Mirror Worlds, LLC v. Apple, Inc.

Filing 251

RESPONSE in Opposition re 229 MOTION for Summary Judgment OF INVALIDITY OF US PATENT NO. 6,613,101 filed by Apple, Inc.. (Attachments: # 1 Text of Proposed Order, # 2 Declaration of Steven K. Feiner Ph.D., # 3 Exhibit 1 to Declaration of Steven K. Feiner Ph.D., # 4 Declaration of Jeffrey G. Randall in Opposition to Motion for Summary Judgment, # 5 Exhibit 1 to Randall Declaration, # 6 Exhibit 2 to Randall Declaration, # 7 Exhibit 3 to Randall Declaration, # 8 Exhibit 4 to Randall Declaration, # 9 Exhibit 5 to Randall Declaration, # 10 Exhibit 6 to Randall Declaration, # 11 Exhibit 7 to Randall Declaration, # 12 Exhibit 8 to Randall Declaration, # 13 Exhibit 9 to Randall Declaration, # 14 Exhibit 10 to Randall Declaration, # 15 Exhibit 11 to Randall Declaration, # 16 Exhibit 12 to Randall Declaration)(Randall, Jeffrey)

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Mirror Worlds, LLC v. Apple, Inc. Doc. 251 Att. 11 Randall Declaration Exhibit 7 Dockets.Justia.com 11111 11111111 UI 11111 11111 11111 11111 11111 11111 11111 11111 111111 III 11111 liii US005287448A United States Patent Nicol et Patent Date Number Patent 5287448 Feb 15 1994 al of MFHOD AND APPARATUS FOR PROVIDING HELP INFORMATION USERS OF COMPUTERS Inventors 4899276 2/1990 2/1991 7/1991 6/1992 10/1992 12/1992 Stadler 340/721 et TO 4992972 5029113 5123086 Brooks 395/155 395/161 395/155 al Miyoshietal Tanakaetal Hoeber Krieger et Anne Nicol Kenyon Palo Alto Lawrence Wagner both of 5157768 5175812 Primary Assistant 395/157 Annette 395/156 Sunnyvale James Suizen Montara all of Calif Assignee Apple Calif Harkcom ExaminerGary ExaminerRaymond Bayerl Agent or Computer Inc Cupertino Attorney Firm .Blakely Sokoloff Taylor Zafman AppI Filed No 36216 ABSTRACT 1993 Mar 24 Related method interactive for presenting help messages environment with in to user in an help computer which U.S of is Application Data Jan 21 of mode 1992 aban ating operates in concurrently other programs user receives pointer oper infor Continuation Ser No 824734 the computer about an icon system by The doned which 1989 continuation Ser No 347745 mation positioning on the which re user May abandoned computers GO6F 3/14 video display is over the icon about mt U.S a.5 Cl 006F 15/40 more information trieves desired help The message computer based then 395/159 157 144 395/157 395/155 an appropriate from and upon on sophistication in its database it of help messages graphic bubble stored the Field of Search 395/159 395/161 155 156 memory display displays in 340/721 References Cited The graphic bubble is placed so as to not overlap the object about which more help is requested The graphic bubble is removed as soon as the pointer is video U.S 4648062 4789962 PATENT 3/1987 DOCUMENTS et al al moved 395/155 364/521 away from the object Johnson Berry et 12/1988 18 Cluims Drawing Sheets USER PLACES SYSTEM IN HELP MODE 202 EXIT HELP USER SELECTS OR USER GRAPHIC EXITS HELP ITEM MODE ONSCREEN MODE PROGRAM ASSOCIATES DATABASE KEY TO THE LOOK-UP USER SECTION WITH THE KEY AND PASSES SYSTEM SOFTWARE SYSTEM SOFTWARE- 2O4 /210 SYSTEM SOFTWARE RETRIEVES HELP DATABASE INFORMATION FROM THEHELP 72111 SYSTEM SIZE SOFTWARE CALCULATES DISPLAY THE AND GRAPHIC THE HELP CONTENTS LOCATION OF /212 SYSTEM THE SOFTWARE DRAWS HELD DISPLAY APMW0013192 U.S latent Feb 15 1994 Sheet of 5287448 __i 100 ORIGINAL USERS ENVIRONMENT ACTIVATION OF 101 HELP MODE 02 WAIT FOR HELP POINTER TO POINT TO AN OBJECT 103 HELP POINTER POINTS TO AN OBJECT 104 DETERMINE OBJECT AND CONTEXT RETRIEVE HELP IN FORMATION /_106 CALCULATE AREA NEEDED 110 DISPLAY 114 HELP INFORMATION DEACTIVATION EVENT APMW0013193 U.S Patent Feb 15 1994 Sheet of 5287448 File Edit Goodies Font Size Style Tools Lines Patter 71711 404 408 402 Ht 400 406 APMW0013194 U.S Patent Feb 15 1994 Sheet of 5287448 __LIr 201 USER PLACES SYSTEM IN HELP MODE EXIT HELP MODE USER SELECTS GRAPHIC ITEM ON SCREEN OR USER EXITS HEtP MODE /2O3 PROGRAM DATABASE ASSOCIATES LOOK-UP USER SELECTION WITH KEY AND PASSES THE KEY TO THE SYSTEM SOFTWARE SYSTEM SOFTWARE I--SYSTEM SOFTWARE RETRIEVES HELP INFORMATION FROM THE HELP DATABASE 2II SYSTEM SIZE SOFTWARE CALCULATES THE LOCATION AND GRAPHIC CONTENTS OF THE HELP DISPLAY 12 SYSTEM SOFTWARE DRAWS THE HELP DISPLAY APMW0013195 5287448 desired Although hierarchically in the METHOD AND organized hierarchy help sys FOR PROVIDING HELP INFORMATION TO USERS OF COMPUTERS APPARATUS is tems are known art the represents levels categorization levels levels are rather refer than to in sophistication Categorization help messages help program an outline whose of main arranged form This continuation filed of application 07/824734 Jan 21 1992 now abandoned Ser Ser No which is filed topics sub-topics sub-sub-topics facilitates etc user that Employing in hierarchial continuation of application No help system discovering 07/347745 desired topics present 10 help message But either message may May 1989 now abandoned information for which is too simple or too Providing different BACKGROUND OF THE INVENTION Field of the Invention sophisticated levels the users in needs of sophistication ability to help system the computer improves the users relates to understand The program present invention computer to on-line help systems help methods Prior Art and in more specifically graphic based 15 SUMMARY OF THE INVENTION The present invention art an interactive computer environment overcomes the disadvantages for At times quires of the prior computer user may about while discover that by providing messages to method and apparatus user in an the present invention concurrently taking he re or is presenting computer help interactive additional information the computer the environment With particular computer This program as computer is in 20 help mode other of the computer operates without with operation additional information information computer commonly If known software receives in the art is is help while as the programs by for precedence help is The user information running line it provided program provide help message example over about using an icon by posi known on-line have the is help To on 25 tioning pointer video mouse about on the help the user must from either information tern way of accessing help computers operating sysrunning Typically computers more trieves display is the icon which re of in information desired The computer from and then or the program which will com to an appropriate stored help message in its database it puter program access displays the the incorporate help sub-program help sub-program requested on-line help messages graphic ble is memory display the displays information The bubble so on as the video to only user 30 help information when by of the placed is not overlap icon about The graphic bub which One common volves using the method of providing entire help in- more help the screen requested video display screen com until the pointer The graphic bubble remains on is no longer over the icon provides refers puter to display porarily the user displace signals help messages the the The help messages normal the programs that display tem When are the 35 The context at present sensitive method Context messages to the which are computer help messages no longer needed display the computer the have erases them from display area the time of the requestwhat performed what was displayed to items on etc the display element the current programs state operation was being user the of the selected the and reestablishes normal separate Alter on the state computer that nately screen some for Another programs of context can be the type of help help help messages help sub-program in as requested For example the user may look for the answer to specify variety Having is which displaces the pro 40 requests one the of of ques be the the grams normal display known in the art messages the order to present help messages on-line concern tions Still another element of context can documentation particular also The detail users level relative of sophistication of Sophistication means help about about typically program and usually will often have statements These peripheral although indexed related subjects mes 45 program or opera tion The present invention provides more detailed ex to more sophisticated planations users and more gen familiarity eral user with sages are or and associated is with key words generally through that its messages to the less sophisticated user By using display phrases On-line documentation users struc elec the context the present invention messages to aid the can retrieve and tured like tronic manual and does is can flip appropriate user relates to pages However query provided the context created The present invention these also apparatus for users not influence determining on-line its what help is performing 50 specially operations for the This apparatus may or as be it information not able to Thus of documentation messages Another since the is constructed required purposes decide which many is most may tively comprise activated in general purpose computer computer selec appropriate lem with when the user requests documentation the entire to help that prob help called display 55 or reconfigured by to program presented on-line displace is stored the computer The related algorithms messages screen see display when herein are not inherently any particular com written it up the user led to not able the programs puter or other apparatus purpose machines In particular various general with programs herein or which his requesting help section may be used to the Providing user separate of the video on-line is display for in accordance with the teachings construct required may messages avoids some of display to see documentations displaced 60 prove more convenient to more specialized problems The screen Thus which portion the led user to is not entirely apparatus required appear perform for method steps The machines will able the output of the program reserving both size structure the variety of these his request for help for However from description given below of the display display the programs and shape area and user messages restricts the help messages BRIEF DESCRIPTION OF THE DRAWINGS diagram showing the steps FIG drawback available is flowchart of Another information level of prior is art systems limited is that the 65 the present invention typically user is to able to single FIG displaying is an illustration of in computer screen which is of sophistication detailed The not obtain topic if help information of the graphic bubble accord more information about particular ing to the method present invention APMW0013196 5287448 FIG used in is representation of pointer sensitive areas as While graphic it interface is used to in the preferred skilled in the the present invention is embodiment showing the method of with to art that will be apparent those FIG ating flowchart diagram in wide variety in of computer operating systems the present invention used system software of in conjunction the operprovide can tion with be employed conjunction with the present inven computer graphic system For example an operating interface to the present invention system requires that the help information bubble does not may be used employ to input all DETAILED DESCRIPTION OF THE PRESENT INVENTION relates to users graphic and the operator instructions the computer by typing them on the following rather keyis board 10 Also to since the method of the present invention interfaces as The present invention ing information to method in for provid- not limited tion is to graphic descrip restric computer In an interactive description be regarded illustrative than computing environment specific details are the following as particular in tive Since the present invention puter systems 15 to that numerous and display such set keystrokes may be practiced on cornit is is messages forth order to provide do not have that graphic interface of the term more thorough It understanding to of the present invention in be understood to the choice to icon is will be apparent those skilled the art however practiced well without not intended mally be limited the definition interface that noran that these the present specific invention In may have the be associated as with is graphic intended to Instead details other instances not been known in 20 icon used herein include every type of methods detail essarily and data structures described object play of or item that computer that so as not to obscure present invention unnec- may be presented on the video dis For example in computer system use graphic line interface the there is systems the following described with Specification reference to do not Throughout invention is the present particular often provided command the computer in where user types line is commands usually 25 into This command not in fall type of computer of operating considered operating system Specifically form is the art to be an icon the However would could system graphic known as graphic displays interface the present specification within the definition command The as user line described interface objects on as of its video icon such move over via the screen graphic pictorial ically these known various or data icons that Typbe are 30 icons represent tasks files can or similar command line and pointer object cursor information Similarly as the receive help the performed stored in by the computer the computers and hence which method ments display of the present invention graphic interface are the some ele bar or to memory The tasks It is of such user can or data in select files in menu the icons any one to select is the associated windows However for these not normally considered provides the be of number of methods with device device common as icons the art present invention as help icons known of the to mouse pointer The 35 messages elements well are as for elements mouse of the graphic interface to be icons which normally considered peripheral the computer system user manipulates video presses display mouse move icon to select on the then will The when over on particular The the present invention user is provides help messages to user It button to the mouse in computer by displaying requested in context-sensitive icon messages describes the be lent apparent selection those skilled methods can help as Bubbled the art that other equiva40 interfaces are Help appear method to used be used of graphic the preferred embodiment within see referring Another common menus element pull able down to is With pull down menu various tasks how the help messages bubbles on the display corner located of may graphic left screen graphic e.g lower are user for is FIG the These icon about bubbles usually is to quickly computer computer ing select from among perform Appropriate the near which more information typically programming of the 45 provided such that titles menu display across be placed to requested The bubbles fill are of relatively bar compris- small size and do not the entire will its screen be generally variety is of command on for example T1 T2 T3 the The etc menu video present invention to now de user displayed is the video horizontally it Typically scribed with as illustrated reference in the basic bar method of operation Initially located the top of the in flow chart of in that FIG in display although can other locaone of the 50 interacts with tions The particular program This is particular programs as step user operates the mouse select environment indicated FIG of Help are for example Ti One or more sub-commands are then displayed below the cornmand options menu title These sub-commands appear command options to 100 the Original Users help mode particular at Environment 101 The which user activates Step Activation activation methods Mode The used de are normal in be pulled down type of to from the menu bar and hence give the 55 scribed below operation ternative is In the help mode help this menu its name The be apparent is the programs although user manipulates for temporarily suspended the an al mouse that select It desired will subcommand to execution skilled to in by the embodiment with the in mode the computer art may of function the proin those concurrently normal operation the present invention with pull not limited but can use in to 60 grams the the original users environment the over presentation conjuction operate down menus However of be adapted preferred embodiment precedence the original proceeds to help of the with variety the of command selection schemes easily information takes in For example with graphic the operation present invention having to can be used programs Control Pointer to users environment to step interface the sub-commands located detailed at appear the bottom up menus where menu bar up from of the video display more pop pop use of having then Point step 102 Wait for Help the an Object or Deactivation continually of Help Mode At 65 location 102 the computer pointer checks description of the computer mouse and pull- of If the down can porated the help until one of two events control menus in graphic interface is occur returns user deactivates step the the help be found in U.S Pat No Re mode 32632 which incor- from 102 to 100 Original Users normal operation Environ resumes by reference ment where programs APMW0013197 5287448 If the user positions that the pointer over an object then and the help quick can mode and select pull down to menu the title provides help such relatively selects object by activating that the the pointer the object latter is easy way activate computer and ceeds then determines selected In pointed to command or the like deactivates has been to case to control that pro Mode activates On option mode The user as Turn Help In another the display task in help message displaying and file is It relating the object is and embodiment the user help mode by toggling the its The 104 mines at first help message This step with step key on the computers Determining Object or data Context associated also deter word help to printed user keyboard This key may have on it so as to readily identify system in activated what task the icon the function of the computer the help pointers position ascertains rele 10 When system running is the help mode is the preferred the vant tion contextual information is e.g what type of informastate embodiment are the normal operation programs of that computer been being requested from the current of the suspended stopped Any until is may have is it program and operating system Step 106 Retrieve Help Information mation obtained during step database the most retrieves the help mode the help deactivated uses the infor to While ble 15 to the computer effectuate in mode on on key may be possi the computer of the help 104 as key search values search different pressing functions the computer the help message database locates of the help message help message For example keyboard second temporary to appropriate may cause allow suspension to which the computer Calculation the appropriate mode area needed for to the user input data key the computer of the amount of display message occurs itself system Depressing played 20 third may only remove dis help in step 108 Calculate bubbles an but not deactivate the mode operates Area Needed The message graphics lated to numbers or other data graphic display is text may comprise The message is trans the In embodiment with where the help mode form and and area needed to display the message determined Step 108 determines pixels the regionboth video sage will the shape to number of on the 25 of users original programs the does not deactivate the environment help mode programs In this embodiment the system displays the for icon whenever the particular help information concurrently pointer is the displayrequired graphically display the mes- positioned and the over the icon operates without the selecting When hold the calculating the area of bubbles the display basic steps is which are the icon performing the icon pointer 30 is is the program If concurrently by graphic length is few fol operation represented is by icon when lowed The and of the help message the calculated in selected positioned is the icon over not selected then but the only help This length message based on number of characters in the the icon the type style which the characters are information provided but the operation because represented is displayed non-textual As noted some help messages such as may contain characters evaluated also by exit the icon may be involved the program having information additional graphics is not suspended by the help the of selecting the icon without to The size of this when calculating ble information size mode embodiment when to as the required displayed of the graphic is bub 35 In shape help preferred the the the pointer has is the When is it is within system graphic bubble actually the help message Thus in step 108 the the the size placed question mark This is computer normal or in the computer smallest mode in contrast operation item to calculating of the when the pointer the appears an arrow similar graphic bubble fit which can hold message within up into message graphic In order to bubble lines the Changing quickly 40 shape of the pointer the is enables is the user help is the entire the identify when computer in the mode message may be broken have several the different of While to as the help mode the help the activated the pointer referred text In the preferred embodiment bubble specific dimensions of the this pointer activates the height-to-width is ratio as of 23 Of course and Once ferred trol 45 user the help mode in the pre ratio only meant on the guideline may be Help embodiment occur present invention 102 and state obtains con of two the adjusted depending length of the help message Display selected of the computer to in step waits for one The message is displayed the in step display 110 is events The wait terminates or selects when Information comprises the display the selected not overlap play until deactivated During An area on which user either deactivates the help mode methods about are an icon sufficient number of chosen pixels to accommodate Additionally does disis The various deactivation obtain described below region determined area is in step 108 To 50 at help information an icon in the pre the help pointer thereby on requests so that bubbles generated the the bubble remains ferred embodiment for that the user positions the icon pressing the icon The is on the the icon and selects and and new bubble of or the help mode help device icon such by as button mouse activation Of course Another other selection keyboard pointer any the steps the help 102 through 110 the the user mechanisms ployed 55 entries may be em may deactivate mode Deactivation occurs is most frequently most often vation cated tion during step for 102 because act any computer pull-down an way of selecting menu Each subcommand appropriate help message icon in involves the pull-down with waiting the user to occur at However time and deacti is menu it to has an the associated can theoretically indi When an help pointer moves from one different for subcommand help message the sub-com each on FIG 114 by deactivation causes all event 114 Deactiva to adjacent subcommand seeking is event and of the help messages from any of steps be 102 60 appears When help messages to erased through control directly returns to mands mand the user not required select subcom the 110 Original Users Environment 100 Each tion will to by performing any action subcommand pointer over each tains other than That is moving the user to is ob of the steps in the method of the present inven detail step is help information help pointer ence tion of now be described in greater FIGS The first through Mode Activation and Help is with refer 65 ing the over sometimes referred when thehelp pointer title is as activat positioned 101 Activaof the the subcommand of the deactivation to The cartesian location help pointer expressed its as help mode controlled by user input the computer to activate the coordinate pair xy representing Various icons location display Many different techniques can be used on the computers display have APMW0013198 5287448 regions assigned to them These regions are system defined in most The present invention user which messages user is provides help messages to the the items of the same objects coordinate to Although are context-sensitive to This means that operation help have objects an icon represent them on be represented the display relate the particular which the for to as some may only by pull-down performing that the file when he requests Assume menu sub-commands When menu is menu is pulled down the example store user requests on permanent help while attempting storage device such considered separate region for the even though to purposes the physical of data the help pointers display location floppy text in region and have used may be identical the covered The present invention evaluates the con which the request is made and will provide the disk to icons the same set of uses and values sensitive is proper message the user In this example the present to in The present invention pointer areas at 10 invention disk to determine icon associated trates when the help pointer area is pointing the or may tell the user how how to store data files which to is operate general on the floppy The exact pointer with sensitive region of the display message available displayed will depend system and the the messages evaluation help is an icon or other of symbol FIG illus the is specific sensitive in that the correspondence icon and its physical pointer display region area the In 15 scheme which employed prior art Context an is of an associated is sensitive improvement not required over to methods the user FIG pointers 402 sent pointer 400 the icon which represents on the screen icon 406 be are help icon current location the spray can that The pencil and icons which .by repre 20 many help in order to find the appropriate one That messages search process takes up time which could be more ad through vantageously Referring request various the is manually search tasks may pencil performed pointer 402 and hypothetical area 404 spent again operating to in the computer the context Context context is is program surrounds shape In the this example icon sensitive FIG detailed of the help in has area 408 evaluated rectangular surrounds Step 104 provided Similarly pointer sensitive ways The most which supplied by of recent the spray can In are icon 406 program can include current other history the preferred rectangular sensitive in embodiment shape can areas activity pointer sensitive areas 25 tion the computers and status pertinent the active sec However be areas the shape of the Other of the program relevant information pointer user arbitrary To facilitate contexts include the type of information the users regarding solely to sophistication interaction pointer sensitive correspond to may be modified of their associ advan30 so as to roughly ated icon the shape by the user and To provide more detail sought level pull- the context This modification irregularly may shaped be particularly icons are down menu provided dedicated tageous in areas closely where involved This pull-down entitled or mands What is of the display together it is where the several icons are sensitive located area is When x- do in Can do is it How like may be menu may provide sub-com do What can help functions Selection and the of one of these pointer sub-commands help message addition to varies directed its rectangular are x- defined by four values and y-coordinates of the icon The four values and the the help message towards matter the presented The the maximum and minimum allows for nature of the query subject y-coordinates This scheme the Help menu and sub-com mands enced entitled fast and Novice specify Moderate sophistication simple comparisons with if help pointers lies and coordinates to determine sensitive may element also level Experi as an will the help pointer system with the in other change sage of the context that These selections pointer compares area The computer coordinate merely maxi- the amount of detail contains need brief particular help the help pointers mes will mum icon more experienced help statements user will generally and minimum is values of the coordinate If of each the help values has The same only while beginner if done for the coordinates par of at require more involved supplies explanations information still Even the pro in pointers then coordinates fall is within pointing in the and the help pointer identification sensitive an icon which gram such from no context can the routines the present invention as discover some context selection particular system of the invention the the current window system or the current When cated pointer is area is not rectangular com the operating context to parison carried out in similar albeit more compli pointed to the This is The information suggests the appropriate object and manner pointer is help message sensitive retrieve Using as the identified Once next task area has been the context 50 information in step to determine the icon activated referred its it done the help database appropriate is keys query is made to the 106 The database returns the most Deciding by associating sometimes area with with to linking icon help information is which message art pointer sensitive icon has There icon In corresponding least Each most appropriate accomplished are associated at one help message for algorithm and ss will Such not be algorithms described by pre-selected well known in the here may that be more than one help message system each one in detail event the computer in must select Having for the calculated the amount of display the method then area needed an area of place hold the of the help messages All of the stored in Ideally the manner described for below are help message locates to to to help messages database in the various programs systems the the computer are memory pro 60 video in which computers display bubble The area should be large enough entire the the help messages written parts during message as well as relatively close the icon grams development evolve sages further detail As various generates of the program help about additional mes which help information is sought Instep 110 the bubble is drawn on the help message the is display it and In the the Thus the help database evolves in an interactive manner While the preferred embodiment contemplates developing other the help database can by this appropriate preferred shape 65 placed bubble within has embodiment rounded small rectangular one of the at the technique any with has corners pointed Additionally equivalent methods are the be used If for example existing corners selected thin extension directed are the help messages being written for an will pro the icon with The borders of the bubble the relatively gram then all of messages be written at lines help message In presented completely the same time within their confines the preferred embodiment APMW0013199 5287448 10 bubble has height-to-width ratio is of 23 The manner is in in the operating is system of the computer because within steps the system instructions This which above bubbles of the size of the bubble calculated described approach not need advantageous be repeated the do Of course can be differently shaped and dimensioned the to each in used without departing bubble line from is scope gram system message each Instead various as pro the present method application the present invention usually The placed on an are implemented sub-routines within the operating the help for imaginary ter horizontal to connecting the cen The application program the areas provides of the video does display the icon obscure In this manner the the icon database and appropriate and coordinates bubble not overlay and in Of course to of the pointer to to sensitive for the appropriate sensitive the bubble the same may be placed other locations achieve 10 pointers areas is the database each of the pointer For example the bubble may always be located immediately below the icon The bubble is fur result ther to the operating system whenever the help mode all activated located near the icon so as to be readily an illustration identifiable the necessary 108 and The operating system then performs functions e.g steps 102 103 104 of 106 the user FIG is of graphic bubble containing computer help message display which has been to drawn on 15 FIG the present invention 110 to implement shows flowchart of an alternative diagram according the method of the pres- embodiment operating ner to perform operating functions ent invention In the preferred system where the application program and work together in an interactive the steps of the present invention performs the man the the embodiment until the the help message an action mains on the display causes its is user takes re which help are 20 and of system some the but not all removal As noted above all when the which implement program in calls present invention That mode erased the deactivated in step 114 of the bubbles is the application are stored can use sets of instructions as sub-routines Alternatively requests special the bubble may be removed when icon at which typically the operating system to user help about case of different by making system to those the subroutines steps as of the The removal positioning the help pointer operating invention 25 perform of the present in pull-down process menu sub-commands illustrates the display when the messages are removed each points to different The application in step program whether shown FIG pro determines the system in 201 the user has placed time the pointer to icon By pointing the help mode Then the application the user command title in the menu bar and activating in the e.g help gram structed in step the 202 determines to exit the whether help mode If has in pressing button on the menu the mouse the pointer are the system item on item on or has selected mode sub-commands are displayed help pointer When down 30 to particular particular the screen the the user has selected the subcominands displayed screen or e.g by either pointing merely 203 may be positioned over subcommand When this hap and selecting to an icon alternatively by the help pointer pens the present invention determines is at area Next the appropriate help pointer sensitive pointing associates an icon the application of the then program icon with in step the users selection key key database message and tion until is is retrieved in based on the context next to the of the system first look-up 35 bointer to the and provides the database displayed bubble menu opdisplayed second look-up operating the system of the computer will typically to This subcommand the help message proceeds juncture remains to As explained above application use deter help pointer down points the the coordinates of the pointer database look-up the sensitive areas subcommand ascertains that At this the present invention different initiates 40 mine nates the appropriate the database table to look-up key the help pointer the for first now to and key the coordi in may be provided are cross- icon This removes process There is help message and look-up referenced operating such as where will coordinates the display the second to sub-commands the pointer for help the database look-up key In return the message select no need or activate or system perform standardized from functions the subcommand item separately each retrieving calculating the help information the help and subcommand The foregoing ent invention is database description the size of the graphic the graphic selected bubble has assumed that the pres- 45 locating and displaying bubble containing dis accomplished by means of single com the information play on portions the of the video With this single computer program all puter program of the steps of the present invention are performed by an application As shown in step 210 system software operat look-up key to ing system uses vided 50 the database which is pro soft program an and running on the computer system by the application program as retrieve the help As used herein that is application distinct program is is program systems of information from the help database The system separate from the computer system ware shown diagrammatically the location size 204 then of calculates operating computer tions system An operating sequence and and graphical displays contents the help in instructions which such it perform as the basic func with and the 55 message graphic in step 211 the help message of the computer communications bubble in step 212 embodiment user to of the his keyboards input-output memory may be in the management desirable to application -second alternative Bubbled help like In some instances include to Help method allows generate own appropriate accomplish programming all program messages activation Allowing user-written help requires separate another switch of the steps of the such present invention In mechanism activate For example notepad keystroke other instances may not be desirable For example all of the instructions which are the method of the present inven required to implement tion may result in the application program being unac however an approach ceptably for the could 60 user message additional it help could vated ated mode the an or during the or help menu item notepad is initiate Once the user message help message icon or event acti user inputs particular the which is associ is large Also the existence of the instructions with in This message present invention application therefore may slow that will down the operation 65 stored quent of the It is program intended alternative computers memory Then upon subse the bubble containing help mode activation help message an improved computer appears embodiments part to user supplied of the present invention for include at least of the of the Accordingly information to method of supplying help user has been provided In instructions the execution method be stored APMW0013200 5287448 11 the foregoing scribed 12 has been Specification reference be to the invention certain de necting said said first pictorial icon and center pointer to said of with It exemplary skilled embodi in video display substantially adjacent first ments that will appreciated examples by those the art pictorial icon as these specific may be varied without The method graphic not to bubble is described in claim video wherein display said so as departing tion from the broader of these scope of the present invenhave been described displayed on said first said Some Others variations overlap with as is pictorial in icon wherein in said above should tive are possible in The foregoing rather Specification The method graphic having 10 described substantially claim be regarded an illustrative being than restric bubble rounded rectangular shape sense the invention limited only by the fol corners and which incorporates said lowing claims claim computer interface system having video display pointed extension extending said from one of pictorial in corners of We In bubble towards as said first icon wherein such said its and The method described claim graphic tion steps to method of providing computer system help informa comprising the 15 rectangular graphic bubble ratio as is has dimensions to that user of said height-to-width equal two-to-three in of first 10 The method first described area has pictorial claim wherein said associating help first message pictorial and icon second having display help first pointer sensitive with the first shape icon in substantially coin message pointer computer activating with sensitive cident area on video of said 11 The method first as described area the is claim wherein said system concurrent help mode first pointer sensitive and surrounds as substantially pictorial in rectangular in icon wherein said of said computer 20 shape first system in response said to user input to said help mode over com pro 12 The method pointer described of claim puter system ing without concurrent precedence function has the shape activated question mark after said help taking another said mode 25 is gram operating puter system until in said computer in system com help 13 The method of claim sensitive said wherein of said first pointer remaining the concurrent area has first set set Cartesian coordinates mode moving first deactivated on said pointer has of second current is of Cartesian coordinates of said as pointer pointer graphic interface over said said first representative location pointer said said and first sensitive area associated with wherein pointer said pointer identified being over pictorial selecting icon of the first sensitive area by determining is whether subset sec first one help message with said and the second pictorial in said 30 ond set set of Cartesian coordinates of said help icon message from associated first of Cartesian coordinates help message database stored 14 subset The method and of claim second further subset including and first computers computer based memory system factors based the upon context being of the of steps subset of steps wherein context determined of the 35 system the the ating first of the steps are implemented to by an oper upon the including status sophistication system and are accessible each application multiplicity of appli user and calculating selected locating current size of the computer to cation programs ing the second program implement to user of graphic bubble contain subset for of steps help information help message selected size 15 of said to method computer providing in portion sufficient graphic interface said of 40 system an interactive computing comprising envi the having accommodate ronment steps including graphic interface graphic bubble displaying said said selected of first help message to said user in associating help first message and second help graphic bubble is on said video display sensitive while said area dis 45 message sensitive with area pictorial icon having of said pointer pointer over said first pointer of video display computer play of said selected help message not preempting said system activating first operation of another computer system said selected said program operating within said concurrent user input to said help mode computer in response said to graphic bubble and and being posi system without con said tioned within removing bubble said selected portion current graphic is help mode over functioning taking pre in help message display said cedence 50 another said program concurrent operating from video when said pointer computer maining monitoring play of system active help mode re no longer over said first pointer sensitive area The method as described in claim wherein said method is accomplished stored program in system by software of said computer system until deactivated of by the user video is the position said pointer until said on dis posi computer the pointer pictorial pointer area which can be invoked 55 tioned with over first sensitive associated by an application program The method as described method is accomplished in stored in said an application the icon the positioning icon of the in part claim wherein said pointer over the first pictorial representing by system and software in part help request determining being 60 computer memory program running on said as systems by sys context of the help request the context based computer determined upon factors including state tem The first sophistication of the user and current of the method described in claim wherein said computer selecting system of the first user input keyboard comprises of said as depressing system in preselected key one help message and the second on computer described first help message wherein selection said 65 based selected in upon the context for first The first method input claim displaying pictorial said help message said said first user comprises of said as menu in from icon pull down menu The method portion proximity to said said pictorial graphic interface claim wherein line said icon in being over graphic bubble displayed while sensitive selected pointer help message is described positioned preempting selected is located along an imaginary con- the pointer area without APMW0013201 5287448 13 operation computer said set 14 operating in of another program the said concurrent help mode the remaining active until system deactivated by user the position the video of said is method being accomplished of instructions said in by means of device being of said subset stored means for monitoring pointer and over first memory com of an determining pictorial for trol whether said pointer puter system operating an instructions icon on system application program which can be called by program running on said computer of claim set display to and said means monitoring device for to being monitor coupled the said pointer con position of said of the pointer system 16 The method means 15 wherein said determining context is the computer first pointer 10 sensitive said area has position system icon factors when the the pointer being over first of Cartesian coordinates and second pointer set is pictorial context determined of state based user pointer has said pointer set of Cartesian coor identified as upon of the dinates and wherein the including system sophistication being positioned ing whether subset over the sensitive area by determin is computer and current of the com help second set of Cartesian coordinates puter system 15 first of the first of Cartesian coordinates further means for selecting and second retrieving one of based first 17 subset The method of claim 16 of steps subset including and message context and both help message first upon the second picto first and second subset are of steps wherein of said being help message with the and and the ating first of the steps are implemented to by an oper of appli 20 help message rial associated for system and accessible application multiplicity icon said means to selecting for retrieving to cation programs each program implementinterface being coupled said means is monitoring said first ing the second subset of steps including to determine graphic rial when and displaying the pointer over picto 18 for computer system icon for providing help information said user of said comprising com 25 means for said selected help message display to said said in puter system pointer of computer device video system for graphic bubble on said video means for control controlling the position said displaying and being retrieving to said coupled to means pointer on display of computer selecting provide for said selected said system help activating message means being displaying while means said for concurrent in help mode first of said input to 30 selected help message is displayed the computer system response said taking to user pointer empting over the first pictorial icon without pre computer system without concurrent precedence help mode over the operation of another program operat functioning an ing in the computer system other program operating in said computer system 35 40 45 50 55 60 65 APMW0013202

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