METHOD AND SYSTEM FOR
CONTROLLING A CD-ROM DRIVE IN AN
REDUCED POWER MODE
This application is a continuation of Ser. No. 08/879,876, filed Jun. 20, 1997 now U.S. Pat. No. 6,073,187.
This application is related to the following co-pending, commonly owned United States Patent Application which is hereby incorporated by references.
U.S. patent application Ser. No. 08/846,641, filed on Apr. 30, 1997, entitled "COMPUTER SYSTEM CAPABLE OF PLAYING AUDIO CDS IN A CD-ROM DRIVE INDEPENDENT OF AN OPERATING SYSTEM," to William E. Jacobs, Dan V. Forlenza, James L. Mondshine, Tim L. Zhang, Greg B. Memo, Kevin R. Frost, and Lonnie J. Pope now U.S. Pat. No. 6,006,285.
BACKGROUND OF THE INVENTION
1. Field of the Invention
The present invention relates to controls and indicators, including master volume control buttons, a status indicator, and a control switch for a secondary operational mode of a computer system such as a mode for playing audio CDs in a CD-ROM drive independent of an operating system.
2. Description of the Related Art
Operating a CD-ROM drive in a computer system has required booting an operating system and loading and utilizing a CD-ROM drive application. The RAM-based CD-ROM device driver of the CD-ROM drive application allowed for operation of the CD-ROM drive. The lengthy duration of the booting process for an operating system and the considerable user interaction required by a CD-ROM drive application render playing an audio CD in the CD-ROM drive of a computer system, as opposed to in a conventional audio CD player, undesirable. An audio CD player, unlike a CD-ROM drive of a computer system, does not involve a timely initialization process and substantial user interaction. As such, despite the CD-ROM drive present in conventional computer systems, users have maintained a separate audio CD player in place of the portable computer. In addition, where a user is away from his or her audio CD player, a conventional computer system due to its initialization and user interaction requirements is unsuited to playing an audio CD as quickly and easily as allowed by a conventional audio CD player. Because of the initialization process and user interaction required, portable computer users would often carry a separate audio CD player for music listening even though the portable computer had music playing capability. Also, since a CD-ROM drive application was dependent upon an operating system, it was necessary to use a display screen to visually indicate to the user when a CD-ROM drive application was being operated. As such, portable computer users have been required to maintain the portable computer case containing a portable computer in its open state to determine the status of a CD-ROM drive application.
Further, a conventional computer system has required a user to access numerous locations, software and hardware, to adjust the volume and other settings of various audio sources such as a CD, wave, and synthesizer for music listening. These locations typically include a mixer in a Windows CD-ROM drive application for controlling the volume of audio sources, a software master volume control
in a Windows task bar, and a hardware volume thumbwheel. As these volume control sources controlled volume independent of each other, it was necessary for a user to sort through cumbersome CD-ROM drive software to adjust the 5 volume of the appropriate audio sources. In light of the software nature of certain volume controls, it was also necessary to maintain the portable computer case in its open state with the display screen visible to a user to allow for certain volume adjustments during music listening.
SUMMARY OF THE INVENTION
With the present invention, a user is capable of accomplishing several control and monitoring functions whether a portable computer case is maintained in a closed state or
15 open state. These functions include toggling a control switch to place the computer system in a secondary operational mode, determining when the computer system is in a secondary operational mode, and adjusting digital master volume control during the secondary operational mode. The
20 portable computer system of the present invention includes a status indicator for indicating when a computer is in a secondary operational mode, digital master volume control buttons operable in a secondary operational mode, and a control switch for placing the computer system in a second
25 ary operational mode. The status indicator, master volume control buttons, and control switch are preferably provided on the top surface of the bottom shell of the portable computer for convenient access by a user. Thus, a user is able to of placing the computer system in a secondary
30 operational mode and determining when the computer system is in a secondary operational mode without opening the portable computer case. A user is able to adjust volume control during a secondary operation mode without the need for tedious, cumbersome tasks, such as to access a plurality
35 of volume controls, sort through software to adjust the volumes of the audio sources, or open the portable computer case to visualize volume controls for the audio sources on the computer's main display screen.
40 BRIEF DESCRIPTION OF THE DRAWINGS
A better understanding of the present invention can be obtained when the following detailed description of the preferred embodiment is considered in conjunction with the 45 following drawings, in which:
FIG. 1 is a schematic diagram of a portable computer system showing an audio CD mode ROM, audio CD mode switch, status indicator, and master volume control buttons of the present invention; 50 FIG. 2 is a diagram of the firmware code in the audio CD mode ROM of FIG. 1 for the keyboard controller embodiment of the present invention;
FIG. 3 is a flow chart of the software initialization process for configuring the computer system of FIG. 1 for its master 55 volume control buttons;
FIG. 4 is an isometric view of a portable computer case containing the computer system of FIG. 1 in an open state;
FIG. 5 is an isometric view of the portable computer case 60 of FIG. 4 in a closed state;
FIG. 6 is an enlarged plan view illustrating the portion of the top surface of the bottom shell of the portable computer case of FIG. 4 circled and having the numeral "6" designating same, showing in more detail the status indicator, 65 master volume control buttons, and audio CD mode switch;
FIG. 7 is a state diagram of the power control states of the computer system of FIG. 1; and