, wherein the display is a television.
85. The system of claim 80, wherein the display is a personal computer.
86. The system of claim 80, wherein the display is a printer.
87. The system of claim 80, wherein the displayed index displays information related to the electronic book, the information including title, author and date of publication.
88. The system of claim 87, wherein the information further includes one of a summary and end notes.
89. A method for generating and displaying a particular menu for a plurality of electronic books, comprising:
accessing data associated with a plurality of electronic books;

receiving a request from a user for a menu relating to the electronic books;
generating the menu based upon the user's request; and displaying the menu on a viewer.
90. The method of claim 89 wherein the displaying step includes displaying an electronic representation of the electronic books on a book shelf.
91. The method of claim 89 wherein the displaying step includes formatting the menu according to title, author, International Standard Book Number, classification number, or category, relating to the electronic books.
92. The method of claim 89, further comprising:
receiving an indication of a selected one of the electronic books identified by the menu; and displaying at least a portion of the selected electronic book.
93. The method of claim 89 wherein the displaying step includes displaying a default menu.
94. The method of claim 89 wherein the displaying step includes using a portable, hand-held viewer to display the menu.
95. The method of claim 89, further comprising receiving the electronic books through an electronic signal.
96. The method of claim 89, further comprising storing the plurality of electronic books for display on the viewer.
97. The method of claim 96 wherein the storing step includes storing the electronic books in the viewer.
98. A method for searching a plurality of electronic books, comprising:
accessing data associated with a plurality of electronic books;
performing a search of the accessed data;
displaying results of the search in a menu format on a viewer; and selecting one of the electronic books for viewing using the displayed menu.
99. The method of claim 98, further comprising receiving a request from a user for a search relating to the electronic books.
100. The method of claim 98 wherein the searching step includes searching the electronic books according to title, author, International Standard Book Number, classification number, or category, relating to the electronic books.
101. The method of claim 98 wherein the displaying step includes displaying an electronic representation of a book shelf containing an indication of electronic books identified by the results of the search.
102. The method of claim 98, further comprising:
receiving an indication of a selected one of the electronic books identified by the results of the search; and displaying at least a portion of the selected electronic book.
103. The method of claim 98 wherein the displaying step includes using a portable, hand-held viewer to display the results of the search.
104. The method of claim 98, further comprising receiving the electronic books through an electronic signal.
105. The method of claim 98, further comprising storing the plurality of electronic books for display on the viewer.
106. The method of claim 105 wherein the storing step includes storing the electronic books in the viewer.
CA 2361371 1999-01-27 2000-01-27 Electronic book having library catalog menu and searching features Abandoned CA2361371A1 (en)

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EP1155566A1 (en) 2001-11-21 application

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