Title:
Universal support for electronic devices
Kind Code:
A1


Abstract:
An adjustable support for an electronic device include first and second spaced apart platforms. A connecting member extends between the first and second platforms for movably positioning the second platform relative to the first platform. A first and second attachment assembly are respectively coupled to the first and second platforms for engaging an electronic device when supported on the first platform.



Inventors:
Williams, Howard M. (Emmaus, PA, US)
Pum, Erica L. (Allentown, PA, US)
Application Number:
10/417966
Publication Date:
01/15/2004
Filing Date:
04/17/2003
Assignee:
Innovative Office Products, Inc. (Easton, PA, US)
Primary Class:
Other Classes:
248/918, 248/448
International Classes:
F16M11/04; G06F1/16; (IPC1-7): B65D19/00; A47G29/00
View Patent Images:
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Primary Examiner:
WOOD, KIMBERLY T
Attorney, Agent or Firm:
LERNER, DAVID, LITTENBERG, (CRANFORD, NJ, US)
Claims:
1. An adjustable support for an electronic device, said support comprising first and second spaced apart platforms, a connecting member extending between said first and second platforms for movably positioning said second platform relative to said first platform, a first and second attachment assembly respectively coupled to said first and second platforms for engaging an electronic device when supported on said first platform.

2. The support of claim 1, wherein said first platform includes an elongated first slot and said second platform includes an elongated second slot arranged parallel to said first slot, said first attachment assembly slidingly coupled within said first slot and said second attachment assembly slidingly coupled within said second slot.

3. The support of claim 2, where said first platform further includes a third slot transversely arranged to said first slot, and a third attachment assembly slidingly coupled within said third slot.

4. The support of claim 1, where one of the attachment assemblies comprises a bumper adapted to engage an electronic device when positioned on said first platform.

5. The support of claim 4, where said bumper is constructed of resilient compressible material.

6. The support of claim 1, wherein one of the attachment assemblies comprises a hold down clamp including a bumper and a lever spaced therefrom, said bumper and said lever adapted to engage an electronic device when positioned on said first platform.

7. The support of claim 1, where one of the attached assemblies comprises a hold down clamp including a clamp bracket having a leg adapted to engage an electronic device when positioned on said first platform, said clamp bracket including a pair of spaced apart tangs, said first platform including an elongated slot slidingly receiving said tangs therein.

8. The support of claim 1, further including a docking station attached to said first platform.

9. The support of claim 1, wherein said connecting member comprises a pair of spaced apart rods having one end portion attached to said second platform and its other end portion slidingly coupled to said first platform.

10. The support of claim 1, further including an adjustable extension arm attached to said first platform.

11. The support of claim 1, wherein said first platform has a planar top surface and said second platform has a planar top surface arranged in a common plane with said top surface of said first platform.

12. A support for an electronic device comprising a platform having a surface adapted for supporting an electronic device thereon, said platform having spaced a part first and second ends and spaced apart first and second sides, a first attachment assembly coupled to said platform adjacent said first end and a second attachment assembly coupled to said platform adjacent said second end, said first and second attachment assemblies adapted for releasably engaging an electronic device when supported on said platform.

13. The support of claim 12, wherein said platform includes a first elongated slot adjacent said first end and a second elongated slot adjacent said second end.

14. The support of claim 13, wherein said platform includes a third elongated slot adjacent said first side and a fourth elongated slot adjacent said second side.

15. The support of claim 13, wherein said first and second attachment assemblies are slidingly coupled to said platform within one of said first and second slots.

16. The support of claim 15, wherein one of the attachment assemblies comprises a bumper adapted to engage an electronic device when supported on said platform.

17. The support of claim 16, where said bumper is constructed of resilient compressible material.

18. The support of claim 15, where one of the attachment assemblies comprises a hold down clamp including a bumper and a lever spaced therefrom, said bumper and said lever adapted to engage an electronic device when supported on said platform.

19. The support of claim 15, wherein one of the attachment assemblies comprises a hold down clamp including a clamp bracket having a leg adapted to engage an electronic device when supported on said platform, said clamp bracket including a pair of spaced apart tangs slidingly received within one of said first and second slots.

20. The support of claim 14, further including a third attachment assembly slidingly coupled to said platform within said third slot and a fourth attachment assembly slidingly coupled to said platform within said fourth slot.

21. The support of claim 20, wherein said third and fourth attachment assemblies comprise either a bumper or a hold down clamp.

22. The support of claim 12, wherein said first and second attachment assemblies comprise either a bumper or a hold down clamp.

23. The support of claim 22, wherein said hold down clamp comprises a bumper and a lever spaced therefrom, said bumper and said lever adapted to engage an electronic device when positioned on said platform.

24. The support of claim 22, wherein said hold down clamp comprises a clamp bracket having a leg adapted to engage an electronic device when supported on said platform, said clamp bracket including a pair of spaced apart tangs.

25. An adjustable support for an electronic device, said support comprising a rectangular first platform having first and second parallel spaced apart ends and first and second parallel spaced apart sides, said first end having adjacent thereto a first elongated slot and said first side having adjacent thereto a second elongated slot; a rectangular second platform having first and second parallel spaced apart ends and first and second parallel spaced apart sides, said second platform having a third elongated slot extending between said first and second sides; a pair of spaced apart rods fixedly attached to said second platform adjacent said first and second sides thereof and slidably attached to said first platform adjacent said first and second sides thereof, whereby said second platform is positionable between a first position with said second end of said first platform adjacent said first end of said second platform and a second position with said second end of said first platform spaced from said first end of said second platform; a clamp for engaging at least one of said rods for securing said second platform in said first and second positions; a first attachment assembly moveably received within said first elongated slot; and a second attachment assembly moveably received within said third elongated slot, said first and second attachment assemblies engageable with a portion of the electronic device when the electronic device is supported on said first platform.

26. The support of claim 25, where one of the attachment assemblies comprises a bumper adapted to engage an electronic device when positioned on said first platform.

27. The support of claim 26, where said bumper is constructed of resilient compressible material.

28. The support of claim 25, wherein one of the attachment assemblies comprises a hold down clamp including a bumper and a lever spaced therefrom, said bumper and said lever adapted to engage an electronic device when positioned on said first platform.

29. The support of claim 25, where one of the attachment assemblies comprises a hold down clamp including a bumper and a lever spaced therefrom, said bumper and said lever adapted to engage an electronic device when supported on said first platform.

30. The support of claim 25, wherein one of the attachment assemblies comprises a hold down clamp including a clamp bracket having a leg adapted to engage an electronic device when supported on said first platform, said clamp bracket including a pair of spaced apart tangs slidingly received within one of said slots.

31. The support of claim 25, further including another attachment assembly moveably received within said second slot.

Description:

CROSS REFERENCE TO RELATED APPLICATIONS

[0001] The present application claims the benefit of Provisional Application No. 60/375,303, filed on Apr. 24, 2002, entitled “Universal Support for Electronic Devices”, the disclosure of which is incorporated herein by reference.

BACKGROUND OF THE INVENTION

[0002] The present invention relates in general to a universal support for electronic devices, and more specifically, to an adjustable support in the nature of a platform for supporting a notebook computer independent of its size and configuration.

[0003] Notebook computers have become increasingly popular for both personal and business applications. The desirability of the notebook computer has increased significantly over the years as a result of improvements in the design and construction of the notebook computer. For example, the increase in the computing power of the CPU and its processing speed, as well as the adaptability of the notebook computer to support peripheral devices, has put the notebook computer on the same level as desktop computers. In addition, the decrease in size and weight of the notebook computer has also made the notebook computer more portable and convenient for transport by the user. These, as well as other factors, have made the notebook computer a viable substitute for the desktop computer in many applications.

[0004] The main attribute of the notebook computer is its portability allowing it to be conveniently transported from location to location. Typically, the notebook computer will be placed on a desk or other work surface to be usable at the desired location. Because of the enhanced computing power of the notebook computer, a semi-permanent installation is known in the nature of a docking station. A docking station includes one or more connectors which are adapted to mate with the input and output connectors of the notebook computer. The docking station can be mounted permanently if desired to a desk or other supporting surface. In use, the notebook computer is placed into the docking station where the connectors mate to provide power to the notebook computer, as well as connecting accessories such as printers, monitors, a mouse, a keyboard, etc. In this regard, the notebook computer when integrated into a docking station functions as a desktop computer. However, the notebook computer when connected to the docking station has restricted accessibility and mobility for movement into a variety of operator convenient locations.

[0005] There is known from U.S. Pat. No. 6,076,785 an ergonomically adjustable sit/stand keyboard arm apparatus. The apparatus is slidably mounted on the underside of a work surface such as a table. A rotatable first housing depends from a slide mount and is connected to a second housing by a parallel linkage. A keyboard platform is rotatably mounted on the second housing. An extender is provided between the second housing and the keyboard platform to raise the keyboard platform to sufficient height for use by the operator while standing and to permit the arm to lowered below a generally horizontal orientation. The keyboard platform is maintained in position by a self-locking pneumatic cylinder and an adjustable cylinder assembly for counter balancing the load on the parallel linkage mechanism.

[0006] Notwithstanding the aforementioned keyboard support mechanism, there is an unsolved need for an electronic device support which is specifically adaptable for notebook computers of various sizes and configurations. More specifically, there is an unsolved need for a notebook computer support which is universal in nature by being adjustable for accommodating notebook computers from different manufacturers and different models.

BRIEF SUMMARY OF THE INVENTION

[0007] In accordance with one embodiment of the present invention, there is disclosed an adjustable support for an electronic device, the support including first and second spaced apart platforms, a connecting member extending between the first and second platforms for movably positioning the second platform relative to the first platform, a first and second attachment assembly respectively coupled to the first and second platforms for engaging an electronic device when supported on the first platform.

[0008] In accordance with another embodiment of the present invention, there is disclosed !an support for an electronic device comprising a platform having a surface adapted for supporting an electronic device thereon, the platform having spaced apart first and second ends and spaced apart first and second sides, a first attachment assembly coupled to the platform adjacent the first end and a second attachment assembly coupled to the platform adjacent the second end, the first and second attachment assemblies adapted for releasably engaging an electronic device when supported on the platform.

[0009] In accordance with another embodiment of the present invention, there is disclosed an adjustable support for an electronic device, the support including a rectangular first platform having first and second parallel spaced apart ends and first and second parallel spaced apart sides, the first end having adjacent thereto a first elongated slot and the first side having adjacent thereto a second elongated slot; a rectangular second platform having first and second parallel spaced apart ends and first and second parallel spaced apart sides, the second platform having a third elongated slot extending between the first and second sides; a pair of spaced apart rods fixedly attached to the second platforms adjacent the first and second sides thereof and slidably attached to the first platform adjacent the first and second sides thereof, whereby the second platform is positionable between a first position with the second end of the first platform adjacent the first end of the second platform and a second position with the second end of the first platform spaced from the first end of the second platform; a clamp for engaging at least one of the rods for securing the second platform in the first and second positions; an adjustable first assembly moveably received within the first elongated slot; and an adjustable second assembly moveably received within the third elongated slot, the first and second assemblies engageable with a portion of the electronic device when the electronic device is supported on the first platform.

BRIEF DESCRIPTION OF THE DRAWINGS

[0010] The accompanying drawings, which are incorporated in and form a part of the specification, illustrate the embodiments of the present invention and, together with the description, serve to explain the principles of the invention.

[0011] FIG. 1 is a perspective view of an assembled system including a notebook computer, an articulating support arm and a universal support constructed in accordance with one embodiment of the present invention;

[0012] FIG. 2 is a perspective view of the universal support as shown in FIG. 1 in assembled relationship;

[0013] FIG. 3 is a bottom plan view of a portion of the universal support as shown in FIG. 2;

[0014] FIG. 4 is a partial cross-sectional view of an adjustable bumper constructed in accordance with one embodiment of the present invention;

[0015] FIG. 5 is an exploded unassembled view of an adjustable hold down clamp constructed in accordance with one embodiment of the present invention;

[0016] FIG. 6 is a partial cross-sectional assembled view of the adjustable hold down clamp;

[0017] FIG. 7 is a perspective view of the system as shown in FIG. 1 with the cover of the notebook computer in a semi-closed position;

[0018] FIG. 8 is a perspective view of the universal support constructed in accordance with another embodiment of the present invention;

[0019] FIG. 9 is a top plan view showing the assembled relationship of a notebook computer with the universal support as shown in FIG. 8 in accordance with one embodiment of the present invention;

[0020] FIG. 10 is a top plan view showing the assembled relationship of a notebook computer with the universal support as shown in FIG. 8 in accordance with another embodiment of the present invention;

[0021] FIG. 11 is a perspective view of a universal support constructed in accordance with another embodiment of the present invention;

[0022] FIG. 12 is a perspective exploded unassembled view of an adjustable hold down clamp constructed in accordance with another embodiment of the present invention; and

[0023] FIG. 13 is a perspective assembled view of the adjustable hold down clamp as shown in FIG. 12.

DETAILED DESCRIPTION OF THE INVENTION

[0024] In describing the preferred embodiments of the invention illustrated in the drawings, specific terminology will be used for the sake of clarity. However, the invention is not intended to be limited to the specific terms so selected, and it is to be understood that each specific term includes all technical equivalents that operate in a similar manner to accomplish a similar purpose.

[0025] Referring to the drawings, wherein like reference numbers represent like elements, there is shown in FIG. 1 a universal support system generally designated by reference numeral 100. The system 100 provides secure support for an electronic device such as a notebook computer 102, and includes an adjustable support 104 and optionally an articulating mounting arm 106. Although the system 100 is particularly adapted for use with notebook computers 102, it is to be understood that other electronic devices can also be supported, for example, CD-ROM drives, VCRs, personal digital assistants, DVD players, computer keyboards and the like. In the case of a notebook computer 102, the computer can be from any manufacturer, such as Apple, IBM, Dell, etc. In this regard, notebook computers 102 typically include a base 108 which supports a full keyboard 110 and a display screen 112 formed within a cover 114 which is hinged to the back of the base.

[0026] Referring to FIGS. 2 and 3, the adjustable support 104 will be described in accordance with one embodiment of the present invention. The support 104 includes a first platform 116 which is generally rectangular in shape. The platform 116 includes a pair of parallel spaced apart first and second ends 118, 120 and a pair of first and second parallel spaced apart sides 122, 124. As shown, the first platform 116 is generally planar in nature which is therefore adapted for supporting a notebook computer 102 or other electronic device.

[0027] A generally rectangular second platform 126 includes first and second parallel spaced apart ends 128, 130 and first and second parallel spaced apart sides 132, 134. In general, the length of the second platform 126 between the first and second sides 132, 134 is approximately the same as the length of the first platform 116 between the first and second sides 122, 124. However, as shown, the width of the first and second platforms 116, 126 may be substantially different, the second platform 126 being relatively smaller.

[0028] The first platform 116 is optionally provided with an elongated first slot 136 which extends between the first and second sides 122, 124 adjacent the first end 118. A second elongated slot 138 is optionally provided within the second platform 126 extending between the first and second sides 132, 134. Optionally, and in accordance with the preferred embodiment, a third elongated slot 140 is provided within the first platform 116 extending between the first and second ends 118, 120 adjacent the first side 122.

[0029] The first and second platforms 116, 126 are adjustably attached to each other by means of a pair of spaced apart elongated connecting rods 142, 144. The connecting rods 142, 144 are arranged in spaced apart relationship having one end fixedly attached within the bore of a boss 146, 148 extending from the bottom surface of the second platform 126 adjacent the first and second sides 132, 134. The ends of the rods 142, 144 may be attached to the second platform 126 by any other suitable means, e.g., welding.

[0030] A pair of spaced apart elongated bosses 150, 152 are attached to the bottom of the first platform 116 extending adjacent the first and second sides 122, 144 proximate the second end 120. Each of the bosses 150, 152 includes a longitudinal through bore 154, 156 adapted for slidingly receiving a respective rod 142, 144.

[0031] As should be appreciated, the second platform 126 may be spaced apart from the first platform 116 by advancing the second platform in the direction of the double headed arrow 158 as the rods 142, 144 slide within the bosses 150, 152. In this manner, the overall width of the support 104 can be adjusted to accommodate various widths of different notebook computers 102 to be supported thereon. Accordingly, each of the bosses 150, 152 are of sufficient length to provide stability of the second platform 126 when in its fully retracted position. In lieu of the foregoing arrangement of rods 142, 144 and bosses 146, 148, 150, 152, it is contemplated that other slidable assemblies may be employed in accordance with the present invention. For example, multiple part telescopic or nested drawer assemblies may be used as an alternative. In this regard, the telescopic or nested drawer assemblies include at least two configured elongated members which telescope with respect to each other in sliding engagement.

[0032] To fix the position of the second platform 126 with respect to the first platform 116, one or both of the bosses 150, 152 may be provided with a threaded opening which receives a threaded bolt 160 having its free end attached to a knob 162. By rotation of the knob 162, the bolt 160 will advance to compress against the outer surface of one of the rods 142, 144, thereby locking the rods to prevent their longitudinal movement within their respective boss 150, 152. It is to be understood that other suitable locking arrangements may be incorporated to fix the position of the second platform 126 relative to the first platform 116.

[0033] The notebook computer 102 may be held in position on the support 104 using a plurality of attachment assemblies in the nature of an adjustable bumper 164 or an adjustable hold down clamp 166, as well as combinations thereof. An adjustable bumper 164 in accordance with one embodiment of the present invention is illustrated in FIG. 4. The bumper 164 includes a T-nut 168 having a rectangular portion 170 slidably received longitudinally within one of the elongated slots 136, 138, 140. The T-nut 168 has a threaded bore for receiving a threaded rod 172 having its free end secured within a cylindrical bumper body 174. The bumper body 174 will generally be constructed from polymer or rubber material which is both resilient and somewhat compressible. As shown in FIG. 4, the rectangular portion 170 of the T-nut 168 projects upwardly into one of the slots 136, 138, 140. The bumper body 174 is positioned overlying the first platform 116 with the threaded rod 172 extending through the slot 140 into threaded engagement with the T-nut 168. By loosening the bumper body 174, the bumper 164 can be slid longitudinally along the length of the slot 140 to any desired location. At the desired location, the bumper body 174 is turned whereby the threaded rod 172 advances within the T-nut 168 thereby sandwiching in compression the first platform 116 between the bumper body 174 and the T-nut 168. Turning of the bumper body 174 in the opposite direction allows the bumper 164 to loosen and be slidable along the slot 140 to another location. Due to the shape of the rectangular portion 170, rotation of the bumper body 174 will not effect rotation of the T-nut 168, thereby allowing tightening of the bumper 164.

[0034] Referring now to FIGS. 5 and 6, there is shown the construction of an adjustable hold down clamp 166. The hold down clamp 166 includes a T-nut 168, a compression spring 176, an elongated lever 178 having a through hole 180, a knob 182 having at threaded bore 184 and a threaded rod 186 to which there is fixedly attached a generally cylindrical bumper 188. The bumper 188 may be constructed of similar materials as the bumper body 174.

[0035] More specifically with reference to FIG. 6, and as shown in FIG. 2, the rectangular portion 170 of the T-nut 168 is received within one of the slots 136, 138, 140. The lower threaded portion of the threaded rod 186 is threadingly received within the T-nut 168, with the bumper 188 overlying the surface of the first or second platform 116, 126. The compression spring 176 is slid over the upper portion of the threaded rod 186 so as to rest upon the bumper 188. Next, the lever 178 via hole 180 is positioned over the threaded rod 186 and supported by the compression spring 176. The knob 182 is threaded onto the free end of the threaded rod 186 so as to compress the compression spring 176 as to be described.

[0036] In a similar manner as thus far described, the hold down clamp 166 can be slid longitudinally along one of the slots 136, 138, 140 by rotating the bumper 188 and threaded rod 186 to provide clearance with the T-nut 168. Once in position, the bumper 188 may be rotated to thereby compress and sandwich therebetween a portion of the first or second platform 116, 126. With the hold down clamp 166 in its appropriate position, and the notebook computer 102 supported on the support 104, the lever 178 is rotated to position itself overlying the base 108 of the computer, see FIG. 1. Once the lever 178 has been positioned, the knob 182 is rotated about the threaded rod 186 so as to move the lever 178 downwardly against the compressive force of spring 176. Accordingly, as the knob 182 is rotated, the lever 178 clamps downwardly against the base 108 of the notebook computer 102.

[0037] The bumpers 164 and hold down clamps 168 may be used separately or in various combinations as disclosed in FIGS. 2 and 7-10. By way of example, a bumper 164 may be positioned within slot 140 while hold down clamps 166 may be positioned within slots 136, 138, see FIG. 2. The bumper 164 may initially be positioned midway along the first platform 116 and tightened in the manner as previously described. The bumper 164 within slot 140 facilitates locating and stabilization of the notebook computer 102 and to prevent movement of the computer rearwardly on the support 104. The second platform 126 is spaced apart from the first platform 116 to accommodate the size of the notebook computer 102. The second platform 126 is secured in its location by rotating knob 162 to effect compression of the bolt 160 against one of the rods 142, 144. The hold down clamps 166 can be slid to their desired position and tightened by rotating the bumper 188. The notebook computer 102 is positioned onto the first platform 116, having a portion which is supported by the second platform 126. The levers 178 are rotated about their respective threaded rod 186 to overlie the base 108 of the notebook computer 102. Upon tightening the knobs 182, the levers 178 are compressed downwardly to secure the computer 102 to the support 104.

[0038] As shown in FIG. 1, the notebook computer 102 is in an open position with the keyboard 110 exposed and the display screen 112 viewable. As shown in FIG. 7, the cover 114 has been closed overlying the base 108 thereby concealing the keyboard 110 and the display screen 112. However, due to the presence of the levers 178, it is contemplated that the cover 114 will not lock to the base 108. The notebook computer 102 is securely supported on the adjustable support 104 between the bumper 164 and hold down clamps 116 which surround the computer on three sides. The notebook computer 102 may be removed from the support 104 by loosening the hold down clamps 166. The adjustable support 104 can accommodate a notebook computer 102 of a different size by moving the second platform 126 relative to the first platform 116, as will as adjusting the positions of the hold down clamps 166 and/or bumper 164 as may be needed.

[0039] Referring to FIGS. 8 and 9, there is shown an adjustable support 104 which incorporates the use of three bumpers 164 received within slots 136, 138, 140. As shown in FIG. 9, the notebook computer 102 is positioned on the first platform 116 in engagement with the bumpers 164. The second platform 126 is slid longitudinally until its bumper 164 compresses against the right hand side of the notebook computer 102. Due to the resilient nature of the bumpers 164, the bumpers are allowed to slightly compress due to the force that may be exerted by the second platform 126. The second platform 126 is secured in position via rods 142, 144 as thus far described. Thus, the, notebook computer 102 is held in position by being compressed between the spaced apart bumpers 164 within the slots 136, 138.

[0040] It is also contemplated, as shown in FIG. 8, to provide an additional elongated slot 190 extending adjacent the second side 124 of the first platform 116 for receiving an additional bumper 164. As shown in FIG. 10, the additional bumper 164 results in a four sided support for the notebook computer 102. It is further contemplated that where a notebook computer 102 of known size is being used, it is within the scope of the present invention to use bumpers 164 and hold down clamps 166 without the need of providing the movability of the second platform 126. In this regard, the notebook computer 102 can be wedged between resilient bumpers 164 or held in place by appropriately spaced apart hold down clamps 166, and combinations thereof. It is further contemplated that the slots 136, 138, 140, 190 may be eliminated and that the bumpers 164 and/or hold down clamps 166 be attached at a stationary location on the first and second platforms 116, 126.

[0041] Referring now to FIGS. 11-13, there will be described an adjustable support 104 incorporating the use of an adjustable hold down clamp 192 constructed in accordance with another embodiment of the present invention. As shown in FIG. 12, the hold down clamp 192 includes a threaded carriage bolt 194 having a rectangular portion 196, a washer 198, a compression spring 200, a knob 202 having a threaded bore 204 and a clamp bracket 206. The clamp bracket 206 includes a pair of spaced apart tangs 208, 210 separated by a flat base 212 having a through opening 214. An L-shaped member has a short leg 216 attached along one edge of the base 212 and a longer leg 218 extending horizontally overlying the base 212. Leg 218 is provided with an opening 220 in alignment with opening 214 in the base 212.

[0042] The assembled relationship of the hold down clamp 192 is shown in FIGS. 11 and 13. The carriage bolt 194 is positioned to extend upwardly through one of the slots 136, 138 with its rectangular portion 196 received therein. As described with respect to the T-nut 168, the carriage bolt 194 by virtue of the rectangular portion 196 is prevented from rotation within the slot during tightening of the hold down clamp 192. After inserting the carriage bolt 194, the washer 198 is placed on the carriage bolt so as to rest against the top of the first platform 116 or second platform 126. Before the clamp bracket 206 is placed on the carriage bolt 194, the spring 200 is received over the carriage bolt and supported on the washer 198. The clamp bracket 206 is next positioned over the carriage bolt 194 which extends through the aligned openings 214, 222. The tangs 208, 210 of the clamp bracket 206 extend downwardly into the slots 136, 138 in sliding fit with the large leg 218 extending inwardly. Finally, the knob 202 is threaded onto the end of the carriage bolt 194 extending upwardly through opening 220.

[0043] The hold down clamp 192 is used in a similar way as described with respect to hold down clamp 166. In this regard, the knob 192 is rotated to loosen the hold down clamp 192, allowing it to be slid longitudinally along one of the slots 136, 138. Upon tightening the knob 192, the clamp bracket 206 will be displaced downwardly against the compressive force of spring 200 so as to force leg 218 against the base 108 of the notebook computer 102. In addition, the spring 200 will apply a compressive force to the washer 198 which presses against the top of the platform 116, 126. The tangs 208, 210 by being received within the slots 136, 138 prevent the clamp bracket 206 from twisting during the clamping process. However, the tangs 208, 210 are sized to enable sliding movement of the clamp bracket 206 as described. A further hold down clamp 192 may be positioned within slot 140, as well as using a bumper 164.

[0044] The adjustable support 104 has been described with respect to the use of bumpers 164 or hold down clamps 166, 192. It is contemplated that the support 104 may be constructed using all the same or combinations of bumpers 164 and hold down clamps 166, 192 as may be desired by the user. Accordingly, the specific combination of bumpers 164 and hold down clamps 166, 192 as described is by way of example only and other arrangements are contemplated within the scope of the present invention.

[0045] As shown in FIG. 11, a docking station is shown in phantom and generally designated by reference numeral 222. The docking station 222 includes one or more connectors 224, such as male or female connectors. The connectors 224 will connect to mateable connectors on the notebook computer 102. Various peripheral electronic devices such as a mouse, keyboard, monitor, printer, external CD-ROM drive, modem and the like may be connected to the docking station 222 via suitable cables and connectors (not shown). Thus, when the notebook computer 102 is connected to the docking station via the connectors 224, the peripheral devices are automatically connected to the computer. One example of a docking station is known from U.S. Pat. No. 6,366,458, the disclosure of which is incorporated herein by reference.

[0046] The support 104 may be attached to an articulating mounting arm 106 which enables manipulation of the notebook computer 102 is a three dimensional space. In this regard, the notebook computer 102 may be positioned both horizontally and vertically into any desired location. The support 104 is attached to the mounting arm 106 using, for example, a swivel plate 226, see FIG. 3, attached to the bottom of the first platform 116. Accordingly, the notebook computer 102 may be positioned in any desired location in the work area to accommodate the user.

[0047] By way of example, the mounting arm 106 includes a mounting bracket 228 for mounting the mounting arm to a supporting surface. One example of a mounting bracket is disclosed in Applicants' copending patent application Ser. No. 09/406,531 entitled “Configurable Mount” filed on Sep. 27, 1999, the disclosure of which is incorporated herein by reference. The mounting arm 106 includes an assembly 230 which enables the support 104 to be rotated about the axis of the mounting bracket 228 and to be raised and lowered in a vertical direction. Suitable assemblies 230 are known from applicants' patent U.S. Pat. No. 6,409,134 entitled “Arm Apparatus For Mounting Electronic Devices With Cable Management System”; No. 10/061,880 entitled “Modular Mounting Arm”; U.S. Pat. No. 6,478,274 entitled “Arm Apparatus For Mounting Electronic Devices”; and U.S. Pat. No. 6,076,785, the disclosures of which are incorporated herein by reference.

[0048] Although the invention herein has been described with reference to particular embodiments, it is to be understood that these embodiments are merely illustrative of the principles and applications of the present invention. It is therefore to be understood that numerous modifications may be made to the illustrative, embodiments and that other arrangements may be devised without departing from the spirit and scope of the present invention.