A credit card size portable system comprises a bubble memory for storage serially of digital data, especially of sound analogue signal which has been digitally encoded including, a decoder means for converting the memory output into analogue form, preferably several decoders each for one sound band, a control register for controlling input and output of data from the memory and which is responsive to control data present in the input and output stream, and input and output for the data entering and leaving the card system. The memory can be of 8 megabyte size, which can record 31/2 minutes of music signal. Optical input can be used, with a photoelectric converter at the input. A card is readily programmed with the digital data and can readily be stored or transported for replay of sound signal as desired, in place of conventional discs or cassettes. The control data bits are detected by the control register and serve to control the recording and replay steps. The digital data may be...
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1. A portable data processing and storage system, having a memory and means for feeding data to, and retrieving it from the memory, which system comprises:
- a. said memory capable of storage serially of digital data,
- b. means, connected in circuit to the memory, for converting output data from the memory to analogue form, and
- c. controlling means for controlling the input and output of data from the memory which means scans all data from the memory, is responsive to control data present in the input or output data stream, and instructs said memory to be ready to receive and store incoming data, and controls the input of analogue data into the memory; (a), (b) and (c) being mounted on a portable card,
- and on a housing of the card two connectors by which the system can be connected to an input of digital data and to an output for receipt of the analogue or digital form data, and one or two connectors to a power supply for the system.
2. A system as claimed in claim 1, wherein the memory (a) consists of magnetic bubble elements.
3. A system as claimed in claim 1, wherein the conversion means (b) comprises a plurality of decoders each programmable to convert a prescribed type of data, and links are provided to combine the outputs from the decoders before output of the data from the system.
4. A system as claimed in claim 1, which includes a link by which the output from the memory can be passed directly in serial form to the output data connector on the housing, thus bypassing the conversion means (b), upon command from the controlling means responsive to control data present in the output data stream.
5. A system as claimed in claim 1, which includes a control register circuit in each of the input and output streams, which registers are arranged to pass control data to the controlling means (c).
6. A system as claimed in claim 2, wherein the memory has a capacity of at least 8 megabytes of data.
7. A system as claimed in claim 1, containing in its memory stored data corresponding to music as the analogue input.
8. A combination of a system as claimed in claim 1, together with means for converting analogue data to digital data to be stored in the portable system.
9. A combination of at least one system as claimed in claim 1, together with a replay unit which includes means for supplying power to the data storage system, means for connection to the data connections of the storage system, a controller capable of receiving a command and thereupon commending or stopping the replay of data recorded on said system, a detector capable of detecting and removing control data from a stream of output data from said system on its card and for passing said control data to said controller, and means for passing analogue form output data to sound reproduction means.
10. A method of recording data, using a combination as claimed in claim 8, which comprises feeding into the system an analogue signal which has been encoded into serial digital form, together with appropriate control data to control recording and replay steps of the method.
11. A method of recording and replay of music data using a system as claimed in claim 9, wherein each frequency band of the music has been encoded separately and is stored separately in the memory (a), and during output from the portable system the data corresponding to each band is passed, by command of the controlling means (c), to a respective one of the decoders (b), and the decoded analogue signals are combined to give an output signal which is suitable for direct replay as music.
12. A method of digital reproduction of data recorded in a system as claimed in claim 4, wherein the data output from the portable system is in its encoded digital form.
13. A method as claimed in claim 12, wherein the encoded digital output data is used as the input to be stored in the memory of one or more other of said portable systems.
14. A method as claimed in claim 11, wherein the controlling means is programmed to generate at intervals signals which are passed, separately from the stream of output data, to control external synchronisation means.