|Publication number||USRE41547 E1|
|Application number||US 11/374,647|
|Publication date||Aug 17, 2010|
|Filing date||Mar 14, 2006|
|Priority date||Apr 18, 1997|
|Also published as||US6115824|
|Publication number||11374647, 374647, US RE41547 E1, US RE41547E1, US-E1-RE41547, USRE41547 E1, USRE41547E1|
|Original Assignee||Samsung Electronics Co., Ltd|
|Export Citation||BiBTeX, EndNote, RefMan|
|Patent Citations (10), Referenced by (5), Classifications (10), Legal Events (1)|
|External Links: USPTO, USPTO Assignment, Espacenet|
This application makes reference to, incorporates the same herein, and claims all rights accruing thereto under 35 U.S.C. § 119 through my patent application entitled A Method for Confirming Power-Off of a Computer earlier filed in the Korean Industrial Property Office on the 18th day of April 1997 and there duly assigned Ser. No. 1997/14556.
1. Field of the Invention
The present invention relates to the managing of the power supply for a computer and, more specifically, to an apparatus and method for providing multiple power options to a user while confirming a request to turn off the computer.
2. Background Art
In general, when the power switch of a computer system is turned off, a power off signal is sent to the power supply that then terminates the power to the system. A computer system generally uses a central processing unit, a bus to transmit signals and data between various components, a random access memory (RAM), a read only memory (ROM), a real-time clock (RTC), an input device, a display device, a serial or parallel peripheral device, an auxiliary memory unit, an input device controller, a display device controller, serial and parallel ports, an auxiliary memory controller, a backup memory, and a power controller. The bus interconnects several system elements to the central processing unit and transmits related information to each element. The RAM, ROM, backup memory, power controller, and RTC are all connected to the central processing unit via the bus. The RAM provides various memory locations for the central processing unit's use when storing system software, storing user software, or storing operational data. The ROM contains the specific programs that the central processing unit needs to operate. The RTC stores information about time calculation and system structure. The backup memory is used by the system to store any information not kept in RAM that is saved for future use.
When power is terminated while unsaved data is still in volatile memory, vital data can be lost. Research has been directed towards power management in an effort to improve the smooth functioning of computer systems and to further improve techniques for preserving computer data. Some techniques developed, by way of example, are detailed in, for example, U.S. Pat. No. 5,586,334 to Miyazaki entitled Apparatus and Method for Suspending and Resuming Software on a Computer, U.S. Pat. No. 5,339,446 to Yamasaki entitled Power Supply and Method for use in a Computer System to Confirm a Save Operation of the Computer System and to Stop a Supply of Power to the Computer System After Confirmation, U.S. Pat. No. 5,640,574 to Kawashima entitled Portable Computer Apparatus Having a Display Capable of Displaying Power Management Information and Method of Controlling the Display, U.S. Pat. No. 5,598,567 to Ninomiya entitled Apparatus for Controlling Power Supply in a Computer System by Introducing Delays Before Activation and Deactivation of Power, and U.S. Pat. No. 4,907,150 to Arroyo entitled Apparatus and Method for Suspending and Resuming Software Applications on a Computer.
I have observed that when a power switch is accidentally turned off during the operation of a computer the power supplied to the computer is terminated regardless of whether a UPS system is attached to the computer. This causes the loss of data that has not previously been saved and can result in the loss of time and the needless duplication of work. I expect that a computer system that could avoid accidental shutdowns would increase the productivity of users, avoid the loss of data, and reduce the frustration and tedium resulting from the duplication of work.
Accordingly, it is an object of the present invention is to provide an improved apparatus and method for terminating the power to a computer system.
It is another object to provide an apparatus and a method for terminating the power to a computer system that avoids accidental shutdowns.
It is still another object to provide an apparatus and a method for terminating the power to a computer that avoids the loss of data.
It is yet another object to provide an apparatus and a method for terminating the power to a computer that increases the productivity of computer operators.
It is still yet another object to provide an apparatus and a method for terminating the power to a computer that reduces the frustration and tedium resulting from the duplication of work.
It is a further object to provide an apparatus and a method for terminating the power to a computer that confirms the operator's wish to terminate power before responding to the turning of the power switch to the off position.
To achieve these and other objects, an apparatus and a method are used to determine whether a user actually desired to terminate the power to the computer when the computer's power switch was moved to the “off” position. The computer confirms the operator's desire by displaying a power managing window or menu. This window presents the user with four choices. The user can select the “Cancel” button and the computer system will operate as if the power switch were still in the “on” position. The user can select the “Suspend” button and the computer system will then go into a hibernation or sleep mode. The user can select the “Reset” button and the system will quit any programs that are currently running and reboot the computer. And lastly, the operator can select the “Power-Off” button and the computer will exit and quit any programs currently running and turn off.
A second embodiment of the above apparatus and method activates a timer once the power managing window or menu is displayed. If a preset amount of time passes without the user selecting one of the four available options then the computer automatically turns off.
A more complete appreciation of this invention, and many of the attendant advantages thereof; will be readily apparent as the same becomes better understood by reference to the following detailed description when considered in conjunction with the accompanying drawings in which like reference symbols indicate the same or similar components, wherein:
Turning now to the drawings,
I have found that one problem with many computer systems is the loss of data when the power switch is accidentally turned to an off position. This lowers the operator's productivity and increases the level of frustration experienced by the operator.
The present invention avoids such accidental terminations, as shown in the first embodiment of the present invention illustrated in FIG. 1. First, in steps S101 through S105, the computer is turned on and a power management program is automatically activated. Then, during step S107, the power management program determines whether the power switch is on. This step is repeated until the program determines that the power switch is in the off position. After the program determines that the switch is in the off position, in step S109, the display device displays a power managing window or menu. In step S111, an operator selects one of the four available options in the control window or menu.
The four options are to cancel, reboot, terminate power, and suspend operations. If the operator selects the “Cancel” button then the power managing program returns to step S107 and will treat the power switch as if it is in the “on” position. If an operator selects the “Reboot” or “Reset” button then the program quits any actively running programs during step S112 and then, during step S113 reboots the computer. After the computer has rebooted the program re-starts and progresses through to step S105. The next time the power managing program checks on the position of the power switch it will not treat the power switch as being in the off position until it has first been placed in an on position. Alternatively, a mechanism can be used to automatically return the power switch to the on position after the “Reboot” button has been selected.
If an operator selects the “Power-Off” button then the program quits any actively running programs during step S115. Then, in step S117, the computer power is terminated and the program ends at step S119.
In an operator selects the “Suspend” button then the power managing program changes the mode of the central processing unit 1 to a sleep or hibernate mode in step S121. In step S123 the computer determines if it is time for a wake up signal and, if so, returns to step S107 and treats the power switch as if it was in the “on” position and, if not, returns to step S121.
The operation of a computer system using a power management program designed according to the first embodiment of the present invention is described below. When a power switch is turned to the “on” position, the computer is powered and begins to boot up during steps S101 through S103. Then, central processing unit 1 performs a Power Off Self Test (POST) on every hardware component in the computer system. After it is determined that every hardware component in the computer system is operating normally, central processing unit 1 processes the instructions contained in the Basic Input Output System (BIOS). The BIOS further boots the computer by activating a driving program inside the computer, the AUTOEXEC.BAT file. The AUTOEXEC.BAT file then activates other programs or applications as well as the power managing program in step S105.
After the computer booting process is completed, the computer system processes the BIOS instructions and determines the operational position of the power switch and whether it is in the “off” position during step S107. If during step S107, it is determined that a power switch is in the “off” position, the BIOS outputs a power-off signal to the power managing program. When the power managing program receives the power-off signal, the computer system displays the power managing window or menu shown in
The power managing program determines the button that is selected by the operator during step S111 and processes the appropriate sets of instructions. If the “Reset” button is selected any programs running on the computer system are terminated during step S112 and the computer is rebooted during step S113.
If the “Power-Off” button is selected then, during step S115, any active programs are halted and the power to the computer is terminated during step S117. When there are multiple programs running during either step S112 or step S115, every program is terminated.
If the “Suspend” button is selected then, during step S121, the computer enters into sleep or hibernate mode. Then, in step S123 the computer determines whether a wake-up signal is generated. When a wake-up signal is selected during step S123, the power managing program changes the operating state of the computer back to normal while restoring all previously active applications. The computer stays in a suspend or hibernate mode until a wake-up signal is generated. Once the operational state of the computer is returned to normal, the power managing program continues to monitor whether the power switch is again turned to the “off” position.
When the “Cancel” button is selected, the power managing program returns to step S107 to determine whether the power switch is turned to the “off” position. The power is not terminated and the power managing program repeats the above-described method. Before determining whether the power switch is again in the off position the power managing program waits to detect the switch in the on position. Alternatively, a mechanism can return the power switch to the on position after the “Cancel” button is selected.
A second embodiment of the present invention is illustrated by the method of FIG. 2. First, during steps S201 through S205, the computer system is turned on, booted up, and the power managing program is activated. Then, during step S207 the computer system determines whether the power switch is in the “on” position. If the power switch is in the “on” position then the power managing program continues to check the position of the power switch. After the switch is detected in the “off” position, in step S209, the computer system displays the power managing window or menu shown in FIG. 3.
During step S211 the computer system activates a timer. After, during step S213, the program waits for the user to select one of the four buttons contained in the power managing window or menu. If the “Reboot” button is selected then, during steps S214 and S215, any active programs are terminated and the computer rebooted. If the “Power-Off” button is selected then, during steps S217 through S211, all active programs are ended and the power to the computer is terminated. When the “Suspend” button is selected the computer converts into suspend or sleep mode during step S223. The computer remains in suspend mode until a wake up signal is generated in step S225.
If the timer in step S227 reaches a predetermined amount of time before any of the buttons contained in the power managing menu or window are selected then, during step S229, the program changes the operational state of the computer to the suspend mode or when the suspend mode function is not enabled the program terminates power to the computer.
When the computer system is using a method that is in accordance with the second embodiment of the present invention the operation of the computer begins with the power switch being moved to the on position, in steps S201 through S203. Then central processing unit 1 performs the POST procedures on every hardware system of a computer. Once the central processing unit completes the POST procedures on every hardware component and determines that each component is functioning normally, instructions contained in the BIOS are processed and the computer starts to boot up. During the boot up of a computer, the AUTOEXEC.BAT file is activated and eventually instructs the computer to run the power managing program, in step S205.
The BIOS also detects the position of the power switch and whether the power switch is in the “off” position, during step S207. The computer continues to check the power switch until it is detected in the “off” position. Once the power switch is detected in the “off” position, the BIOS sends a power-off signal to the power managing program.
After the power managing program receives the power-off signal, the computer system displays the power managing window or menu, in step S209, as shown in FIG. 3. Then, in step S211 a timer is activated. The power managing program then waits to see which of the four buttons is selected. If the “reset” button is selected then all active programs are quit in step S214. Then, in step S215, the computer reboots and returns to step S205. If the “power-off” button is selected then any active programs are terminated, in step S217, and the computer system is turned off, in steps S219 and S221. If there are multiple active programs when either the “Reset” button or the “Power-Off” button is selected, every program is terminated during either step S214 or step S217.
If the “Suspend” button is selected then the power managing program converts the current mode of the computer system to a suspend mode, during step S223. The power managing program then determines whether a wake-up signal is generated, during step S225. If a wake up signal is generated the power managing program converts the mode of the computer system back from the suspended mode to the mode it was previously in prior to going into the suspend mode. Once the computer leaves the suspend mode, the power managing program continues to monitor the power switch to determine when the switch is again placed in an “off” position.
If a predetermined amount of time passes without any button contained in the power managing window being selected, during step S227, then the computer determines whether a suspend function has been enabled, during step S229. If a suspend function is enabled then the program converts the computer system into suspend mode, during step S223. Otherwise, the program terminates the power to the computer during steps S217 through S221. If the “Cancel” button is selected then the power managing program returns to step S207 and continues to monitor the position of the power switch.
These methods for confirming a terminate power command while displaying many power options on a display device improves the efficiency of document production and reduces the amount of data lost due to accidental power terminations. Although two preferred embodiments of the present invention have been disclosed for illustrative purposes, those skilled in the art will appreciate that various modifications, additions and substitutions are possible, without departing from the scope and spirit of the invention as disclosed in the accompanying claims. It is also possible that other benefits or uses of the currently disclosed invention will become apparent over time.
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|U.S. Classification||713/300, 713/330, 715/700|
|International Classification||G06F1/30, G06F1/28, G06F1/00, G06F1/32, G06F3/00|