No, the first step in both is the use of an existing machine used for a purpose it was was commonly used before previously.
Not at all - we're talking about an existing machine used for an entirely new purpose. And as you know, a new, previously unknown use of an existing machine can be patentable, and certainly passes muster under 101.
You have the various sensors in the catalytic converter that are the input to the digital computer and the unspecified means through which PSA count is made into the input of a digital computer. The digital computer runs and algorithm in both, then it outputs the information in a way that communicates with a human, a displayed number and an alarm.
In our hypothetical, yes. Not in Flook's claim. For reference, Flook's claim 1 was:
"1. A method for updating the value of at least one alarm limit on at least one process variable involved in a process comprising the catalytic chemical conversion of hydrocarbons wherein said alarm limit has a current value of Bo + K, wherein Bo is the current alarm base and K is a predetermined alarm offset which comprises:
(1) Determining the present value of said process variable, said present value being defined as PVL;
(2) Determining a new alarm base B1, using the following equation: "B1=Bo(1.0-F) + PVL(F), where F is a predetermined number greater than zero and less than 1.0;
(3) Determining an updated alarm limit which is defined as B1 + K; and thereafter
(4) Adjusting said alarm limit to said updated alarm limit value.
No machine elements except for, arguably, the alarm limit. Except that you could easily say that if I tell you to be alarmed if I drink four shots of whiskey in less than an hour, that's an "alarm limit" that I just "adjusted". Again, very different from our hypothetical claim earlier.
You are taking a patent ineligible claim and just throwing 'on a computer' into it.
You are taking a patent eligible claim and carving out anything that makes it patent eligible.
'On a computer' is the epitome of a post-solution activity.
On the contrary, if the computer is intimately involved in every step, there's nothing "post-" about it.
There is no meaningful description of how the PSA count will be input into the computer, the process of which might actually be patent eligible.
Ah, you're upset because I'm not claiming a testing system, but a diagnostic system. So? I see no such limitation in 101.
Instead, we have a generic electronic element that puts an analog input in digital form and then outputs information to a display. The only potentially novel element is the formula.
And here we see the problem. You are conflating 101 with 102, and saying that you can strip out all of the claim elements until you're left with just "the novel element" and then only looking at whether that one bit meets the requirements of 101. What about the rest of the claim? You must consider the claim as a whole, not simply rewrite it and carve out bits until you're left with nothing but "an abstract idea".
Consider this - given your suggested system of carving out elements from a claim until nothing is left, literally no process could ever be patentable under 101. This is clearly contrary to Congress' intent, both in the language of 101 (and 100) as well as the separate discussion of business methods in 273. If you disagree, then please suggest a method that would be patentable under your formulation, even if every bit that's related to hardware is carved away.