Method for temporarily locking out print jobs on a network copier

Method for temporarily locking out print jobs on a network copier
US006026258A
United States Patent [19]
[11] Patent Number:
Fresk et al.
[45]
[54]
Date of Patent:
METHOD FOR TEMPORARILY LOCKING
5,528,374
()UT PRINT JOBS ()N A NETWORK COPIER
WHEN A COPIER USER IS PRESENT
5,680,227 10/1997 Picard
5,715,066 2/1998 Kurita et al.
5,859,710 1/1999 Hannah
Inventors: JI Sean Fresk,
Dellas GI
6,026,258
Feb. 15, 2000
6/1996 Matias ................................... .. 358/296
OIlO ................................... ..
gfr3152155311 25%“ R‘ Gunmng’ both
.. 358/468
. 358/296
358/296
X
Primary Examiner—Susan S. Y. Lee
[57]
[73] Assignee: Hewlett-Packard Company
ABSTRACT
A multiple-function copier includes a printer, a scanner, a
[21]
APPL NO; 09/181,061
[22]
Filed?
user interface, and a communications mechanism. The
printer is con?gured to receive print jobs from a network
environment. The scanner is operatively coupled With the
Oct- 27, 1998
[51] Int. c1.7 ........................... .. G03G 15/00H04N
1/32_
_
’
_
user.
[52]
US. Cl. ............................... .. 399/87, 358/296,339999//811,
a print mode and a Copy mode‘ The user interface is
_
Fleld of Search ................................ ..
associated With one of the printer and the scanner and is
accessible
a walk_up user‘ The user interface is Operative
77, 85,
399/1’ 87; 395/106’ 113; 358/468’ 296
,
[56]
PrimeTrhand
con?gufiedhto receive copyljobs frlom a walk'up
e printer an t e scanner are se ective y operative in
to detect submission of a copy job to the scanner by a
Walk-up user. The communications mechanism is signal
References Clted
us PATENT DOCUMENTS
coupled With the printer and the scanner, and is operative to
automatically con?gure the printer and the scanner for
operation in the copy mode in response to a Walk-up user
1213;
glrirdei‘svesit :11‘ """""""""" "
interacting With the user interface. A method is also pro
5,299,296
3/1994 Padalino etal. .
395/112
5,454,067
9/1995
395/106
5,511,150
4/1996 Beaudet et al. ....................... .. 395/113
Tsai ................ ..
14
Vlded'
20 Claims, 6 Drawing Sheets
U.S. Patent
Feb. 15,2000
Sheet 1 0f6
6,026,258
U.S. Patent
Feb. 15,2000
Sheet 3 0f6
6,026,258
RESERVE PRINTER
BYTE
0
1
2
3
0
:ZESéfjV/E PRINTER RE0uEsT
MESSAGE LENGTH (72)
4
RESERVED (0)
CLIENT ID
a
250W“ TYPE
PRIOR/TY
RESERVED (0)
1
2
i?‘ijggcf
u/vREsERvE PR/NTER
BYTE
0
0
3
u/vREsERvE PRINTER REQUEST MESSAGE LENGTH (72)
ID (2)
RESERVED (0)
REouEsT TYPE
(0)
CLIENT ID
RESERVED
RESERVED (0)
1.1g]
SEQUENCE
NUMBER
U.S. Patent
Feb. 15,2000
Sheet 4 0f6
6,026,258
F__ ":2
i5?
[ ScANNER IDLE J\57
S2
fSJ
ScANNER/
PROCESS SCANNER/
PRINTER STA TUS
CHANGED?
PRINTER STATUS EVENT
/ S5
S4
KEY PRESSED?
'
YES PROCESS
THE PRESSED]
KEY (SCANNER
IDLE)
INAC TIVI TY
TIMEOUT
ELAPSED?
S7
/
RESET DEFAULT COPY
SETTINGS AND DISPLAY
MAIN TAB SHEET
NO
59
"RESERVE
PRINTER " REOUES T
CURRENTLY
ACTIVE?
"RESERVE
YES
PRINTER" TIMEOUT
*
" YES
ELAPSED
510
/
SEND "UNRESERVE
PRINTER" COMMAND
NO
V
U.S. Patent
Feb. 15,2000
Sheet 6 0f6
FROM FIG 2A
FROM FIG 2A
/
NEW
6,026,258
551 1
YES
COPY OUANTITY
plg’i’ja‘znA/fw
,
SELECTED?
K
TOUCH
SCREEN "HOT SPOT"
PRESSED?
YES
s5 13
PERFORM HOT
SPOT ACT/ON/
V
CALLBACK
K5575
"RESET"
KEY
PRESSED?
RESET DEFAULT
COPY SETTINGS
AND DISPLAY MAIN
TAB SHEET
No
T
5576
‘
/
RESET lNACT/VITY
AND "RESERVE
PRINTER" TIMERS
1?
g 5B
r___v—\
SCANNER IDLE
S577
6,026,258
1
2
METHOD FOR TEMPORARILY LOCKING
OUT PRINT JOBS ON A NETWORK COPIER
WHEN A COPIER USER IS PRESENT
operative for ordering printing of jobs on a strict ?rst-in,
?rst-out basis, and for prioritiZing facsimile jobs. HoWever,
Paradise, et al., provides a plurality of operating modes, one
of Which delivers print and copy jobs to an output queue in
the order in Which they are received, While facsimile jobs are
held in queue.
US. Pat. No. 5,299,296 to Padalino, et al,. discloses a
FIELD OF THE INVENTION
This invention relates to multiple function document
devices, and more particularly to the control of print jobs in
a netWork environment to a Walk-up copier that also oper
multiple-function machine having interleaved job eXecution.
ates as a printer When a Walk-up user submits a copy job to
the Walk-up copier.
Multiple-machine users are intermittently serviced via a
10
BACKGROUND OF THE INVENTION
In the past, printers have been located at central locations
Within multiple user environments. For example, individual
printers have often been located Within a netWork environ
ment Where the printer is capable of servicing multiple users.
interleaving of jobs is implemented so as to eliminate the
presence of unused time associated With the period required
to set up a particular job. Correspondingly, the machine
15
priority to a Walk-up user. Furthermore, such implementa
tion does not conditionally prepare the machine for use by
a Walk-up user in anticipation of a job being submitted. Even
(PCS) are linked Within a netWork to a single, dedicated
printer. Individual netWork users are then able to submit
print jobs to the printer from several locations. In the past,
furthermore, such machine does not contain a timeout fea
ture for returning such machine from a Walk-up user copy
mode to a netWork print mode.
Prior art solutions do not give any special priority to a
Walk-up copier user. Accordingly, a Walk-up user must Wait
it has been knoWn to queue print jobs based upon the source
of the print job, and further by assigning a priority to each
print job.
25
to the device and loading documents into the copier that
require copying. Such copiers are referred to as “Walk-up
copiers”. Such users are referred to as “Walk-up” users.
This invention relates to improvements to a common
printer/copier device that enable Walk-up users to more
ef?ciently copy documents Within a netWork print environ
35
This invention solves the problem of giving priority to a
Walk-up copier user over netWork print jobs.
According to one aspect of the invention, a multiple
function copier includes a printer, a scanner, a user interface,
and a communications mechanism. The printer is con?gured
to receive print jobs from a netWork environment. The
paper.
A typical copier contains a charge coupled device (CCD)
scanner is operatively coupled With the printer and con?g
45
ured to receive copy jobs from a Walk-up user. The printer
and the scanner are selectively operative in a print mode and
a copy mode. The user interface is associated With one of the
printer and the scanner and is accessible by a Walk-up user.
The user interface is operative to detect submission of a copy
job to the scanner by a Walk-up user. The communications
digital image data comprises a digitally formatted document
that forms a copy job. The copy job is then delivered to the
image generating device Where it is printed onto individual
mechanism is signal coupled With the printer and the
scanner, and is operative to automatically con?gure the
pieces of paper. For the case of large documents, an infeed
tray is used to deliver individual pages for scanning With the
printer and the scanner for operation in the copy mode in
charge coupled device.
The ability to implement multiple function features on a
ment.
SUMMARY OF THE INVENTION
photoreceptor and the intermediate image, thereby transfer
ring the intermediate image onto the individual pieces of
and an image generating device similar to the laser printer
described above. More particularly, the image present on a
document is scanned With the charge coupled device, Which
generates an image in the form of digital image data. Such
for any netWork print jobs in progress to complete before
they can make their copies. Furthermore, if a netWork print
job arrives While the user is setting up their copy job, the
printer Will begin processing that job. As a result, the user
must Wait for the netWork job to complete before they can
make their copies.
A typical printer contains an image generating device
such as a laser, and a photoreceptor such as a photoconduc
tor drum, typically referred to as a laser printer. A digitally
formatted document is sent in the form of a print job request
from a user at a host, or personal, computer. The print job
request comprises a digitally formatted document that is
doWnloaded from the host computer. The doWnloaded infor
mation is Written onto the photoreceptor by the laser. PoWder
toner is then used to generate an intermediate image. Indi
vidual pieces of paper are then placed into contact With the
operates by intermittently making progress on multiple jobs.
HoWever, such implementation does not give automatic
Typically, a plurality of individual personal computers
Also in the past, copiers have been located at central
locations Within multiple user environments. Typically, a
copier is provided at a central location Within an of?ce.
Multiple users are able to access the device by Walking over
sWitching scheme that is at least partially determined by the
set-up time required for a particular job to be completed. The
response to a Walk-up user interacting With the user inter
55
single document device has been recently developed.
HoWever, the provision of additional functionality to such
devices has further complicated the complexity of job
face.
According to another aspect of the invention, a multiple
function copy machine includes a printer, an image captur
ing device, a sensor and a processor. The printer is provided
Within a netWork environment and is operative to receive
requests that are submitted to such device. Not only are
multiple print jobs received, but other types of jobs are
print jobs. The image capturing device is associated With the
further received. In the case of a device capable of printing
printer and is operative to receive copy jobs from a Walk-up
user. The printer and the image capturing device are opera
tively associated for selective operation in a print mode and
and copying, both print jobs and copy jobs are capable of
being submitted to the same device by one or more users.
Hence, there eXist additional needs to choreograph the
handling of such multiple job requests.
US. Pat. No. 4,947,345 to Paradise, et al., discloses a
queue management process for a multi-mode machine
a copy mode. The sensor is con?gured to generate an
65
electrical signal representative of submission of a copy job
by a Walk-up user. The processor is coupled betWeen the
printer and the image capturing device, con?gured to receive
6,026,258
3
4
the sensor electrical signal. The processor is operative to
selectively enable the copy mode responsive to detection of
a copy job being submitted by a Walk-up user via the sensor.
According to yet another aspect of the invention, a
method is disclosed for operating a multiple-function
machine selectively in a print mode and a copy mode. The
method includes the steps of: detecting the presence of a
Walk-up user proximate the machine and indicative of a
numeral 10 in FIG. 1. Multiple function machine 10 is
generally implemented as a netWork copy machine or copier
provided Within a netWork environment 12. NetWork copy
copy job request; generating an electrical signal represen
With server 14 via netWork line 20. Alternatively, any of a
number of processor-based devices can be used to submit
tative of the detected user and the copy job request; sWitch
ing the operating mode of the machine from a print mode to
a copy mode responsive to the generated electrical signal;
machine 10 is connected to a netWork server 14 from Which
multiple users are able to submit print jobs via one or more
host computers 16 to machine 10. As shoWn in FIG. 1,
computer 16 comprises a personal computer (PC), Wherein
server 14 is signal coupled With copy machine 10 via a
netWork line 18, and personal computer 16 is signal coupled
10
print jobs to copy machine 10 such as pen-based computers,
Internet access devices, notebook and laptop computers,
handheld devices, larger mainframe computers, and even
other printers provided Within the same netWork environ
detecting the period of elapsed time passing since the last
detected presence of a Walk-up user; comparing the detected
period of elapsed time With a predetermined period of time;
and When the detected period of elapsed time exceeds the
15 ment 12.
As shoWn in FIG. 1, a portable electronic device 22 is
predetermined period of elapsed time, sWitching the oper
depicted communicating With copy machine 10. More
particularly, portable electronic device 22 is provided With
infra-red (IR) communications capabilities such that device
ating mode of the machine from the copy mode to the print
mode.
Objects, features and advantages are to provide an appa
ratus and method for giving a Walk-up copier user priority
over netWork print jobs in a manner that is efficient,
22 is capable of submitting copy jobs and/or print jobs to
copy machine 10. Such infra-red (IR) communications capa
bilities are provided via an infra-red (IR) communications
link 24 extending betWeen portable electronic device 22 and
economical, and easily implemented in the office netWork
copy machine 10.
environment.
25
In operation, device 22 communicates via communication
link 24 With a copier user interface 28 of copy machine 10
to submit a copy job. Copier user interface 28 also provides
a copy job user interface, in that a Walk-up user is able to
DESCRIPTION OF THE DRAWINGS
Preferred embodiments of the invention are described
beloW With reference to the folloWing accompanying draW
submit copy jobs directly into copier unit 34 via copier user
ings depicting examples embodying the best mode for
practicing the invention.
interface 28. Copy machine 10 includes a printer unit 30 and
a scanner unit 32. Scanner unit 32 cooperates With printer
unit 30 to provide a copier unit 34.
Computer 16 provides a print job user interface 26
FIG. 1 is a perspective vieW of one multiple function
netWork device embodied With features of this invention and
implemented Within a netWork environment as a copier also
having netWork printing capabilities.
through Which an individual netWork user is able to submit
35
FIG. 2 is a functional block diagram of a presently
preferred embodiment of the invention illustrating a system
for temporarily locking out print jobs on a netWork copier
When a Walk-up copier user is present.
program into language understood by the printer. Printer unit
FIG. 3 is a table illustrating the communications mecha
nism of FIG. 2 used by the copier to reserve the printer and
30 of copy machine 10 includes a printer engine operative to
print such print jobs onto paper. Typically, the printer engine
to interrupt netWork print jobs.
includes a laser and associated mechanisms for transferring
FIG. 4 is a ?oWchart illustrating one version of a simpli
?ed polling process for the copier of FIGS. 1—2.
FIGS. 5A and 5B together form a ?oWchart illustrating in
greater detail the step of processing a “pressed key”, as
shoWn in FIG. 4, Which places the copier scanner into an idle
print jobs to copy machine 10. For example, a user is able
to generate a multiple page text document via Word pro
cessing softWare, such as Microsoft Word for WindoWs, that
is resident on computer 16. Computer 16 includes a printer
driver that converts a printing request Within an application
toner onto the paper.
45
Printer unit 30 includes a printer user interface 36 having
a keypad and a display screen. Interface 36 enables user
con?guration of print characteristics during printing of print
jobs. Aprinter outfeed tray 42 is also provided on printer unit
mode.
30. Printed documents are delivered to outfeed tray 42 for
collection by a user.
DETAILED DESCRIPTION OF THE
INVENTION
Scanner unit 32 includes copier user interface 28 Which
serves to enable a Walk-up user to con?gure copy charac
This disclosure of the invention is submitted in further
teristics of copier unit 34. For example, paper siZe can be
ance of the constitutional purposes of the US. Patent LaWs
“to promote the progress of science and useful arts”. US.
selected via user interface 28. Additionally, or optionally, a
55
Constitution, Article 1, Section 8.
printed image can be lightened/darkened and/or enlarged/
ensmalled. Copy job interface 28 includes a key or keypad
44 and a display screen 46. Scanner unit 32 also includes a
scanner infeed tray 38 and a scanner outfeed tray 40. In
operation, a Walk-up user inserts a document into infeed tray
In illustrating an embodiment of the present invention, a
multiple function machine is shoWn With copy and print
capabilities that enable a Walk-up copier user to submit a
copy job to the machine in a manner that takes priority over
print jobs. HoWever, it is to be understood that such multiple
38. Individually scanned pages are then collected in outfeed
tray 40, after each page of the document is scanned via
function machine can involve other types of jobs in substi
scanner unit 32.
tution for print jobs, such as facsimile jobs.
A preferred embodiment of the invention is illustrated in
It is understood that user interfaces 28 and 36 can be
formed by any one or more of menus, display screens,
the accompanying draWings particularly shoWing a system
for extending functionality to a multiple function document
device or machine generally designated With reference
65
touchpads, keyboards, keypads, buttons, help screens, tactile
input devices, such as a mouse, and other input hardWare/
softWare.
6,026,258
6
5
FIG. 2 illustrates a functional block diagram of one
detect When a Walk-up user is present, or When a Walk-up
user is submitting a copy job 64 to copy machine 10.
According to a particular implementation, one or more
tactile sensors 56 are mounted in scanner infeed tray 38 (see
presently preferred embodiment of the invention depicted in
FIG. 1 illustrating a system for temporarily locking out one
or more print jobs 66 on a netWork copier When a Walk-up
user is submitting a copy job 64. More particularly, scanner
FIG. 1). Sensor 56 detects When a Walk-up user has placed
unit 32 and printer unit 30 are shoWn coupled together via
a serial bus 48. One suitable bus 48 is provided by an
IEEE-1394 serial bus. A corresponding IEEE-1394 interface
(not shoWn) is used to attach bus 48 to printer unit 30. An
opposite end of bus 48 terminates in a copy processor (CP)
card 50. Copy processor card 50 is installed into a slot 52
provided in scanner unit 32. Copy processor card 50
includes a copy processor 54 and performs image processing
and manages copier user interface (UI) 28. In operation,
copy processor card 50 cooperates With slot 52 to provide a
paper in document feeder or tray 38, or on the ?atbed portion
of scanner unit 32. Optionally, sensor 56 can be formed by
a proximity detector such as a capacitive, infra-red, or
microWave sensor.
10
As a result of the implementation depicted in FIG. 2,
communications mechanism 53 enables copier unit 34 to
reserve printer unit 30 When a Walk-up copier user arrives,
and to unreserve printer unit 30 When the user is done and
is no longer detected via sensor 56. Additionally, commu
15
communication mechanism 53 that interfaces With a central
nications mechanism 53 enables copier unit 34 to interrupt
a netWork print job 66 that is already in progress, and is
processing unit (CPU) 55 of scanning unit 32. Card 50 is
presently being printed on printer unit 30. Hence, such
operative to reserve and unreserve printer 30 When a Walk
54. Copy processor 54 forms the main processor for copier
Walk-up user is not made to Wait unnecessarily While
attempting to submit a copy job 64 to copy machine 10.
FIG. 3 illustrates implementation details of communica
tions mechanism 53 as used by copier unit 34, and more
particularly copy processor 54, to reserve printer unit 30 and
unit 34. Furthermore, copy processor 54 serves to
interrupt netWork print jobs 66 (of FIG. 2). Furthermore, the
up user is submitting a copy job 64 to copier unit 34 of
netWork copy machine 10.
Copy processor card 50 includes a copy processor (CP)
choreograph, via communications mechanism 53, the reser
vation of printer unit 30 and interruption of netWork print
jobs 66. Although IEEE-1394 bus 48 is a serial bus, copy
25
implementation details are shoWn for unreserving printer
unit 30 so as to resume netWork print jobs 66 after a Walk-up
user is done.
processor 54 only communicates With printer unit 30 over
bus 48 and operates as an accessory of printer unit 30.
As shoWn in FIG. 3, the communications mechanism for
reserving a printer is shoWn as “RESERVE PRINTER”. The
message “RESERVE PRINTER” is used by the copy
As further shoWn in FIG. 2, scanner unit 32 includes a
sensor 56 con?gured to detect When a Walk-up user has
loaded a copy job 34 into scanner 15 unit 32 of copy
machine 10. In one instance, sensor 56 provides a user
interface. According to one construction, sensor 56 is pro
processor, or client, to send a “RESERVE PRINTER”
request to the server, or printer. Here the server comprises an
application running on the printer. The delivery of such
message, “RESERVE PRINTER”, causes the server to
vided at a location Within scanner infeed tray 38 (of FIG. 1)
request the printer job channel. Once the server has locked
into the job channel, no print jobs from any other sources can
be initiated.
For purposes of FIG. 3, “priority” refers to an enumera
such that the presence of a document Within tray 38 can be
detected. Alternatively, sensor 56 can be an optical, electri
cal and/or mechanical sensor provided on one of the platen,
platen cover, glass, or any component of the ?atbed. Further
tion specifying the priority of a particular request. The
optionally, sensor 56 can be formed by any detector asso
folloWing priorities are supported by implementation details
ciated With the printer and/or scanner and operative to detect
of Applicant’s communication mechanism:
eJobBoundary (0)—lock the job channel at the neXt print
the presence of a Walk-up user and/or the submission of a
copy job.
job boundary.
Printer unit 30 of copy machine 10 also includes a print
eMopyBoundary (1)—lock the job channel at the neXt
processor 58, a printer engine 60 and an input/output (I/O)
mopy boundary. A mopy is an individual copy Within a
timer 62. Print processor 58 comprises a central processing
mopy (“Multiple Original Print”) job.
unit (CPU) forming the processing hardWare in printer unit
30. Printer engine 60 comprises the portion of printer unit 30
that actually performs printing. For eXample, in a laser
printer the printer engine includes the laser and the mecha
ePageBoundary (2)—lock the job channel at the neXt page
boundary. This interrupts the current job at the end of
the current page.
nism used to transfer toner onto paper.
Also according to FIG. 3, the “UNRESERVE PRINTER”
message is used by the copy processor, or client, in order to
According to one implementation, printer engine 60 con
sists of a 32 ppm Wide-format printer engine that Will be sold
under the model name “Mopier 320”, and a 32 ipm Wide
format duplex scanner unit 32 that Will be sold under the
send a “UNRESERVE PRINTER” request to the printer, or
server. This message causes the server to release the printer
job channel if it has been locked. Once the server has
model name “Digital Copy 320”. Since printer engine 60
unlocked the job channel, print jobs from other sources can
begin. Accordingly, the messages depicted in FIG. 3 illus
and printer unit 30 cooperate to form a netWork printer, and
scanner unit 32 adds copying capability to it, the tWo
together form netWork copy machine 10.
for a copy processor (CP) for reserving and unreserving a
55
trate one implementation for a communication mechanism
printer.
Applicant’s invention provides several improvements
In operation, the copy processor (CP) Will process inputs
from the copier user interface 28 (see FIG. 2). For eXample,
over the prior art machines. One such improvement results
in that netWork copy machine 10 is formed from netWork
printer unit 30 and copier unit 30. Copier unit 30 is created
by adding scanner unit 32 to printer unit 30. Another
improvement is the provision of a copier user interface (UI)
on copy machine 10. Optionally, one or more user-activated
sensors 56 can be provided on copier unit 34 in order to
the copy processor Will process When a key is pressed by a
Walk-up user via user interface keys on keypad 44. In this
manner, the copy processor can periodically check for
65
printer status changes according to the implementation
details depicted in FIGS. 4 and 5A—B. In one case, the copier
user interface may be managed by the copy processor via the
6,026,258
7
8
scanner unit CPU. In another case, the copier user interface
source) received after the printer unit receives the request.
may be integrated With the printer user interface. In the latter
case, ?rmware Within the printer unit Will process copier
user interface key presses on behalf of the copier unit.
While in a “scanner idle” state, copy processor (CP) 54
Will periodically check for state changes from sensor 56, key
The copy processor Will cancel the “RESERVE PRINTER”
request after an inactivity timeout by sending an “UNRE
SERVE PRINTER” request (Step “S510”). The printer unit
can also automatically cancel the request after an I/O tim
eout period. Thereafter, the scanner is idle (Step “S517”).
In summary, a Walk-up user is provided With several
presses (e.g., hard keys from keypad 44 and/or touch screen
display 46) and changes in operating status for printer unit
30 and scanner unit 32 (see FIG. 2). An inactivity timer 68
is reset Whenever a key is pressed or a copy job is completed
10
(as detected With the sensor). If inactivity timer 68 expires,
the copy processor (CP) Will set settings on a control panel
70 back to their default values and display the main tab
sheet. According to one implementation, inactivity timer 68
is operated to detect inactivity from a Walk-up user eXtend
ing continuously on the order of 15—30 seconds.
advantages With Applicant’s invention. If a netWork print
job arrives after the Walk-up copier user has arrived at the
copier machine, the netWork job Will be held off. The
netWork job Will later start after the copier user is done.
Additionally, if a netWork print job is already in progress
When the user arrives, the user can interrupt the netWork
print job in order to make their copies.
In compliance With the statute, the invention has been
15
described in language more or less speci?c as to structural
and methodical features. It is to be understood, hoWever, that
the invention is not limited to the speci?c features shoWn
and described, since the means herein disclosed comprise
FIGS. 4 and 5A—B shoW ?oWcharts illustrating imple
mentation of a simpli?ed polling process for multiple func
tion copy machine 10 depicted and described With reference
to FIGS. 1—3. Such polling process provides one technique
preferred forms of putting the invention into effect. The
for determining Whether a Walk-up user is submitting a copy
invention is, therefore, claimed in any of its forms or
modi?cations Within the proper scope of the appended
job to the copy machine, requiring that any print jobs be
delayed and/or interrupted. HoWever, there is no require
claims appropriately interpreted in accordance With the
doctrine of equivalents.
What is claimed is:
ment that the copy processor use a polling process.
Optionally, the copy processor may use an interrupt-driven
process instead. Although not shoWn on the ?oWcharts of
25
1. A multiple-function copier, comprising:
a printer con?gured to receive print jobs from a netWork
environment;
FIGS. 4 and 5A—B beloW, some status events may cause the
copy processor to return to an earlier state. For example, if
a scanner operatively coupled With the printer and con
?gured to receive copy jobs from a Walk-up user, the
the printer unit is poWer cycled or the 1394 bus is reset, the
copy processor may need to resynchroniZe With the printer
printer and the scanner selectively operative in a print
mode and a copy mode;
a user interface associated With one of the printer and the
scanner and accessible by a Walk-up user, the user
unit. Furthermore, other status events may cause the copy
processor to enter a device attendance mode (e.g., scan lamp
failure).
interface operative to detect submission of a copy job
When a key on the copier user interface is pressed (Step
“S4” of FIG. 4), the copy processing Will debounce the key
(if necessary) and process it. If a stop key on the copier user
interface is pressed (Step “S502” of FIG. 5A), and if a
35
previously scanned copy job is still being printed (Step
to the scanner by a Walk-up user; and
a communications mechanism signal coupled With the
printer and the scanner, and operative to automatically
con?gure the printer and the scanner for operation in
the copy mode in response to a Walk-up user interacting
“S503” of FIG. 5A), the copy processor Will send a job
With the user interface.
cancel request (Step “S504”) to the printer unit.
2. The multiple-function copier of claim 1 Wherein the
Optionally, if an interrupt key is also provided on the
user interface comprises a sensor provided on one of the
copier user interface and the interrupt key is pressed (not
printer and the scanner and con?gured to be activated by a
shoWn in FIGS. 4 and 5A, B), the copy processor Will send
a “reserve printer (mopy boundary)” or “reserve printer
user interacting With the user interface.
(page boundary)” request (Step “S507”) to the printer unit.
3. The multiple-function copier of claim 2 Wherein the
45 scanner further includes an infeed tray, the sensor opera
Such interrupt key can also be provided as a touchscreen
tively associated With the infeed tray to detect the presence
key. Whether the copy processor sends the mopy boundary
or the page boundary version depends on the speci?c
of a copy job received therein from a Walk-up user.
technique being implemented. This request (Step “S507”)
communications mechanism comprises a serial bus.
4. The multiple-function copier of claim 1 Wherein the
5. The multiple-function copier of claim 1 Wherein the
Will cause the printer unit to suspend the current print job,
communications mechanism comprises a copy processor.
if it is printing one, at the mopy or page boundary. The
printer unit Will also hold off netWork print jobs (or jobs
6. The multiple-function copier of claim 1 Wherein the
from any other I/O source) received after the printer receives
the request. The copy processor Will then cancel the
“RESERVE PRINTER” request after an inactivity timeout
user interface comprises an LCD touchscreen display.
7. The multiple-function copier of claim 1 Wherein the
55 user interface comprises a user-activated sensor provided on
has passed (Step “S6”) by sending an “UNRESERVE
PRINTER” request (Step “S10”). The suspended job Will be
the copier and operative to detect the presence of a Walk-up
user.
resumed at that time. The printer unit has an I/O timeout
period, and if the copy processor fails to either send addi
tional 1/0 or cancel the request Within the I/O timeout
8. The multiple-function copier of claim 7 further com
prising an inactivity timer operatively associated With the
period, the printer unit Will automatically cancel the request.
When any key eXcept the stop key or interrupt key is
to measure a predetermined period of time after Which the
printer and the scanner are returned to a print mode.
pressed, or if a user-activated sensor changes state, the copy
9. The multiple-function copier of claim 1 Wherein the
user interface comprises a keypad operable by the Walk-up
processor Will send a “reserve printer (job boundary)”
request (Step “S507”) to the printer unit. This Will cause the
printer unit to ?nish the current print job, if it is printing one,
and hold off netWork print jobs (or jobs from any other I/O
communications mechanism, the inactivity timer operative
65
user to send a copy job cancel request to the printer such that
a previously scanned copy job presently being printed can be
interrupted.
6,026,258
9
10
10. The multiple-function copier of claim 1 wherein the
user interface comprises an interrupt key operable by a
Walk-up user to suspend a current print job on the printer,
perform image processing, Wherein the processor is pro
vided Within the copy processor card.
16. The copy machine of claim 15 Wherein the sensor
comprises a copier user interface, the processor operative to
manage the copier user interface.
17. A method for operating a multiple-function machine
and to initiate a copy job.
11. The multiple-function copier of claim 10 further
comprising an input/output timer associated With the printer
selectively in a print mode and a copy mode, comprising the
steps of:
and operative to cancel a copy job request after a predeter
mined period of time has passed Wherein additional copy job
requests are absent.
12. A multiple-function copy machine, comprising:
10
generating an electrical signal representative of the
a printer provided Within a netWork environment and
detected user and the copy job request;
sWitching the operating mode of the machine from a print
operative to receive print jobs;
an image capturing device associated With the printer and
operative to receive copy jobs from a Walk-up user;
the printer and the image capturing device operatively
mode to a copy mode responsive to the generated
15
electrical signal;
detecting a period of elapsed time passing since the last
associated for selective operation in a print mode and a
detected presence of a Walk-up user;
copy mode;
comparing the detected period of elapsed time With a
predetermined period of time; and
a sensor con?gured to generate an electrical signal rep
resentative of submission of a copy job by a Walk-up
When the detected period of elapsed time eXceeds the
predetermined period of elapsed time, sWitching the
user; and
a processor coupled With the printer and the image
capturing device, con?gured to receive the sensor elec
trical signal, and operative to selectively enable the
copy mode of operation responsive to detection of a
copy job being submitted by a Walk-up user.
detecting the presence of a Walk-up user proximate the
machine and indicative of a copy job request;
operating mode of the machine from the copy mode to
the print mode.
25
18. The method of claim 17 Wherein the step of detecting
the presence of a Walk-up user comprises detecting the
presence of a print job document Within a document feeder
13. The copy machine of claim 12 Wherein the sensor
comprises a contact sensor provided Within a document
of the multiple-function machine.
19. The method of claim 17 Wherein the step of detecting
feeder of the image capturing device.
the presence of a Walk-up user comprises measuring actua
14. The copy machine of claim 12 Wherein the sensor
comprises a user interface associated With the copier, acces
Walk-up user.
tion of a user key on a user interface of the machine by a
sible by the Walk-up user, and operative to con?gure the
20. The method of claim 17 Wherein the steps of detecting
machine in the copy mode of operation When a user interacts
the presence of a Walk-up user and generating an electrical
signal comprises actuation of a key on a user interface by a
Walk-up user.
With the user interface.
15. The copy machine of claim 12 further comprising a
serial bus provided betWeen the printer and the image
capturing device and a copy processor card operative to
35
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