WO2004025459A2 - Portable high speed internet access device priority protocol - Google Patents

Portable high speed internet access device priority protocol

Info

Publication number
WO2004025459A2
WO2004025459A2 PCT/CA2003/001326 CA0301326W WO2004025459A2 WO 2004025459 A2 WO2004025459 A2 WO 2004025459A2 CA 0301326 W CA0301326 W CA 0301326W WO 2004025459 A2 WO2004025459 A2 WO 2004025459A2
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WO
Grant status
Application
Patent type
Prior art keywords
pda
blocks
server
image
sent
Prior art date
Application number
PCT/CA2003/001326
Other languages
French (fr)
Other versions
WO2004025459A3 (en )
Inventor
Raja Tuli
Original Assignee
Raja Tuli
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
    • H04LTRANSMISSION OF DIGITAL INFORMATION, e.g. TELEGRAPHIC COMMUNICATION
    • H04L1/00Arrangements for detecting or preventing errors in the information received
    • H04L1/12Arrangements for detecting or preventing errors in the information received by using return channel
    • H04L1/16Arrangements for detecting or preventing errors in the information received by using return channel in which the return channel carries supervisory signals, e.g. repetition request signals
    • H04L1/18Automatic repetition systems, e.g. van Duuren system ; ARQ protocols
    • H04L1/1867Arrangements specific to the transmitter end
    • GPHYSICS
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    • G06F17/30861Retrieval from the Internet, e.g. browsers
    • G06F17/30899Browsing optimisation
    • G06F17/30905Optimising the visualization of content, e.g. distillation of HTML documents
    • HELECTRICITY
    • H04ELECTRIC COMMUNICATION TECHNIQUE
    • H04LTRANSMISSION OF DIGITAL INFORMATION, e.g. TELEGRAPHIC COMMUNICATION
    • H04L29/00Arrangements, apparatus, circuits or systems, not covered by a single one of groups H04L1/00 - H04L27/00 contains provisionally no documents
    • H04L29/02Communication control; Communication processing contains provisionally no documents
    • H04L29/06Communication control; Communication processing contains provisionally no documents characterised by a protocol
    • H04L29/08Transmission control procedure, e.g. data link level control procedure
    • H04L29/08081Protocols for network applications
    • H04L29/08702Protocols for network applications involving intermediate processing or storage in the network, e.g. proxy
    • H04L29/08846Arrangements to globally emulate or virtualize the functionalities of an end device
    • HELECTRICITY
    • H04ELECTRIC COMMUNICATION TECHNIQUE
    • H04LTRANSMISSION OF DIGITAL INFORMATION, e.g. TELEGRAPHIC COMMUNICATION
    • H04L67/00Network-specific arrangements or communication protocols supporting networked applications
    • H04L67/28Network-specific arrangements or communication protocols supporting networked applications for the provision of proxy services, e.g. intermediate processing or storage in the network
    • H04L67/2823Network-specific arrangements or communication protocols supporting networked applications for the provision of proxy services, e.g. intermediate processing or storage in the network for conversion or adaptation of application content or format
    • HELECTRICITY
    • H04ELECTRIC COMMUNICATION TECHNIQUE
    • H04LTRANSMISSION OF DIGITAL INFORMATION, e.g. TELEGRAPHIC COMMUNICATION
    • H04L67/00Network-specific arrangements or communication protocols supporting networked applications
    • H04L67/28Network-specific arrangements or communication protocols supporting networked applications for the provision of proxy services, e.g. intermediate processing or storage in the network
    • H04L67/2823Network-specific arrangements or communication protocols supporting networked applications for the provision of proxy services, e.g. intermediate processing or storage in the network for conversion or adaptation of application content or format
    • H04L67/2828Network-specific arrangements or communication protocols supporting networked applications for the provision of proxy services, e.g. intermediate processing or storage in the network for conversion or adaptation of application content or format for reducing the amount or size of exchanged application data
    • HELECTRICITY
    • H04ELECTRIC COMMUNICATION TECHNIQUE
    • H04LTRANSMISSION OF DIGITAL INFORMATION, e.g. TELEGRAPHIC COMMUNICATION
    • H04L67/00Network-specific arrangements or communication protocols supporting networked applications
    • H04L67/28Network-specific arrangements or communication protocols supporting networked applications for the provision of proxy services, e.g. intermediate processing or storage in the network
    • H04L67/2842Network-specific arrangements or communication protocols supporting networked applications for the provision of proxy services, e.g. intermediate processing or storage in the network for storing data temporarily at an intermediate stage, e.g. caching
    • HELECTRICITY
    • H04ELECTRIC COMMUNICATION TECHNIQUE
    • H04LTRANSMISSION OF DIGITAL INFORMATION, e.g. TELEGRAPHIC COMMUNICATION
    • H04L67/00Network-specific arrangements or communication protocols supporting networked applications
    • H04L67/32Network-specific arrangements or communication protocols supporting networked applications for scheduling or organising the servicing of application requests, e.g. requests for application data transmissions involving the analysis and optimisation of the required network resources
    • H04L67/327Network-specific arrangements or communication protocols supporting networked applications for scheduling or organising the servicing of application requests, e.g. requests for application data transmissions involving the analysis and optimisation of the required network resources whereby the routing of a service request to a node providing the service depends on the content or context of the request, e.g. profile, connectivity status, payload or application type
    • HELECTRICITY
    • H04ELECTRIC COMMUNICATION TECHNIQUE
    • H04LTRANSMISSION OF DIGITAL INFORMATION, e.g. TELEGRAPHIC COMMUNICATION
    • H04L69/00Application independent communication protocol aspects or techniques in packet data networks
    • H04L69/30Definitions, standards or architectural aspects of layered protocol stacks
    • H04L69/32High level architectural aspects of 7-layer open systems interconnection [OSI] type protocol stacks
    • H04L69/322Aspects of intra-layer communication protocols among peer entities or protocol data unit [PDU] definitions
    • H04L69/329Aspects of intra-layer communication protocols among peer entities or protocol data unit [PDU] definitions in the application layer, i.e. layer seven
    • 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
    • GPHYSICS
    • G09EDUCATION; CRYPTOGRAPHY; DISPLAY; ADVERTISING; SEALS
    • G09GARRANGEMENTS OR CIRCUITS FOR CONTROL OF INDICATING DEVICES USING STATIC MEANS TO PRESENT VARIABLE INFORMATION
    • G09G2310/00Command of the display device
    • G09G2310/02Addressing, scanning or driving the display screen or processing steps related thereto
    • G09G2310/0224Details of interlacing
    • GPHYSICS
    • G09EDUCATION; CRYPTOGRAPHY; DISPLAY; ADVERTISING; SEALS
    • G09GARRANGEMENTS OR CIRCUITS FOR CONTROL OF INDICATING DEVICES USING STATIC MEANS TO PRESENT VARIABLE INFORMATION
    • G09G2310/00Command of the display device
    • G09G2310/04Partial updating of the display screen
    • GPHYSICS
    • G09EDUCATION; CRYPTOGRAPHY; DISPLAY; ADVERTISING; SEALS
    • G09GARRANGEMENTS OR CIRCUITS FOR CONTROL OF INDICATING DEVICES USING STATIC MEANS TO PRESENT VARIABLE INFORMATION
    • G09G2340/00Aspects of display data processing
    • G09G2340/02Handling of images in compressed format, e.g. JPEG, MPEG
    • GPHYSICS
    • G09EDUCATION; CRYPTOGRAPHY; DISPLAY; ADVERTISING; SEALS
    • G09GARRANGEMENTS OR CIRCUITS FOR CONTROL OF INDICATING DEVICES USING STATIC MEANS TO PRESENT VARIABLE INFORMATION
    • G09G2340/00Aspects of display data processing
    • G09G2340/04Changes in size, position or resolution of an image
    • G09G2340/0407Resolution change, inclusive of the use of different resolutions for different screen areas
    • GPHYSICS
    • G09EDUCATION; CRYPTOGRAPHY; DISPLAY; ADVERTISING; SEALS
    • G09GARRANGEMENTS OR CIRCUITS FOR CONTROL OF INDICATING DEVICES USING STATIC MEANS TO PRESENT VARIABLE INFORMATION
    • G09G2340/00Aspects of display data processing
    • G09G2340/04Changes in size, position or resolution of an image
    • G09G2340/0407Resolution change, inclusive of the use of different resolutions for different screen areas
    • G09G2340/0428Gradation resolution change
    • GPHYSICS
    • G09EDUCATION; CRYPTOGRAPHY; DISPLAY; ADVERTISING; SEALS
    • G09GARRANGEMENTS OR CIRCUITS FOR CONTROL OF INDICATING DEVICES USING STATIC MEANS TO PRESENT VARIABLE INFORMATION
    • G09G2340/00Aspects of display data processing
    • G09G2340/04Changes in size, position or resolution of an image
    • G09G2340/045Zooming at least part of an image, i.e. enlarging it or shrinking it
    • GPHYSICS
    • G09EDUCATION; CRYPTOGRAPHY; DISPLAY; ADVERTISING; SEALS
    • G09GARRANGEMENTS OR CIRCUITS FOR CONTROL OF INDICATING DEVICES USING STATIC MEANS TO PRESENT VARIABLE INFORMATION
    • G09G2350/00Solving problems of bandwidth in display systems
    • GPHYSICS
    • G09EDUCATION; CRYPTOGRAPHY; DISPLAY; ADVERTISING; SEALS
    • G09GARRANGEMENTS OR CIRCUITS FOR CONTROL OF INDICATING DEVICES USING STATIC MEANS TO PRESENT VARIABLE INFORMATION
    • G09G5/00Control arrangements or circuits for visual indicators common to cathode-ray tube indicators and other visual indicators
    • G09G5/34Control arrangements or circuits for visual indicators common to cathode-ray tube indicators and other visual indicators for rolling or scrolling
    • G09G5/346Control arrangements or circuits for visual indicators common to cathode-ray tube indicators and other visual indicators for rolling or scrolling for systems having a bit-mapped display memory
    • HELECTRICITY
    • H04ELECTRIC COMMUNICATION TECHNIQUE
    • H04LTRANSMISSION OF DIGITAL INFORMATION, e.g. TELEGRAPHIC COMMUNICATION
    • H04L67/00Network-specific arrangements or communication protocols supporting networked applications
    • H04L67/28Network-specific arrangements or communication protocols supporting networked applications for the provision of proxy services, e.g. intermediate processing or storage in the network
    • H04L67/2866Architectural aspects
    • H04L67/289Architectural aspects where the intermediate processing is functionally located closer to the data consumer application, e.g. in same machine, in same home or in same subnetwork

Abstract

The present invention aims to provide a system that allows multiple users operating a PDA (Personal Digital Assistant) to access the Internet or the World Wide Web (WWW), and to be able to view and interact with these images remotely on a display screen. The invention provides a client and server system to facilitate multiple PDA users simultaneously on a single server, which has multiple virtual machines contained within, with each virtual machine containing a web browser. The invention relates to the priority in which packets or blocks of information are transferred to and displayed on the screen of the PDA device. The invention also relates to the interlacing of blocks and the construction of such blocks displayed on the PDA screen. The invention further relates to the sending, receiving, and acknowledgement of these blocks between the PDA and server.

Description

PORTABLE HIGH SPEED INTERNET ACCESS DEVICE PRIORITY PROTOCOL

"This application is a continuation in part of application number 09/677,857 filed on 10/03/2000."

BACKGROUND OF THE INVENTION

The invention relates to a host computer system or server, which has a web browser running on it, and the display of the web browser is transmitted via modem and received by a cellular phone connected to a PDA device which displays the image. In particular, the invention consists of multiple virtual machines which are contained in the server, and each contains a browser which has applications running in them. Multiple clients are represented by software, which sends the display of each virtual machine to the remote PDA device to be displayed, and also relays information back to the virtual machine from the PDA device. The invention relates to the priority in which packets or blocks of information are displayed on the screen of the PDA device. The invention also relates to the interlacing of blocks and the construction of such blocks displayed on the PDA screen. The invention further relates to the sending, receiving, and acknowledgement of these blocks between the PDA and server.

SUMMARY OF THE INVENTION

The present invention relates to multiple portable high speed Internet access PDA (Personal Digital Assistant) devices that can access the Internet and World Wide Web as wireless devices, using a client and server system to facilitate multiple PDA users simultaneously on a single server.

A Web server connected to the Internet contains a virtual browser that takes the image displayed in the browser, and converts this image into a bit map which is compressed, and communicates via telephone lines to a cellular telephone. The cellular telephone is connected to a high speed Internet access device commonly referred to as a PDA (Personal Digital Assistant) which is comprised of a display screen, battery and related micro-electronics. This enables the PDA to receive, decompress and view the bit map image sent from the virtual browser, and more importantly, through cellular phone connectivity to be able to input data or commands from the PDA directly onto the server. The host computer or server receives vector information or compressed data in the form of HTML, JPEG, etc., which is displayed on a web page. The virtual browser virtually displays a virtual image on the server. That image, in whole or in parts, is recompressed and sent to the PDA. In particular, the host computer contains an RDP (Remote Data Protocol) server which has multiple virtual machines contained within, with each virtual machine containing a web browser. Multiple RDP clients interact with the virtual machines with a dedicated virtual machine for each client on the server. Each client is represented by software, which sends the display of the virtual machine to a single remote PDA device via a dedicated modem port. This modem port allows two way communication between a single PDA and a dedicated virtual machine on the server, via a sipgle RDP client. By implementing multiple virtual machines and multiple RDP clients with multiple modem ports, it is now possible to communicate with multiple users of PDA devices on the RDP server to facilitate Internet browsing, electronic message communication, etc. The RDP client relays information received via a modem port from the PDA, such as mouse clicks or keyboard commands, to the application program in the virtual machine, which is then processed and a . refreshed display sent back to the PDA via the same dedicated RDP client and modem port. The browser on a virtual machine relays display information to the dedicated RDP client such as bitmap files, vector files, commands; buffer information, etc. The RDP client then rasterizes some of the information by drawing it into memory and then proceeds to break up this file into smaller blocks of information. These blocks are compressed and sent to. the PDA device through a dedicated modem port connected to each RDP client. The PDA would then receive, decompress and assemble the blocks of information in the original order as first received by the RDP client before the RDP client breaks up into smaller blocks. The browser running in each virtual machine rasterizes most of the information which is sent to the RDP client such as text, etc., but the RDP client may have to rasterize other information such as blocks, etc.

The PDA sends specific data to the virtual machine informing of the current location of the displayable area of the PDA screen with respect to the larger image sent from the browser. This is necessary, as the area displayed by the PDA is smaller than the displayable image on the browser window. The RDP client would send compressed blocks of data representing the image to be displayed in order of priority, such that the first blocks sent to and decompressed by the PDA are in the displayable area of the PDA, which is the current area where the user is viewing. The PDA would then decompress blocks surrounding the displayed area in a particular sequence, such as left to right across rows, and store the image in internal memory. The PDA assembles blocks of the image in a virtual page, which comprises the entire image, thus enabling the user to access any part of the present image without communicating constantly with the RDP client. Hence, as the user scrolls across the image in any direction, the blocks of data comprising the image would already be decompressed and assembled priority-wise for instant viewing. Blocks of the image in closer proximity to the displayed area of the PDA screen get decompressed and stored into internal memory on higher priority than blocks further away. The PDA continuously sends its current location to the virtual machine on the server to keep getting refreshed data instantaneously as the location changes by the user scrolling or sending commands. This enables a rapid refresh rate of the displayed image especially when scrolling, as areas surrounding the displayed image would be decompressed and already stored in memory.

A mouse click or any keyboard command is given priority in communication between the PDA and the RDP server. Such actions from the PDA are sent instantaneously, interrupting the current activities and this action directed to the web browser on the dedicated virtual machine, which sends a refreshed image back to the PDA device. This feature allows the user to have rapid response to commands. If the user initiates a mouse click or keyboard command on the PDA that does not change the displayed image on the RDP server, then the original activities are continued almost instantly with minimum interruption. However, if the image is changed and refreshed on the RDP server, any old image being sent is stopped and the new image is sent immediately to the PDA if it is a full screen image occupying all or part of the PDA display screen. If the refreshed image sent occupies a part of the PDA display screen and also areas outside the display screen, then the portion of the refreshed image that is displayed on the PDA display screen is sent first to the PDA, and blocks of the image are sent to the PDA which are decompressed and stored in internal memory, in order of priority closest to the displayed image, as previously described. Hence the PDA would assemble blocks of the image in the virtual page, which comprises the entire image, starting first with the current location of the PDA display screen then areas around it.

A beacon is sent form the PDA device to the RDP client and vice-versa many times per minute to confirm that a connection is established and maintained, for the duration of use. In the instance a user is disconnected, either the PDA or the RDP client will not receive a beacon and a time-out will be initiated, whereby both the PDA and RDP client disconnect and then reconnect. The user would still be able to view the present image and scroll around it as this image would already be decompressed in order of priority and stored in internal memory. The PDA would indicate in a message area that a reconnect sequence was initiated, and the status of this connection to the same RDP client as before, which would refresh the PDA with the image if it has changed once reconnection is established. Similarly, the PDA would continue downloading blocks of information after being reconnected if a disconnection interrupted this operation. A beacon is not necessarily sent from the RDP client at times when it is sending information to the PDA. As long as the PDA is receiving information such as a refreshed image, or a beacon, it knows a connection is established. Consequently, when there is no new activity in the virtual machine, the RDP client must send a beacon to the PDA to confirm the connection is established. The PDA device must always send beacons to the RDP client, as commands are not sent frequently from the PDA and only for a short duration when sent.

An error protocol is implemented to verify that all information blocks are received and can be decompressed successfully. As previously described, the image displayed in the virtual browser in the virtual machine on the RDP , server is broken down into smaller blocks of information and compressed and transmitted to the PDA device. The blocks are then assembled in correct sequence, decompressed and stored in internal memory on the PDA. Each block of information received is acknowledged by the PDA, which sends a signal confirming that each block is successfully received. Hence, the RDP client can monitor the successful decompression of all blocks of information sent to the PDA, and would know when a block is not acknowledged. The RDP client would also inform the PDA of the number of transmitted blocks of information, with each block identified numerically. The PDA also initiates another error protocol when a block of information received can not be successfully decompressed and stored in memory. In this case, the PDA would send an error message to the RDP client informing which block of information needs to be sent again, and the RDP client would send this block after it has completed sending the current block of information. The RDP client would monitor the acknowledgement of all blocks of information successfully decompressed, including blocks sent again after receiving error messages from the PDA device. BRIEF DESCRIPTION OF THE DRAWINGS

The invention is described in more detail below with respect to an illustrative embodiment shown in the accompanying drawings in which:

Fig. 1 illustrates Prior Art whereby a PDA device is connected to a cellular phone, which communicates wirelessly to a Host Computer.

Fig. 2 illustrates Prior Art of a Remote Data Protocol system. Fig. 3 illustrates the displayable area of the PDA device with respect to portions of the image, which are sequentially decompressed prior to viewing in accordance with Prior Art.

Fig. 4 illustrates the Remote Data Protocol in accordance with Prior Art.

Fig. 5 illustrates a block diagram of the virtual page with respect to the viewing area of the PDA in accordance with Prior Art.

Fig. 6 illustrates the error protocol as blocks of information are sent from the RDP client to the PDA device in accordance with Prior Art.

Fig. 7 illustrates communication methods between remote devices and host computers in accordance with Prior Art. Fig. 8 illustrates a wireless communication method between the PDA and the Host Computer in accordance with Prior Art.

Fig. 9 illustrates the transfer of packets of data from a web page on the server to the PDA, in accordance with the present invention.

Fig. 10 illustrates blocks of data received at the PDA in an instance where the user scrolls to a new location on the present web page, demonstrating the priority of packet downloading, in accordance with the present invention.

Fig. 11 illustrates the line composition of each block of data, in accordance with the present invention.

Fig. 12 illustrates the subdivision of each block of data into "a" blocks and "b" blocks which when interlaced produce the entire block of Fig. 11, in accordance with the present invention.

Fig. 13 illustrates a first drawing sequence of each block as the PDA receives the "a" blocks of data from the PDA, in accordance with the present invention.

Fig. 14 illustrates a second drawing sequence as the "b" blocks are received at the PDA and inserted in their correct location, in accordance with the present invention.

Fig. 15 illustrates activities conducted by the PDA during defined periods in accordance with priorities established, in accordance with the present invention.

DETAILED DESCRIPTION OF THE PREFERRED EMBODIMENTS

To facilitate description, any numeral identifying an element in one figure will represent the same element in any other figure.

The principal embodiment of the invention aims to provide a system that allows multiple users operating PDA (Personal Digital Assistant) devices similar to a palm top computer to access the Internet or the World Wide Web (WWW), as demonstrated in Fig. 4, as previously disclosed. Prior Art relied upon provides a RDP (Remote Data Protocol) client and server system to facilitate multiple PDA users simultaneously on a single server.

Prior Art is disclosed in Fig. 1 where Microsoft Remote Data Protocol is demonstrated, using a main RDP server 1 in which virtual machines 2 exist capable of running multiple application programs 3. Each virtual machine 2 is connected to a dedicated terminal 5 or client on a network system 4, which displays the image of the virtual machine. The terminals 5 on the network allow input of keyboard 6 and mouse 7 commands to the RDP server 1 , with all data processing done on the server and displayed on the terminals. In this method of Prior Art, the RDP clients are the terminals on the network. In the present invention however, the RDP clients are represented by software which interact between the virtual machines on the RDP server and the PDA devices which display the image of the RDP clients, in a completely different fashion.

A general description of the Prior Art is disclosed in Fig. 2 with further reference to Prior Patent Applications 09/496,172, 09/501 ,585, 09/504, 809, 09/504,808, 09/504,807, 09/677,857 and 09/650,412. A host computer 8 is depicted which is connected to the Internet, and that host may also be a Web server. Running in the host computer, is a Web server program 9. When a remote user 10 requests to view a Web page (or electronic message etc.) the Web server software receives HTML, JAVA, or other types of information and transmits this information to another software, the Browser Translator 11. This software translates the information, (i.e. the entire image comprising graphics and text) received in the form of HTML, Java, etc. (as information may be gathered from different sources) and translates it to a black and white bit map or raster image. In another embodiment, the software translates the information into a raster or color image. The image contains the information that would normally be displayed on a single Web page. The translation program therefore, also acts as a virtual browser. The cellular telephone 12 of Fig. 2 is connected to the high speed internet access device 13 of the invention commonly referred to as a PDA (Personal Digital Assistant) which is comprised of a display screen 14, battery and related micro-electronics. This enables the PDA to receive, decompress and view the bit map image sent from the virtual browser, and more importantly, through cellular phone connectivity to be able to input data from the PDA directly onto the server 8. In particular, the host computer or server of Fig. 2 and Fig. 4 receives vector information or compressed data in the form of HTML, JPEG, etc., which is displayed on a web page. The virtual browser virtually displays a virtual image on the server by rasterizing the image, or decompressing parts of the image and putting it into memory. That image, in whole or parts, is recompressed and sent to the PDA. The recompressed data format sent to the PDA, is not necessarily in the same format as the compressed data format first received by the server. For example, the incoming data from a Web page may be in the form of JPEG which is decompressed and displayed on the virtual browser. This data is recompressed and sent to the PDA but can be in the form of TIFF G4 or other formats, and not necessarily JPEG as initially received.

Another embodiment of the invention involves the server receiving vector information such as HTML or text and then rasterizing it to bit map format. It can then be shown in memory through the virtual browser and is recompressed through a "loss less" method and sent to the PDA.

The information is received by the device 13 in Fig. 2, which has the ability to display a monochrome or color image 15, in its display window 14. The information is decompressed and displayed in the order of priority such that part of the image 17 of Fig. 3, which substantially or completely covers the displayable area 14 of the device, is decompressed and displayed first and then sequentially the portions 18, 19 and 20 of the image are decompressed, and stored in an internal memory of the device to be displayed later when the user scrolls up, down, or sideways to these parts of the image.

Prior Application 09/677,857 demonstrates Fig. 4 to contain the host computer 21 which contains an RDP server 22 which is a software unit having multiple virtual machines 23 contained within, with each virtual machine containing a web browser 24. Multiple RDP clients 25 interact with the virtual machines with a dedicated virtual machine for each RDP client. Each RDP client 25 is represented by software, which sends the display of each virtual machine 23 to a single remote PDA device 26 via a dedicated modem port 27. Each modem port 27 allows a two-way communication between a single PDA 26, connected to a cellular phone 64, and a dedicated virtual machine 23 on the RDP server, via a single dedicated RDP client 25. By implementing multiple virtual machines and multiple RDP clients with multiple modem ports, it is now possible to communicate with multiple users of PDA devices on the RDP server to facilitate Internet browsing, electronic message communication, etc. The RDP client 25 relays information received from the PDA 26, such as mouse clicks or keyboard commands, via a modem port 27 to the Browser 24 in the virtual machine 23, which is then processed and a refreshed display sent back to the PDA via the same dedicated RDP client and modem port. The browser on each virtual machine relays display information to the dedicated RDP client such as bitmap files, vector files, commands, buffer information, etc. The RDP client then rasterizes some of the information by drawing it into memory and then proceeds to break up this file into smaller blocks of information. These blocks are compressed and sent to the PDA device through a dedicated modem port connected to each RDP client, as further illustrated in Fig. 5. The PDA would then receive, decompress and assemble the blocks of information in the original order as first received by the RDP client before the RDP client breaks up into smaller blocks. The browser running in each virtual machine rasterizes most of the information which is sent to the RDP client such as text, etc., but the RDP client may have to rasterize other information such as blocks, etc. The PDA 26 of Fig. 4, in accordance with Prior Applications mentioned, sends specific data to the virtual machine 23 informing of the current location of the displayable area 14 of the PDA screen with respect to the larger image or virtual page 28 sent from the browser to the RDP client then to the PDA, as illustrated in Fig. 5. This is necessary, as the area displayed 14 by the PDA is smaller than the displayable image on the RDP client, referred to as the virtual page 28. The dedicated RDP client would send compressed blocks of data representing the image to be displayed in order of priority, such that the first blocks sent to and decompressed by the PDA are in the displayable area 14 of the PDA, which is the current area where the user is viewing. The PDA would then decompress blocks surrounding the displayed area 14 in a particular sequence, such as left to right across rows, and store the image in internal memory. The PDA assembles blocks of the image in a virtual page 28 stored in the PDA's internal memory, which comprises the entire image, thus enabling the user to access any part of the present image without communicating constantly with the RDP client. Hence, as the user scrolls across the image in any direction, the blocks of data comprising the image would already be decompressed and assembled priority-wise for instant viewing. Blocks of the image in closer proximity to the displayed area of the PDA screen get decompressed and stored into internal memory on higher priority than blocks further away. To explain in detail by referring further to Fig. 5, the image displayed on the PDA screen 14 can be comprised of blocks 48, 49, 50, 53, 54 & 55, which are sent from the RDP client first to the PDA, decompressed and then stored into memory first on the PDA. Then blocks 42, 43, 44, 45, 47, 52, 57, 58, 59 & 60 would be sent immediately after in that order from the RDP client to the PDA, to be decompressed and stored in the PDA's internal memory. This enables a rapid refresh rate of the displayed image especially when scrolling, as areas surrounding the displayed image would be decompressed and already stored in memory. The PDA continuously sends its current location to the RDP client to keep getting refreshed data instantaneously, should the location change by the user scrolling around or outside the virtual page 28, to enable the RDP client to . always have the viewing area and surrounding blocks sent to the PDA. A mouse click or any keyboard command on the PDA is given priority in communication between the PDA and the RDP server. Such actions from the PDA are sent instantaneously, interrupting the current activities and this action directed to the web browser on the dedicated virtual machine, which sends a refreshed image back to the PDA device through the RDP client. This feature allows the user to have rapid response to commands. If the user initiates a mouse click or keyboard command on the PDA that does not change the displayed image on the RDP server, then the original activities are continued almost instantly with minimum interruption. However, if the image is changed and refreshed on the RDP server, any old image being sent is stopped and the new image is sent immediately to the PDA if it is a full screen image occupying all or part of the PDA display screen. If the refreshed image sent occupies a part of the PDA display screen and also areas outside the display screen, then the portion of the refreshed image that is displayed on the PDA display screen is sent first to the PDA, and blocks of the image surrounding the PDA displayed image are sent next to the PDA which are decompressed and stored in internal memory, as previously described. Hence the PDA would assemble blocks of the image in the virtual page, which comprises the entire image, starting first with the current location of the PDA display screen then areas around it.

A beacon is sent from the PDA device to the RDP client and vice-versa many times per minute to confirm that a connection is established and maintained, for the duration of use as disclosed in Prior Applications. In the instance a user is disconnected, either the PDA or the RDP client will not receive a beacon and a time-out will be initiated, whereby both the PDA and RDP client disconnect and then reconnect. The user would still be able to view the present image and scroll around it as this image would already be decompressed in order of priority and stored in internal memory. The PDA would indicate in a message area that a reconnect sequence was initiated, and the status of this connection to the same RDP client as before, which would refresh the PDA with the image if it has changed once reconnection is established. Similarly, the PDA would continue downloading blocks of information after being reconnected if a disconnection interrupted this operation. A beacon is not necessarily sent from the RDP client at times when it is sending information to the PDA. As long as the PDA is receiving information such as a refreshed image, or a beacon, it knows a connection is established. Consequently, when there is no new activity in the virtual machine, the RDP client must send a beacon to the PDA to confirm the connection is established. The PDA device must always send beacons to the RDP client, as commands are not sent frequently from the PDA and only for a short duration when sent.

An error protocol is implemented in accordance with Prior Applications, to verify that all information blocks are received and can be decompressed successfully. As previously described, the image displayed in the virtual browser in the virtual machine on the RDP server is broken down into smaller blocks of information and compressed and transmitted to the PDA device. The blocks are then assembled in correct sequence, decompressed and stored in internal memory on the PDA. Each block of information received is acknowledged by the PDA, which sends a signal confirming that each block is successfully received. Hence, the RDP client can monitor the successful decompression of all blocks of information sent to the PDA, and would know when a block is not acknowledged. The RDP client would also inform the PDA of the number of transmitted blocks of information, with each block identified numerically. The PDA also initiates another error protocol when a block of information received can not be successfully decompressed and stored in memory. In this case, the PDA would send an error message to the RDP client informing which block of information needs to be sent again, and the RDP client would send this block after it has completed sending the current block of information. The RDP client would monitor the acknowledgement of all blocks of information successfully decompressed, including blocks sent again after receiving error messages from the PDA device. To illustrate this further, reference is made to Fig. 6 which shows a string of data blocks 61 to be sent from the RDP client to the PDA device. As the PDA receives the data blocks acknowledgements or error messages 62 are sent back to the RDP client. Since the RDP client responds to all data from the PDA, the string of data blocks actually sent from the RDP client to the PDA is represented by 63. To further explain the events of the RDP client 63, blocks 31, 32, 33 & 34 are sent in this order from the RDP client to the PDA, with successful acknowledgements ack31 & ack32 sent from the PDA to the RDP client, but whilst block 34 is being sent, an error message in block 33 is relayed from the PDA, resulting in the RDP client sending this block 33 again as soon as block 34 is sent. The RDP client resumes sending blocks 35, 36 and 37, but notices no acknowledgement for block 35 after receiving successful acknowledgements ack34 & ack36 sent from the PDA, which results in the RDP client sending block 35 after block 37 is sent. The RDP client may also respond faster or slower to acknowledgements or error messages as described above.

The illustration of Fig. 7 teaches of a standard serial connection 66 between the PDA device 13 and a cellular phone 12, with an AT command set for communicating between modems. This allows the cellular phone 12 to act as a modem in communicating with another modem 65 attached to the host computer 8. Web pages 67 received from the Internet are converted to G4 files 68 then sent via modem to the PDA device.

For a different type of cellular phone that does not allow AT command set communication but provides a TCPIP Internet connection, another embodiment is disclosed, as illustrated in Fig. 8. The PDA device would contain a browser to be able to view images sent by the host computer, which may be connected to the Internet. In this case, the PDA device 13 would contain a mini-browser, which understands and is capable of translating compressed G4 images. The PDA is connected to a cellular phone 12, which is connected to an Internet Service Provider (providing standard Internet services) instead of a modem at the Host Computer. The Host Computer is connected to the Internet and translates all web pages 67 to G4 compressed files 69. These G4 compressed files 69 are sent to the PDA in Internet protocol via the Internet Service Provider, and the mini-browser in the PDA is . capable of translating the received images, and displaying on the PDA screen. Hence, the Host Computer has Internet images coming in and also Internet images being sent out. The Internet Service Provider (ISP) that the PDA connects to would always log on to one web page, and when the user at the PDA wants to go to a link or to a different web page, the click or the information is sent through the ISP to the host computer which will load the new page. This allows multiple users to dial up the Internet Service Provider to be able to view web pages from the Internet as desired, in this manner.

Prior Application 09/650,412 discloses the image displayed in the virtual browser is compressed at the server in various amounts, by different methods before sending to the PDA device. A web page is usually comprised of text portions and picture portions. Different parts of the image are compressed in different ways. Parts of the image that are text images are compressed by G4 compression techniques. Other parts of the image containing pictures are compressed by JPEG compression techniques. The entire image is converted to a raster image but different parts are converted at different depths of color, and by different compression techniques. Text portions can be compressed by "loss less" techniques, which will result in complete image reproduction with no errors in text upon decompression, whereas pictures can be compressed by "lossy" techniques which upon decompression give a slightly degraded image quality for each compression. An image with black and white text and color picture portions would be converted to a raster image, but only the text part of it reduced to black and white 1 bit and other picture parts to 24 bit or other color bit depths. Hence different parts of the image can be converted or reduced to different depths of color to resemble an actual web page with picture in color and text in black and white. The depths of color can be set by the user or preset at the server depending on the quality of image required, which affects the speed of refreshing the screen which also depends on the amount of pictures displayed and the amount of bandwidth used. Text and pictures from a web page would get compressed separately at the server and then sent to the PDA. In the PDA, text or black and white portions of the image get decompressed first and displayed on the screen. Color portions get decompressed and are overlain in the image on the screen shortly after, enabling the user to view black and white portions of the image in advance. At the browser, the priority of decompression is determined by the depth of color, with the minimum depth being decompressed first.

A further embodiment would take the entire image to be viewed including all text and pictures and convert it to 1 bit raster. This file is compressed by G4 or other loss less compatible methods and sent to the PDA. When received by the PDA, this file or packets are decompressed for the user to view the image almost instantaneously. One of the ways this is accomplished is by taking a web page image at the server, comprising text and picture portions, and compress the text and picture portions at different depths of color and by different compression techniques, so that a black & white image is first displayed on the PDA screen after decompressing, and then the picture portions of the image are overlain with color. In particular, the text and picture portions are initially displayed at the PDA in 1-bit color, and the picture portions only are overlain on top of the initial 1-bit with 24-bit color. Thus, the text will be displayed in 1-bit color and pictures would be displayed in 24-bit color. This enables an image to be viewed quickly without the full color details, which follow moments after, by reducing the bandwidth of the information sent to the PDA to be first displayed.

In another embodiment, the text and picture portions are initially displayed at the PDA in 3-bit color and the picture portions are overlain on top of the initial 3-bit with 8-bit color. Thus, the text will be displayed in 3-bit color and pictures would be displayed in 8-bit color. This method provides a means to view the image rapidly while also conserving on bandwidth. The picture portions may also be overlain with 24-bit color keeping the text at 3-bit color, in a further embodiment.

In a further embodiment, which discloses another method of reducing the bandwidth consumed, consequently providing a fast display from the time an image is sent from the server to the PDA, the text and pictures may be sent in a low bit color and the picture portions overlain with higher bit depths of color as previously described, but the picture resolution is reduced before sending from the server to the PDA. Therefore, by example a picture, which is 100 pixels x 100 pixels, is reduced in resolution by four times and then sent from the server to the PDA. This would reduce the amount of data transferred from the server to the PDA, conserving on bandwidth consumed providing an image, which is "blocky" at first being of a low resolution, but more pixels are sent moments afterwards thereby improving the picture resolution.

In accordance with the present invention, as illustrated in Fig. 9, the server 71 contains many browsers 74, 75, and 76, in which each browser is running its own web page, and each browser is meant for a different PDA. A particular web page 70 that is displayed first on one browser 74 at the server 71 , is transmitted to the PDA device 72 which is connected to a cellular telephone 73. The displayable area or screen 78 of the PDA is shown to be much smaller than the entire web page 70, thus it is important to establish a priority in sending data of the web page to the PDA, as the user will want to first view the location that the PDA screen occupies on the web page. Data of each web page is broken down into many packets or blocks, whereby these packets or blocks are transmitted from the server to the PDA and assembled into memory in the PDA, and then displayed on the screen. In an alternate embodiment, the blocks transmitted from the server to the PDA may be assembled first on the screen and then stored into memory. In a further embodiment, the blocks transmitted from the server to the PDA may be simultaneously assembled on the screen and stored into memory. A packet of data may contain one or more blocks or a packet may only consist of part of a block. For demonstration purposes, a packet is defined as an entire block, which is transmitted from the server to the PDA. When a new web page is displayed on the PDA screen, the user 79 will want to first see the segment of that web page occupied by the screen area 78. Thus, all blocks of data that fill up the screen area of the current web page on display must be transmitted to the PDA as a first priority. To explain further in detail, reference is made to Fig. 10, which illustrates a web page 70 enlarged. The web page is shown to consist of blocks of data 80 that are numbered consecutively for demonstration purposes. Blocks 80 exist across and down an entire web page in a matrix array, and span beyond the displayable area or screen 78 as shown. When a web page is loaded at the server, blocks 1 , 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 8, 9, 10, 11 , 12 &13 are sent first from the server to the PDA to be displayed, as only these blocks comprise the displayable area or screen 78. Thus, the first priority is sending data from the server to the PDA whereby the displayable area on the PDA is filled up with blocks of data.

The second priority is sending data from the server to the PDA whereby a small area around the displayable area on the PDA is filled up with blocks of data, and this is only done after the first priority is completed. To explain further in detail, reference is made again to Fig. 10, which illustrates blocks 7, 14, 15, 16, 17, 18, 19, 20 & 21 sent from the server to the PDA, to be stored in internal memory on the PDA, on the web page image displayed on the PDA, with these blocks inserted in their correct locations as they appear on the web page 70 at the server. This will facilitate scrolling of small amounts immediately at the PDA device to view the displayed image on the PDA screen so that it gives better speed to the user, and can only be done after blocks 1 , 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 8, 9, 10, 11 , 12 &13 are sent first from the server to the PDA (first priority).

The third priority is sending data from the server to the PDA whereby animation or segments of the current PDA display area that continuously change, keep getting refreshed continuously for a set period of time. The user may have the option to change this period according to the user's preference, or this may be preset at the server. With further reference to Fig. 10, blocks 3, 4 & 5, or portions thereof, may be an advertisement in which the GIF is continuously changing. Thus, as an example, blocks 3, 4 & 5 would get continuously refreshed for the first 10 seconds (if the user selects this period or it is preset at the server) as a third priority, after the first and second priorities have been completed, as defined previously. One of the reasons for continuously refreshing animation or segments of the display that continuously change for a certain period of time, is because the web page itself may not be fully rendered in the browser at the server. In this case, portions of the image on the web page for example Yahoo logos, advertisement banners or other portions of the web page, may not appear immediately as the web page is loaded at the server and is being rendered for a certain period of time, but more parts keep getting rendered during the first 10 seconds at the server (if the user selects this period or it is preset at the server) until the full page is finally rendered. This allows the portions of the web page that appear in the displayable area of the PDA at the server, to be continuously sent and refreshed at the PDA during this period, as the web page is being rendered at the browser which will take a few seconds. Therefore, as a new web page appears on the browser at the server and parts are added to it for this period until fully rendered, the image displayed on the PDA screen will also be generated in a similar fashion with parts added to it for this period. Thus, it may not be advertisements that are appearing and changing during the first 10 seconds at the server (if the user selects this period or it is preset at the server), but it may be the web page that needs to be fully rendered during this period. This period for example 10 seconds, may not be varied by the user or preset at the server, but may be determined by the browser itself. The browser is aware of how long it takes to download the entire web page and it may use from the beginning to the end of when it receives the entire web page, as the amount of time it is going to continue refreshing. Therefore the browser will refresh parts of the image on the main screen up to the end of this time as a second priority, and after this time it will either not send refreshes or send them based on a third priority protocol. With further reference to Fig. 15 and the first priority, there exists a period "A" (which is the period previously explained which can be determined either by the user or preset at the server or determined by the browser, when the web page is fully received) whereby the browser is rendering the web page during this period, and all blocks that change on the web page within the displayable screen area will be sent from the server to the PDA to be displayed. The browser does not distinguish between animation portions such as advertisements or other parts of the web page that do not change, but sends blocks of information that comprise the display area 78 in accordance with the first and second priorities. At the end of period "A" the browser tells the server software that the web page is fully rendered. During period "A" the server checks each block in the displayable area or screen 78 at set intervals. If the last change was made to block 3 in a particular frame, the server checks each block in the display area 78 for new blocks that have changed, and if changes are made to blocks 3 and 4, the server sends block 4 first then block 3 as the priority is shifted to sending newly changed blocks that have not been changed since the previous frame. Thus, blocks are not sent twice consecutively unless there are no other changes to other blocks in consecutive frames. The set intervals at which times the server checks the display area 78 for changes to be sent to the PDA, may be done every 2 to 3 seconds or as often as the user desires or is preset at the server.

Again with reference to Fig. 15 and the third priority, after the duration "A", the animation may be disabled by the user or it may be preset at the server, as the user may not wish to see animation changes such as advertisements. Thus, the user at the PDA or the server may disable animation changes to the display area 78 to conserve on bandwidth, as animation changes consume large amounts of bandwidth. Therefore as a third priority the server will send the blocks comprising the rest of the web page to the PDA. As a further embodiment, if animation is enabled at the browser and it is determined that animation is not to be displayed at the PDA (this may be the case when animation is disabled at the browser, nothing at all appears on the screen at the browser for that particular location, but the user would like to see at least the first still image) the first, second and third priorities are all conducted as before but with animation enabled at the browser, except that the third priority which fills the rest of the page will only send each block once and not send changes.

As a further embodiment, if the user or server has predetermined that animation is required, then the first and second priorities are conducted as before, but the third priority is changed. With animation enabled, and after period "A" has elapsed or after a few seconds more than "A" represented by "X" seconds the server would time slice blocks being sent to the PDA to fill up the larger area 87 with blocks of animation that keep changing continuously. A reduction in the rate of updating animation would conserve bandwidth and will allow other parts of the web page 70 to be transmitted simultaneously to the PDA. Thus, after "A" seconds or after "A" + "X" seconds, the server would check for changes to animation and send those blocks that have changed, then send a few blocks of the larger area 87, and alternate between these two activities in this time slice mode, until area 87 (outside 78) is completely received at the PDA.

When the user is viewing area 81 of a web page 70 of Fig. 10 and this area is filled up with blocks of data at the PDA (or even before), and the user scrolls to a new area 82, blocks of data fill up the display area 78 in accordance with the first three priorities established. This means that the server is told about the new location and priorities 1 , 2, and 3 start to get conducted with this new location as the new parameter.

Another parameter that will restart the priority protocols 1 , 2, and 3 is if the user clicks anywhere on the display screen. Thus, the emphasis will be on any changes to the main display when this activity occurs.

Should the user scroll to a new location on the web page image displayed on the PDA screen 78, then the PDA would immediately send information on the new location scrolled to, and the server would respond by sending those blocks that occupy the display screen of the new location to the PDA, which would be added to the web page image stored in memory on the PDA. This process would be handled as a first priority also, since the criteria for first priority is to fill up the display area on the PDA display screen. Thus, by example with reference to Fig. 10, in a first location 81 blocks of data 1 , 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 8, 9, 10, 11 , 12 & 13 which only occupy the displayable area 78, are sent from the server 71 to the PDA 72 to be displayed first. Should the user 79 scroll to the new location 82 before the PDA is finished downloading and displaying blocks from the first location 81 , the PDA then sends the coordinates of this new location to the server, and immediately blocks of data 31 , 32, 33, 34, 35, 36, 38, 39, 40, 41 , 42 & 43 which only occupy the displayable area 78 of the new location 82 are sent as a first priority in response from the server to the PDA, to be decompressed, stored into memory (on the same web page image at the PDA), and displayed on the screen 78 to the user. In an alternate embodiment, the blocks transmitted from the server to the PDA may be assembled first on the screen and then stored into memory. In a further embodiment, the blocks transmitted from the server to the PDA may be simultaneously assembled on the screen and stored into memory. As defined previously, the second priority would be for the server 71 to send blocks 37, 44, 45, 46, 47, 48, 49, 50 & 51 to the PDA, which surround the new location 82 at a fixed distance surrounding the display area 78. The number of blocks sent from the server to the PDA surrounding the display area 78 may be set at the server location. Thus, at any instant when scrolling is performed, all activities are interrupted and the first priority goes to sending blocks of data that only occupy the displayable area 78, in the portion of the web page on the server where the PDA has scrolled to, in accordance with the present invention.

In an effort to conserve on bandwidth, the PDA may be set by the user to receive only a few blocks of data around the screen location 81 , or alternately the server may be set to only send a few blocks of data around the screen location 81 , after which no other blocks are sent to the PDA unless the user scrolls or clicks elsewhere.

As mentioned previously, in the original application 09/677,857, pictures contained in the image displayed in the virtual browser are compressed at the server, in different methods than the text portions and the color depth reduced by different methods than text portions before sending to the PDA device. When received by the PDA, this image is decompressed for the user to view text portions first, whereby the picture portions are displayed at a lower depth of color next, which can be done quickly, and these portions are overlaid progressively with color at higher bit depths. This enables an image to be viewed quickly without the fine details of graphics, which follow moments afterwards. Thus, picture portions of a web page are reduced in color depth at the server 71 and sent to the PDA 72, which receives and displays these graphics at a lower color depth, for example 3 bit. The fourth priority is for the color depth of the pictures displayed on the screen 78 to be increased to resemble the web page image presently rendered on the server 71. Then by example, the 3-bit color depth graphics or picture portions of the image are overlaid with 8-bit color. In particular, a web page image 70 of Fig. 10 is usually comprised of text portions and picture portions, and only the picture portions are overlaid with 8-bit color and the text portions are left in 3- bit color depth. Therefore, after the third priority of sending data from the server to the PDA whereby animation or segments of the display that continuously change, keep getting refreshed continuously for a set period of time, the color depth of the picture portions of the image displayed on the PDA screen is increased to match the web page image by being sent by the server as a fourth priority, in accordance with the present invention.

Alternatively, if bandwidth reduction is required and the third priority is eliminated, then this fourth priority is conducted after the second priority. In general, a priority protocol is referred to as being a priority. This fourth priority applies to images only on the current display or at a fixed distance around the display.

For a color PDA device, the fifth priority after the picture portions are overlaid with 8-bit color (or other), is to have blocks of data sent from the server to the PDA filling up all other areas on the web page image at the PDA, which are decompressed and stored into memory in their correct locations as they appear on the rendered image at the server, in accordance with the present invention. This activity, however, is not an exclusive activity and may be done in conjunction with refreshing animation or segments of the display that continuously change. Thus, this fifth priority of filling the missing blocks around the display area 78 may be time-sliced with refreshing animation or segments of the display that continuously changes. Therefore, everything that changes on the main screen becomes slower due to time-slicing. In the method of time-slicing, there would be a few blocks of data sent from the server to the PDA to fill up around the display area, then a few blocks of data which refresh areas of animation within the display area 78 are sent immediately after, in an alternating fashion until the entire web page image is received at the PDA. In another embodiment of this invention, this fifth priority of filling the missing blocks around the display area 78 may be done simultaneously with refreshing animation or segments of the display that continuously change. A possible means for accomplishing this is to use half the bandwidth to transmit each task from the server to the PDA. In a further embodiment of the present invention, one byte of data is dedicated to transmitting blocks of information to fill up around the display area, and the next byte of data dedicated to refreshing animation or segments of the display that continuously change, with this procedure occurring in an alternating fashion until the entire web page image is received at the PDA. This is the same as third priority from before. If instead of a circuit switched connection the network being used is a packet-based network where conservation of bandwidth is required, then priority three or priority five may not be sent at all, i.e. no blocks are sent to fill up the rest of the web page and the only way the user will see other parts of the web page is by scrolling out of the current display area and waiting for new blocks to be downloaded. Alternatively, the server may start to send additional blocks (which are not in the current display area), in a location determined by the direction the user starts to scroll or shows intent of scrolling towards by other means. The server may also save user preferences of certain web pages where a particular user normally likes to scroll and downloads those portions after the first and second priorities are done.

In another embodiment, the server may send no image during period "A" or "A + x" and only starts the first priority after this time has elapsed. Therefore, the current screen (or current screen plus fixed distance around current screen) would start to get downloaded after the period finishes, and all blocks would only download once.

This way the web page would be fully rendered at the browser before anything is sent to the PDA device. So, first the current screen would be sent (after this period is finished) and then a fixed distance around the current screen would be sent secondly, and in the bandwidth conserving method nothing else would be sent (no changes to the current screen or filling up the rest of the page) unless the user shows intent of scrolling out of this current screen or clicks on the current screen. If the user clicks on the current screen then the first priority shifts to sending changes on the current screen. In accordance with the present invention, the PDA screen 78 is comprised of a matrix array of liquid crystal dots, each dot of equal uniform size and gap between dots. The image occupying the entire PDA screen is sub-divided into blocks of data as previously described, and for demonstration purposes each block of data comprising a fixed amount of dots along its width and a fixed amount of dots along its height. The actual blocks may be variable in size and are determined by the server dynamically. Thus, for demonstration purposes and with reference to Fig. 11 , block 1 (of Fig. 10) will be defined as a matrix array 10 dots wide by 10 dots high. Therefore, line 1 83 will be comprised of a linear array of 10 dots only, with 10 such lines located one below the other allocated to block 1. Each block of data may be further sub-divided into smaller blocks as depicted in Fig. 12, whereby block 1 is sub-divided into blocks 1a and 1b. Similarly, all other blocks (2, 3, 4, 5, etc.) are split into "a" and "b" sub-divisions with the "a" sub-division comprising the odd numbered lines 1, 3, 5, 7 & 9, and the "b" sub-division comprising the even numbered lines 2, 4, 6, 8 & 10, for the corresponding block. Therefore, when a web page is loaded at the server and blocks of data are transmitted to the PDA, it is the "a" sub-divisions that are sent first for all blocks of data transmitted from the server to the PDA. Thus, with further reference to Fig 10, for the screen 78 at location 81, blocks 1a, 2a, 3a, 4a, 5a, 6a, 8a, 9a, 10a, 11a, 12a & 13a are sent as a first priority from the server to the PDA. Since only half the data for each block of information is sent to the PDA for display by this method, the drawing sequence or display sequence is such that each line of data is drawn twice as data blocks in the "a" sub-division only contain 5 of the 10 lines of information in each block, on the display screen 78. Otherwise, each displayed block will have alternating lines missing or blank, making the displayed image on the PDA screen difficult to recognize. Therefore, with further reference to Fig. 13, the first drawing sequence or display sequence for block 1 will be to display lines 1, 1, 3, 3, 5, 5, 7, 7, 9, & 9 in this order from top to bottom, in which the "a" lines are temporarily repeated. By this method, only half the data for each block is sent from the server to the PDA to have a very fast display time on the PDA, though the image will appear "blocky" as alternate lines of information comprising the display for each block will be missing and replaced. This condition is only temporary, as at a later time, for the screen 78 at location 81, blocks 1b, 2b, 3b, 4b, 5b, 6b, 8b, 9b, 10b, 11b, 12b & 13b are sent from the server to the PDA, and the "a" lines which are temporarily repeated in each block are then replaced with these new "b" lines for each block. Blocks 1a and 1b are combined to produce the final display of block 1 , as each contains only half the display lines, and this process is repeated for each block on the PDA display. These fully reconstructed blocks are then stored in memory on the PDA device. Thus, block 1 of the display screen will now be comprised of lines 1 , 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7, 8, 9 & 10 as illustrated in to Fig. 14, which is the second drawing sequence or display sequence for block 1. This method of interlacing blocks of data enables the user to view a web page with very little delay from the server, though at first it may not be very clear as alternate lines of information are replaced, enabling the user to have a preview of the web page at a display speed much faster than if all lines of each block were transmitted at once from the server. This is one method of sending interlaced images, and there may be other methods of sending a lower information content block and add on the rest of the information at the next step.

In accordance with priorities established in the present invention, and with further reference made to Fig. 10 for the screen 78 in location 81, when the image to be displayed on the PDA screen is sent from the server, blocks 1a, 2a, 3a, 4a, 5a, 6a, 8a, 9a, 10a, 11a, 12a & 13a are sent as a part of the first priority. Next, blocks 1b, 2b, 3b, 4b, 5b, 6b, 8b, 9b, 10b, 11 b, 12b & 13b are sent from the server'to the PDA to complete the first priority, and these "b" blocks are interlaced with corresponding blocks in the "a" sub-division previously sent. Thus, it is important to have the image of what the user views as close to perfect before any other areas are sent, in accordance with the first priority of the present invention. Afterwards, and in accordance with priorities previously established, blocks 7a, 14a, 15a, 16a, 17a, 18a, 19a, 20a & 21a which surround the display area 78, are sent from the server as part of the second priority. This will allow the user the opportunity to scroll a little outside the display area almost immediately, without having to wait the time it takes for the entire blocks surrounding the display to be sent to the PDA. Subsequently, blocks 7b, 14b, 15b, 16b, 17b, 18b, 19b, 20b & 21 b are sent to the PDA to complete the second priority, and these "b" blocks are interlaced with corresponding blocks in the "a" sub-division previously sent. In further detail as an example, with the screen 78 in location 81 , as the first string of blocks 1a, 2a, 3a, 4a, 5a, 6a, 8a, 9a, 10a, 11a, 12a & 13a are sent from the server to the PDA, and the user scrolls to a new location 82 before blocks 1b, 2b, 3b, 4b, 5b, 6b, 8b, 9b, 10b, 11b, 12b & 13b are sent, then immediately blocks 31a, 32a, 33a, 34a, 35a, 36a, 38a, 39a, 40a, 41a, 42a & 43a which only occupy the new displayable area are sent from the server to the PDA. Sending blocks 31a, 32a, 33a, 34a, 35a, 36a, 38a, 39a, 40a, 41a, 42a & 43a will now be treated as a first priority (as this is the area the user wishes to view), and these are followed by blocks 31b, 32b, 33b, 34b, 35b, 36b, 38b, 39b, 40b, 41 b, 42b & 43b sent from the server to the PDA to complete the first priority, and these blocks are interlaced with corresponding blocks in the "a" sub-division previously sent. Next, blocks 37a, 44a, 45a, 46a, 47a, 48a, 49a, 50a & 51a which surround the new location 82 of the display area are sent from the server to the PDA, in accordance with a part of the second priority. To complete the second priority, corresponding blocks 37b, 44b, 45b, 46b, 47b, 48b, 49b, 50b & 51 b are sent from the server to the PDA, and these blocks are interlaced with corresponding blocks in the "a" sub-division previously sent. As a third priority animation or segments of the display that continuously change get refreshed in a similar manner, with the "a" subdivisions sent first from the server and the "b" subdivisions sent immediately after, to be interlaced in a similar fashion. The fourth priority of increasing the color depth follows immediately after. The fifth priority however, would be to next send the "b" subdivisions to the first area 81 which was first presented to the user before the scrolling action. Thus, blocks 1b, 2b, 3b, 4b, 5b, 6b, 8b, 9b, 10b, 11 b, 12b & 13b are sent from the server to the PDA, and this is followed by all surrounding areas, with the "a" sub-divisions sent first from the server and the "b" subdivisions sent immediately after, to be interlaced in a similar fashion thereby completing the web page image stored into memory on the PDA.

In accordance with another embodiment of the present invention, and with reference to Fig. 9, blocks of data 84 are transmitted from the server 71 to the PDA 72, through the cellular phone infrastructure. Inside the cellular phone infrastructure there is a large pipe, and the blocks that are sent from the server to the PDA are inside this, pipeline. The pipeline 85 for transmitting blocks of data is quite large, and as a result there is a significant lag or delay in time between sending a particular block at the server and receiving it at the PDA. Because of this there are many blocks in the pipeline at the time a particular block is sent from the server, and the blocks in the pipeline must be removed or received before that particular block is received at the PDA. In particular, a situation may occur whereby blocks 1 , 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7 & 8 may be sent form the server and only block 1 is received at the PDA after block 6 is sent from the server, due to the significant lag or delay in the pipeline. The PDA must then transmit an acknowledgement for each block received, otherwise the server has no information on any blocks that may not be successfully received, decompressed and displayed on the PDA screen. Should there be any missing blocks or blocks that can't be displayed successfully, then the server would reschedule such blocks to be sent again next into the pipeline, as no acknowledgement for such blocks would be received at the server. One problem with this arrangement is the lengthy delay in any rescheduled block being received at the PDA, as many other blocks in the pipeline must be received and acknowledged by the PDA before the rescheduled block is received, acknowledged and put in its correct location. This problem of a lengthy delay also exists when the user clicks to a new web page, as many blocks from the old web page already in the pipeline need to be removed from the pipeline or received by the PDA before any new blocks representing the new web page are received at the PDA. To significantly reduce such a lengthy delay, the number of blocks transmitted in the pipeline is limited to a smaller quantity, say 3 blocks instead of 6 blocks for demonstration purposes only. Thus blocks 1 , 2 & 3 are sent from the server to the PDA, and the server waits for acknowledgement of block 1 from the PDA first, before sending block 4. If no acknowledgement is sent for a particular block within a designated time period, then the server assumes this block is not successfully received, decompressed and displayed at the PDA, and automatically reschedules this block for sending next in the pipeline. By example, ideally blocks 1 , 2 & 3 are sent first from the server to the PDA, then an acknowledgement for block 1 must be received at the server first before block 4 is sent to the PDA. After the acknowledgement for block 2 is received at the server, then block 5 is sent, etc., so the acknowledgements are not behind by more than 3 blocks from what was sent. This system quickens the response time for displaying a new image significantly, without having to wait for many packets or blocks to be cleared from the pipeline first.

Also, in accordance with the present invention, the priority of downloading data to the PDA changes if the user clicks anywhere on the display screen 78. For example, the main screen display area is already downloaded and displayed on the PDA screen, and the remaining blocks surrounding the display area are being downloaded, and the priority has already changed from refreshing animation to putting blocks around the display area time-sliced with animation changes. Thus, everything that changes on the main screen becomes slower due to the time-slicing operation, but if the user clicks on an area that requires input such as a title box, the present display mode is too slow for such a situation. Therefore, any click on the parts of the web page displayed on the PDA screen 78 that invoke a change to the image displayed on the screen (since the PDA sends a message to the server as to where the click down occurred), the priority of downloading information changes to give first priority to filling up the display area on the PDA with any new image, thereby receiving the full bandwidth for this operation instead of time-slicing. After the display area is filled up, the other priorities follow as previously described. This is particularly useful for text entry so the user may see what text was entered without any lengthy delay, and also for menu items on the page.

To conserve on bandwidth consumption, the server monitors the activities of the user from messages sent back from the PDA on user activities such as scrolling, clicking or text input. Thus, after a pre-set duration (which is user adjustable), the server may stop sending new blocks of information (as a means of bandwidth conservation) on any particular web page transmitted to the PDA if there is no response from the PDA on these user activities. Unless the user shows intentions of moving out of the display area from such user activities, bandwidth conservation is engaged in accordance with the present invention.

A similar mode exists to conserve on bandwidth for areas that require animation changes, in accordance with the present invention. The server will send no blocks of data after a time-out period, which is user adjustable or preset at the server. This is usually a few seconds, and is particularly useful in instances where the animation changes are for an advertisement, in which the user has no interest. Thus, in this mode of bandwidth conservation, the only changes to the display image would occur if the user scrolled outside the presently displayed image, or clicked or typed in an area, which invokes a change to the displayed image.

Claims

CLAIMSWhat is claimed:
1. A host computer which receives information from an outside source, contains a browser with a window which renders this information onto a virtual display in its memory, whereby a software program reduces the color depth of the rendered virtual display, compresses this reduced virtual display and sends it to a remote device capable of receiving, decompressing, storing into memory and displaying it to a user such that the priority of sending information is dependent upon the current position of a remote device display, in relation to the rendered virtual display.
2. A device as claimed in Claim 1 such that the priority changes if the relative position of the two displays changes.
3. A host computer which receives information from an outside source, contains a browser with a window which renders this information onto a virtual display in its memory, whereby a software program reduces the color depth of the rendered virtual display, compresses this reduced virtual display and sends it to a remote device capable of receiving, decompressing, storing into memory and displaying it to a user such that the priority of sending the information depends on the intent of the user to move a device display in a particular direction with respect to the virtual display.
4. A device as claimed in Claim 1 such that a second priority is to download information around the device display up to a fixed distance.
5. A device as claimed in Claim 1 such that a third priority is to download the rest of the rendered virtual display.
6. A host computer which receives information from an outside source, contains a browser with a window which renders this information onto a virtual display in its memory, whereby a software program reduces the color depth of the rendered virtual display, compresses this reduced virtual display and sends it to a remote device capable of receiving, decompressing, storing into memory and displaying it to a user such that a first priority is to download information of primarily text portions of a lower bit depth and a picture portion at a higher bit depth.
7. A device as claimed in Claim 6 such that the picture parts are downloaded first at a lower resolution.
8. A host computer which receives information from an outside source, contains a browser with a window which renders this information onto a virtual display in its memory, whereby a software program reduces the color depth of the rendered virtual display, compresses this reduced virtual display and sends it to a remote device capable of receiving, decompressing, storing into memory and displaying it to a user such that only limited information is downloaded to the device before acknowledgement is sent of previous information.
9. A host computer which receives information from an outside source, contains a browser with a window which renders this information onto a virtual display in its memory, whereby a software program reduces the color depth of the rendered virtual display, compresses this reduced virtual display and sends it to a remote device capable of receiving, decompressing, storing into memory and displaying it to a user such that no information is sent to the device until the browser has fully rendered the information in its memory.
10. A host computer which receives information from an outside source, contains a browser with a window which renders this information onto a virtual display in its memory, whereby a software program reduces the. color depth of the rendered virtual display, compresses this reduced virtual display and sends it to a remote device capable of receiving, decompressing, storing into memory and displaying it to a user such that priority of download depends on history of user visiting information in the past.
11. A host computer which receives information from an outside source, contains a browser with a window which renders this information onto a virtual display in its memory, whereby a software program reduces the color depth of the rendered virtual display, compresses this reduced virtual display and sends it to a remote device capable of receiving, decompressing, storing into memory and displaying it to a user such that some information comprising the remote device display area is first sent to the remote device for display, whereby more information is sent at a later time to display all information within the remote device display area.
PCT/CA2003/001326 2000-10-03 2003-09-10 Portable high speed internet access device priority protocol WO2004025459A3 (en)

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