US3656148A - Data handling apparatus - Google Patents

Data handling apparatus Download PDF

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US3656148A
US3656148A US3656148DA US3656148A US 3656148 A US3656148 A US 3656148A US 3656148D A US3656148D A US 3656148DA US 3656148 A US3656148 A US 3656148A
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United States
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means
character
characters
data
display
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Richmond D Belcher
Robert J Duggan
George R Ellis
Robert H Esslinger
W Frederick Goodyear
Joseph C Marshall
Thomas R Masone
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Bunker Ramo Corp
Allied Corp
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Bunker Ramo Corp
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Priority to US61056267A priority
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Priority to US83909969A priority
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Publication of US3656148A publication Critical patent/US3656148A/en
Assigned to ALLIED CORPORATION A CORP. OF NY reassignment ALLIED CORPORATION A CORP. OF NY ASSIGNMENT OF ASSIGNORS INTEREST. Assignors: BUNKER RAMO CORPORATION A CORP. OF DE
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    • GPHYSICS
    • G09EDUCATION; CRYPTOGRAPHY; DISPLAY; ADVERTISING; SEALS
    • G09GARRANGEMENTS OR CIRCUITS FOR CONTROL OF INDICATING DEVICES USING STATIC MEANS TO PRESENT VARIABLE INFORMATION
    • G09G1/00Control arrangements or circuits, of interest only in connection with cathode-ray tube indicators; General aspects or details, e.g. selection emphasis on particular characters, dashed line or dotted line generation; Preprocessing of data
    • G09G1/06Control arrangements or circuits, of interest only in connection with cathode-ray tube indicators; General aspects or details, e.g. selection emphasis on particular characters, dashed line or dotted line generation; Preprocessing of data using single beam tubes, e.g. three-dimensional or perspective representation, rotation or translation of display pattern, hidden lines, shadows
    • G09G1/14Control arrangements or circuits, of interest only in connection with cathode-ray tube indicators; General aspects or details, e.g. selection emphasis on particular characters, dashed line or dotted line generation; Preprocessing of data using single beam tubes, e.g. three-dimensional or perspective representation, rotation or translation of display pattern, hidden lines, shadows the beam tracing a pattern independent of the information to be displayed, this latter determining the parts of the pattern rendered respectively visible and invisible
    • G09G1/18Control arrangements or circuits, of interest only in connection with cathode-ray tube indicators; General aspects or details, e.g. selection emphasis on particular characters, dashed line or dotted line generation; Preprocessing of data using single beam tubes, e.g. three-dimensional or perspective representation, rotation or translation of display pattern, hidden lines, shadows the beam tracing a pattern independent of the information to be displayed, this latter determining the parts of the pattern rendered respectively visible and invisible a small local pattern covering only a single character, and stepping to a position for the following character, e.g. in rectangular or polar co-ordinates, or in the form of a framed star
    • GPHYSICS
    • G06COMPUTING; CALCULATING; COUNTING
    • G06FELECTRIC DIGITAL DATA PROCESSING
    • G06F3/00Input arrangements for transferring data to be processed into a form capable of being handled by the computer; Output arrangements for transferring data from processing unit to output unit, e.g. interface arrangements
    • G06F3/14Digital output to display device; Cooperation and interconnection of the display device with other functional units
    • G06F3/153Digital output to display device; Cooperation and interconnection of the display device with other functional units using cathode-ray tubes

Abstract

A system for receiving queries from data entry means at a plurality of remote stations and for sending replies from a central station having data storage and data processing means to the appropriate remote station to be displayed on a data presentation means such as a cathode ray tube. The queries at the remote stations are interrogated by circuitry at an intermediate station. A recirculating memory means is provided at the intermediate station for assembling the query messages. A complete query is transmitted from the intermediate station to the central station where a reply message corresponding to the query is developed. The reply is transmitted back to the intermediate station and stored in a recirculating memory. The reply message is periodically sent as a succession of signals to the appropriate remote station to control the display on the data presentation means. Periodically, the central station interrogates all queries stored at the intermediate station, including those for which replies have previously been generated, and generates new replies in response to these queries. The information display at the remote station is in this manner maintained current.

Description

United States Patent Belcher et al.

[541 DATA HANDLING APPARATUS [72] Inventors: Richmond D. Belcher, Thornwood; Robert J. Duggan, Bronx, both of N.Y.; George R. Ellis, Trumbull, Conn.; Robert H. Esslinger, Wilton, Conn; W. Frederick Goodyear, Westport, Conn.; Joseph C. Marshall, Chappaqua, NY.; Thomas R. Masone, Stamford, Conn.

[73] Assignee: The Bunker-Ramo Corporation, Oak

Brook, Ill.

[22] Filed: Feb. 25, 1969 [21] Appl. No.: 839,099

Related US. Application Data [60] Division of Ser. No. 460,117, June 1, 1965, Pat. No. 3,500,327, Continuation-impart of Ser. No. 370,323, May 26, 1964, abandoned.

{52] U.S.Cl. ..340/324 A, 340/154 [51] lnt.Cl. ..G06f3/l4 [58] Field ofSearch ..,340/324 A, 334, 154,152, 1463; 178/15 {56] References Cited UNITED STATES PATENTS 2,784,251 3/1957 Young etal. ..178/15 3,130,397 4/1964 Simmons ...340/324 3,161,866 12/1964 Orenstein et al... ...340/324 3,166,636 l/1965 Rutland et a1. ..178/24 [451 Apr. 11, 1972 3,169,240 2/1965 Macovski ..340/324 3,248,725 4/1966 Low et a1 3,298,013 l/l967 Koster 3,307,156 2/1967 Durr ..340/172.5

Primary Examiner-John W. Caldwell Assistant Examiner-Marshall M. Curtis Attorney-Frederick M. Arbuckle 5 7 ABSTRACT A system for receiving queries from data entry means at a plurality of remote stations and for sending replies from a central station having data storage and data processing means to the appropriate remote station to be displayed on a data presentation means such as a cathode ray tube. The queries at the remote stations are interrogated by circuitry at an intermediate station. A recirculating memory means is provided at the intermediate station for assembling the query messages. A complete query is transmitted from the intermediate station to the central station where a reply message corresponding to the query is developed. The reply is transmitted back to the intermediate station and stored in a recirculating memory. The reply message is periodically sent as a succession of signals to the appropriate remote station to control the display on the data presentation means. Periodically, the central station interrogates all queries stored at the intermediate station, ineluding those for which replies have previously been a generated, and generates new replies in response to these queries. The information display at the remote station is in this manner maintained current.

12 Claims, 17 Drawing Figures PRIORITY 6-B1T REGISTER I MODEM l60 54 I 155 I Ti REGISTER: a ALPHABETIC t I NUMERIC SMALL Timing for CONTRQl3 88mg CHARAFB CHAR.#5 {/94 l /55 /72 42 CHARACTER GENERATOR E J was PATENTEDAPR H 1972 SHEE] 01 8F 12 R/chmond 0. Be/cher, Robert J Dug an,

George R. Ellis, Robert H. Ess/in er, W m Frederick Goodyear, Joseph C. Mars/Bull, Thomas R. Mas ne PATENTEDAPR 11 I972 3.656.148

SHEET [33 0F 12 3 LAST 4 OPEN Query= BID Queryi HIGH ASK LOW uery: VOL'TIME Query2 ON TAPE LATE PR/ EARN QBC l uvvv 1732 0 2% I T 26 R 2360 FIG. 7

Query! Reply:

PATENTEDAPR 1 1 I972 SHEET OQUF 12 PATENTEDAPR H I972 SHEEI CBUF 12 FIG. 10B

WRITE KEYSET l READ CRT SAMPLE KEYSET 2 W LFLTLF WRITE KEYSET *5 READ KEYSET ""5 SAMPLE KEYSET*6 WRITE KEYSET *9 READ KEYSET *9 SAMPLE KEYSETHO PATENTEBAPR 11 m2 SHEET 10 0F 12 FIG. 11

FIG. 12

PATENTED APR 1 1 I972 SHEET 11 0F 12 mm \JI RM W 9% H Q w X mvh u x T... N m2 vnn mm wn mvm mvm 5mm R mw+ WT 9? NR 4 PATENTEDAPR 1 1 I972 SHEET 120F 12 m ma 6E \QQQD w mwgOm DATA HANDLING APPARATUS This application is a division of application Ser. No. 460,1 l7, filed June 1, 1965 now U.S. Pat. No. 3,500,327. This application is a continuation-in-part of our copending application, Ser. No. 370,323, filed May 26, 1964, now abandoned.

This invention relates to high-speed data processing systems of the type including a central data processor adapted to operate with a plurality of remote input/output units. In such systems, the remote units typically include means for sending query messages to the processor and for displaying the reply data, e.g. in the form of alphabetic and numeric symbols. As an illustrative embodiment of the invention, there is described hereinbelow a stock quotation system adapted to provide stock brokers with nearly instantaneous replies to individual queries concerning stock transactions on the major exchanges in the country.

As is well known, a large variety of systems and apparatus have been proposed and used, over the years, to provide stock brokers and their customers with prompt up-to-date information concerning securities transactions. One prominent mode of displaying stock quotation information is the so-called stock quotation board which contains a large number of remotely settable indicating devices arranged to present a continuously up-dated display of price information for a selected group of stocks. Frequently associated with such a quotation board is a projection screen upon which is cast a moving display of the stock data as it is received over the stock ticker lines. In another form of stock quotation service, the broker is provided with a special telephone set having a conventional dial by means of which a code signal can be generated corresponding to a selected stock; the system thereupon will produce in the ear piece of the telephone a voice reply giving the latest price information on the selected stock. Such a system is disclosed in U.S. Pat. No. 3,133,268, issued to Avakian et al. on May 12, 1964.

Also available are a number of different types of brokers desk units adapted to furnish the broker and his customer with a graphic display of price information for any stock selected by manipulation of manual controls provided on the desk unit. Although some of these brokers desk units have performed useful functions, they have not been fully satisfactory for a variety of reasons. Thus there has existed a need for a system with improved capabilities, including greater flexibility as well as higher speed in handling and presenting large amounts of information.

Accordingly, it is an object of the present invention to provide data handling apparatus which is superior to that available heretofore.

Yet another object of this invention is to provide improved apparatus for displaying reply data,

Still another object of the present invention is to provide, in a query-and-reply system including a plurality of input query devices and associated output reply display devices, an improved sampling means sequentially energizing selected ones of the input query devices and supply reply data to corresponding ones of the output devices.

A better understanding of this invention may be had from the following detailed description when read in connection with the accompanying drawings, in which:

FIG. 1 is a perspective view ofa brokers desk unit incorporating a cathode ray tube for presenting alphabetic and numeric symbols;

FIG. 2 is an enlarged view showing diagrammatically the manner in which the alphabetic and numeric symbols are generated on the face of the cathode ray tube;

FIGS. 3 through 7 show various query-and-reply fonnats;

FIG. 8 is a diagrammatic showing of a nation-wide network for a stock quotation system including apparatus in accordance with the present invention;

FIGS. 9A and 9B together present a block diagram showing the basic components of the stock quotation system;

FIGS. 10A, 10B and 10C comprise a schematic diagram including a mapped representation of the manner in which the data is arranged in the delay line storage device, together with timing diagrams showing the sequencing of the basic data reading and writing operations;

FIG. 11 is a schematic diagram showing aspects of the keyboard sampling circuitry;

FIG. 12 is a blockdiagram illustrating the connections for the different classes of keys of the keyboard; and

FIGS. 13A and 13B together comprise a schematic diagram of a preferred circuit for controlling the cathode ray tube display device.

Referring now to FIG. 1, there is shown a brokers desk unit 20 comprising a keyset having a manually operable keyboard generally indicated at 22. The three columns of alphabetic keys 24 on the left side are referred to herein as stock identification keys and provide means by which the broker can indicate any desired stock by depressing keys correspond ing to the established code for that stock. For example, to enter a query concerning the stock of The Teleregister Corporation, the broker would press keys TC in sequence.

To the right of the stock identification keys 24 are two additional columns of keys referred to herein as function keys, and which control the nature of the information to be developed. For example, depressing the key identified as Last, Bid, Ask will produce a query message calling for a reply message giving the latest sale price, and the current bid and asked prices, for any stockpreviously identified by keys 24. The remaining function keys provide a variety of useful and commonly desired information sets concerning the selected stock, as indicated in FIG. 1 on the faces of the keys.

The desk unit 20 also includes a CRT (cathode ray tube) display means 28 adapted to visually present both the queryand-reply messages, in alphabetic or numeric form, or in special symbolic configuration, as required. This CRT display means provides a fixed format display of four lines, each having up to six characters. Thus the CRT display means can accommodate up to 24 characters.

As the first stock identification key 24 is pressed, the corresponding alphabetic symbol appears in the upper left-hand corner of the CRT display means 28. Successive stock identification letters appear in sequential order in the top line, up to a total of five. Subsequent depression of a selected function key 26 will cause one letter identifying that function to appear in the first position of line 2, e.g. the letter L will appear in this position if the function key Last, ]Bid, Ask is pressed. Almost immediately thereafter, the data processing system (to be described hereinbelow) develops the required reply data and completes the. CRT display by filling in the stock price data and the remainder of the function letters, e.g. B and A in lines 3 and 4.

A different set of data for the same selected stock may be obtained simply by depressing another function key 26. For example, if the stockis displayed with Last, Bid, Ask data, the Open, High, Low data for the same stock will be displayed substantially upon the appropriate function keybeing depressed. If data on a different stock is desired, that stock must first be entered via the stock identification keys 24, and a following function key 26 must be depressed. When the key for the first letter of the new stock is depressed, all of the data previously displayed on the display means will be wiped clear and the new letter will be inserted in the first position of the top line. The remainder of the new stock query will be handled as before.

The sixth position of the top line is reserved for special information concerning the selected stock. For example, for certain stocks, a plus sign or a minus sign will be displayed in this position to indicate that the trend of the stock price isup or down, respectively. A Clear key 30 also is provided to permit the broker to wipe off the entire display whenever desired.

Referring now to FIG; 2, the electron beam of the cathode ray tube 28 is deflected in a manner to produce a distinctive raster pattern. As noted, the format of the data display is in the form of four lines of characters, each line including up to six characters. The raster pattern developed on the face of the CRT is in the form of four parallel rasters extending transversely of the face of the tube. Each of the four rasters is of a height commensurate with the height of the characters as set forth above. The beam of the CRT is deflected to produce a generally sawtooth trace across the face of the tube for each of the four rasters, the up strokes being the data strokes and the down" strokes being the retrace strokes. At the end of the first, second and third lines, the beam is deflected to the beginning of the next subsequent line. At the end of the fourth line, the beam is deflected to the beginning of the first line. The circuitry for accomplishing this raster pattern will be discussed hereinafter in connection with FIGS. 13A and 138.

In operation, both the up and down strokes of the trace are normally blanked such that no visible trace appears on the face of the tube. The characters are caused to appear on the tube face by selectively energizing predetermined portions of certain ones of the up" strokes. To this end, each up stroke may be considered as being divided into seven successive segments or elements. Since each such element occupies a precise time position along the stroke of the beam, the beam may be intensified by appropriate signal means to cause a visible spot to appear on the face of the tube at selected ones of the elements or segments of the selected up strokes. In the illustrative format, five adjacent up" strokes define the area within which each character is formed. Thus, each character is formed in what appears as a X 7 dot matrix. Between each of the five-stroke groups, which define the area within which each character is formed, there is an additional up stroke. This additional up stroke is, with one exception to be hereinafter discussed, left in its blanked condition to establish a space between adjacent characters. As indicated in the upper left-hand corner of FIG. 2, the letter B, by way of example, is generated by intensifying all seven elements of the first sweep or up stroke, the first, fourth and seventh elements of sweeps two to four and the second, third, fifth and sixth elements of the fifth sweep.

For the purpose of displaying fractions (or decimals, minutes, etc. special means are provided to form the characters by a code which intensifies only elements located in a truncated portion of the basic character region, as indicated in lines 24 of FIG. 2. In the present embodiment, this portion includes only four of the fine five available vertical sweeps, and only five of the available seven intensifiable elements of each up stroke. In other words, a 4 X 5 element matrix is selected from within the basic 5 X 7 element matrix, and in this smaller matrix a correspondingly smaller character is outlined for the required special purposes. It may be noted that the smaller 4 X 5 area is substantially similar to the basic 5 X 7 area, i.e. the ratio of the length of the short and long sides is approximately the same and the angles are the same, so that the configuration of the smaller characters is like that of the larger characters. When these smaller characters are used to display fractions, the fraction line between the numerator and denominator is generated by brightening all seven elements of the normally blank up" stroke between characters.

FIGS. 3 through 7 show specific examples of the query-andreply formats which result from actuating certain of the function keys 26. FIGS. 3 and 4 illustrate the Last, Bid, Asked and Open, High, Low queries referred to above, and particularly show replies including fractional eights and sixteenths respectively. FIG. 5 shows the display format for the Volume-Time function, indicating todays cumulative volume of the stock sold, and time since the last sale in hours and minutes; this same function key can be used to show the number of hours and minutes the tape is late, by first entering TXR in the keys 24. FIG. 6 shows the display format for Dividends and the Price-Earnings Ratio. FIG. 7 illustrates a presentation of the Dow-Jones Rails index at 2 PM, 3 PM and Final, showing the amount by which this index is either up or down as indicated by the plus and minus signs.

Referring now to FIG. 8, the basic stock transaction data is obtained from the usual ticker lines (not shown) emanating from the major stock exchanges in the country, such as the New York Stock Exchange, The American Stock Exchange, etc. This ticker line data is fed to a high-speed computer at a computer center, generally indicated at 32, which includes a large capacity data storage means such as one or more rotating drums 34 on which the stock transaction details (price, number of shares, etc.) are calculated and recorded in accordance with predetermined computational programs. A computer suitable for this purpose is the computer known by the name telefile" and produced by The Teleregister Corporation (now The Bunker-Ramo Corp.

At various locations throughout the country are a number of so-called satellite stations 36a, 36b, etc., connected to the computer center 32 by suitable two-way telephone-type transmission lines indicated by interrupted lines in FIG. 8. Each of these satellite stations includes a rapidly-accessible data storage device such as a magnetic drum 38a, 38b, etc., carrying stock transaction data controlled by the computer center 32. For example, the data may include the latest prices at which all of the various stocks and/or other securities have been traded on the various exchanges throughout the country, the bid and asked prices for these securities, the previous day s high and low prices, etc. In general, much of the information stored at the computer center 32 will be repeated at the satellite stations, although certain items of only limited interest to the public at large will be retained only at the computer center. The most common event of general interest is the sale of stock, and when this is reported via the ticker line to the computer, the details of the transaction are recorded on the large drum 34. If the sale was at a price different from the previously recorded last price for that stock, the computer will immediately update the data stored on the drums 38a, etc., to provide the satellites with the most up-to-date information.

Forming part of each satellite station 360, etc., is one or more auxiliary equipments titled Interrogation Control Subsystem and referred to hereinafter simply as ICS for the sake of brevity. Each ICS is connected over a conventional communication line, providing two signal paths 40 and 42 operating in a half-duplex mode, to a plurality of devices each titled Remote Query Transceiver" and referred to hereinafter as RQT. Each RQT unit typically will be located in a stock brokers office and, as indicated in the lower lefthand corner of FIG. 8, will serve a plurality of brokers CRT desk units 20, etc., for example, up to a total of 12 such desk units in the embodiment to be described herein.

Referring now to FIGS. 9a and 9b, which together form a block diagram of one RQT and twelve associated brokers desk units 20, it will be seen that each RQT comprises four principal elements each surrounded in the drawing by an in terrupted block and identified as:

1. Communications Equipment 50 connecting the RQT to the transmission lines 40 and 42;

2. Central Storage and Timing Equipment 52;

3. CRT Control Equipment 54; and

4. Keyboard Sampling Equipment 56.

The Central Storage and Timing Equipment 52 includes a magnetostrictive delay line 58 of conventional and commercially available construction which serves as a cyclical recirculating binary storage device, or memory, substantially in the manner generally described in copending application Ser. No. 307,190, filed Sept. 6, 1963, by Windels et al. There are, however, significant differences in the mode of operation. The binary input to the delay line memory is affected by a driver flop DLI controlled by an input gate 60. This gate, in turn, is activated by timing signals from the Counters and Read/Write Controls 62 so as selectively to supply the delay line with binary bits from various signal sources as will be described.

The output of the delay line memory 58, from the isolation flop DLN, is connected through a feedback line 64 to the input gate 60 to permit continuous recirculation of data. If the system is idling, i.e. no queries being entered by the keysets 22 or being serviced by other parts of the system, gate 60 will maintain this feedback circuit closed and thus there will be no change in the data stored in the delay line memory. However, as will be explained in more detail, when a broker enters a stock query by depressing keys of the keyboard 22, corresponding characters are entered into the delay line through gate 60 and override the feedback signals. Corresponding characters appear on the CRT display substantially immediately upon their entry into the delay line memory. Upon the completion of such a query message, a sequence of events is initiated to develop a reply message from the satellite station 36a (FIG. 8), insert such reply message into the delay line memory through the gate 60 in the form of appropriate coded signals representing data characters, and generate alphanumeric (or other) symbols on the CRT of the querying desk unit corresponding to the stored reply character signals.

The delay line 58 has sufficient memory capacity to store simultaneously all of the query-and-reply characters for all 12 desk units 20. Thus, since each desk unit has a display format of 24 characters, the delay line has a memory capacity sufficient to store signals representing 288 characters. As will be explained, the delay line 58 also includes some additional storage capacity for control purposes.

Each of the 12 desk units 20 is assigned a predetermined portion consisting of 24 so-called slots in the delay line storage sequence, and the signals representing the query-andreply characters for that desk unit are always stored in those assigned slots. Each such slot contains eight successive binary bits, of which five can be termed actual data bits while the remaining three are control bits. For reasons which will become apparent, the stored data for the 12 desk units are interlace in the delay line, so that the character slots for any one desk unit do not occur in succession as the data bits emerge from the output of the delay line memory.

FIGS. A, B and C, combined, show the mapping of the stored bits in the delay line memory 58. Using basically the same form of illustration as in FIG. 6 of the above-identified Windels et al. application, the delay line is shown as a series of vertical columns (slots) each containing eight bits which can be either marked or not-marked, i.e. logical one or logical zero. The interlacing of the character slot allocations for the several desk units is accomplished in groups of three, that is, the query-and-reply character slots for desk units Nos. 1, 5 and 9 are interlaced in the first section A of 72 slots" (shown in full in FIGS. 10A, B and C). The character slots for desk units Nos. 2, 6 and 10 are interlaced in a subsequent 72 slot section B, and so on.

This interlacing is such that the slot for the first character for desk unit No. 1 is followed by the slot for the first character for desk unit No. 5, which in turn is followed by the slot for the first character for desk unit No. 9, etc., thus forming a sequential group of three-slot segments in the delay line. The first six such three-slot segments in in any 72-slot storage section contain all the characters for the first lines of the CRT displays for all three of the desk units assigned to that storage section. These three-slot data storage segments are identified in FIG. 10 as positions 1-1; 1-2; 1-6 (meaning first line, first character; first line, second character; first line, sixth character); 2-1; 2-2; 2-6 (meaning second line, first character; etc.); 3-1 through 3-6 and 4-1 through 4-6. Between each 72-slot section there is an additional three-slot segment which, for purpose of identification, may be called 5-1, in which various control signals are recorded for the next following group of three desk units, as will be explained.

DESK UNIT SAMPLING Referring now to the lower left-hand comer of FIG. 9A, the keyboards 22 of the desk unit are sampled in succession by means of a time-division multiplexing arrangement including a multiplex keyboard drive 66 which cycles at a sufficiently fast rate to insure detection of each momentary depression of any of the query input keys 24 or 26 (FIG. 1). The multiplex keyboard drive 66 includes essentially, a counting circuit which provides a drive pulse for each of the keyset devices in timed sequence. Each of these keys operates a single make contact connected to a diode matrix (shown partially completed for the first two keysets at -1 and 70-2 in FIG. 11) so arranged that the closure of any one key contact produces a corresponding unique set of circuit completions to the individual lines of a seven-wire multiple 72, thereby defining the individual parallel bits" of a code representative of the selected stock identification or function key. Referring also to FIG. 12, it will be seen that the stock identification keys 24 control the connections to only five of the lines. Depression of any function key 26 marks the sixth line by completing a connection thereto, and also controls connections to the first five lines. The Clear key 30 controls the connection only to the seventh line.

The single line input 74-1, 74-12 of each of these keyboard circuits 22-1, 22-12 is energized in succession by the multiplex keyboard drive 66 under control of the central timing equipment 62. If any key is depressed at the time of energization of the input line to that keyboard, one or more of the lines of multiple 72 will conduct current to a keyboard buffer and analyzer generally indicated at 78, the particular combination of lines energized being, determined by the key selected as outlined above. All 12 keyboards (No. 1 through No. 12) are sampled or scanned in this manner during the time required for three complete traverse or spins" of the delay line 58. During one delay line spin, keysets Nos. 1, 2, 3 and 4 will be sampled, during the next spin keysets Nos. 5, 6, 7 and 8 will be sampled, and during the third spin keysets Nos. 9, 10, 11 and 12 will be sampled. The scanning operation then begins a new cycle.

FIGS. 10A, 10B and 10C include timing diagrams to show the relationship between the operation of the delay line 58 and the sampling of the keysets of the desk unit 20. For example, keyset No. 2 will be sampled during the first 72-slot section A of the first delay line spin (corresponding to the time that the display characters for desk units Nos. 1, 5 and 9 are emerging from the output of the delay line). That is, during this period the line 74-2 leading to the keyboard switch and diode circuitry of keyset No. 2 will go high (logical one). During the next 72-slot sections B, C and D of the first delay line spin (not shown in FIG. 10), keysets Nos. 3, 4 and 5 will be sampled in this manner.

On the second and third spins of the delay line, the remaining keysets will be sampled. For example, on the second spin, keyset No. 6 will be sampled while the delay line output is passing through the first 72-slot section A, and so forth.

When the keyboard sample signal on line 74-1 (or 74-2, etc.) goes low at the end of the corresponding sample period, the seven-bit signal is shifted into a temporary buffer storage generally indicated at 78. At the start of the immediately following three-character control section 5-1, as gated by a line from the central timing equipment 62, this keyboard signal stored in the buffer is analyzed by an OR circuit forming part of circuitry 78 to determine whether any one of the seven lines was activated at the time of sampling, i.e. to determine whether one of the keys 24 or 26 had been depressed at the end of the immediately preceding sample period. If this analysis shows, by the presence of a signal appearing at the output of the analyzer OR circuit resulting from the operation of any one of the keyset keys, that a key had been depressed, a line 81 is energized to mark the fifth bit (identified as S,,) of the slot in the control segment 5-1 corresponding to the sampled keyset. No recording of data representing the particular keyset depressed is made at this time, however, because the data might be in error due to bounce of the switch contacts, or the like.

Which slot the control bit S A is placed in depends, of course, upon which of the three possible spins the delay line is passing through. To indicate the proper one of the three possible slots, the timing apparatus 62 includes conventional means to generate, among others, a gate signal which goes high only at the time this slot is passing into 'the delay line. This gate signal, indicated as SLC in FIG. 10, goes high during the first slot of each three-slot segment while in spin No. 1, during the second slot while in spin No. 2, and during the third slot while in spin No. 3. Thus, assuming as above that keyset No. 2 had just been sampled in delay line Spin No. 1, SLC will serve to gate the marked bit S A into slot A of the control segment. This bit will be directed to the fifth bin of the slot by a gating signal from the fifth bit counter BDE (FIG. A). It should be noted at this point that all of the timing signals designated along the left side of the charts starting on FIG. 10A are generated within the timing apparatus 62. The timing apparatus 62 includes a plurality of counters which are interrelated to produce the required gating control signals to which references are made herein.

With the S bit marked for keyset No. 2 to indicate Character Present in the Keyset, circuitry will be activated during the next complete cycle (i.e. three spins of the delay line later) to write the keyset data from the buffer 78 into the delay line during the second section B immediately following the three-slot control segment 5-] for keyset No. 2. Detection of the 8, bit is indicated diagrammatically by a coincidence detector and control 82 which receives the delay line signals and is activated by a suitable timing signal from counters 62. The output of detector 82 controls a gate 84 between a conventional parallel-to-serial converter or strobe circuit 86 and the input gate 60 of the delay line. This strobe circuit is operating continuously to convert the five parallel data bits from the seven-line multiple (The sixth and seventh bits are those which indicate, respectively, that a function key 26 or the clear key 30 had been depressed.) to a serial signal at the delay line frequency and properly synchronized with the individual bins of each slot as it emerges from the delay line.

The output of the strobe circuit 86 must be gated in timed relationship with respect to the occurrence of the assigned slots of the delay line in order to place the sampled keyset character in the allotted slot in the delay line memory 58. This slot is identified by a marker control bit Q (standing for Query Write) which has been gated into the second bin of the proper slot. Assuming, for example, that a character read out from keyset No. 1 is the first stock identification character (e.g. T for The Teleregister Corporation), th QW marker bit will initially be located in the first slot of the first three-slot segment of the first 72-character section A of the delay line. The coincidence detector 82 is arranged to detect this marker bit and, having been previously enabled by detection of the immediately preceding S bit as discussed previously, emits an output signal to open gate 84 and record the sampled data in the delay line. Thereupon, the bit identified as S is gated into the control segment to indicate that the character present in the keyset has been read, so that this character will not be read a second time.

After recording the first keyboard character, th ow bit is automatically removed from its position in the first slot of the first segment and shifted over into the first slot of the second segment, e.g. in accordance with the techniques described in the above-identified Windels et al. application. Thus, if there is a second stock identification character (such as C of TC), it will be written into this second segment, and so on up to the limit of five stock identification characters.

It should be noted that the cycling of the multiplex keyboard drive 66 is sufficiently fast that each keyset character will be sampled at least twice, once to detect its presence, and the second to write the character into the delay line. In the specific embodiment described herein, one complete sample cycle (three delay line spins) required 13.44 milliseconds. The length of the delay line, ie. the traverse time, is 4.484 milliseconds, and the data bits are entered into the delay line at the frequency of 534,500 hits per second.

If any stock identification key 24 is pressed after five characters already have been recorded in the delay line 58, the equipment does not respond. As a part of the timing function of the timing apparatus 62, the input gate is inhibited by a timed control signal at the end of the fifth character of line 1. The sixth character position is programmed to be receptive only to reply data as noted below. If a function key 26 is pressed at any time after the first stock identification character is recorded, the function character is always placed in the segment or position identified as 2-1 (second line, first character). For example, if the Last, Bid, Asked function key is pressed, the first letter L of this group is entered into position 2-] by means of conventional gating control means responsive to the marking of the sixth bit of the keyset character as sensed by the analyzer 78. During the same spin of the delay line, the bit labelled H (standing for high priority) is marked in the seventh bin of the corresponding slot of the control segment 5-1. The detection by the analyzer 78 of the function character identifying mark in the sixth bit position produces a control signal which is used to gate the H P bit into the delay line. This is the so-called High Priority Flag and is used to indicate to the Communications Equipment 50 that a completequery has been entered in the delay line memory 58 and requires servicing. As will be described in more detail below, this Communications Equipment operates almost instantaneously to obtain from the satellite station 36a (FIG. 8) a reply message which is entered in the remaining slots of lines 2, 3 and 4 of the querying keyset. These reply slots are positions 2-2 and 2-6, 3-1 through 3-6, and 4-1 through 4-6. In addition, under certain circumstances a special display character is entered as a part of the reply message in the appropriate slot of position 1-6. For example, a character may be entered which indicates the latest trend of the stock price, as by means of a plus or minus sign.

It was previously noted that data inserted into the delay line memory 58 were recirculated, by a feedback circuit 64 and gated back into the delay line to form a recirculating memory. It was also indicated that, if a new stock identifying key were pressed, the new character would override the memory character and be displayed on the screen. When the broker presses one of the stock identification keys, the establishment of the character in the buffer-analyzer 78, in addition to the gating of the 5,, bit, also opens the gate in the feedback loop 64. Opening of that gate effectively erases the data stored in the delay line memory 58 for those slots allotted to the particular desk unit. The erasure of these data bits from the delay line memory is, in turn, effective to erase the previous display from the associated display tube.

On the other hand, if, without depressing a new stock identification key, the broker presses a new function key, the resulting coded signal includes the sixth bit function identifier. That sixth bit function identifier establishes the times relationships of the subsequent operations to begin at the first character position of the second line. Thus, the following erasure of the data bits from the delay line memory, and the associated CRT display affects only the function, ie. lines two to four. Therefore, the stock identification characters will not be erased from either the delay line memory or the CRT display. When that particular desk unit is polled, the content of the delay line is read, including the old stock identification which is still circulating in the memory, as well as the new function query.

Depressing the clear key 30 also establishes a signal which actuates the gate in the feedback circuit 64, obliterating the signals from those slots of the delay line memory 58 allotted to that particular desk unit, thereby erasing all displays from the associated CRT.

POLLING OF RQT UNITS Each ICS (FIG. 8) continually polls" is associated RQT units in sequence, in search for keyset queries which are to be serviced. Predominantly, these polls are of the high priority category, meaning that the search is only for queries which have not yet been serviced. Such high-priority polls take place every second or so, in order to insure rapid reply to a query entered by a stock broker. At less frequent intervals, e. g. every 3 seconds, the ICS initiates a low-priority poll wherein all queries recorded in the delay lines of the associated RQTs will be serviced, even though they have already been serviced previously. This is to insure that any changes in stock price (or other queried data), occurring since the previous servicing, will periodically be entered in the reply section of the delay line for updating the display at the respective keyset.

When any RQT is not operating with its ICS, it is in an idle mode, monitoring the incoming line 40. From the ICS, there appears on the line 40 a continuous carrier signal. Whenever an intelligence signal is issued by the ICS, the frequency of the carrier signal is modulated in accordance with the intelligence signals. These intelligence signals are always in the form of a pulse code. Each RQT associated with one of the ICS units is given a predetermined identifying address code. During the polling sequence, the ICS will send out a series of pulse-code signals including an SOP (Start-of-Poll) signal followed by an address signal identifying the particular RQT being pulled.

The modulation of the carrier signal by the pulse code signals of the ICS is accomplished by a Modern (modulatordemodulator) which may, for example, be the type produced by The Western Electric Co. and identified with their model No. WE-202B. At the RQT, a similar Modem demodulates the signal and restores the pulse code signals.

The ICS signals are directed by the Modem through a line 100 and gates 102, 104 to stage A of a three-character communications buffer 106. The received signals are stepped through this buffer and, when in stage C, are examined by a conventional analyzer 108. When in the idle condition, detection of any signal other than SOP produces no response by the RQT equipment. However, when SOP is sensed, the output signal of the analyzer 108 activates conventional circuitry to examine the next following character to determine whether it is the RQT address.

When an RQT decodes its own address, an idle flop 110 is set to its busy state, to activate the RQT for the incoming poll. The carrier for the output line 42 of the Modem is energized, as by means of signals directed through an interconnection cable 112 to a control unit 114 which operates the Modem. With this carrier energized, the RQT is in effect connected to the polling ICS, and the remaining RQT units are in effect disconnected.

Simultaneously with this activation, a query seeker 116, which comprises a controlled combination of flip-flop counters, programmed to sequentially identify the delay line slot assignments of desk units, in order, is started, also by signals directed through cable 112, and operates to scan the stored data for each keyset in sequence. This seeker is controlled by timing signals (T) from the counters 62, and opens a gate 118 connected to the feedback line 64 of the delay line 58 at the proper periods to pass the stored query characters of only. a single keyset at a time. Seeker 116 is stepped from one keyset to the next in sequential order, and stays connected to any keyset requiring service until this servicing has been completed. To provide the most rapid transfer of data, gate 118 is opened for the selected keyset each spin of the delay line, rather than every three spins as during the keyboard sampling cycle.

If the ICS unit is carrying out a high-priority poll, as described above, the fifth bit of the five-bit RQT address signal will be marked (logical one); otherwise this fifth bit will be blank (logical zero). The condition of this fifth bit is decoded by the analyzer 108 and controls a Priority flop 120. If a high priority poll is being called for, fiop 120 will transmit suitable signals through cable 112 to activate a high priority detector 122. This detector also is supplied with suitable timing signals (T) from the central counters 62, and serves to determine whether the H bit (see above) is marked for the keyset then being scanned by the seeker. If such a marked bit is found, this detector signals a control circuit 124 to open a gate 126 to pass the query data for that keyset through another gate 128 and thence through gate 104 into the communications buffer 106. (Gate 128 is open at this time, but not gate 102, due to control signals generated when the RQT was transferred from idle to busy mode.)

The particular character being transferred from the delay line 58 is determined by stored control bits identified as O in FIG 10, e.g. in accordance with techniques set forth in the above-identified Windels et al. application. Initially, Q (standing for Query Read) is marked :in position 1-1, so that the character in 1-1 is read out first, and O is shifted to position 1-2. At the next opportunity, the character in 1-2 is read out, andQ is shifted to 1-3, etc. When 0,; finally is shifted to position 1-6, a circuit is activated to cause the reading circuits to read out next the function character stored in position 2-1, rather than the marked position 1-6 (which does not contain a query character, as discussed above). When the function character has been read out, and has been transmitted to the ICS, the RQT is caused to revert to its receive mode (REC flop 130 set) for the subsequent reply message to be transmitted by the ICS.

The communication buffer 106 is required because the transmission lines 40 and 42 operate at a speed much slower than delay line 58. Thus, during reading of the message, there will be many delay line spins in which no data is read out. The actual reading and transfer of each character is controlled by gate 126 which receives enabling signals 0,; and A empty," so that data is passed on to the buffer only when the first stage is ready to accept a character. When a character is transferred, the Q bit also is automatically shifted to the next slot in the delay line to be read.

The query message output of buffer 106 is directed through a gate 132 to the Modem unit where the pulse code signal is again used to frequency-modulate the carrier signed for transmission over the line 42 to the ICS. At the satellite station 36a, the query message is stored and analyzed (e.g. as by techniques similar to those described in the above-identified Avakian et a]. US. Pat. No. 3,133,268) to produce a corresponding reply message giving the requested information. The ICS thereupon transmits this reply message to the RQT originating query.

Each reply message consists of 21 characters, comprising SOM (Start-of-Message), the RQT address, Trend (for line 1, character 6 of the CRT display), and 18 other characters consisting of three groups of six characters, each group serving to control one of the remaining lines 2 through 4 of the display. The first character of the first group of six is identical to the function character transmitted in the query. For example, if the Last, Bid, Ask function is sent, the letter L from the query message is recorded in the delay [line slot for the second line, first character (position 2-1), and the reply also will include the letter L to be placed in the same delay line slot.

This reply message is fed from the Modern through line and gates 102, 104 to the communication buffer 106, i.e. just as was the original RQT poll message. The output of the buffer, however, now is directed through a gate 134 (opened by signals in control cable 112 when the RQT is busy and in receive mode) and a timing gate 136 to the input 60 of the delay line 58. This timing gate 136 is controlled by signals from the seeker 116 as well as by signals from a timed detector 138 which scans the delay line data for the control bits identified in FIG. 10 as R -(Reply Write). Gate 136 completes the circuit to the input60 at the correct times to place the reply message characters (not including the SOM and RQT address characters) in their proper slots in the delay line 58.

Initially, the control bit R is marked in position 1-6, and thus the first reply character (Trend) is placed inthat position. Thereupon, the marked R bit is shifted to position 2-] to identify the location of the next slot to be filled by the function character. After loading this slot, the marked R bit is shifted forward one more slot to identify position 2-2.

The character following the function character is referred to herein as an indicator character, and is not itself loaded into the delay line 58 nor displayed on the CRT of the corresponding keyset. Instead, this indicator character serves to control the mode of display to be used for the next four characters of thereply. Thus, gate 136 is suitably activated by the timing signals to transfer the indicator character to a temporary storage register 140 where it is analyzed to produce signals corresponding to the code of the stored character. These signals are efiective to produce from a controls unit 142 the required results as will be described. The R bit remains marked in position 2-2 during this analysis.

There are nine different indicator characters, each consisting of a distinctive five bit code and representing a specific control effect as outlined below:

1. Code 01000 Meaning: The following four characters are Hundreds, Tens, Units and a Fraction, the denominator of which is 8, respectively. This indicator character will appear when the queried stock is trading in eighths. The control signals generated by analysis of this code will do the following:

a. Mark the third bit in position 2-5. (This bit is identified as D in FIG. 10, and serves to cause delay of certain data being sent to the corresponding CRT, in order to properly position both the denominator and numerator of the fraction as will be explained.)

b. Mark the fourth bit in position 2-5. (This bit converts the stored character to the code identifying a small 4 X 5 matrix character, required for the fraction to be displayed; see also Table 111 hereinbelow.)

c. Force into position 2-6 the code for a small 8, Le.

1 1000, to define the denominator of the fraction.

(1. Mark the R bit of position 2-6. As the first of the next four characters is received, it is stored in position 2-2, and R then is shifted to position 2-3. The following three characters are placed in positions 2-3, 2-4 and 2-5, R controlling the entry in each case. Under ordinary circumstances, the R bit would next be shifted to position 2-6, but a marked bit already is present in this position, due to the operation of the indicator character. The presence of marked R bits in both 2-5 and 2-6 is detected as an end-of-line" signal, and the R bit thereupon is marked in position 3-1, thus causing the next character to be placed in that position. If this end-ofline" signal is detected when operating on the storage for line 4 (i.e. positions 4-1 through 4-6), an additional signal is generated to reactivate the seeker 116 and cause it to shift to the next keyset in the sequence.

2. Code 01 100 Meaning: The following character is another indicator character. This will be used for stocks trading in sixteenths and thirty-seconds. Upon decoding of this character, an inhibit circuit (not shown) is activated to prevent writing the following character in the delay line 58. This first indicator character always will be followed by one or the other of indicator characters (3) or (4) below.

3. Code 01101 Meaning: The following characters are Units, Fraction, Fraction, respectively and the Denominator is 16. The control signals generated by the analysis of this code do the following:

a. Mark the third bit in position 2-3. (This bit is identified as D in FIG. 10, and serves to cause delay of certain data being sent to the CRT, to properly position both the denominator and numerator of the fraction to be generated.)

b. Mark the fourth bit in position 2-3. (This converts the received character to the code for a small 4 X5 matrix character.)

c. Mark the fourth bit in position 2-4. (See above.)

d. Force into position 2-5 the code for a small numeral 1,

e. Force into position 2-6 the code for a small numeral 6,

f. Mark the R -bits of positions 2-5 and 2-6. Upon completion of the above operations, the immediately following three characters of the reply are written into positions 2- 2, 2-3 and 2-4. Thereafter, the R bit will be marked in the first position of the next line (e.g. position 3-1), unless the fourth line is not being operated on, in which event the seeker 116 is signalled to step to the next keyset since the reply message will have been completely recorded.

4. Code 01110 Meaning: The following characters are Units, Fraction, Fraction, respectively, and the Denominator is 32. The Control actions taken upon decoding of this character are the same as for (3) above, except that the codes for small 3 and small 2 (Le. 1001 l and 10010) are written into positions 2-5 and 2-6.

5. Code 00001 Meaning: The following four characters are full size. This will be used for a reply to a query requesting Volume, Price-Earnings Ratio, Market Trend and Stock Dividend. Upon decoding of this character, R is marked in position 2-6 as in (1) above, and the next four characters are written directly into positions 2-2, 2-3, 2-4 and 2-5.

6. Code 00100 Meaning: The following four characters are Tens, Units, Tenths and l-lundredths." This indicator is used for Dividend, Market Averages, Time Since Last Sale, and Commodity Prices. The control signals generated by decoding of this character do the following:

a. Shift the marked R bit from position 2-2 to position 2-3.

b. Mark the fourth bit of positions 2-5 and 2-6 to cause the generation of small 4 X 5 matrix characters in the last two positions of the line.

c. Mark the third bit of position 2-4. (This bit is identified in FIG. 10 as P (standing for Preset Delay eight bits) and serves to cause delay of certain data being sent to the CRT to properly position the two following small characters in positions 2-5 and 2-6.

After these control actions, the next four data characters of the reply message are written directly into positions 2-3 through 2-6.

7 Code 00101 Meaning: The following characters are Tens, Units, Tenths, Hundredths, respectively, and a plus sign is to be written in position 2-2. This reply is used for Market Average Changes. The control actions resulting from decoding of this character are the same as in (6) above, with the addition of writing the plus sign code (01010) into position 2-2.

8. Code 00110 Meaning: The following characters are Tens, Units, Tenths, l-lundredths, respectively, and a minus sign is to be written in position 2-2. This is essentially the same as (7) above, except that 01 is placed in position 2-2. 9. Code 00010 Meaning: The following characters are to be treatedas alphabetics. This indicator is reserved for special operations such as effecting rewrite of a brokers stock quotation board. Decoding of this character causes the third bit in position 2-2 (identified as T,,) to be marked, which results in the production of an alphabetic code for the following four character positions during the reading thereof for display purposes and also causes the control bit R, to be marked in position 2-6 to indicate end-of-line as discussed hereinbefore.

Although the functioning of the indicator characters listed above was described principally with reference to line 2 of the CRT display, it is to be understood that this functioning will be identical for the third and fourth lines.

Under some circumstances, the function character will be a numeric rather than an alphabetic, eg for the function key 2, 3, F. When the broker presses such a function key, this fact is sensed by suitable circuitry at the RQT (not shown), and controls are activated to mark the third bit (T,.-) of the first character in any line where such a numeric function symbol is to be displayed. The presence of this marked bit converts the code to a numeric code.

When a low-priority-poll is carried out by the lCS, the fifth bit following the RQT address is not marked, and hence the Priority flop is not set. Under these conditions, the control signals in cable 112 cause the seeker 116 to stop on each keyset in turn, whether or not its Hp bit is marked in the delay e, and the seeker stays connected to each keyset until all of the corresponding query data slots are scanned out to the ICS. If a query was stored in these slots, the [CS develops a corresponding reply message to be inserted in the delay line, overwriting any previous reply if such is present. Thus, if there has been a change in data previously reported, this will be reflected automatically by the refreshing" of the stored reply.

CRT DISPLAY CONTROLS The query and reply data stored in the delay line 58, as described above, appears continuously on the CRT displays of the keysets 20. This continuous display is effected by a timedivision multiplexing arrangement so arranged that the display tubes of the various keysets are painted in rapid succession corresponding to the order in which the stored data is read from the delay line.

Reading of the delay line data is governed by a gate 150 (FIG. 9b) controlled by suitable timing signals from the central counters 62. This reading sequence is illustrated on FlGS. A, 10B and 10C wherein it is shown, for example, that the display data for CRT No. 1 is read during the same time block that query or reply data is being written for that keyset. There are four such time blocks for each spin of the delay line, during which the stored display data for four successive keysets (e.g. Nos. 1, 2, 3 and 4) are read out. A complete cycle, of course, requires three delay line spins, to serve all 12 keysets.

The data read out from the delay line is limited to the third through eighth bits of each slot, i.e. the five basic data bits plus the artificially created data bit of the third bin (such as T etc.), These six bits are transferred serially to a register 152 from which they are shifted, in parallel, to a second register 154.

From register 154, four of the data bits are fed directly to a character generator 156 adapted to produce signals for controlling the display on each CRT, as discussed in connection with FIG. 2. These four data bits correspond to delay line bins No. 5 through No. 8, represented by timing counters BDE through BDI-l. The data bit corresponding to bin No. 4 is directed to a small character control circuit illustrated by a block 158. This circuit detects the presence of a marked bit in bin No. 4 and in response thereto causes the character generator to produce a signal for developing a small 4 X 5 matrix character, as previously described.

Also connected to the input of the character generator156 is an alphabetic/numeric control circuit 160 which, in effect,

adds one more data bit to this input to determine whether the signal developed by the character generator will be an alphabetic character or a numeric character. This circuit 160 is, in turn, controlled by timing signals because, in most circumstances, whether a character is alphabetic or numeric depends upon the position of the character on the CRT display, and this position is determined by the time at which the basic character data emerges from the delay line.

More specifically, the characters placed in positions 1 through 5 of the top line always will be alphabetic, and therefore circuit 160 will always insert a logical one" into the character generator when data for these positions is being translated. (As shown in Table III hereinbelow, a logical one in the sixth column identifies the code for Letters.") Similarly, a logical one usually will be inserted with the data desiined for CRT positions 2-1, 3-1 and 4-1, since ordinarily the function characters will be alphabetic. On the other hand, a logical zero usually will be inserted with the data destined for the last five positions in lines 2 through 4 since typically these characters will benumeric.

Under some operating conditions, it is necessary to display a numeric in the first position (such aswhen the function is 2, 3, F"), or to displayan alphabetic in the other positions of lines 2 through 4. As mentioned above, such special displays are indicated by marking the third bin in the delay line slots for character positions No. l or No. 2, i.e. the data bits identified as T and T,,. The presence of such a marked bit is sensed by a timed detector 162 connected to the sixth position of register -154, and identified herein with the reference number 155.

lf-a marked T bit is sensed by detector 162, it activates a circuit 164 to cause the alpha/numeric control to insert a logical zero into the character generator 156 when the data f or the first character of that CRT line is being translated. This action causes the generator to develop a signal for a numeric display, rather than the alphabetic character which normally would appear in this first position.

If a marked T bit is sensed by detector 162, circuit 164 is activated in such a manner as to cause the alpha/numeric control 160 to insert a logical one into the character generator input whenever the data for the last four characters of the corresponding CRT line are being translated. Thus, these four positions will always display alphabetic characters in such circumstances.

The character generator 156 comprises a diode matrix and associated circuitry to translate an applied permutation code signal, having six bits of data, to a corresponding permutation code signal consisting basically of 48 bits of data. Of these 48 bits, 35 are required to define the 5 X 7 display matrix for the large symbols, seven more are required for the unmarked vertical sweep which sets the spacing between characters, and the remaining six bits provide the re-trace time for the six vertical sweeps for each character. When a small 4 X 5 character is to be displayed, there will be only 20 character formulation bits, instead of 35, although if the small character is used as part of a fraction, an additional seven bits must be marked for one vertical sweep in order to display a fraction line between the denominator and numerator as explained above.

The 48 bit signal developed by the character generator 156 appears on 48 separate output leads which are connected to a conventional strobe circuit 166. This strobe is driven through a lead .168 by a master clock (FIG. 9a), and converts the generated 48 bit parallel code signal to a corresponding 48 bit serial signal. The individual pulses of this serial signal occur at the frequency of the master clock, which in the present embodiment is 1,069,000 cycles/second. This frequency is so related to the sweep frequencies of the CRT display units 28 (FIGS. 1 and 2) that 48 clock pulses will occur during the time the CRT sweeps out each complete character. Thus, it will be evident that the 48 bit serial signal produced by strobe 166 is adapted to form the characters by intensifying the CRT beam at predetermined spots to create the outline of any desired character.

Taking first the case where the 48 bit serial signal is for a large 5 X 7 character, the output of the strobe 166 is directed through a lead 172 and a gate 174 to a common video line 176.This line carries the serial signal to a multiplex video driver 178 which includes suitable amplifiers and is arranged to service, through video cablesl80-1 through 18012, the CRT displays of all keysets 2041 through 20-12 in sequence.

The multiplex video driver 178 is also supplied with timing signals by a lead 182 connected to the counters 62. The

system is so arranged that all of the cables, except that leading to the one CRT being supplied with data, are supplied with a positive voltage which operates to blank the respective CRT displays and also return the electron beam to the upper lefthand corner of the display in readiness for the next set of sweeps. When a CRT is to be activated, the positive voltage first is removed from the corresponding cable 180. This causes the energization of circuitry at the keyset to start both the vertical and horizontal sweeps of the CRT. As was previously pointed out, the deflection of the electron beam of the CRT is controlled in a manner to produce a separate transversely extending sawtooth raster for each horizontal line of characters to be displayed. The circuit for accomplishing that control is illustrated on FIGS. 13A and. 1313. For purposes of description, this may be considered as the circuitryfor desk unit No. 1 although the several desk units are identical. An input signal is applied over line 1801 from the multiplex video driver 178. That input signal, which is a composite of data signals and synchronizing signals, is applied as input control signal to a first switching transistor 302, and a second switching transistor 304. Additionally, the input signal is applied to a

Claims (9)

  1. 2. Apparatus as claimed in claim 1, wherein said rectangular area is defined by a 5 X 7 sweep-spot matrix and said rectangular region is defined by a 4 X 5 sweep-spot matrix. 3 Apparatus as claimed in claim 1, wherein said traces are vertical and provide a series of side-by-side areas in which a plurality of character symbols can be formed, there being at least one additional trace between adjacent areas; and means for intensifying all of the spots along one said additional trace between two such character symbol areas to define a fraction bar between two small-size display characters.
  2. 4. Apparatus as claimed in claim 3, including means for positioning the first of said two small-size characters in the upper left corner of its area, and for positioning the second of said two small-size characters in the lower right corner of its area.
  3. 5. Data handling and display means comprising a cathode ray tube device having a sweep raster defining a sequential series of parallel adjacent traces outlining a generally rectangular area in which characters are to be formed for display; character generating means supplying sequential permutational pulse code signals to the input of said device in synchronism with said sweep raster and selectively intensifying predetermined spots along each trace in accordance with the permuted pulse code so as to form a desired character; said character generating means including means for developing at said character generating means pulse code signals intensifying said predetermined spots only in selected portions of selected ones of said traces outlining a generally rectangular region which is a sectional part of said rectangular area; delay means connected between the output of said character generating means and the input of said cathode ray tube device to delay the presentation of the coded pulses thereto; and control means for selecting the extent of delay introduced by said delay means to set the positioning of the characters in said rectangular area.
  4. 6. Data handling and display means comprising a cathode ray tube device for displaying a group of character symbols including fractional numbers; said cathode ray tube device having a sweep raster establishing for each character symbol a sequential series of five parallel adjacent traces outlining a generally rectangular area in which the individual characters are to be formed for display; cyclical memory means carrying recorded signals identifying the successive characters to be displayed on said device; character generating means responsive to the output of said memory means to transmit sequential permutational pulse code signals to said device in synchronism with said sweep raster, said pulse code signals being adapted to selectively intensify seven evenly-spaced predetermined spots along each of said five traces in accordance with he pulse code so as to form a desired character from the available 5 X 7 sweep-spot matrix; means for developing at the output of said character generating means special pulse code signals intensifying said predetermined spots only in selected portions of a group of said five traces outlining a generally rectangular region consisting of a truncated sectional part of said rectangular area; delay means connected between the output of said character generating means and said cathode ray tube device to delay the presentation of the coded pulses thereto; and timed control means responsive to control signals recorded in said memory means for causing said delay means to introduce a delay of ten, two, eight and zero pulses for successive characters read out of said memory means, thereby to set the positioning of the successive characters in positions appropriate for displaying fractional sixteenths or thirty-seconds.
  5. 7. A data processing and display system comprising a plurality of remote units each having a cathode ray tube device with a sweep raster defining a sequential series of parallel adjacent traces outlining a generally rectangular area in which characters are to be formed for display; a recirculating delay line carrying sequential permutational pulse code signals identifying characters to be presented on said cathode ray tube devices, each character being defined by a serial signal having a predetermined number of permatational pulse elements; means recording the display data in said delay line in an interlaced arrangement with portions of the reply data for one of said remote units separated by portions of the reply data for another of said units; character generating means having an input connected to receive the pulse code signals from said delay lines; said character generating means including means for developing a permutational code signal at the output thereof corresponding to each code signal stored in said delay line and identifying the spots to be intensified along each said sweep trace to form the desired character; and multiplex means arranged to distribute the generated display character signals to the respective remote units in synchronism with the sweep of the associated cathode ray tube.
  6. 8. A data handling and display system comprising a remote unit including a cathode ray tube device having a sweep raster defining a sequential series of parallel adjacent traces outlining a plurality of generally rectangular areas in which characters are to be formed for display; cyclical memory means arranged to store signals for display on said cathode ray tube device; character generating means responsive to the output of said memory means to transmit sequential permutational pulse code signals to said cathode ray tube device in synchronism with said sweep raster, said permutational pulse code signals selectively intensifying predetermined spots along each trace so as to form the desired character on said cathode ray tube; timing means activating said sweep raster; and means responsive to said timing means to control the pulse code signal transmitted to said cathode ray tube device according to the position which the display character will occupy in said plurality of rectangular areas.
  7. 9. Apparatus as claimed in claim 8, wherein said control means including means for controlling the pulse code signals so as to display either alphabetic or numeric symbols, depending upon the display position of the symbol on the face of the cathode ray tube.
  8. 10. Apparatus as claimed in claim 9, wherein said memory means includes special signals signifying the type of symbol to be disPlayed for certain of the recorded characters; and means responsive to said special signals for selectively inhibiting said control means whenever it is necessary to display an alphabetic character in a position normally occupied by a numeric character, or vice versa. 11 In a system of displaying data characters in a plurality of horizontal lines, each line including a plurality of data characters of predetermined height, data display means comprising: a cathode ray tube having a display face upon which said characters are to be displayed, means for forming and directing an electron beam toward said face, and deflecting means for selectively deflecting said beam to define a raster pattern on said face; first control means connected to said deflecting means for controlling the deflection of said electron beam to define a predetermined raster pattern on said face comprising a plurality of horizontal rasters corresponding in number to said plurality of lines of data characters, each raster substantially equal in height with said predetermined height of said data characters, each raster including a plurality of horizontally displaced substantially vertical strokes of said predetermined height; said first control means comprising a first ramp signal generator, a second ramp signal generator and a third ramp signal generator; means including said first ramp signal generator for producing a first deflection control signal and for applying said first deflection control signal to said deflecting means to define said vertical strokes; means including said second ramp signal generator for producing a second deflection control signal and for applying said second control signal to said deflecting means to define said horizontal lines; means including said third ramp signal generator for producing a third deflection control signal and means for superimposing said third deflection control signal on said first deflection control signal to control the vertical displacement of successive ones of said lines; second control means connected to said means for forming said electron beam for intensifying said beam along selected portions of selected ones of said vertical strokes whereby to define said data characters; and third control means responsive to suitable control signals for intensifying all of the portions along selected ones of said vertical strokes whereby to define a fraction bar, said third control means including a continuous source of pulses and gate means selectively operable in timed relationship to said first and second control means to open said gate means to superimpose pulses from said source on said second control means during said selected ones of said strokes.
  9. 12. In a system for displaying data characters in an information display frame including a plurality of horizontal lines, each line including a plurality of data characters of predetermined height, data display means comprising a cathode ray tube having a display face upon which said characters are to be displayed, means for forming and directing an electron beam toward said face, and deflecting means for selectively deflecting said beam to define a raster pattern on said face; first control means connected to said deflecting means for controlling the deflection of said beam to define a predetermined raster pattern on said face, and predetermined raster pattern comprising a plurality of horizontal rasters extending across said face and corresponding in number to said plurality of lines of data characters, each raster including a plurality of horizontally displaced substantially vertical strokes of said predetermined height; said first control means comprising a first ramp signal generator, a second ramp signal generator and a third ramp signal generator; video signal supply means for supplying a composite serial video signal to first control means, said video signal including a first class of synchronizing signals of short duration, a second class of syncHronizing signals of intermediate duration, and a third class of synchronizing signals of long duration; said first ramp signal generator comprising a resistance-capacitance charging network responsive to a charging current to provide an output signal having a rising characteristic, and an electronic switch responsive to said first-class of synchronizing signals to periodically discharge said charging network to restore said output signal to a reference level, thereby to develop a first sawtooth wave control signal of a frequency corresponding to said vertical strokes, said first class of synchronizing signals being recurrent at said frequency, and means for applying said first sawtooth wave control signal to said deflecting means to define said vertical strokes; said second ramp signal generator comprising a second resistance-capacitance charging network responsive to a charging current to produce a second output signal having a rising characteristic and a secured electronic switch responsive to said second class of synchronizing signals to periodically discharge said second charging network to restore said second output signal to a reference level, thereby to develop a second sawtooth wave control signal of a frequency corresponding to said horizontal lines, said second class of synchronizing signals being recurrent at the frequency of said horizontal lines, and means for applying said second sawtooth wave control signal to said deflecting means to define said horizontal lines; said third ramp signal generator comprising a third resistance-capacitance charging network, gating means connected in said charging network and responsive to the discharge of said second charging network to gate changing pulses into said charging network to produce a third output signal having a characteristic which rises in steps, said steps recurring at the frequency of said second sawtooth wave control signal, a third electronic switch responsive to said third class of synchronizing signals to periodically discharge said third network restore said third output signal to a reference level thereby to produce a stepped sawtooth wave control signal of a frequency corresponding to said information display frame, and means for superimposing said stepped sawtooth wave control signal on said first sawtooth wave control signal to control the vertical displacement of successive ones of said lines; said composite serial video signals also including a series of data signals between successive ones of said synchronizing signals of said first class; and second control means, including a video amplifier responsive to said data signals, connected to said means for forming and directing said electron beam for intensifying said beam along selected portions of selected ones of said vertical strokes, in accordance with said data signals, whereby to define said data characters.
US3656148D 1965-06-01 1969-02-25 Data handling apparatus Expired - Lifetime US3656148A (en)

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US3500327A (en) 1970-03-10
US3428852A (en) 1969-02-18

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