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Title:
STORAGE RACK FOR SOFTWARE DISCS FOR MICRO COMPUTERS
Document Type and Number:
WIPO Patent Application WO/1986/006599
Kind Code:
A1
Abstract:
A storage rack for software discs for micro computers is readily mountable to the side of the CRT used in conjunction with micro computers. The rack includes a base (8), front (4) and rear (6) walls, at least one side wall (14) and partitions (10) for defining compartments within the rack for storage of different software discs. A metal plate (16) is affixed to the rear wall of the rack to provide magnetic shielding of the software discs in the rack. In the preferred embodiment of the invention, the base of the rack is stepped outwardly in a direction from the front to the rear of the rack so that the software discs stored therein are arranged in a physically ascending order. A sidewall of the rack can also be tapered so that the software discs stored in the rack are also separated laterally to provide further easy access to individual discs by the user.

Inventors:
ALLEN JOHN CARLIN JR (US)
ALLEN KIMBERLY JOHNSTON (US)
YOLLES MARTIN ALAN (US)
Application Number:
PCT/US1986/001041
Publication Date:
November 20, 1986
Filing Date:
May 13, 1986
Export Citation:
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Assignee:
DATASECURE SYSTEMS INC (US)
International Classes:
A47B81/00; A47B81/06; G11B33/04; (IPC1-7): A47G19/08
Foreign References:
US0129374A1872-07-16
US3571999A1971-03-23
US3816836A1974-06-11
US4387802A1983-06-14
US4485421A1984-11-27
US0277969A1883-05-22
US4339628A1982-07-13
Other References:
Lit-Ning Products Catalog, pg. 2, 1970
See also references of EP 0222000A4
Download PDF:
Claims:
CLAIMS
1. A storage rack for recorded digital information for computers including: a base; fr_Snt and rear walls extending upwardly from said base; at least one partition extending upwardly from said base and disposed between said front and rear walls, said front and rear walls and said at least one partition defining storage compartments on said base for storing said recorded information, and means for removably mounting said rack to said computer.
2. The storage rack as claimed in claim 1 further including means for magnetically shielding said storage rack.
3. The storage rack as claimed in claim 2 wherein said means for magnetically shielding includes a shielding plate affixed to the rear surface of said rear wall of said rack.
4. The storage rack as claimed in claim 2 wherein said means for magnetically shielding includes a shielding plate embedded within said rear wall of said rack.
5. The storage rack of claim 3 wherein said rack is adapted to be mounted to a CRT display for said computer and said means for mounting is affixed to said plate such that said plate is disposed between said CRT and said storage rack when said storage rack is mounted to said CRT.
6. The storage rack as claimed in claim 2 wherein said base is flat.
7. The storage rack as claimed in claim 2 further including a sidewall extending upwardly from said base and connecting said front and rear walls along side end of said base.
8. The storage rack as claimed in claim 7 wherein said storage rack is open along the other side of said base for providing access to said rack through said opened side.
9. The storage rack as claimed in claim 2 wherein said base defines a plurality of steps.
10. The storage rack as claimed in claim 9 wherein said steps ascend in a direction from the front wall of said rack to the rear wall of said rack.
11. The storage rack as claimed is claim 2 wherein said base is defined by an inclined ramp.
12. The storage rack as claimed in claim 11 wherein said ramp is upwardly in'clined in a direction from said front wall towards said rear wall.
13. The storage rack as claimed in claim 2 wherein said at least one partition is greater in height than said front wall but less in height than said rear wall.
14. The storage rack as claimed in claim 9 wherein said steps have different lateral dimensions.
15. The storage rack as claimed in claim 14 wherein said lateral dimension of said steps increases in a direction from said front wall to said rear wall.
16. The storage rack as claimed in claim 14 wherein said lateral dimension of said steps decreases in a direction from said front wall to said rear wall.
17. The storage rack as claimed in claim 7 wherein said sidewall is angled outwardly in a direction from said front wall to said rear wall.
18. The storage rack as claimed in claim 7 wherein said sidewall is angled, inwardly in a direction from front surface to said rear surface.
19. A storage rack for recorded digital information units for computers including: a base, front and rear walls extending upwardly from said base, a plurality of partitions disposed between said front and rear walls and extending upwardly from said base for defining storage compartments on said base, said base being upwardly inclined in a direction from said front wall to said rear wall such that said recorded information units stored in said storage compartments on said base are arranged in ascending elevation and physically separated from each other, means for mounting said rack on a CRT display for said computer, and means for magnetically shielding said storage rack.
20. A storage rack for recorded digital information units for computers including: a base, front and rear walls extending upwardly from said base, a plurality of partitions disposed between said front and rear walls and extending upwardly from said base for defining storage compartments on said base, the width of said base being nonuniform in a direction from said front wall to said rear wall such that said recorded information units stored on said base are laterally separated from each other, means for mounting said storage rack to a CRT display for said computer, and means for magnetically shielding said storage rack.
Description:
J

STORAGE RACK FOR SOFTWARE DISCS FOR MICRO COMPUTERS

FIELD OF THE INVENTION

The present invention relates to accessories for micro computers and in particular equipment for storing discs to be used in conjunction with such micro computers .

BACKGROUND OF THE INVENTION

The use of micro computers in both the home an the office has tremendously expanded over the last several years. Such computers are used in a wide variety of operations for both business, and personal matters. For example, micro computers may be used for accounting and inventory applications for business operations, for monitoring personal finances in the home, for educational purposes, and for entertainment and amusement pur¬ poses. A tremendous amount of software in the form of floppy discs is available for micro computer use, and it is not uncommon for business users and home enthusiasts to accumulate large quantities of software discs.

One inherent problem associated with the accumulation of a large volume of software is the difficulty in storing the discs in an organized manner. It is not uncommon for software discs to be stored in a drawer, a makeshift container, or the like, in a random disorganized fashion. Discs may be lost or misplaced as a result of non-organized storage. Moreover the discs may not be stored close to the display CRT for a home computer, which is usually a television screen, causing inconvenience to the user in locating and using the discs. Additionally, storage of software on desks or shelves near the computer is a waste of such space.

It is an object of the present invention to provide a convenient storage rack for software discs for home computers which is easily mountable directly to the CRT being used as a display for the computers thereby enabling convenient storage of a variety of software discs in close proximity to the computer.

It is a further object of the invention to provide a storage rack for software discs including a metal shield for shielding and protecting the discs stored within the rack from the magnetic effects of the CRT to which the rack is mounted.

It is still a further object of the present invention to provide a storage rack for a plurality of software discs in which the rack is designed to physically separate and distinguish the different discs stored therein upon a mere cursory inspection by the user.

It is another object of the invention to provide an organi¬ zation system for software discs.

It is still another object of the invention to provide storage means which are readily transportable by the user.

It is yet a further object of the invention to provide compact storage means for software discs thereby saving desk and shelf space which would otherwise be occupied by the software.

Other objects of the invention will become apparent from the drawing and detailed description which follows.

SUMMARY OF THE INVENTION

The present invention provides a storage rack for a plurality of software discs commonly used in. conjunction with micro computers. The rack includes a base, a rear wall, a front wall, and a plurality of partitions disposed between the rear and front walls for defining storage space for different software discs. The rear wall of the rack may be mounted to the side of a CRT of a micro computer by, for example, affixing a strip of velcro to the rear wall of the rack and affixing a complementary strip of velcro to the side of the CRT. A metal panel may be affixed directly to the rear surface of the rear wall of the rack so that such metal panel is disposed between the rack and the CRT for magnetically shielding the discs stored in the rack when the rack is mounted to the CRT. In such case, the velcro strip will be affixed directly to the rear surface of the metal plate for mounting the rack to the CRT. In the alternative, the rack may be formed with the metal plate embedded within the rear wall of the rack itself.

In a preferred embodiment of the invention, the base of the rack is stepped upwardly in a direction from the front wall towards the rear wall. Accordingly, software discs within the rack will be stored in an ascending order such that the top of one disc is at an elevation above the top of the next preceding disc. In this manner, discs stored in the rack are physically and visually distinguishable from one another and the individual discs may be readily identified upon cursory visual inspection by the user. Additionally, at least one sidewall of the rack may be tapered either inwardly or outwardly so that the individual discs stored within the rack are laterally displaced from one another to further physically separate and distinguish each individual disc from the remaining discs stored within the rack.

In further embodiments of the invention, a dust cover may be provided on the rack to protect the discs stored therein. Additionally, a separate larger storage container may be provided for storing a plurality of individual racks when such racks are not mounted to the CRT. In this manner, the individual racks to

be mounted to the CRT may be used to store different categories of software to further organize the entire storage process by the user.

The storage racks in accordance with the present invention are preferably made from a durable plastic material as for example polystyrene. The racks may be economically manufactured by an injection molding process.

Thus, the storage rack of the present invention provides a system for organized storage of software, provides a storage rack readily removably mountable to a computer or CRT display, provides a compact transportable storage unit, provides means for immediate identification of the individual articles being stored, and provides a system for saving desk and shelf space near a computer which would otherwise be occupied by software.

BRIEF DESCRIPTION OF THE DRAWINGS Figure 1 of the drawings illustrates a front view of a first embodiment of a storage rack for software in accordance with the present invention;

Figure 2 illustrates a top plan view of the embodiment of figure 1;

Figure 3 illustrates a rear elevational view of the rack illustrated by figure 1;

Figure 4 illustrates a bottom plan view of the rack of figure 1;

Figure 5 illustrates a perspective view of the rear wall of the storage rack isolated from other elements of the rack;

Figure 6 ' illustrates a section of the rear wall taken along directional arrows B showing how a metal shield is directly affixed to the rear surface of the rear wall;

Figure 7 illustrates a perspective view of a second em¬ bodiment of a storage rack in accordance with the present in¬ vention;

Figure 8 illustrates a left side elevation of the storage rack shown in figure 7;

Figure 9 illustrates a right side elevation of the storage rack shown in figure 7;

Figure 10 illustrates a top plan of the storage rack of figure 7;

Figure 11 illustrates a top plan view of a slightly modified embodiment of the storage rack;

Figure 12 illustrates an elevational section of the em¬ bodiment illustrated in figure 8;

Figure 13 illustrates a left side view of an alternate embodiment of the storage rack of figure 8;

Figure 14 illustrates a right side view of this alternate embodiment;

Figure 15 illustrates a bottom plan view of the alternate embodiment.

Figure 16 illustrates in perspective the storage rack of figure 7 mounted to a CRT;

Figures 17 and 18 illustrate another alternate embodiment of the present invention; and

Figure 19 illustrates a separate storage container including a dust cover for storing the individual storage racks illustrated by figures 1 and 7.

DETAILED DESCRIPTION OF THE BEST MODES OF THE INVENTION

A first embodiment of a software disc storage rack in accordance with the present invention is illustrated by figures 1-6 of the drawings. The storage rack which is shown generally by the reference number 2 includes a front wall 4 and a rear wall 6 mounted, to and upstanding from a generally flat base 8. A plurality of vertical partitions 10 extend vertically upwards from the base and are disposed between front wall 4 and rear wall 6 of the rack to define vertically oriented storage areas 12 between the partitions and the front and rear walls 4 and 6 of the rack. A single, generally vertical sidewall 14 connects the front and rear walls 4 and 6 along one edge of the rack 2. As also seen in figures 1 and 2, the elevation of the partitions 10 and the front and rear walls of the rack are different so that the height of the walls and partitions is in ascending order in a direction from the front to the rear of the rack.

As illustrated in figure 2 of the drawings, a mu metal plate 16 is affixed to the rear surface of the rear wall 6 of the rack. This metal plate may be affixed by pasting, gluing, or in other known manners." The size of the metal plate 16 corresponds to the dimensions of the rear wall 6, and as will be discussed in further detail below, the metal plate serves to provide magnetic shielding for software discs stored within the rack when the rack is mounted to a CRT. Other known magnetic shielding materials may also be suitably used in the present invention in place of the mu metal shield. A strip of velcro 18 is affixed to the rear surface of the metal shield 16 to mount the rack to a CRT, as will also be discussed in further detail below.

Figure 3 illustrates a rear elevational view of the rack of figure 1 more clearly illustrating the metal plate 16 affixed to the rear surface of the rear wall 6 of the rack 2. The velcro strip 18 is affixed to the center portion of the rear surface of the metal plate. Figure 4 illustrates a bottom plan view of the rack of figure 1 illustrating the flat base 8, and Figure 5 illustrates, in perspective, the rear wall 6 of the storage rack isolated from the other elements of that rack. Figure 6 is a sectional view taking along directional arrows B of figure 5

clearly illustrating the metal shield 16 affixed to the rear surface of the rear wall 6. As indicated above,, magnetic shield 16 may be affixed to the rear wall 6 by pasting or gluing with an appropriate resin. As an alternative to the embodiment shown by figure 6, the metal shield 16 may be embedded internally within the rear wall 6 by molding during the fabrication of the rack. Other known manners of providing magnetic shielding are equally applicable.

Figures 7-11 illustrate an alternative embodiment of a storage rack in accordance with the present invention. Similar elements will be designated with the same reference numeral as used in the description of the first embodiment of the invention. The rack of figure 7, designated as reference numeral 2, includes a front wall 4 and a rear wall 6 extending generally vertically upwardly from a base 8. The rack also includes one sidewall 14 extending upwardly from the base 8 and connecting the front and rear walls 4 and 6 at one side of the rack. Vertical partitions 10 also extend upwardly from the base to define storage areas 12 therein. As in the first embodiment of the invention, the front wall 4, the partitions 10, and the rear wall 6 are of different heights and arranged in ascending order in a direction from the front wall 4 towards the rear wall 6. A magnetic shield 16 is affixed to the rear surface of the rear wall 6, and a strip of velcro is affixed to the center of the rear surface of the shield 16. As in the earlier discussed embodiment, one side of the rack has no side wall at all so that software discs to be stored in the rack may be inserted through the open side.

The basic difference between the present embodiment and that illustrated by figure 1, is most clearly illustrated by figure 8. In the previously discussed embodiment, the base 8 of the rack was flat. However, in the present embodiment as illustrated by figure 8, a plurality of steps 20 are defined on the upper surface of the base 8. These steps are arranged in ascending order in a direction from the front wall 4 to the rear wall 6. Each storage space 12 includes a plurality of steps 20 defined therein, and each step 20 is adapted to support a different software disc thereon. In the embodiment shown in figure 8, each storage area 12 has four steps 20. Therefore, four different

software discs may be stored in each of the three compartments 12 so that this particular rack is capable of storing 12 different discs in total. If the discs are of equal height, the top of each stored disc will be elevated above the top of each of the preceding stored discs by virtue of the ascending steps 20 so that the .tops of the respective discs will be at different elevations in the rack. Accordingly, the user of the rack may readily view and distinguish between the different discs stored therein upon only a cursory glance at the rack.

Figure 10 of the drawings illustrates a second significant difference between the present embodiment and that illustrated by figure 1 of the drawings. Figure 10 is a top plan view of the embodiment illustrated by figure 7. It is clearly seen from figure 10 that the steps 20 have different lateral dimensions and that the sidewall 14 is tapered or angled outwardly in a di¬ rection from front wall 4 towards the rear wall 6. More spe¬ cifically, the lateral dimension of each of the steps 20 in¬ creases in a direction from the open side of the rack towards the sidewall 14 as the steps ascend. That is, each ascending step is longer in a lateral direction than the next preceding lower step. In this manner, the discs stored within the rack are laterally separated from each other in addition to being elevationally separated from each other to further enable the user of the rack to readily distinguish between the different software discs stored therein. It is also within the scope of the present invention (Figure 11) to provide a rack similar to that disclosed in figure 10 in which the side wall 14 is tapered inwardly and not outwardly so that the steps 20 decrease, and not increase, in lateral dimension as the steps ascend in the direction from the front wall 4 to the rear wall 6 of the rack. The desired lateral separation of the discs stored in the rack will be provided whether the steps 20 increase or decrease in lateral dimension.

Figure 12 illustrates a sectional view of the embodiment of the invention illustrated by figure 8. Software discs stored within the rack are shown in phantom and designated by reference numeral 22.

Figures 13 and 14 of the drawings illustrate a slightly modified embodiment from that shown by figure 8. In the figure

-II- 12 embodiment of the invention, the discrete ascending steps 20 have been replaced by a continuous inclined ramp designated by the reference numeral 24. The ramp is upwardly inclined in a direction from the front wall 4 towards the rear wall 6 of the storage rack. Accordingly, software discs stored within the different compartments 12 of the rack will ascend in elevation in a direction from the front wall to the rear wall of the rack. Additionally, as in the embodiment illustrated by figures 10 or 11, the sidewall 14 of the embodiment of figure 12 may be angled inwardly or outwardly so that the lateral dimensions of the ramp sections within each of the storage compartment areas 12 is varied to result in lateral displacement of the individual software discs stored on different sections of the ramp 24.

Figure 15 of the drawings illustrates a bottom plan view of the embodiments of the invention illustrated by both figures 8 and 13 discussed above. Unlike the embodiment of figure 1 which includes a flat base 8, the base of the rack of figures 8 and 13 is upwardly inclined in a direction from the front wall 4 towards the rear wall 6.

Figure 16 of the drawings is a perspective view -of a rack in accordance with the different embodiments of the present in¬ vention affixed to the side of a CRT display for a micro com¬ puter. The CRT is designated by reference numeral 26. The storage rack 2 shown in figure 16 corresponds to the embodiment of the invention in which the base is stepped and the sidewall 14 is angled outwardly in a direction from the front to the rear of the base. The individual software discs in the rack 2, desig¬ nated by the reference numerals 22, are stored in ascending order from the front to the rear of the rack, and are also laterally displaced in a direction towards sidewall 14. The rack is affixed to the side of the CRT by the velcro strip 18 (see for example figure 2 and figure 8) mating with a corresponding velcro strip (not shown) on the side of the CRT. It is clear from figure 14 that the rack 2 mounted as shown on the CRT provides easy access to the discs 22 stored therein, and the rack itself provides physical separation, both vertically and laterally, of the discs stored therein.

Figures 17 and 18 illustrate a slightly modified embodiment of the storage rack. In this embodiment, an L shaped bracket 28 defines the rear wall 6 of the storage rack. The bracket in¬ cludes a ribbed horizontal segment 30 extending from the bottom of the rear wall 6. A container 32 defining individual storage compartments 33 therein includes a base 34 having vertical projections extending thereunder. These vertical projections may be formed from the lower surfaces of vertical partitions 10 disposed within the container 32. The lower portions of the projections 36 mate with the grooves defined between the ribs 30 on the L shaped bracket to form a completed rack structure as illustrated in figure 16. A plurality of individual modular storage compartments 33 are coupled to each other as shown at 35. In this manner, the number of storage compartments mounted to the CRT is selectable by the user. The rear wall 6 of the bracket 28 may be mounted directly to a CRT as explained in the earlier discussed embodiment of the invention. Additionally, a metal plate for providing magnetic shielding may also be mounted to the rear surface of the rear wall 6. The' advantage of the embodiment illustrated by figures 17 and 18 is that the bracket 28 may be permanently mounted to the side of a CRT and different containers 32 including stored software discs may be removable mounted to the bracket 28 at the selection of the user.

Figure 19 illustrates a storage container used in con¬ junction with the present invention. The container generally designated by reference numeral 38 includes a plurality of vertical partitions 40 defining storage compartments 42 in the container. These storage compartments may be used to store different software storage racks 2 when they are not in use and are not mounted to the CRT. In this manner, a user may store different categories or classifications of software in different individual racks 2, with the different racks 2 being stored within a single container 38. Using the individual racks 2 for storage of specific categories of software will enable the user to store his software in a more organized fashion. It is noted that the container 38 includes a dust cover 44 and locking means 46 and 48 for the dust cover. It is additionally noted that dust covers also may be provided for each of the individual storage

racks 2 as for example illustrated by reference numeral 50 in figure 7, previously discussed.

Preferably the storage racks 2 disclosed herein are formed from a durable material as, for example, polystyrene, and the dust covers are formed from a transparent plastic to permit visual inspection of the software discs stored within the racks. The racks 2 may be formed from conventional injection molding methods well known to those skilled in the art.

It is believed that the embodiments of the invention dis¬ cussed herein provide advantageous storage means for software discs for micro computers which assure convenient access to the discs by the user, enable the user to readily distinguish between different discs stored within a rack, and provide magnetic shielding to protect the software when the rack is mounted to a CRT. Moreover, the storage rack provides an organized system for storing software, and saves shelf and desk space that would ' otherwise be used for storage by mounting the storage rack directly to a CRT display. Additionally, the storage rack is portable (preferably about 6" X 5 " X 1 ") and thus may be conveniently transported by the user in a brief case or the like-

Although the preferred embodiment of the invention as discussed above is directed to a storage rack for micro compu¬ ters, it is clear that the rack may also be used in connection with any type of computer including minicomputers and mainframes. Moreover, although the storage rack is preferably mounted to the side of a CRT display, it may be similarly mounted to any portion of a computer including a computer terminal. Additionally, although the discussion of the preferred embodiments of the invention is directed to storage of software discs, the storage rack disclosed herein may be used to store any type of recorded digital information including floppy discs, laser discs and holders, containers or sleeves for such recorded digital infor¬ mation.

The embodiments of the invention discussed herein are intended to be illustrative only, and not restrictive of the scope of the invention, that scope being defined by the following claims and all equivalent thereto.




 
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