Patent 6039645 Issued on March 21, 2000. Estimated Expiration Date: June 24, 2017. Estimated Expiration Date is calculated based on simple USPTO term provisions. It does not account for terminal disclaimers, term adjustments, failure to pay maintenance fees, or other factors which might affect the term of a patent.
An apparatus and method for loading software changes into a processor-based coin sorting machine. In one embodiment, a flash card having a memory remotely programmed with a second software code is adapted to be removably electrically coupled to the system controller of the coin sorting machine. Insertion of the flash card causes the initial code in the resident memory of the machine to become erased and replaced with the second software code. The flash card may thereafter be removed from the machine and used to load software changes into other machines. In an alternative embodiment, the flash card may remain electrically coupled to the coin sorting machine. In this embodiment, insertion of the flash card causes the machine to execute the second software code, but the initial code is not erased or replaced. Upon removal of the flash card, the machine does not retain the second software code but will revert to execution of the initial code. In either embodiment, remote programming of the flash card with the second software code may be achieved by electrically coupling the flash card to a first coin sorting machine having a resident memory containing the second software code, causing the second software code to be copied from the resident memory of the first coin sorting machine to the flash card memory.