PSION Series 3/3a palmtop FAQ part 1/6

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Daniel `HB9VBC' Pfund

Apr 17, 2004, 7:27:11 AM4/17/04
Archive-name: psion-faq/part1
Version: $VER: Psion FAQ v2.6 (Jun 1997)
Posting-Frequency: monthly


Original author: Chris Wesley
Actual author & maintainer: Daniel Pfund

Jun97 - v2.6

Welcome to the FAQ for the comp.sys.psion.* Usenet hierarchy. Find the
contents table below. Questions and constructive comments are welcome.
Send them to me at:

IMPORTANT NOTE: this article does not contain any software infos on
the Series 3c or the Siena. I will NOT include specific informations
concerning these new machines (except hardware stuff). Maybe there
will be a Series3c/Siena FAQ written by someone else in the future?

-CHANGE-Indicates a change since last version
- NEW! -Indicates an addition since last version


part 1



1.1 What is the Psion Series 3/3a?
1.2 Which model should I buy?
-CHANGE-1.3 When will the "new" Psion come out?
-CHANGE-1.4 What other machines does Psion make?
1.5 What other palmtop alternatives are there?

part 2

- NEW! -1.6 Where can I purchase a Psion?
1.7 How can I contact Psion?


2.1 Hardware specifications
2.2 What batteries does the Psion use?
2.3 How long do the batteries last?
2.4 How does the Psion measure the battery usage?
2.5 How can I make my batteries last longer?
2.6 Can I use an external power supply?
2.7 Can I upgrade my Solid State Disk (SSD)?
2.8 Can I upgrade my internal RAM?
2.9 Can I change the keyboard?
2.10 Can I use a big (normal) keyboard?
2.11 How can I build a serial link?
2.12 How can I build a parallel link?
2.13 What is this "soap on a rope" thing?
2.14 How do I print with my Psion?
2.15 Can I take my Psion through an X-Ray machine?
2.16 Can my Psion wipe out magnetic data?


3.1 How do I reset my Psion?
3.2 What is killing a process?
3.3 How can I save what's on the screen?
3.4 What is the soak test?
3.5 How can I find a text in my memos with Agenda?
3.6 How can I make the cursor bigger?
3.7 How can I take out the "hum" when I record sounds?
3.8 How safe is password protection?
3.9 How can I change the icon of a program?

part 3

3.10 How can I permanently change the distance units in World?
3.11 Why do some programs crash with an "Invalid arguments"
3.12 Why is my Psion not switching itself off automatically
3.13 How can I change the fonts in the system applications?
3.14 Is Perl ported to the Psion?
3.15 How do I undelete a file if I've accidentaly deleted it?
3.16 How can I synchronize my desktop agenda with my Psion's?


4.1 Known hardware problems & solutions
4.2 Known software problems & solutions
4.3 Other official Psion repair centres
4.4 User groups
4.5 Online services
4.6 Bulletin boards (BBSes)
4.7 Magazines
4.8 "Anti-thief" tips
4.9 Lost/stolen Psions


5.1 Relevant FTP sites
5.2 WWW internet sites
5.3 Shareware for those without online access

part 4


6.1 With an IBM or clone
6.2 With an Amiga
-CHANGE-6.3 With a UNIX machine
6.4 With a Macintosh
6.5 With an Atari
6.6 With an Acorn Archimedes or Risc PC
6.7 With a serial modem
6.8 With a PCMCIA modem
6.9 With a packet radio TNC
6.10 With a cellular phone
6.11 Via the IrDA port (3c/Siena)
6.12 Terminal emulation
6.13 TCP/IP stack

part 5


7.1 Limitations & bugs
7.2 Tips & tricks
7.3 Changing permanently the keyboard mapping


8.1 Overview of development possibilities
8.2 OPL programming directly on the Psion
8.3 OPL programming from a PC
8.4 C Development on PC
8.5 Advanced C Development on a PC
8.6 Available books
8.7 How to do various things: tips & tricks


A.1 Applications
A.2 Games

part 6


B.1 Business & Legal
B.2 Education
B.3 Drawing, Leisure & Guides
B.4 Navigation
B.5 Communications & Utilities
B.6 Diet, Health & Safety
B.7 Time Management
B.8 Mapping & Surveying
B.9 Databases
B.10 Services
B.11 Books & Accessories



This article is provided "as is" without any express or implied
warranties. While every effort has been taken to ensure the accuracy
of the information contained in this article, neither the authors, the
maintainer or the contributors will assume responsibility for errors
or omissions, or for damages resulting from the use of the information
contained herein. This document is compiled in spare time for free,
and I cannot resource thorough checking of all its contents. However,
I am interested in making the FAQ as good as it can be, so your
constructive feedback is welcome.

This FAQ is not sponsored or endorsed by Psion PLC or any subsidary
companies they may own in any way.

This FAQ is *NOT* intended as a replacement of the User Guide which
comes with each Psion. Be sure to read that first and - most important
- please double read the manual and this FAQ before posting any
questions to the comp.sys.psion.* hierarchy!


To create this document Chris (the original FAQ author) reviewed the
Newsgroup activity of the old comp.sys.psion (it has split on the 19th
of June 1996) group over some months, used that to generate a list of
Frequently Asked Questions, used THAT to generate a FAQ structure,
then populated it with extracted wisdom from the news traffic. So a
lot of information here is provided by the newsgroup contributors, who
are too numerous to credit individually. (Chris said "I'm just the
clerk that put it all in one place.") Special thanks go to Markus
Illenseer, who owned the first (Series 3) FAQ - from which Chris also
extracted useful information. Chris also thanked Clive D.W. Feather,
Daniel Senie, Roger Burton-West, for extensive helpful comments on his
preliminary FAQ. I would like to thank Mark Gould and Jason Savage for
their precious help and comments. Other contributors are credited in
the sections they provided special help in compiling.

If you have a question which is not answered in the actual FAQ, please
Email it to me (Daniel Pfund, see address at the top of this FAQ),
otherwise if you want more information from one specific section of
this FAQ, please try to contact the author of that section first. All
the Email addresses of people mentioned in this FAQ are listed here
for convenience (in alphabetical order):

Andrew Baldwin
Michael Baas
Daron M. Brewood
Roger Burton-West
Mark Chapman
Steve Clack
Nick Craig-Wood
Alban Debeaupuis
Mike Dolan
Tom Dolbilin
Paul DuBois
Clive D.W. Feather
Mark Gould
Roman Habrat
Steve Hawtin
Jochen Hollmann
Charlotte Holmquist
Markus Illenseer
Erik Johansen
Uwe Kallmeyer
Edwin Klement
Dan Ko
Philippe Lebreton
Steve Litchfield
Neil Masson
Roger Muggleton
Blake Nancarrow
Daniel Pfund
Angus Rae
Dan Ramage
Alan Roberts
Konstantin I. Saliy
Jason Savage
Daniel Senie
Jochen Siegenthaler
Bruce Stephens
Toby Smith
Oliver Wagner
Lloyd Wasser
John A. Watson
Chris Wesley
Walter Wright

If you happen to change addresses or know the new address of someone
on this list, please Email it to me, thanks!


I assert copyright on this document. I encourage you to distribute it
widely, but only in its complete and original form and if you do not
make any money out of it.


For the time being, I (Daniel) am the keeper of the FAQ. If you have
comments or suggestions, corrections, or you have some information you
want to see added or a request that I find some new answers, please
let me know. Please contact me via the Email address at the top of the
FAQ, or if that address doesn't work anymore (will stop working around
the 20th of October 1997), then contact me at: which
(should) work all the time by forwarding me my mail to my current
account. If all else fails, do a web search on my name or check out my
current homepage for more info at:


You're reading it aren't you? SAVE it :-). This FAQ is part of the
"official" news.answers FAQs and is posted monthly to
comp.sys.psion.announce and cross-posted to comp.sys.palmtops,
comp.answers, and news.answers. If you don't have reliable Usenet
access, you can also retrieve the FAQ by:

This article is archived at any site that archives
News.answers' main archive is at, and this article
is available there via anonymous ftp in the directory
Other news.answers FAQ archives are:

+ in the anonymous ftp directory /pub/FAQ
+ in the anonymous ftp directory /pub/usenet (also
available via mail server requests to, or
via uunet's 1-900 anonymous UUCP phone number)
+ in the anonymous ftp directory pub/NEWS.ANSWERS
(also accessible via mail server requests to

You probably will find a location closer to you with the help
of archie or some other search tool. Usually, the news.answers
FAQs are held in a directory like
"usenet/usenet-by-group/news.answers/" and you would be looking
for the "psion-faq" subdirectory in there.

You can use the mailserver at rtfm: send a message containing
the lines "send usenet/news.answers/psion-faq/*" to receive all
parts or send a message containing "help" and "index" to for more information on how to obtain
seperate parts.

There is a HTMLized version of this FAQ on my homepage at (Note that
there is no "l" at the end of "htm", this is not a typo!)
Please use this site for any reference from your own web pages
because it is under my direct control and easily changeable. It
contains links to all the Psion HTML FAQ mirrors available in
the world as well as an archive file of both the text and the
HTML versions of the FAQ for easy downloading and offline
There are also numerous WWW sites archiving all the
news.answers FAQs. My favorite site is in Oxford at:

Please do NOT Email me or anybody else mentioned in this FAQ for the
latest version. We simply cannot handle such matters effectively.

If the date at the top of this FAQ is more than a couple months old,
there is probably a new version available online.

If you're interested to learn how I prepare this FAQ, you can check
out my page about that at:


I thought it might be useful to include a few words about using the
comp.sys.psion.* newsgroup hierarchy. We get a steady trickle of
transgressions and the ensuing admonishments. Maybe we can fix these
before they happen in future. Egg-sucking grannies may skip this
section. (Does that work outside the UK?)
1. READ THE FRIENDLY MANUAL (RTFM) and then the FAQ before posting
any questions! Remember that thes groups are here to help you out
but only if the answer can't be found by yourself. Also remember
that each time you're posting a question to the group, hundreds
(if not thousands) of people will read your question. If the same
questions come up again and again, people will just get bored and
not answer anymore...
2. DON'T BE RUDE. Obvious? Apparently not. Our newsgroup is an oasis
of civilization in a sea of adolescent vitriol and worse. Let's
keep it that way. Say it nicely or don't say it at all. If you
need to be uncomfortably direct, do it in personal mail - don't
post it.
3. When responding to a post, most handlers will give you an edit pad
with the original post inserted. Delete most of this, leaving only
the part which will set the context for your reply. This is more
effective communication, it cuts down on crud to scan through, and
reduces phone bills for those that pay them.
4. Official NETIQUETTE says you should not use the net for
advertising, but the prevalent view here is that the current level
of activity is useful without being obtrusive.
5. Posting binaries is definitively not recommended in the
comp.sys.psion.* usenet groups! There is a seperate Psion binaries
group called comp.binaries.psion which is a moderated group. The
moderator is Erik Johansen. If you wish to post to this group,
either Email your binary directly to the news group's Email
address: and it will arrive to the
moderator or if your news program is configured correctly, post it
directly to the group. You will receive a message in return
usually in a laps of 2-3 days maximum to confirm your binary. It
has been agreed that very large programs which are not Psion
specific (ie: don't run directly on the Psion) should NOT be
posted there but to the relevant computer group. But you should
send a small message to the comp.binaries.psion group stating that
you have just posted your program. It is also common practice to
send a description of your binary; it helps to know if it's worth
downloading it or not! Usually, this description has the same
subject line but with part0(/x) suffix. All postings to this group
have been archived and are indexed on the following FTP site:
6. Consider whether you should be mailing or posting. PING-PONG
personal dialogues may - or may not - be of interest to others. If
not, please don't post.
7. Post to the relevant newsgroup, and please don't cross-post!
Here's a guide to help you:
+ comp.binaries.psion
Used for ALL Psion binaries. Also used for large source code.
+ comp.sys.psion.announce
Used for posting announcements about new programs/hardware;
the FAQ is also posted to this group. This is a low volume
group and it's moderated, that means that all postings must
get approved first by the moderator (Michael L. Kaufman). If
your news server does not send your post to the moderator
(but they all do generally), you can send it yourself
directly for approval at
+ comp.sys.psion.apps
Used for posting questions/answers to all Psion related
programs; frequented by all Psion programmers to get your
feedback and ideas of course ;-)
+ comp.sys.psion.marketplace
Used for selling/buying Psion articles
+ comp.sys.psion.misc
Used for any subject which does not fall into one of the
other categories...
+ comp.sys.psion.programmer
Used for posting programming questions ( OPL / C / ... ), NOT
Used for posting reviews about Psion programs/hardware. This
group is also moderated by Michael L. Kaufman and again, if
your news server is not set up correctly, you can also send
your postings directly to him at



1.1 What is the Psion Series 3/3a?

I will describe the more advanced 3a here. Refer to the hardware
section to see what you lose on the Series 3.

The Psion Series 3 and 3a are palmtop computers. Though packaged as
personal organisers, they are fully general, programmable, powerful
computers. The quality of the built-in applications, coupled with the
power saving hardware make Series 3's excellent personal organisers.
The sophisticated operating system, the hardware, the built-in
programming language, and the options to program in C and assembler
make them excellent general-purpose computers, with the major benefits
of compactness and battery endurance.

Optional link facilities can connect the Series 3 to desktop machines,
allowing data backup and access to the resources of the larger machine
from the Series 3. Modems, fax modems, printers and other peripherals
may also be connected via industry-standard serial and parallel

The built-in applications include a database manager, a sophisticated
word processor, time manager, world date/time and dialling codes
database, calculator and spreadsheet. The latest models (1Mb and 2Mb
RAM models) also include the spell checker/thesaurus and a patience
game (solitaire card game). Many other applications are available
commercially and from shareware outlets. More details in the last part
of this FAQ.

The built-in OPL programming system provides a structured BASIC-like
programming language with access to all the features of the machine.
This includes the ability to program polished Windows/Icons/Menus
interfaces like those found in the built-in applications.

The sound interface can record and playback digital sound. DTMF
dialling tones can be created which allow the Series 3a to dial
numbers directly through a telephone.

1.2 Which model should I buy?

This question is really a personal matter. I would definitively
suggest getting a Series3a (and not 3) because of the greater screen
resolution. As for which memory model, this depends entirely of your
needs and what you plan on doing with your Psion. In general, the more
memory the better (and keep in mind also that the 1/2Mb models offer
the spell checker/thesaurus and solitaire game which you might need).
If you're reading this, you probably have access to Psion
free/shareware also. You will see that these programs will quickly
fill up your memory ;-) so I would suggest to get the biggest model
(2Mb). If on the other hand, money is tight and you don't plan on
using much more than the Agenda and the built-in apps, then I think a
512k is big enough for you. As you can see, there is no simple
solution to this answer!

1.3 When will the "new" Psion come out?

Good question... next please!

Joke apart, nobody really knows. So please folks, just stop asking!
Before the 3c was announced, people didn't expect a new Psion until
1997, but Psion was 3 months early (just in time for Christmas,

The reason no one knew exactly is that Psion is quite relunctant to
give such information simply because they've learned from the past
(from Osborne computers to be more precise ;-) .

Psion have formally announced that their will be new machines during
the year 1997. By the time you read this, the new "Series 5" will
probably be available as it has been rumoured to come out during June
97. That will mean the end of this FAQ... as I'm sure the Series 5
will be a must-have fantastic palmtop!

People were hoping for Infrared comms (IrDa compliant), PCMCIA (most
debated!), RISC (ARM 7100) 32bits, pen for navigation (but hopefully
still a keyboard!), backlight ... You see that Psion have added most
of these features into the 3c!

1.4 What other machines does Psion make?

1.4.1 WorkAbout

This is the latest Psion machine. Very comparable to a Psion Series
3a, it is more robust and has an A-Z keyboard for size reasons. One
nice point: a back lit screen is present. Targeted at the vertical
market, thus not so well known to the general public.

1.4.2 Acorn Pocket Book (by Acorn)

Re-badged Series 3a, aimed at education-related markets. Contains all
the 3a applications, though named differently, plus a spell checker,
thesaurus and a graph plotting application in a 2MB ROM. Password
protection capability is removed. Costs about 20 GBP more than a 3a.

1.4.3 Series 3

The immediate predecessor to the Psion Series 3a is the Series 3. It
is the same machine in size and concept, but is more limited in many
respects. See the hardware comparison table in section 2a for a list
of differences.

1.4.4 Series 3c

The immediate sucessor to the Psion Series3a; was launched 05Sep96
(same time as the Siena). It has the following added features:
* Infra Red connector for Psion to Psion or Psion to printer
* RS232c internal connector for fast connections (upto 57k6)
* Toggleable backlight screen (US model only?)
* Data APP includes a table view and sort option
* Agenda supports a month view (finally!)
* Jotter application added
* Calc application cosmetically changed
* Sound editor included
* Filer app (sort of File manager) with the much awaited "move"
command ;-)
* OVAL run time in ROM (for programmers)
* Tips on startup a la MS
* Optional add on synchronizers for Lotus Organizer and Schedule+
* Optional self powered PC-CARD (PCMCIA) adapter

But, it must also be noted that the 3c does NOT have the definitions
in it's spelling checker/thesaurus application. Psion didn't have
enough room in the ROM to keep them.

1.4.5 Siena

This is not really a palmtop computer, but should more be classified
as a "PDA" (Personal Digital Assistant). It is basically the same as a
3a but available only in 512k/1Mb RAM versions with a half-sized
screen (240*160 pixels). It also includes Jotter but not Files nor
Oval. Next to the top half of the screen you can find a numeric
keypad. Unexpandable (no SSD slots built-in, but you can buy an SSD
adapter); has built-in RS-232 port. See Psion's web site for more

1.4.6 Organiser II series:

* CM - available in 16K only, 16x2 screen, limited software
* XP - available in 16K or 32K, 16x2 screen, limited software
(database, OPL)
* LZ - available in 32K or 64K (LZ64), 20x4 screen, introduced
notepad (basic text processor), dialing codes database, on-screen

There is an Organiser II homepage at

1.5 What other palmtop alternatives are there? (by Jason Savage)

See section 2.1 for the Psion Series 3 and 3a hardware specifications.

Make: Apple
Model: Newton MessagePad 120

Model: ARM 610
Speed: 20 Mhz
Bit size: 32-bit

Type: Monochrome, reflective LCD
Pixel Screen size: 320 x 240

Size: 1MB RAM (385K user data & 639K system) or 2MB RAM (1,361K
user data & 687K system)

Expansion slots
Type: Type II PC-Card (PCMCIA 2.0)
Number: 1

Size (W x D x H): 10.16 x 20.32 x 2.9 cm (4.0" x 8.0" x 1.2")
Weight: 480 grams (16 ounces)

Power Requirements
Batteries: 4 x AA (main) & 1 x CR2032 (backup)
Battery Life (Approx): Up to 22 hours
Provision for AC Adaptor: Yes

Input/Output Ports
Serial (max speed): Yes, RS-422 8-pin DIN (230,000 bps)
Parallel: No
Infrared: Yes, (38,400 bps)
Other: Optional FAX modem

Keyboard: Yes, Popup virtual keyboard (QWERTY, Numeric, & Phone pad)

Included Applications:

+ Newton Intelligence (Handwriting Recognition, Object Oriented
Database Programming language and Communications services)
+ Calendar (like Agenda)
+ NewtonMail (email client)
+ To-Do Lists (like Agenda)
+ Rolodex-like Address Book (like Data)
+ Digital Ink ScratchPad
+ Calculator (like Calc)
+ World Time Clock (like World)
+ Dictionary (13,000 words)
+ Notion List Manager (like Data)

Make: Casio
Model: Z-7000 (AKA: Zoomer, Tandy Z-PDA, AST GRiDPad 2390)

Model: NEC V20
Speed: 7.7Mhz
Bit size: 16-bit

Type: Monochrome reflective, touchscreen
Pixel Screen size: 320 x 256

Size: 1 Mb (384K user data & 640K system)

Expansion slots
Type: Type II PC-Card (PCMCIA 2.0)
Number: 1

Size (W x D x H): 10.76 x 17.62 x 2.6 cm (4.2" x 6.8" x 1")
Weight: 430 grams (15.2 ounces)

Power Requirements
Batteries: 3 x AA (main) & 2 x CR2032 (backup)
Battery Life (Approx): 100 hours (catalog: 90 hours)
Provision for AC Adaptor: Yes

Input/Output Ports
Serial (max speed): Yes, 10-pin, (19,200 bps)
Parallel: No
Infrared: Yes, (9600, Casio)
Other: Round telescoping pen

Keyboard: Yes, Virtual Pop-up software QWERTY, A-Z or International

Included Applications:

+ Date Book (like Agenda)
+ Address Book (like Data)
+ Note Book (Digital Ink Scratchpad & Document Manager with
+ Pocket Quicken (Financial Organiser)
+ America Online (Access software for the service provider of
the same name)
+ Calculator (like Calc)
+ Forms Calculator
+ World Clock (like World)
+ Language Translator (26 languages & up 1000 words per
+ Games (Solitaire, Pyramid Solitaire & UKI)
+ File Manager
+ Consumer Information
+ U.S. Information
+ World Information

Make: Hewlett Packard
Model: 200LX

Model: variable speed Hornet
Speed: 7.91 MHz
Bit size: 16-bit

Type: CGA-compatible FTN liquid crystal
Pixel Screen size: 640 x 200

Size: 1 or 2MB of RAM

Expansion slots
Type: Type II PC-Card (PCMCIA 2.0)
Number: 1

Size (W x D x H): 16 x 8.64 x 2.54 cm (6.3" x 3.4" x 1")
Weight: 312 grams (11 ounces)

Power Requirements
Batteries: 2xAA (main) & 1xCR2032 (backup)
Battery Life (Approx): 80 hours
Provision for AC Adaptor: Yes

Input/Output Ports
Serial (max speed): Yes, 9-wire (115K?)
Parallel: No
Infrared: Yes
Other: No

Keyboard: Yes, QWERTY

Included Applications:

+ Pocket Quicken (Financial Organiser)
+ cc:Mail (E-mail client)
+ Data Communications (VT-100, ANSI & TTY emulation)
+ Lotus 1-2-3 r.2.4 (like Sheet)
+ Laplink (like Remote Link) for file transfers
+ Appointment Book (like Agenda)
+ Phone Book (like Data)
+ HP financial calculator (like Calc)
+ Memo editor with outliner (like Word)
+ Notetaker (like Notepad)
+ Database (like Data)
+ Filer (like File Manager)
+ Worldtime & Stopwatch (like World)
+ System Macros
+ Application Manager
+ Setup Utility

See also the following WWW site for a more complete comparaison
of Psion3a-HP200lx with over 170 articles:

Make: Hewlett Packard
Model: OmniGo 100 Organizer Plus

Model: Intel 80C186 compatible
Speed: 16 Mhz
Bit size: 16-bit

Type: FSTN LCD with Touchscreen
Pixel Screen size: 240 x 240

Size: 1MB RAM

Expansion slots
Type: Type II PC-Card (PCMCIA 1.0: SRAM memory cards no Flash
or Modems)
Number: 1

Size (W x D x H): 15.3 x 9.5 x 2.6 cm (6" x 3.7" x 1")
Weight: 329 grams (11.6 ounces)

Power Requirements
Batteries: 2 x AA (main) & 1 x CR2032 (backup)
Battery Life (Approx): ?
Provision for AC Adaptor: No

Input/Output Ports
Serial (max speed): Yes, 10-wire, (?)
Parallel: No
Infrared: No
Other: Yes, Pen

Keyboard: Yes, QWERTY (5 function keys)

Included Applications:

+ Appointment book (like Agenda)
+ Phonebook (like Data)
+ Notepad (like Word)
+ Database (like Data)
+ Worldtime and stopwatch (like World)
+ Jotter (Digital Ink Scratchpad)
+ Geoworks Book Reader
+ Financial Tools
+ Spreadsheet (like Sheet)
+ Emulated HP 12C financial calculator (like Calc)
+ Graffiti handwriting system (handwriting recognition)
+ Transfer (like Remote Link)
+ Setup Utility (like Install)
+ Solitaire

Make: Motorola
Model: Envoy Communicator

Model: Motorola Dragon 68349
Speed: 16 Mhz
Bit size: 32-bit

Type: Reflective FSTN Touch Screen
Pixel Screen size: 480 x 320

Size: 1 MB

Expansion slots
Type: Type II PC-Card (PCMCIA 2.0) slots
Number: 2

Size (W x D x H): 14.8 x 19.2 x 2.9 cm (5.8" x 7.6" x 1.2")
Weight: 770 grams (1.7 pounds)

Power Requirements
Batteries: Rechargeable Ni-Cad (main) & 1 x CR2032 (backup)
Battery Life (Approx): 8 hours
Provision for AC Adaptor: Yes, combined with Charger

Input/Output Ports
Serial (max speed): Yes, 14-pin MagicBus (38,400 bps)
Parallel: Yes, MagicBus
Infrared: Yes, FSK compliant
Other: 2 round full length pens, 4800 bps send/receive radio
packet modem, 9600 bps FAX send modem & 2400 bps data modem

Keyboard: Optional, QWERTY

Included Applications:

+ Date Book (like Agenda)
+ World Time Clock (like World)
+ Address Book (like Data)
+ Notebook (like Agenda To-Do List)
+ Calculator (like Calc)
+ America Online (connection software for the service provider
of the same name)
+ AT&T PersonaLink (connection software for the service
provider of the same name)
+ SmartWallet

Make: Sharp
Model: ZR-5000 & ZR-5000FX AKA: Zaurus K-PDA

Model: Sharp Proprietary
Speed: ?
Bit size: 16-bit

Type: DFSTN LCD, Touch screen (finger or stylus)
Pixel Screen size: 320 x 240

Size: 1MB RAM (750k user data & 250K system)

Expansion slots
Type: Type II PC-Card (PCMCIA 2.0)
Number: 1

Size (W x D x H): 17.0 x 10.0 x 2.54 cm (6.7" x 3.9" x 1.0")
Weight: 385 grams (13.6 ounces approx.)

Power Requirements
Batteries: 2 x AA (main) & 1 x CR-2032 (backup)
Battery Life (Approx): Up to 60 hours (~2 months)
Provision for AC Adaptor: Yes

Input/Output Ports
Serial (max speed): Yes, 15-pin proprietary, (19,200 bps)
Parallel: No
Infrared: Yes, (IrDA & ASK Compliant)
Other: Round pen & FAX modem with ZR-5000FX

Keyboard: Yes, QWERTY configuration

Included Applications:

+ Activities (like Agenda)
+ Contacts (like Data) limited to 3 files
+ Data Files (also like Data) limited to 3 files
+ Notes (Digital Ink Scratchpad)
+ Documents (like Word) with Spell Checker
+ Outline (like Outline mode in Word)
+ Home & World Clocks (like Time & World)
+ Calculator (like Calc)
+ Filer (Manages Printing, Faxing, Email & File transfers)
+ Messaging (E-mail client)
+ FAX/Sending (FAX client)
+ Terminal Mode (ASCII & VT-100 emulation)

Make: USR
Model: Pilot

Specs thanks to David Richards at

Model: Motorola 68328 "Dragonball"
Speed: 16 MHz?
Bit size: 16-bit

Type: Monochrome, reflective LCD
Pixel Screen size: 160 x 160

Size: 512K ROM
128K RAM (Pilot 1000), 512K (Pilot 5000), or 1Mb upgrade

Expansion slots
Type: Proprietary memory (replaces RAM)
Number: 1

Size (W x D x H): 3.2" x .7" x 4.7"
Weight: 385 grams (5.7 ounces approx.)

Power Requirements
Batteries: 2 x AAA (main)
Battery Life (Approx): 30 hours
Provision for AC Adaptor: No

Input/Output Ports
Serial (max speed): Yes, Proprietary edge connector (57,600
Parallel: No
Infrared: No

Keyboard: Yes, Popup virtual keyboard (QWERTY, Numeric, accent)

Included Applications:

+ Date book
+ Address book
+ To Do List
+ Memo pad
+ Calculator

End of part 1/6

[Go to next part]

All pages coming from
(and this is one of them!) are copyright 1996 Daniel Pfund.
|\ |\ PSION specialists:
| )|/ *--------------------------------------------*
|/ |

Daniel `HB9VBC' Pfund

Apr 17, 2004, 7:27:12 AM4/17/04
Archive-name: psion-faq/part3

Version: $VER: Psion FAQ v2.6

part 3

See part 1 for complete table of contents of this FAQ (including this

3.10 How can I permanently change the distance units in World? (by Ian

World takes its distance cue from the printer defaults set on the
System screen (Psion-y on UK Psions). Set it to centimetres and World
will use kilometres as default.

3.11 Why do some programs crash with an "Invalid arguments" error?

Some applications (mainly free/shareware) crash with an error message

Invalid arguments

This is due to changes in the UK default settings of either number
formats (System menu) or time format (Time). You could try changing
these but you're better off informing the programmer of the problem!

3.12 Why is my Psion not switching itself off automatically anymore? (by
Philippe Lebreton)

1. Obvious: because you changed the "Auto switch off" to NO.
2. You changed it to "If no external power" and you're using external
3. The Series 3 will only switch off if no task is outpending (eg: a
spreadsheet is calculating in the background).
4. Some badly programmed programs do never stop performing a task. If
you know which one it is, close it. If you don't, close them all.
5. Some files are still running but you can't see them on the System
screen. These are often IMG programs which might sub-application
programs (ie: launched by another one) that you are not supposed
to see. You can attempt to see them by cycling through the running
processes with Shift-System. If you want to kill a process, you
can use Shift-Psion-k. If you cannot find any suspect processes,
then the process probably doesn't allow you to bring it to the
foreground. The only way to find these is to use SPY from Psion
and kill them from there. But beware, don't kill any SYS$xxxx
processes as these are system processes and need to be running
(otherwise your Psion would reset itself).
6. If all else really fails, do a soft reset. All your files will
still be there but your System screen needs to be re installed.

3.13 How can I change the fonts in the system applications? (by Roman Habrat)

"A time ago I sarched for a method for changing the fonts used by
standard applications. I wanted to implement polish national
characters in the fonts. No success. The only fonts one can replace
are dialog/menu fonts, "screen corner message" font and some
little, unimportant fonts used by i.e. clock. The other fonts are
opened directly from ROM by the applications.

I understand why. The Psion creators prepared methods to use other
fonts by additional applications (by opening a user's own fonts).
But user applications use also menus and dialogs. So there is
wSetSystemFont() function to change font in them. And that's all.
The creators did not foresee that one would want to change fonts in
the built-in application.

There is commercial solution for national characters problem (apart
of changing the hardware ROM). It was implemented in Czech
Republic, and now in Poland. Parts of operating system located in
memory (RAM) are replaced, and new parts are added. All English
system texts are replaced by Polish texts. The fonts are modified.
Additional key combinations are interpreted. It works. But it uses
170 KB of RAM (80 for OS, and 90 for resource files), so it is
better for 1MB/2MB models."

3.14 Is Perl ported to the Psion? (by Bruce Stephens)

"The answer is no, because of memory limitations. Something
Perl-like is surely practical, but I don't know of anything. Scheme
exists though, in a rather limited (just about useless) form; see
my "port" (more "compilation" really) of scm"

3.15 How do I undelete a file if I've accidentaly deleted it?

If you've deleted your file from the internal RAM, then there's
nothing you can do to get it back. If on the other hand you've deleted
a file on a SSD, there's a chance of getting the info back. For flash
disks, you can use Konstantin I. Saliy's "Undelete" shareware. For RAM
SSDs, you'll have to phone Psion and send it in to them directly. Be
sure not to use the RAM SSD anymore or the data may get overwriten!

3.16 How can I synchronize my desktop agenda with my Psion's? (by Dr. Karl

I tried the following approaches:
1. PsiWin from Psion: It should convert Lotus Oganizer 2.1 files, but
on my file (containing about 300 appointments and 200 To-do
items), it crashes and even takes Windows 95 down with it.This
might be related to some instabilities of Lotus Organizer files I
had to cope with from time to time. Also, PsiWin is not of much
use for my purposes since it is not able to synchronize the two
2. Thomas Lansing (, Fax +49-203-372570) has
written a Shareware Windows version of Agenda called Psioman.
Although it is a very nice program, it does not reach the
functionality of programs like Lotus Organizer and Microsoft
Schedule. However, for people who do not have too large Agenda
files, the program is a good way to keep things on the PC.
3. Finally, I bought Agenda Link 2 written by John Whiting (Widget,
+44-1438-815444). This program allows to transfer Agenda files to
Lotus Organizer and Microsoft Schedule and back. Also, it allows
synchronization, with definable ways to do it (which is the master
file, automatic and manual). Apart from a few minor quirks, this
program works very well and has solved my problem.


4.1 Known hardware problems & solutions

4.1.1 Battery warnings (see also below: "problems when opening the

The contacts to the main batteries are poor in many machines. This
causes the machine to report low battery power inappropriately, and
may cause automatic switchoff. The fix is to ensure the contacts are
clean, and making firm contact with the battery. Different battery
brands can be slightly different sizes, so pick a larger one.
Batteries with dimples in either contact are more prone to problems.
You might consider kludging a fix by bending the contacts, or decide
to return your machine for replacement. Note that when replacing dead
batteries with NiCads, you may see the REPLACE warning for a few
seconds after the new cells are inserted. This is normal, and will go
away on its own.

The backup battery may also have faulty contacts. Kathleen James
suggested putting a little piece of paper between the battery and the
contact on the top of it. Be sure not to obstruct the contact though!
She said: I kept getting the message 'Replace Backup battery!' but
never 'Backup battery is low'. Putting the paper in got rid of the
message, and Battery Info says: Good.

4.1.2 Problems when opening the machine

Opening/closing the older Series 3's can cause (possibly intermittent)
problems to the machine's power supply, which in turn can manifest
several problems mentioned in this FAQ. The constant twisting of the
lead connecting the main board to the battery contacts can cause
damage. This problem is the most serious one and is know as the
"dreaded battery lead problem". Psion will repair this in warranty.
You can fix it yourself if your machine is out of warranty. Remove the
screws behind the batteries. Sometime re-seating the two-pin connector
will give a permanent fix, otherwise, if you're handy, replace the
wires. This problem is the number one problem. If you've got a battery
problem, check these wires first! It will most likely happen to all
Psion Series 3a's after a more or less long period of time. It has
happened to me personally after two and a half years. Apparently, the
gentler you close your case, the longer the wires will last.

4.1.3 Automatic dialling

The built-in dialer is reported as variously as excellent, through
unreliable to un-useable. Sometimes it will work on internal phone
systems but not BT - sometimes vice versa. The recommendation for
improving performance is to place the Series 3 on a flat non-resonant
surface, and holding the phone just above it - not against it.

4.1.4 Alarms replaced by odd beeps

Not a bug, but a response by your machine to low battery power. When
there is insufficient power to play the chosen alarm, it makes this
noise which is designed to be loud but economical on power. Low
available power can also be caused by poor battery connections or by
the "dreaded battery lead problem" mentioned earlier.

4.1.5 Alarms come in pairs

Several people report that their machine can get into a mode whereby
alarms sound - and need to be acknowledged - twice. This problem can
be fixed by doing a soft reset or sometimes by exiting and restarting

4.1.6 Display problems

The Psion display flickers in bright sunlight - use an umbrella.

The LCD display works in such a way that the reflected light is
polarized. If you wear polarising sunglasses who plane of polarization
is at odds with that of the Psion, you'll see a blank screen. Fix:
Take your shades off, or get some which are not simple polarizing
lenses. Ray-Bans, for example, do not polarize in a single plane.

Some people have noticed problems with odd pixels, lines, rows or
patches of pixels (usually in a corner - usually the lower right
corner). These remain on (dark) all the time. In each case, there is
no real fix but to return the machine for repair or replacement.

4.1.7 An area of darker pixels appears in one corner of the LCD (by Nick

This just seems to happen with ageing of the LCD. It doesn't appear to
get any worse, and if you have your LCD replaced it is likely to
happen again. It may be related to the stresses of the LCD in the case
but this is unverified.

4.1.8 Lifting button bar

Older Series3's had problems with the button bar at the top of the
keyboard, which has a tendency to lift off. Also, some often-used
buttons could stop working. Replacement is the best option. Glue might
help those with no warranty. See the manual for key presses which can
in all cases duplicate the function of defunct buttons (Series 3

For Series 3a owners, several programs are available to help you
switch back to the System screen. The worst case is if you're stuck in
the Time app since you cannot close it anymore. It has been found out
by a 2 year old (sic!) that you can "emulate" the Sheet button with
the key combination of "up cursor, down cursor and Esc". Yes, it seems
strange but it works! This will either put you into an open Sheet file
or bring you to the Sheet icon on the System screen. To go directly to
the Sheet icon each time, press the Psion key at the same time as the
above combination.

Another such key combination has been reported by Timothy Giles: "up
cursor, p key and Esc" will emulate the Calc button. Apparently, there
is a pattern and this key sequence was found by studying the keyboard
values of keys...

Series 3a's with non functioning button bars may be due to some
impact. Pat Egan at passed this nice
tip to me (originally writen by Kevin Reilly and anotated in capitals
by Pat): Kevin wrote:

"I've had this problem twice now (I think it's caused by impact;
has your machine been dropped recently?). The problem is caused by
a ribbon cable becoming detached from the 'bottom' PCB - the one
with the loudspeaker and SSD connectors. There are two solutions
depending on your bravery and/or whether the warranty's expired.
1. Send it to Psion for repair. I've not done this so I don't know
about turnaround times or costs.
2. The 'do it yourself' method. You won't need many tools (a smallish
watchmakers' screwdriver is actually sufficient) but I'd suggest
ESSD handling precautions should be taken if possible. Having said
that I once did this repair in a hotel room in Boston so workshop
conditions aren't essential :)

If you're confident enough to have a go, here's the method:
* Back up all the data, or copy everything to an SSD. If it's a RAM
SSD make sure the battery's OK!
* Remove all SSDs and batteries. Remove the four screws inside the
battery compartment and remove it by unplugging the battery lead
* Remove the two screws inside the SSD doors. You'll have to break
the warranty seal to get to one of these
* Open the Psion (take care not to damage the button bar which can
become trapped by the keyboard cover).
* Remove the keyboard cover (with the yellow legends on). This is
the tricky bit. I've found by experience that the best way is to
carefully lever the rear part up past the hinges, then lift it out
towards you.
* Remove the rubber membrane with the keys on it. Carefully. Drop
all those little keys and you'll be there all night trying to
remember what goes where :)
* Lift the keyboard/PCB panel out, front edge first. This just
'sits' on the connections beneath; lift it up about 40 degrees and
slide it out towards you. You might have to press the comms port
cover in with the screwdriver to release it.
* Near the middle/front of the lower PCB there should be a BLUE
ribbon cable going into a socket (it's the thinner of the two
cables). This is the little baby which comes loose. PUSH THE
into the connector then slide in the small plastic 'tabs'. These
should lock the ribbon in place. It is these tabs which detach
when the unit is dropped. I've been tempted to seal them with a
drop of adhesive but I wonder if the next drop won't then split
the ribbon cable
* Reassembly is generally the reverse of disassembly, but take care
when refitting the keyboard/PCB board; the serial connector is a
very tight fit. Don't try to force it. It'll almost drop in when
it's positioned correctly."

4.1.9 Left hinge breaks

This might be due to excessive wear and tear on the extension port
(but unverified). It seems that it is a design flaw which Psion
doesn't want to admit... whatever the case, there is no other solution
than glue or replacement! Ali Manson (Psion Inc's Technical Manager)
stated that this problem occured in about 1.5% of all returns they
receive. So don't be scared off by the apparently huge number of
people stating having had this problem in the news groups!

A solution was posted by Charlotte Holmquist posted a solution to the
newsgroup a while ago. Steve Hawtin commented the fix with his own
version which also entailed detaching the icon bar completely. Here is
the transcript with Steve's comments as they were posted:

"You will need: mini-Philips screwdriver, xacto knife, drill, 1-2
mm diameter square nail or small drill bit, 1-2 mm diameter spring
wire, wire-cutters, pliers, tweezers (optional, depends on how big
your paws are).

Steve: I used a small screw, by trimming the head off I managed to
get about 2mm of plain cylinder (for the hinge) with just the start
of the thred to screw it into the plastic of the icon strip.

1. Back up ALL information
2. Make sure your back-up battery is healthy, preferably fresh (mine
wasn't fresh but it lasted through the surgery)

Steve: You really have three options here:
1. Attempt to last out on the backup battery like Charlotte did
2. Keep a mains adaptor plugged in
3. Give up on trying to save the contents
I went for the final one, this is because I wanted to detach the
icon strip from the Psion rather than working with the Psion

3. Remove battery cover
4. Remove batteries
5. Remove 4 small screws
6. Remove battery holder -- it swings out to the left, looking at the
psion from behind, battery holder on top
7. The blue battery lead is attached to a socket on the main body,
the leads run under a holder, protected by a rubber collar
8. Carefully slip the collar from under the holder and use the
tweezer (or your tiny fingers) to unplug the battery plug. Pull on
the plug, not on the wires.
9. Your psion now runs on the back-up battery.
10. You will see how everything is put together. You will notice two
springs on either end of the buttonbar.
11. Slip the loops of the spring-wires off the plastic pegs.
12. Lift the long arms of the spring-wires out of position on the
button-bar to release it.
13. Note that the button-bar still is attached by its lead to the main

Steve: To detach the icon bar completely:
+ Remove the backup battery if you haven't already done so.
+ Open the two drive doors, you will see two screws (one is
obscured by a warning about warranty, only remove it if you
don't mind losing your warranty).
+ Tease out the two pins holding the screen to the main body.
+ Use a screwdriver to carefully lever the keyboard circuit
board from the back of the case, note the two tabs next to
where the icon bar used to be, these need to be gently pushed
in during the levering. Make sure that the screwdriver does
not touch the circuit board (use the metal shields to push
+ Once the back of the keyboard has lifted the two lugs at the
front will slip out easily.
+ You can now see the connector on the main circuit board, push
the two catches on either side until they are all the way
out, the icon ribbon will now pull out easily.

The icon strip is now completely detached from the rest of the

14. You should now be able to manipulate the button-bar so that you
can see the place where the plastic peg of the left hinge has
broken off. You will also see where the peg fit into a hole in the
15. Use a small drill to drill through the root of the peg, the spot
where you will see that it broke off from. I didn't have a small
enough drill so I used a small square nail in my drill machine.

Steve: To reassemble follow the above steps in reverse order. The
main "gotcha" is the pair of lugs at the front of the keyboard,
make sure they are well in before pushing the back down. The 3a
has some connectors between the back and the main circuit board
(the 3 just had wires) these seem to always just snap into place.

16. Cut approximately 2 cm of the wire and bend it at a right angle in
the middle.
17. Trim one end so that approximately 1-1.5 mm will reach into the
case of the psion when you've slipped it through the hole you made
in the arm of the button-bar.
18. Trim the other so that it slips down to the edge of the button
bar, in the slot where the arm of the spring normally rests. I had
to trim a bit of the plastic (approx. 0,2 mm) in the ridge to make
my wire fit. After trimming the wire will be approximately 5 mm.
19. Slip your new peg through the hole you made, into the case. Place
the other arm in the slot where the wire-spring rests.
20. Replace the spring-wires. First the long arms, then slip the loops
onto their peg.
21. The beauty of it all is that the left spring now keeps your new
peg in place: No glue needed.
22. Enjoy!"

As I said before, I won't accept responsibility for any damage
caused by trying out my tip. Just because it's worked for me, it
doesn't need to work for you. If you are unused to using your hands
or careless or impatient or simply have bad luck you can cause

Steve: This goes double for actually delving inside the main box!

4.1.10 Key marks on display

This is a quite common problem when the Psion is new. The upper and
lower body of the case are a little too tight so when you open it
again, you see some key marks on the screen. Apparently it also has
something to do with the "oilness" of your fingers... To fix this,
either put something between the two or clean the screen with a soft

From Philippe Lebreton:

"It is an ABSOLUTE NECESSITY to clean the marks on the display
regularly (or I'm a very strange guy), it appears that the
"oilness" can be "acidness", at least in my case. Because the marks
on the S3a where much much less visible than they where on the S3,
I did not bother to clean them, and my screen is now permanently
marked (I can feel the dent with my nail)."

From Jochen Hollmann:

"Some (greenish) displays have a protection film on the surface,
which makes these displays thicker than other (grayish) displays.
To test if this is the case, remove the gray frame with the printed
Psion logo on it carefully from the inner side. This frame is
actually glued on the display itself. You should be able to sense
the film. (It was mounted about 2mm from the outer boundary of my
display.) When removed, put the frame back to the old place.

You should wait as long as possible before you remove the
protection film, because you can do it only once in the lifetime of
your display."

4.1.11 Keys rubbing off

Unfortunately this was quite common with some older Series 3 and 3a.
Actually there seem to be several different keyboard types, so it is
not predictable if it will happen to you or not. There is no simple
solution to this problem. If your Psion is not in warranty anymore,
you can contact Psion PLC which offer a "cosmetic upgrade".

Blake Nancarrow suggests placing a piece of clear ("Magic") tape on
the key(s). He finds that the tape wears out after 1 to 2 months.

Some other people suggested to use some nail polish to protect the
keys. I have done this myself and it works quite good! The polish
wears off after some months.

4.2 Known software problems & solutions

4.2.1 World phone numbers wrong

Apparently, a number of the country codes are wrong. You can fix this
by editing the country information as required, though there is a
limited number of slots available in the database. Also note that a
complete change in area codes was done in the UK during 1994/5. See
the Phoneday program at the IC or on CIX for details and a suite of
programs to fix your databases.

4.2.2 Area codes causing problems

The Psion will dial all of the number you select. In some countries,
(not the UK) dialling the area code for a local call causes problems.
Psion's recommended fix is to have two entries for the party -
specifying the number both with and without the area code.

4.2.3 Data security with link connected

If you have the link switched on, then files can be copied from your
machine even when it is password protected. Be sure to turn the link
off to remove this possibility. Note also that the link can turn the
Psion on when it is off, and will transfer data even as the password
screen is being presented.

4.2.4 Security affected by the Macro System

Users of Tom Dolbilin's Macro System should be aware that macro key
presses work even on a password-protected Series 3.

4.2.5 Word hangs on "busy" when saving a text file forever

This is a quite annoying bug which has still not been resolved by
Psion. Actually, it is a limitation: the first paragraph should not be
bigger than 512 characters. Either start your file with a CR or make a
small paragraph ;-)

4.2.6 Size limits of inbuilt programs

The Psion Series 3(a) have a limited memory for each process they run
of 64Kb. This means that the program and it's data must always stay
below this limit. Usually you don't need to worry about this, but some
people have found out about it the hard way: they couldn't save their
document anymore. There is no way around this except to split your big
document into smaller ones. Be extra careful with the Agenda program,
make sure you regularly delete/tidy and compress it to regain space.

The Agenda files don't have to be under 64k themselves, but it is the
entries' index which must stay within this limit. It is quite possible
to have an Agenda file consisting of long memos but few entries; hence
the file could run into hundreds of k in size without a problem.

4.2.7 Shell panics - exit 130 (from Konstantin I. Saliy)

If you press home (Psion-left) in an empty directory, you will cause a
shell panic (and lose all your icon information, beware!). This is
because "home" moves to the first file and not directory entry. It was
found up to v3.4F (3c).

4.2.8 Bug in world application (from Konstantin I. Saliy)

It doesn't allow you to enter 0 (zero) as the first digit of an area

4.2.9 Bug when using proportional fonts with the OPL editor

The program editor does not work correctly if you set the font to
proportional. Be sure to always leave it monospaced!

4.2.10 PostScript printing not putting a "%!PS" in the file

This is a problem with the PostScript INI file in the Psion's ROM. You
need to copy that file into your \WDR directory and then add the
"%!PS" yourself. The Psion will then use your edited INI file instead
of the ROM's.

4.2.11 Searching fault in Word Application (from Mark Chapman)

When Psion Word does a search, it breaks the text up into 256
character chunks. When doing a forward search the chunks start at the
current cursor position, and at the start of each following paragraph.
When doing backward searches the chunks start at the current cursor
position and at the end of each preceding paragraph. If the word you
are searching for straddles the join between 2 adjacent chunks, the
search fails!

This can easily be demonstrated by entering a paragraph of text which
is over 256 characters long, positioning the cursor at the start, and
then searching for the word which includes the 256th and 257th

A few ideas which reduce (but not eliminate) the problem.
1. Keep search strings as short as possible
2. Do two searches, one in forward direction from the start of the
document, and the other in the reverse direction from the end of
the document. It's far less likely that a word will be n * 256
characters from the start of a paragraph, as well as i * 256
characters from the end, where i and n are integers. (About 0.1%
failure rate with an 8 character search string, which is probably
3. Keep paragraphs short (difficult to keep under 256 characters!)

It shouldn't crop up in the OPL editor, (where global search and
replace is often used to change variable names), because there's
usually a return character at the end if each line, and each line will
be <256 characters?

Basic message is don't rely on global search and replace to work
properly in Word app.

4.2.12 Comms app crashes when you try to end a script that has already
ended (from Jochen Siegenthaler)

Bug still found on the 3c!

4.3 Other official Psion repair centres

Pinnock Organiser Service (POS)
Paul Pinnock
143 Streatham High Road
Streatham, London SW16
Phone: +44 181 677 9246
Vodafone: +44 831 194985

Paul has moved (on the same street), but I lost his new address! I
believe the phone above will redirect you to his new one though.

Paul is an ex Psion employee and does an excellent job (reading the
good reports he always gets on the net and compuserve).

Fa. Harlander
Mr. Peter Hodac
Altmannsdorferstr. 92
A-1120 Vienna

Peter also offers a 512 KB upgrade to a full 2MB machine by changing
the motherboard as well as the troublesome flexible link Kabel between
the bottom and the screen. Price around 500 USD, turnaround time 2
working days.

4.4 User groups

Club Series 3 [France & International]
Contact Alban Debeaupuis for more infos or write to:
Club Series 3
6 rue de Fecamp
75012 Paris
Phone: +33 1 40 04 92 19
Fax: +33 1 43 07 25 96

Club Series 3 Suisse Romand [Switzerland's french speaking part]
You can contact me directly (Daniel) by Email or write to:
Andre Robert
rte de la Maladiere 4
1022 Chavannes
Phone: +41 21 691 89 62

PEAT - Psion Enthusiasts Association of Toronto [Canada]
E-mail Blake Nancarrow ( for more info
or call him directly at (416) 535-1899 extension 3.

PSILOG [Switzerland]
Fluelastrasse 47
8047 Zurich
Phone: +41 1 401 12 12
Fax: +41 1 401 08 15

Psion Friends Vienna
Responsable: BorisMichaelv. Luhovoy
Online support and private lessons at the owners workplace/home
(50 USD/hour)

Psion Users Group Netherlands (Psion gebruikersvereniging Nederland)
Postbox 82
8700 AB Bolsward
The Netherlands
Fax/BBS: +31 515 574188 (upto & including 28K8, 8N1 24H)
Sysop: Alex Brandsma

4.5 Online services

See also "Connecting your Psion" elsewhere for information on how to
connect your Psion with modems.

4.5.1 Internet

There is a Usenet newsgroup hierarchy called comp.sys.psion.* in which
even Psion employees lurk around (see first part for details of the
newsgroups). There is also the comp.binaries.psion group for binaries.
Before posting, it is considered good practice to read the messages
and get the "feel" of the group for a while (apart from thoroughly
reading through this FAQ ;-)

The comp.sys.psion.* groups are entirely archived at the IC FTP site
in the packages/psion/comp.sys.psion.*/ directories. The
comp.binaries.psion group is archived at the moderator's direct FTP
site: and at the IC FTP site
in the packages/psion/comp.binaries.psion directory.

4.5.2 CIX

Psion is also on CIX. Check the Palmtop A forum. There is an offline
reader for the 3a (only) called "ReadCIX"

4.5.3 Compuserve

There is a Psion discussion forum called the palmtop a forum. You can
access it by typing GO PALMTOPA. There is also an offline reader for
the 3a/c (only) called "ReadCIS".

4.5.4 AOL

There is a Psion discussion forum that you can access with GO PSION.

4.5.5 Microsoft Network

Who has experience here?

4.6 Bulletin boards (BBSes)

All numbers are given in ITU format. To dial numbers outside your
country, replace the + by your international code. To dial numbers
inside your country, replace + and the country code by your national
dialling code. For example: UK: for "+", dial "00", except for "+44"
dial "0". US: for "+", dial "011", except for "+1" dial "1". Note that
the Psion 3a at least knows how to do this. (Clive D.W. Feather)
* Crystal Tower +44 817 598 244 [UK]
* Dacom BBS +44 1908 260 435 [UK]
Sysop: Andrew Morrow
Notes: Psion Dacom, updates for PCMCIA Gold Cards
Location: Milton Keynes, UK
* Ellis BBS +33 1 43 33 15 47 [France]
* Excom BBS +41 1 781 4225 [Switzerland]
* Flightpath +44 181 759 3332 or +44 181 759 6664 [UK]
* Metcom BBS +44 1442 257 527 [UK]
* Pacific BBS +44 1430 431 145 [UK]
* Psychotic Mouse +44 149 475 8998 [UK]
Sysop: John Portwin
Time: 9am-4pm GMT
* Psion BBS +44 175 289 4422 [UK]
* Psion GmbH BBS +49 6172 969350 [Germany]
Sysop: Matthias Hlscher
Notes: Series3/3a software, PCMCIA Gold Card updates
Location: Bad Homburg
* The User Group +44 1752 894 422 [UK]
Sysop: Adam Taylor
Notes: Privately run, but Psion UK have an account there
* Datalink BBS +44 1202 660 838 [UK] (closed down for some months)
* Skywaves BBS +44 1202 523 842 [UK] temporary replacement for
Sysop: Francis Creese
* ??? +32 3 226 20 79 [Belgium]

4.7 Magazines

4.7.1 Palmtop

This is an excellent publication entirely devoted to the Psion. It is
called (quite rightly IMHO): "PALMTOP - The journal for today's Psion
user". It is an independant magazine in the B5 format running 108
pages (minimum) bimonthly. It is run by two people full time. Only
available by subscription, credit cards accepted. For more info email
Steve Clack at or check out their web site at:

4.7.2 Handheld Systems (previously PDA Developers)

As the title says, this is a magazine clearly devoted to developers on
Personnal Digital Assistants (PDAs). This is a general denomination
and covers a wide range of machines, amongst which the Psion (although
this could be arguable...). It can get quite technical at times but
always very instructive with loads of examples and source code. Only
problem: being an american magazine & Psion not being too well known
over there, it tends to get quite thin on Psion articles. Published
bimonthly. For more info, contact:

Handheld Systems
293 Corbett Avenue
San Francisco, CA 94114
Phone: +1 415 621 4252
Fax: +1 415 621 4922

4.7.3 Mobilis: The Mobile Computing Lifestyle Magazine (by Jason Savage)

This on-line webzine found on the World-Wide Web is devoted mainly to
all palmtops and PDAs currently on the market including the beloved
Psion series 3. Like PDA Developers, the Psion specific articles are
sparse but having Steve Clack on staff as the European Correspodent
and Psion Editor should ensure a steady flow of articles and best of
all the magazine is free. (Well almost free. You still have to pay
your service provider for connection time while you read it on-line).
Mobilis can be reached at:

4.8 "Anti-thief" tips

There's nothing you can do against your Psion being stolen... on the
other hand, you can increase your chances of finding it again. It has
been suggested to put a warning message of the like "$$$ REWARD if
found - useless without password $$$" in the owner info. Not strictly
true, but you never know. If you don't want to type a password each
time you use your Psion, you should get PasOn from Andrew Lord. This
excellent utility turns the password feature on at the time you set
(usually in the night) and only asks for the password the first time
you use your Psion the next day.

4.9 Lost/stolen Psions

Mark Avey has set up an independant worldwide service to keep track of
lost or stolen Psions' serial numbers. It is available on the web at:

You can register your lost/stolen freely. Be sure to also check the
pages first if you intend to buy a Psion from an unknown person.


5.1 Relevant FTP sites

* Imperial College
Administrator: Lee McLoughlin
Location: London UK
Upload policy: you have to get a password from Lee first.
Note: Lee is extremely busy, so don't expect an answer for a long
time :-(
Mirror for the USA at:
* Frontiernet
Administrator: Fric
Location: Rochester, NY, USA
Upload policy: put your soft in the incoming directory.
Note: doesn't seem to be maintained anymore. If anyone has news
from Fric, please pass them on to me!
* New World Technologies
Location: NYC, NY, USA
Upload policy: put your soft in the submit directory.
Mirror: Micro Hensa site in UK ( ?)
* Mirror site
Mirrors all of the above sites, extremely useful!
Location: Berlin, Germany
Upload policy: no uploads here; upload on mirrored sites.

5.2 WWW internet sites

A lot of personal Psion pages (as opposed to the official Psion page)
have appeared on the World Wide Web and the number seems to be growing
from day to day! I don't want to start a huge list here but you will
find most pages by either doing a web search on the word "Psion" or by
navigating the "Psioneers Web Ring" which you can find on my pages at:

One site of great interest to programmers are the ever changing
Psionic files which document most OS Services (INTs) at:

I also maintain a list of Psion programmers on the web with direct
links to their homepages. You can find all (hopefully!) programmers
homepage URLs linked at:

5.3 Shareware for those without online access

Steve Litchfield runs a shareware library in the UK:

Shareware for the Series 3 and Series 3a
SAE for catalogue to:

22 Grays Crescent,
RG5 3EN,

Phone: +44 1734 265081

From Steve himself:

"3-Lib tries to be *the* clearing-house for new PD & shareware!
Authors can send programs in to me and I'll act as the definitive
source for others to get new versions etc from, in addition to
uploading to Compuserve, CIX, and sending floppies of new stuff to
src.doc and some BBS systems etc. Although set up originally for
people who have no access to modems, PCs etc, 3-Lib can be useful
for those who are on the net and would like large amounts of
shareware on floppy disk very cheaply!"

Alternatively, you can send him 4 HD (1.44Mb) disks and 11 UKP with a
return envelope (and stamp/IRC) to receive the best of the library.

End of part 3/6

[Go to previous part]
[Go to the index]

Daniel `HB9VBC' Pfund

Apr 17, 2004, 7:27:12 AM4/17/04
Archive-name: psion-faq/part2

Version: $VER: Psion FAQ v2.6

part 2

See part 1 for complete table of contents of this FAQ (including this

1.6 Where can I purchase a Psion?

Prices for 2Mb Psion are quoted for each when known, but you should
contact vendors for latest prices, as they change quite a bit, and I
don't track those changes here very often.

Numbers marked "[US/CA only]" means that the number can only be called
from the USA or Canada (sometimes both, sometimes only one). If no
other number is specified, the person or company presumably does not
want to deal with customers from elsewhere.

Usually, you will get the best deal from a UK vendor (but keep in mind
that you will also get a UK version!) If you travel to London, you can
get a good deal at the "Duty Free" shops in the airports or by
haggling in the Tottenham Court Road shops.

Important note: these addresses have NOT been verified, so check
before you intend to buy from one of them! Also, I am NOT listing any
more vendors without web sites. For a (maybe) more up to date listing,
you may want to check out the PDA Page homepage at: which lists the best sites which sell PDAs.

Byson Computers [UK]
Fax: +44 1635 874 022

Clove Technology [UK]
+44 1202 302 796

Internet Shopping Network (usually have very cheap prices but actually
restricted to the USA)

New World Technologies
110 Greene St, Suite 1100
New York, NY 10012 USA
Phone: 1 800 886 4967 [US/CA only] Will price match
Phone: +1 212 941 4633
Fax: +1 212 274 8527
Email:, (GidNEW on AOL)

NDS Distributing
11875 Dublin Boulevard, Suite D-270
Dublin, CA 94568 USA
Phone: 1 800 425 7725 [US/CA only]
Phone: +1 510 803 8790
Fax: +1 510 803 8792

Planet Pfund
Daniel Pfund
19, ch. Tirelonge
CH-1213 Onex
Phone / Fax: +41 (0)22 792 10 82
Mobile: +41 079 350 60 64

PSIOlogic GbR
Matthias & Michael Baas
Taunusstrasse 4
D 63589 Linsengericht
Phone: +49 (0)6051 470065
Fax: +49 (0)6051 470066

Official Psion distributors/importers:

For an upto date list, you may like to take a look at Psion's web

Avendia de Mayo 963,
3rd Floor
Buenos Aires
Phone: +54 1345 4052
Fax: +54 1345 3705

Psitech Ltd
Kangy Angy
Phone: +61 4362 2014
Email: or

Belgium and Luxembourg
Korte Winkelstraat 15,
2000 Antwerpen
Phone: +32 3 232 34 68
Fax: +32 3 226 17 49
BBS: +32 3 226 20 79

Compulys Data Inc.
Place Montreal Trust
1800, Avenue McGill College, Bureau 2102
Montreal (Quebec) H3A 3J6
Phone: 1 800 361 0609 [US/CA only]
Phone: +1 514 98 PSION [International]
Fax: +1 514 987 9611

Mobi Data Ltd
Phone: +45 38 33 55 01

Hand Held Systems
Torikatu 6-A, 451000
Phone: +35 8513 710 017
Email: Pekka Aikas -

Videocomputer Spa
Via Antonelli 36
Collegno (TO) 10093

Nascorp Kuwait
c/o Anwar Essa Al-Saleh Est.
P.O. Box 4704
Safat, Kuwait 13048
Phone: +965 573 7684/5
Fax: +965 571 6674
Email: Essa Al-Saleh -

Psion Nederland B.V.
Avio Trade Park
Zandsteen 52
2132 MR Hoofddorp
Phone: +31 20 446 9444
Fax: +31 20 653 3427
BBS: +31 20 653 1075

New Zealand
Pocket Solutions Ltd
PO Box 44 070
Lower Hutt
Phone: +64 4 566 7808
Fax: +64 4 569 6452

Centum Informatyki Energetyki
Phone: +48 22 625 22 83
Fax: +48 22 693 32 6

Comp 3 Lda
Rua Augusto Gil 30 A/B
1100 Lisbon
Phone: +35 11 7972 259
Fax: +35 11 7951 928

Saudia Arabia
P.O. Box 2951
Jeddah 21461
Phone: +966 2 667 6204 (Jeddah)
Phone: +966 1 231 1785 (Riyadh)
Email: Essa Al-Saleh -

South Africa
Psionet Distributor CC
Phone: +27 21 683 1192

Paresa SA
c/ Balmes 113, ppal 1a
08008 Barcelona
Phone: +34 3451 6505
Fax: +34 3451 6231

Excom AG (Psion importer)
Moosacherstrasse 6, Au
8820 Wadenswil
Phone: +41 1 782 21 11
Fax: +41 1 781 13 61

1.7 How can I contact Psion?

1.7.1 World Headquarters

UK Offices:
1 Red Place
London W1Y 3RE
Phone: +44 990 134 224 Main desk
+44 990 143 050 Sales & customer services
Fax: +44 990 561 046

UK Service centre:
17-19 Bristol Road
Middlesex UB6 8UP
+44 181 575 9919

1.7.2 USA (Psion Incorporated)

Corporate Headquarters
150 Baker Avenue
Concord, MA 01742
Phone: +1 800 54 PSION
Phone: +1 508 371 0310
Fax: +1 508 371 9611

Midwest Office
225 West Washington St., Suite 2242
Chicago, IL 60606
Phone: 1 312 419 5300
Fax: 1 312 419 7142

West Coast Office
800 Airport Blvd. #417
Burlingame, CA 94010
Phone: 1 415 373 1234

1.7.3 Germany

Psion GmbH
Daimlerstr. 16
61352 Bad Homburg
Phone: +49 6172 6630
Fax: +49 6172 663100
Fax-on-Demand: +49 6172 663179 (FaxAbruf)
Mailbox (BBS): +49 6172 663170
(Dacom GmbH is on +49 6172 9654-45, Hotline on -42)
Email: (technical support)
Email: (Sales)


2.1 Hardware specifications

All Psion machines are based around the "SIBO architecture", which was
developed to meet common goals which span the SIBO range, including
Series 3.

Of paramount importance is low power usage. To this end CMOS circuits
are used, the CPUs are static - meaning their clocks can be slowed
down or stopped and restarted without impairing function, and the
specially designed ASIC chips implement sophisticated power
management, which always ensures that only those parts of the machine
which are needed, are powered up. Power is provided by 2 AA batteries
during normal operation. A Lithium backup battery, a CR1620, is
provided which maintains memory during battery changes. A mains
adaptor inlet is provided.

A system clock runs independently of the CPU even when the machine is
"off". This allows it to keep time and to wake the machine up when
(for example) alarms expire.

A six-pin outlet is provided, through which serial and parallel ports
may be connected. This outlet has exactly the same signals as the two
expansion ports (SSDs).

A sound system implements beeps on the Series 3 through a low power
piezo-electric element at two volumes. On the 3a there is a more
sophisticated system employing bi-directional digital-to-analogue
conversion, a conventional speaker, and a microphone, which together
support the recording and playback of digitally-recorded sound.
Digital sound data is compressed and expanded between 8 and 13 bits by
hardware in an ASIC using the Alaw algorithm during recording and
playback respectively, at a sample rate of 8KHz. This performance
conforms to the ISDN standard for digital phone systems. A Series 3
buzzer emulation is also available on the 3a.

For both machines, there are two expansion ports, also called SSD
drives, into which RAM or EPROM memory modules may be placed.

The memory is split into two types: process and storage. Storage
memory is only used for storing data. Process memory is the memory
used by the processor. Programs run in this type of memory. Process
memory is limited on all Psions to 512k maximum. There is no storage
memory on Psions with 512k RAM or less. To be honest, this is a not a
big problem, since the Psion implements a real good memory management
and "windows" the memory needed for each application. In practice,
this means that you can open several huge databases for example and
only need 10k of memory for each one.

In tabular form, the differences are summarised below:
Item Series 3 Series 3a

name V30H (80C86 compatible) V30H(80C86 compatible)
Bitwidth 16 16
Speed 3.84 MHz 7.68 MHz
video mem access 8 bit - half speed 16 bit - full speed

Type Monochrome LCD Monochrome LCD
Physical size 97 x 39 mm approx 126 x 45 mm approx
Display size 240x80 480x160
Display depth 2 - black/white 3 - black/grey/white

Internal 128 or 256Kbyte 256Kb,512Kb,1Mb,2Mb
Expansion 2 slots = 16Meg max 2 slots = 16 Meg max

Size 16.5 x 8.5 x 2.2 cm (6.5" x 3.3" x 0.9")
Weight 275 grams including batteries

Output device Piezo beeper Loudspeaker
Capability variable pitched Beeps Any sound
and DTMF [*]
Digital system NONE DAC/ADC 8/13 bits
Sound recording NONE 8K samples per second
Telephone dialler DTMF capability DTMF capability

*Further sounds can be generated if a custom device driver is written

PARALLEL PORT Via optional link Via optional link

SERIAL PORT Via optional link Via optional link
Software Installed in link pod In Psion 3a ROM
Max speed 9600 baud 19200 baud


SYSTEM SHELL Controls applications Upgraded on Series 3a

DATA Database application Upgraded on Series 3a

WORD Comprehensive document Upgraded on Series 3a
processing system

AGENDA Personal management Major upgrades on 3a

TIME Clock and alarms manager Upgraded on Series 3a

WORLD World info database Cosmetic upgrade on 3a

CALC Calculator Calculator
Allowing OPL extension Cosmetic upgrade on 3a

SHEET [*] Spreadsheet application Speadsheet application
available as add-on [*] built-in

*In the US, and latterly in the UK, the "Series 3s" includes the
spreadsheet as standard (not for 128k models)

SPELL CHECKER/THESAURUS add-on Only on 1/2Mb models *

PATIENCE GAME add-on Only on 1/2Mb models *

*Spell checker/thesaurus and patience game are apparently only
available on UK/US country specific 1/2Mb models (ie: not available
for french nor german models!)

OPL Programming application Series 3 compatibility
mode also available.

2.2 What batteries does the Psion use?

Normal power is provided by two AA (also known as LR6) batteries.
Standby power is provided by a small Lithium backup battery, a CR1620,
which maintains system data during main battery changes or failure.

2.3 How long do the batteries last?

It all actually depends on what type of batteries you use. Here are
the advantages and disadvantages of the different battery types:
* Alkalines. These are the "normal" batteries and work well.
* Carbon/Zinc. These batteries are cheaper than alkalines but of
course don't last as long. Might be interesting if you can get
them really cheap and are ready to change batteries often.
* NiCad rechargeables. These proivde less energy than conventional
batteries (reports suggest maybe half) and they fade rapidly once
their charge is nearly gone, but - they are rechargeable, and so
offer a cost effective alternative. Note that NiCads are NOT
recharging while the machine is powered by the adaptor.
* Lithium AA batteries. They are 30% lighter than alkalines, and
they last longer, but they are more expensive. Recommended if you
really need long battery life and in extreme conditions. These
batteries have a very long shelve life.

The link causes high battery loadings, as does the sound system.
Accessing the SSDs also increases power drain. Because of the static
architecture, a busy CPU drains more power than a sleeping one, so
compute-intensive tasks will burn power. For these reasons, it is
difficult to quote battery performance exactly, but the table below
summarises reports received on the net (for a 512k version).

Alkaline NiCad Lithium

Running time (Hrs) 40-80 20 65-100
Power delivered (mAh) 1500 800 1600-2700
Price each (UKP) 0.5 4.5
Comment 30% lighter

1/2Mb models use more battery power since they use memory bank
switching which is processor intensive.

The backup battery typically lasts 15 months.

2.4 How does the Psion measure the battery usage? (by Alan Roberts)

Actually, the battery consumption is only estimated, there is no real
voltage meter inside the Psion. The Psion knows the average battery
consumption in each state (ie: xx mA when playing a WVE file; yy mA
when writing on flash ... ) and keeps a record of the time spent in
each state. When the voltage drops below a threshold, the "replace
batteries" and "emptying batteries" display appear.

2.5 How can I make my batteries last longer?

The most important thing is to always turn the serial link OFF when
you don't use it. This is the number one power eater on your Psion.

Here are some other more or less obvious tips:
1. Be sure to set the "auto power off" feature ON
2. Turn the auto update list to OFF, set it to use the System button
3. When you want tu update just one list, use delete and ESC. This is
much quicker than pressing the System button (and should save
battery power).
4. Avoid switching on with the System button, as this would update
all the lists.
5. Let the applications open multiple files. Preferably set the
preference to "Enter" instead of "Shift-Enter" as you often forget
to press shift-enter. Saving and opening files uses more battery
power than to leave the files open.
6. Avoid playing long or loud sounds
7. Set volume low
8. Avoid saving many files to Flash SSD
9. Avoid reformatting, particularly Flash SSD

Thanks must go to Philippe Lebreton and Blake Nancarrow for these
great tips.

2.6 Can I use an external power supply?

Yes, the Psion comes with a standard power outlet so you can use
either the official Psion power supply or a general-purpose mains
adaptor (which is cheaper). Negative polarity should be selected - ie
the tip should be negative. The power supply should be able to deliver
150mA at 9V. The Psion adaptor has an indentation around the outer
conductor near the tip which facilitates snug fit for improved

You can plug the external power supply in/out while the Psion is on.
It will then immediately use the external power or batteries. The
Psion also has an automatic turn off possibility. This is very useful
if you often forget to turn it off! One of the choices for this auto
turn off feature is "If no external power", so you can safely use it
on external power and it will not turn itself off anymore until you
unplug it again.

2.7 Can I upgrade my Solid State Disk (SSD)?

Flash SSDs are cheaper than RAM SSDs because the filesystem doesn't
actually allow you to recover deleted space on them. Even if they're
cheap compared to real RAMs, they're still quite expensive because
they're not manufactered on a big scale (they're Psion proprietary).
This tempted several people to accomplish upgrades. It has been
successfully done, but I decided not to describe it here for several
1. It wouldn't be fair to Psion PLC. Think about it: it would prive
them of rightly owned money for their R&D and that wouldn't make
us many friends, would it?
2. The chips you need aren't easy to find.
3. It is quite easy to do for a trained electronics technician, so
that person wouldn't need any instructions anyway. If you don't
have the expertise, don't even think about it!

In the mean time, there has been a company that has specialised in
making SSD upgrades: Exportech in London. You can contact them by
email at:

2.8 Can I upgrade my internal RAM?

The big question when the 1/2Mb models came out: can I upgrade my 512k
to a 2Mb model? Well, sorry, but the (short) answer is no. The new
models use a new ROM to access the extra memory. Psion PLC does not
offer upgrades for new models either. The best solution is to sell
your old model and get a more recent one.

In mid 1996, several companies have offered their services to upgrade
512k models to 2Mb models. They will change the motherboard
completely, so I suppose you'll have an exact 2Mb version with spell

Try to contact the following company:
* Broadway Management Services Ltd
Room 1604, CLI Building
313 Hennessy Road
Wanchai , Hong Kong
Price: about 303 USD!

If you own a 128/256k or 1Mb model, upgrading it is just a matter of
adding more RAM to it. Psion PLC or other official repair centres can
do this for you, contact them about it. For info, Pinnock Organisers
will upgrade your 256k Psion to a 512k model for 65 UKP.

For the help of us all, Fionn Behrens has made a nice web page with
details on how to upgrade your internal RAM with pictures and step by
step instructions. You can find his pages at:

For the time being, process memory is limited to 512k on every model
and you cannot add more whatever you do.

2.9 Can I change the keyboard?

A lot of people buy their Psions in the UK because of the huge price
difference compared to their own country. This is not a problem in
itself if you just remember that you will be getting the UK version,
thus the UK keyboard, applications and manual. This also the reason
why so many people would like to change the keys of their keyboards.
For these people, there is no simple solution. The keyboard map is not
just a file held in RAM, so basically, you're stuck with your
keyboard, but there are workarounds to this:
1. In many applications, you can enter special characters (for
example foreign characters not found on the keyboard) by holding
down control, then typing the three digits of the ASCII code for
the character (ASCII code table on page 246 of the User Guide).
This works for all characters in the range 32 to 255. Some lower
codes are used for control purposes.
2. There is also a quicker way to enter letters with accents, umlauts
etc. CONTROL can be used with the number keys as a character
modifier directive. For example, "2" is the "Add an Umlaut"
command, so you can hold down CONTROL then press "2" and "o" to
get a umlauted "o". Most numbers are chosen as convenient
mnemonics: 2 has " above it - which looks like an Umlaut; 3 has \
which simulates a grave accent but 4 has ~, which produces
(oddly!) and acute accent, whereas 5 which has a ' produces a
tilde! See the Character set section of the user guide for
3. Use Tom Dolbilin's excellent Macro System package to assign a
"macro" to a regular key, thus emulating another key.
4. Use Konstantin I. Saliy's keyboard map program to remap the keys
in a very efficient manner which works with all programs and only
uses 10k of memory!

2.10 Can I use a big (normal) keyboard?

Yes, if you have Tom Dolbilin's Macro System installed, there is a
macro called "BigKeys" which actually reads the serial port and sends
the key to the HWIM application you're currently running.
Unfortunately, it will not work with normal OPL applications. On the
other hand, you will still need another computer to send the keys over
the serial line, so it really isn't what people are looking for!

Keith Baker has made a little interface for just a
normal keyboard (without the need for another computer) connected to
the Psion using the 3-Link interface . Note that it will not work with
OPL applications either.

2.11 How can I build a serial link? (by Konstantin I. Saliy)

For the common mortal: you can't (we're talking about 3a 3-Links
here). If you have the C/OPL SDK, there is a diagram of a TTL RS232
interface... BUT the diagram is based around a Psion custom chip
called "ASIC5". This chip converts the SIBO serial channel into
standard RS232 signals and back. According to the documentation this
chip is available from Psion for custom expansion development.
Documentation also provides information about modification of example
device for CMOS levels.

But this device is a serial link only, not a real 3-Link. The 3-Link
contains a ROM "SSD" with software. You can use the serial link
instead of 3Link but some applications (I'm not sure, it's only my
opinion) can check if disk C is present or even for disk C's serial
number. Of course if an application uses only device drivers interface
(VT100 emulators) it will work anyway.

The SIBO Serial Protocol is also described in the SDK. Refer to it if
you want know more about Psion expansion port.

For the 3c, this is entirely different! The 3c serial cable is just
that: a simple cable. Justin Buckland has been kind enough to send me
the pinouts for such a cable. He will also sell such cables himself;
you may like to contact him by email at or by
telephone (+44 1223 570477) or simply check out his web site at:

Justin found the parts from CPC (tel. +44 1772 654455). Connections
for Psion 3c / Siena serial cable are:

1 /___________\ 15

9-pin D socket:
\ 5 4 3 2 1 /
\ 9 8 7 6 /

9-pin: Psion: RS232:
1 nc DCD data carrier detect
2 12 RD received data
3 8 TD transmitted data
4 11 DTR data terminal ready
5 1 SG signal ground
6 13 DSR data set ready
7 9 RTS request to send (= DTE ready)
8 14 CTS clear to send (= DCE ready)
9 10 RI ring indicator

2.12 How can I build a parallel link? (by Konstantin I. Saliy)

If you have read the previous section, you can realize that a one-way
parallel link is much easier to make for people who are familiar with
digital logic. Two way parallel link is possible also: typical
parallel link baud rate is 40K bytes/sec, and SIBO interface allows
you 1.5M bit/sec, but you'll need a hardware buffer and PDD/LDD pair
to receive data.

2.13 What is this "soap on a rope" thing?

The "soap on a rope" is simply another name for the 3-Link. It is
named like that because of it's ressemblence with (guess what ;-) the
well known soap on a rope.

2.14 How do I print with my Psion?

There are a number of ways you can print from your Psion
1. Through the parallel link, connect your Psion directly to your
printer but do not turn the link on in the system screen!
2. Through PsiWin. See your PsiWin manual for instructions.
3. Through the serial link - use the printer setup dialogues
appropriately and do not turn the link on in the system screen!
4. Use PRINT SETUP to select printing to a file called REM::C:\LPT1
Run MCLINK on your PC, and activate the link from the Psion. Now
all print requests will go through the link to the PC printer, and
MCLINK is available for file transfers - better than MCPRINT. This
solution also works with RCOM. On some PCs running Windows, it may
be better to print to LPT1.PRN, which traverses through the
DOS/Windows device drivers slightly differently. (by Daniel Senie)
5. Use RFM (see elsewhere in the FAQ) to make Psion drives visible,
then use a conventional PC tool to print files from the Psion.

2.15 Can I take my Psion through an X-Ray machine?

Yes you can without fear. Nowadays the airport's X-Ray machines are
harmless to palmtop computers and diskettes (hopefully ;-). In any
case, if you're really not assured, ask to pass it seperately.

2.16 Can my Psion wipe out magnetic data?

Yes it can! Be careful with the underside of your Psion because it is
actually the speaker which contains a magnet whom is responsible for
such problems. Credit cards and other magnetic data seem to be the
easiest "victims" of the magnet. Check out the first page of your User
Guide for Psion's own warning about this. You can try the paperclip
test which consists of taking a pile of paperclips and placing the
Psion on top of it. Lifting the Psion will typically take 5 paperclips
with it!


3.1 How do I reset my Psion?

You should not normally need to reset your machine at all. See "What
is killing a process?" to find out how to terminate misbehaving
applications. Doing a RESET re-initializes the system's processes. It
re-starts things as though it had just been powered up, and so will
make many error conditions go away. Doing a reset will also remove any
software patches you may have applied. These would need to be
re-applied after each reset. A soft reset will also make you lose your
user-defined groups and installed software icons (but the real
software, ie: the program, should still be there).

There are two kinds of resets:
* A SOFT or WARM reset will restart processes and lose your time
zone information, but leave the contents of the RAM disk, and
environment variables intact. Do this by gently pushing something
like a straightened paperclip into the small hole above the ESC/On
key to do a "warm reset".
* A HARD or COLD reset will completely re-initialize the whole
machine, removing all memory contents. Complete instructions for
performing this action are included in the "Troubleshooting"
chapter of your "User Guide".

3.2 What is killing a process?

Killing a process is like closing an application but without letting
it know. This will result in loss of data if the application didn't
save it before being killed, so be warned! Usually, you can exit an
application (from within it) with Psion -x (for english Psions) or
Psion-Esc. If the application doesn't respond to keypresses anymore
and nothing else works, you will have to kill it. For this, you can go
to the system screen and press Psion-shift-k (for english Psions). You
can also use other specific programs which allow killing of any
process (Spy is one of them).

3.3 How can I save what's on the screen?

From any point, you can take a screen snapshot, by holding down shift,
control, Psion, and S. The PIC file generated is placed in

3.4 What is the soak test? (by Jason Savage)


It has long been known in the computer and electronics industries that
electrical components, for the most part, fail either shortly after
they are first activated or after many years of service. Because of
this fact the concept of the soak test or burn-in or life test was
invented. Simply put, the machine (in this case a computer) is put
through a repetitive testing loop for several hours (24 for the Psions
to be more precise). This procedure would then filter out most of the
bad batches and prevent them from reaching the hands of the general

To activate the soak test on the Psion series 3, press (See warning at
the beginning of this section) Control-Shift-Psion-K on the System
screen. This procedure will cause a soft-reset of your Psion.

3.5 How can I find a text in my memos with Agenda?

Actually, you can't! Psion hasn't implemented this feature yet. What
you can do, is use another program called "MemoFind" which will do
just that. It's a freeware program from Psion available at usual FTP

3.6 How can I make the cursor bigger?

It may get difficult trying to find the cursor in Word for example.
Unfortunately, there is no way to make it bigger. Some suggested
solutions are to press shift-right (to highlight a character) or home
(to find the cursor on the far left).

3.7 How can I take out the "hum" when I record sounds?

The hum (apparently a 60Hz sound) appears only when you record using
battery power. It is probably due to the voltage converter inside your
Psion (from 3V to higher). If you use the AC adapter, the hum

3.8 How safe is password protection?

See also "Data security with link connected" in next section.

The Word password protection is not really good. It is known that it's
possible to "crack" the password (but not find it) and see the clear
text in a very short time (reported by Clive D.W.Feather in Dec94 and
now included in his Psionics files). Obviously, you do need some
programming skills to do it, but all in all, it is feasible, so be

Also, never use a single letter password! This could be way too easily
broken by brute force. It is recommended to have at least 6 characters
and even better, a mix of letters and numbers.

Another issue is power on password protection. Apparently, it is
possible to bypass it somehow; no infos are given!. Just don't rely on
it too much. Also, remember that if you keep some data on your SSD
Disks, the potential thieve can still read those informations by
simply transfering the disks into another Psion!

The bottom line is that the password functions of the Psion are useful
for keeping casual snoops from reading your data while you're off
making a phone call, but if you're seriously worried about security
then you shouldn't be keeping sensitive material on a handheld machine
in the first place.

3.9 How can I change the icon of a program? (by Matthew Powell)

1. Install the application on the System screen in the usual way.
2. Use the "create new list" command (Psion-E). Enter the same
working directory and file extension as for the original
3. The "create new list" dialog will allow you to specify a custom
icon in exactly the same way as when creating a group.
4. Enter a name for the new list.

Once you've done this the application should have two lists on the
System screen. Remove the one with the original icon.

If you create a new list for Word, read this: The Word application
maintains a different template (which holds the styles and default
preferences) for each list. To carry on with the same template as you
had before, you will need to make a copy of the file Default.wrt in
the \WDR directory. The copy should have the same name as your list,
with a .wrt extension. For example, if your new list was called
"Notes", copy \WDR\Default.wrt to \WDR\Notes.wrt.

Alternatively, use a program called NEWICON2.OPA which does just that!

End of part 2/6


[Go to previous part]
[Go to the index]

Daniel `HB9VBC' Pfund

Apr 17, 2004, 7:27:12 AM4/17/04
Archive-name: psion-faq/part4

Version: $VER: Psion FAQ v2.6

part 4

See part 1 for complete table of contents of this FAQ (including this


6.1 With an IBM or clone

6.1.1 PsiWin (by Mark Gould)

PsiWin is a package for PCs running Microsoft Windows (in all its
current incarnations - 3.1, 3.11, for Workgroups, NT and 95). It
allows the Psion 3a (or 3 - although this is slightly more limited) to
be connected to the PC and for the filesystem of the Psion to be
manipulated in exactly the same way as in Windows File Manager.
Drag-and-drop copying is possible, as well as conversion of files
between Psion app formats and Windows program formats (Agenda
conversion is only possible from the 3a format). It is also possible
for 3a users to use the True-Type fonts resident on the Windows
machine when printing. Finally, there is a Windows version of Psion's
built-in Database application. PsiWin normally comes with the PC
3-Link. What if I don't have Windows?

The standard software for connecting to DOS machines, RCOM, is
included with PsiWin. There may also be some RCOM packages available
in stores for those who don't want to buy PsiWin at all. See later for
other platforms. What if I already have a 3-Link cable?

It is possible to buy PsiWin without also purchasing the 3link. It
should be available in stores, but if all else fails, contact Psion
directly. If you bought your 3-Link cable just before PsiWin came out,
you might even be entitled to a free copy (contact Psion)! What conversions will PsiWin do?

The following file types are currently supported:

Psion Agenda conversions to and from:
Lotus Organizer v.1.0
Act! v.2.0
Schedule Plus

Psion Data conversions to and from:
dBase III and IV
Lotus Organizer 1.0
Comma separated values
Tab separated text

Psion PIC format to and from:
Windows RGB Bitmap

Psion Record (.WVE) to and from:
Windows sound (.WAV)

Psion Sheet to and from:
Quattro Pro for Windows
Works for Windows spreadsheet
Lotus 123 (.WK1 and .WK3)
Excel 4.0 and 5.0

Psion Word to and from:
Text (Windows ANSI and codepage 850)
Rich Text Format
Word Perfect 5.1, 5.2 and 6.0
Works for Windows WP 3.0
Word for Windows 2.0 and 6.0
Ami Pro 3.0 I can't run the Psion Manager - it produces a General Protection
Fault. What's the matter with it?

Early PsiWin boxes did not indicate that the minimum requirement to
run PsiWin was 4Mb RAM. Attempting to run it on a machine with less
than this will cause a GPF. The boxes now give the correct

Alternatively, it may be the case that you are not running Windows in
enhanced mode. This is necessary. Some laptops don't run Windows in
enhanced mode by default. In order to enable enhanced mode, type "win
/3" at the DOS prompt. Why is there no conversion for Schedule+ in Windows NT?

Because Psion have not written it yet. Why is there no conversion for Schedule v.7?

Because Microsoft have not released its format yet. How do I convert Psion files to a format which is not supported
by PsiWin?

PsiWin is designed to allow third-party developers to write their own
translators for integration into the package. There is a program
called available on CIX for this purpose. It will be made
available more generally soon. Why is there no Windows version of the Agenda?

Perhaps the most requested addition to the PsiWin package is a Windows
version of the Agenda, for those who do not have a diary program on
their PCs (or who do not trust the conversion process). Psion say they
decided not to include such a program for a variety of reasons. The
justification for including the Windows Database Manager was that
people could take advantage of the larger keyboard and screen of their
PCs to enter large amounts of data. This was not thought to be an
issue for Agenda users. Simply, Psion had to make a number of choices,
and in their judgment a Windows Agenda was a lower priority than other

From Matthew Powell,

RS Components (tel. 01536 201234 in the UK) used to advertise an
Agenda program "compatible with the Psion" for Windows. They included
a screenshot and it looked pretty horrible. Anyone who has access to
their catalogue could look for it - it was on the same page as the
Psions. Why can't I access the PC drives from the Psion?

This is a problem for those who use the option in Agenda to tidy to a
file on a remote PC (amongst others). The answer is hidden away in the
help file, which says the following:

If you want to access PC drives from your Psion (they will appear,
in dialogs, with "REM::" before their drive letter), edit the
PSIONPRC.INI file in your "Windows" directory, and remove the "-x"
from the end of the following line:

engine=prcenwin.exe -x I'm having difficulty printing from my Psion through Psion
Print. What's wrong with it?

On some setups using early versions of PsiWin, it wasn't possible to
print to certain network printers, or just the first page of a
document was printed. Psion released a file to fix this called, which is available on CIX and Compuserve as well as at
the site maintained by the moderator of comp.binaries.psion
( This site has the file as
it was posted to comp.binaries.psion, in five parts. Frontiernet also
has a copy of this file in the pub/psion/addon directory. Why can't I reconnect to the Psion once I have disconnected it?
(by Angus Rae)

I posted a comment about a problem I was having with PsiWin locking up
my machine. I had originally blamed it on my video card (it's a
Diamond Stealth 32, and the usual mantra is "if it's named after an
aircraft or a snake it's probably causing the crash") but after
WinLink3 gave me the same problems I started wondering, and
remembering some problems I was having with Trumpet Winsock a while
back. So, a quick trawl through Microsoft's Knowledge Base revealed
that the serial port drivers for Windows for Workgroups have a few
little problems. (A few big problems IMHO, but your mileage may vary.)
It seems to apply to machines with higher specification 16550 UARTs on
local buses. I have 16550AF UARTs on a VESA local bus. There is a fix;
replace the file SERIAL.386 with a different version. I believe, but
don't quote me on this, that the version from Windows 3.1 would do,
but the file WG1001.EXE in the Microsoft SoftLib has a copy which
works, which you can get to from If you do a
search in the Windows Knowledge base for WG1001 and appnote you can
get the full info. My conversions from Agenda to Lotus Organiser cause an
Application error. What is wrong?

It has been suggested that one source of such problems is an out of
date copy of a file called ctl3dv2.dll. A nice man at Psion has
suggested the following approach:

Currently we sneak a bonus copy of ctl3dv2.dll onto disk 1,
uncompressed, for just this scenario, but it's not on all versions. If
you don't have it, then I guess the best thing is to close all Windows
apps, rename your current ctl3dv2.dll out of the way, then reinstall
PsiWin and see if that solves it.

If it doesn't, then I'm afraid it's going to come down to some fairly
standard testing to narrow it down to:
* what if you use different date ranges or entry types on the
"Convert what" dialog (though it sounds unlikely to me)
* do Database conversions work (as they use a similar "convert what"
* do your Organizer and Lotus INI files look OK in \windows
* does it happen with nothing else running in Windows
* can you change anything about the setup (eg try it on another PC)

If none of these work, then check the answer to question I have another problem with PsiWin

Many problems with PsiWin are caused by having 32-bit file access
enabled. Try disabling this (in the Control Panel, Enhanced, Virtual
Memory). If the problem recurs, try asking in comp.sys.psion.apps (or
Psion Technical Support). Serial port tip (from Mike Dolan)

Under the Lose95 Control Panel, check the COM port settings. Ensure
that if you have 16550 FIFO buffers, the receive buffers are set to
maximum, and the transmit buffers are set to minimum.

6.1.2 MCLink

MCLINK was the software which comes with Psion's 3-Link cable. It runs
on the host PC (at the DOS prompt) or Mac to provide data transfer
capability. When MCLINK is running on the PC/Mac, the Series 3 can see
host drives as remote drives, and can access the data on them.
Similarly the command interface in the MCLINK program can be used to
access or copy data to/from the Series3. MCLINK can also be used to
print Series 3 data by copying it to REM::C:\LPT1. MCLINK works under
OS/2 and under the DOS emulator with Linux (Free Unix on PC). It had
reliability problems under Windows for Workgroups 3.11. It supports
only COM1 and COM2 ports.

6.1.3 SLink

SLINK is a cut-down version of MCLINK, provided by Psion. It may work
in non-standard configurations where MCLINK will not. Since it is
smaller, it may cure space problems.

6.1.4 RCom

Was Psion's replacement for MCLINK. It is available at the IC archive.
It provides all the capability of MCLINK and adds a range of other
features, including handling of Rich Text format files; backup,
compress and equalize functions, a large range of DOS-like commands,
from which scripts can be generated, and a Windows interface. Though
it's documentation claims that RCOM is "more like a network
connection", this is not yet a reasonable claim. When RCOM is running,
the host machine can only see the Series 3 via the RCOM interface.

6.1.5 RFM

RFM is also available from the archive (RFM110); it is in beta
release. RFM installs a TSR on the host PC; a small process is also
run on the Series 3. When set up, the system makes the Series 3 drives
look completely like PC drives, and vice versa. PC file management
tools can be used with great convenience to manipulate files on both
machines transparently. RFM cannot be installed or removed under
Windows, but will run under Windows. RFM will lock your machine up
occassionally; in this case, turn the link off at the Series 3. Rest
the PC after the link icon disappears from the Series 3, or you may
need to reset both machines.

From Roman Habrat: It is possible to install, use and uninstall RFM
under Windows. Two things need to be done:
* use DOS SETVER ("setver rfm.exe 6.20") to set the DOS version
number reported to RFM (required for Win 95 only since it uses DOS
* prevent RFM from detecting Windows (For Win95: check the option
in:DOS session Properties ->

-> Program ->
-> Advanced ->
-> "Prevent MS-DOS-based program from detecting Windows")

6.2 With an Amiga

For a long time, Amiga users had to resort to using the X/Y-Modem
protocols to transfer files back and forth with their Psions... that
was before Oliver Wagner gratified us with his great program:
AmigaNCP. To be able to use this program, you will need the PC version
of the cable (3-Link) which connects to your standard RS232 serial
port of your Amiga. You cannot buy the PC 3-Link without the PC
software anymore (PsiWin) but you can use an Acorn 3-Link cable which
is exactly the same and should cost less than the PC version.

AmigaNCP fully implements Psion's NCP protocol and thus allows you to
see your Psion as a remote drive of your Amiga and vice versa! File
transfers are now as easy as drag and drop. The program also contains
a simple text transfer mode which allows you to directly convert Psion
ASCII files to Amiga/UNIX type; it supports multi-serial cards and
needs WB 2.0+. AmigaNCP is shareware and available from the IC FTP
site or any Aminet site in the comm/misc directory. There is also a
WWW site devoted to AmigaNCP where you can always get the latest
version and read more about it:

This is definitively a must for all Amiga users!

6.2.1 Graphics support on the Amiga

There is a progam called "ViewPic" (by Marko Schuster) written in GFA
basic and available on any Aminet site. It supports black and grey and
even works with the stone age WB 1.3! Doesn't support multiple
pictures in a single file.

6.3 With a UNIX machine (by Edwin Klement)

Using the Psion's 3-Link cable data transfer between a Psion and a
UNIX workstation can be provided in several ways. One way is to use
NFS capabilities to mount the Psion only to the workstation, where it
is attached to via the serial cable. This is an easy way to capture
filesystem operations (e.g, change directory, list contents of
directory, move and copy files) in a program. All the UNIX commands
can be used on the PSION file system. Supported architectures are
SunOS 4.1.3, HPUX 9/10, Linux, AIX 3.2, Solaris 2.3/2.4/2.5, and SGI
IRIX 5.3/6.2. The software you need to run in order to mount the PSION
via NFS can be found in several PSION archives or look for the latest
"p3nfs" version directly on it's home site:

There is another proprietary program for Sun workstations that allows
transfer of files and a limited number of file operations over the
serial cable. It uses a proprietary protocol and has a command line
interface. There is a facility for automatically filtering files, a
backup utility and a mechanism for supporting scripts to automate
frequently used operations. This program called "suncom" was written
by Tim Graves at This program is provided AS
IS, no warranty of ANY kind is provided either by Tim Graves or Sun

David MacKay has written an article concerning
his experience with hooking a psion up to a workstation. It's located

6.4 With a Macintosh (information taken from Paul DuBois' WWW site, see last
question for address)

You will need the Mac version of the 3-Link cable. This is almost the
same as the PC version, only the plug which goes into your Mac
changes; you can even make an adapter yourself if you already have the
PC version. For the software, you need "Psion Link" or "MCLink" for
Macintosh. Both come with the Mac 3-Link cable.

6.4.1 Psion Link

Psion Link allows you to see Psion disks from the Macintosh and
transfer files between machines using drag and drop. (You do this
within Psion Link's windows; the Psion doesn't appear as a volume on
the desktop.) It runs on any Macintosh with System 6.0 or later.

6.4.2 MCLink

MCLink allows you to see Macintosh disks from the Psion, so that they
become, in effect, part of the Psion file system. You use Psion file
operations to access Macintosh files. MCLink is described in the "3
Link (RS232)" manual. There are also some documentation files on the
MCLink disk. The current version is 1.41F. MCLink runs on Macintoshes
with System 6.0 or later. (Some earlier versions, e.g., 1.20, do not
run under System 7.)

6.4.3 Choosing and Using a Macintosh Port

There are two kinds of serial ports on a Macintosh, distinguished by
the icons with which they are labeled:
* A phone handset icon indicates a modem (or phone) port.
* A printer icon indicates a printer (or AppleTalk) port.

Some Macintoshes have a combined modem/printer port (e.g., Duos, and
the 500 and 5300 series of PowerBooks). Such ports are labeled with
both icons.

Both Psion Link or MCLink allow you to select which port you want. If
you have a combination modem/printer port, you need to tell Psion Link
or MCLink to use the modem port, not the printer port.

To establish successful communications, the Macintosh port you want to
use must not be in use by something else - make sure you're not
running any software that wants to control that port; especially make
sure AppleTalk is off if you use the printer port!

6.4.4 Connecting

* Make sure the Psion is turned off and plug in the 3Link cable. The
cable connectors on the ends of the Macintosh adapter are similar,
but if you look closely you'll see that they're different. The end
with the "crossbar" inside the connector goes into the 3Link pod;
the other end goes into your Macintosh.
* Turn on the Psion and enable the link (Psion-L from the System
* Launch the Macintosh communications application (Psion Link or
MCLink). Psion Link plays a chime when a connection is
established. If you hear a short "plink" sound, the connection
failed. MCLink doesn't make any sound but its status window says
"Link Established" when it detects a connection.
* Perform whatever data transfer you have in mind.
* Quit the Macintosh communications application.
* Disable the link from the Psion System screen.
* Turn the Psion off and unplug the 3Link cable.

If you do the steps in some other order, you may get an unresponsive
machine. For instance, if you plug the link cable into your printer
port, enable the link on the Psion, and then turn off AppleTalk on
your Macintosh, you may have to reboot the Macintosh before Psion Link
or MCLink will establish a connection properly.

6.4.5 What file conversions do Psion Link and MCLink do?

Essentially none.

Psion Link recognizes certain files as "text" if their names end with
any of a given set of suffixes (e.g., ".txt"). For such files it
converts line ending characters to whatever is appropriate for the
destination machine (CRLF for Psion, CR for Macintosh).

In general, to transfer a file between Psion and Macintosh
applications, the file must be saved in a format understood on both
machines (RTF for Word is an example).

An exception though: recent versions of GraphicConverter (shareware)
will open and convert Psion PIC files. It's available from the usual
Mac shareware sites (info-mac and its mirrors, for example).

6.4.6 Other questions

You can find more info on the web at:

6.5 With an Atari (by Daron Brewood)

6.5.1 General.

The Psion palmtop computers can be connected to all Atari ST
compatable computers ; from the Atari 520ST to the TT and Falcon

6.5.2 Linkage Hardware Required.

The 3-Link (PC) serial lead will be needed to connect the Psion's
serial port to the 25-pin serial connector on the back of the Atari
machine. No other additional hardware is needed.

6.5.3 Port Speed.

It should be noted that the basic unmodified ST computer can only
handle baud rates of 9600bps, wheras the STe/TT/Falcon computers can
communicate at the Psion's maximum speed of 19200bps.

6.5.4 Software available for interfacing the two computers.

There are two main packages designed to interface the Atari computers
to the Psion series 3/3a, these are: S3-ST v2.00 by Keith Baines.

An extract from his documentation file can be found below:
- - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - -

S3-ST Version 2.00

File Transfer and Utilities Program

Copyright (c) Keith Baines, March 1993 - August 1995

S3-ST provides a graphical file-manager with features familiar from
the Atari GEM desktop. You can use it to:

- Copy files from the Atari to the Psion and vice-versa;

- Make regular full and incremental backups of your Psion;

- View files on either machine in a scrollable window on the
Atari screen;

- Print files on either machine using a printer connected to the
Atari's printer port;

- Delete files on either machine;

- Create new folders (or sub-directories) on either machine.

S3-ST uses a small companion program, STCOMMS.OPA, which can be
installed as an application on the Series 3 or 3a. (The Series 3a
version uses the enhanced facilities of that model.) The Psion
3-Link(PC) hardware is required.

In addition, the package includes DBFVIEW, a Desk Accessory for the
Atari (there is also a normal program version), which can be used to
browse through files created with the Series 3/3a Data application
and to copy information from them via the GEM clipboard. For
example it can be used to copy names and addresses into a word
processor document on your ST.
- - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - -

Keith can be contacted at the following address: Keith Baines, 8
Lumley Court, Denmark Avenue, London, SW19 4HQ, UK TRAFIC version 2.2 - (c)1995, Club Psion Series 3

This program is keyware and will not allow files to be copied across
machines without the software first being activated by a user key. The
interface seems very much like 'Kobold' and '2in1' on the Atari's.

I can say little about it's features due to the documentation provided
with it being written in French. However the authors can be contacted
via the Club Series 3 (see "User Groups") attn: Laurent PLOMB.

6.5.5 Support for the Psion machines in the Atari world.

Network ST (NeST), the worlds largest fidonet(tm) technology network
in the world (for Atarians) supports the Psion via:
* An Internet gateway to the COMP.SYS.PSION.* newsgroups via the
U.COMP.SYS.PSION.* message echo.
* An Internet gateway to the COMP.BINARIES.PSION newsgroup via the
* Support within the N.MISC.PALMTOPS message echo.
* Distribution of files into the Atari file networks via the
90.SUP.PSION file echo.
* Archive storage of Psion files (available by ftn file request
only) at 90:90/0...@nest.ftn.

For further information concerning NeST (Network ST) please contact
Daron Brewood via:
* Email: NeST: 90:100/10...@nest.ftn
* CIX: dbrewood
* InterNet:
* SnailMail: Daron M. Brewood, 7 Crescent Road, Portwood, Stockport,
Cheshire, SK1 2QG.

6.5.6 Graphics Support on the Atari.

There is no current program on the Atari computers which can create or
view .PIC files from the Psion, but there is a program to use to
convert true colour JPG, and 256 colour GIF files, into .GIF's that
take little space on the Psion. This is GEM-View by Dieter Fiebelkorn,
and is highly recommended as it will quickly dither any picture
through at it, and if steinberb dithering is used the end result is a
very small 2-30k .GIF file, that will convert perfectly on the Psion
to give a minimum sized clear picture. Very useful if you wish to
carry family photo's round with you on the Psion, or to carry round
proof graphic outlays.

6.6 With an Acorn Archimedes or Risc PC (by Nick Craig-Wood)

6.6.1 ALink from Acorn

This is a package including the equivalent of the 3-Link for Acorn
machines, the A-Link and some software to run on the Acorn.

The software runs as a filing system on the Acorn machine and allows
you to use the Psion just as if it was a (rather slow) hard disc. It
does not allow the Psion to look at the Acorn drives though.

It comes with a set of conversion applications for Spreadsheet, Data
and Word files into native Acorn and generic (eg CSV) formate.

6.6.2 PC programs

All of the available PC programs can be used under the hardware or
software PC emulators provided you can run the correct version of
Windows or DOS that these programs rely on.

Note that the A-Link has a slightly different wiring to the 3-Link.
The A-Link will work fine with the PC software, and plugged into a PC,
but the 3-Link will not work with the Acorn software. All that is
different is the wiring from the 'soap' to the 9-way D-Type connector.

6.6.3 3Link-Acorn cable (by Toby Smith)

Cable wiring for 3link to Acorn (make up of Alink cable).
PC Connector Acorn connector
(9pin male) (9pin female)
DCD 1 (not used) 1--|
RxD 2--------------------2 |
TxD 3--------------------3 |
DTR 4--------------------4--|
GND 5--------------------5
DSR 6-----\ /------------6
RTS 7------X-------------7
CTS 8-----/ \------------8
RT 9 (not used) 9

(8 and 6 swapped, 1 & 4 connected at Acorn end)
(With thanks to Jonathan Allin of Acorn)

No conversion is needed for using an A-Link on a PC (apparently)

6.7 With a serial modem

Psion provide 3FAX, which is a hardware and software add-on offering
FAX capability and a data modem operating at 2400 baud.

A separate shareware fax program has been released by Walter Wright
which should work with all class 2/2.0 fax-modems; see the
"programmers on the web reference table" for Walter's URL.

The 3-Link cable/software offers a standard serial interface through
which standard modems can be connected, transferring (serially) up to
the Series 3a limit of 19.2K (9.6K for the Series3).

Keep in mind that if you want to use a modem with a higher speed than
the serial limit (19k2), you might get buffer overflows. No one has
reported any experiences yet. If you got such a system working, I
would like to hear from you (and I'm sure the others as well ;-) .

Paraphrasing John Wodehouse:
The Serial 3link cable is a null modem connection, with a male 25 way
end. To work with a modem, you need to "un-null" the modem wires, so
you have a straight through link. The wiring of the plug is below.
Note that pin 8 is not just "in the air", but connected to pin 6.
Choose plugs with whatever gender you need.

2 ------------- 3
3 ------------- 2
4 ------------- 5
5 ------------- 4
6 -+----------- 20
8 -+
20 -----------+- 6
+- 8
7 ------------- 7

The harder part is correctly configuring the modem; each modem is
different. You need to configure the modem and the Series 3/3a to
handshake on RTS/CTS. I do not use Xon and Xoff for flow control with
the modem; these characters are passed through to whatever is
connected to the modem. Using this configuration, I can consistently
operate the link at full speed with no problems.

Also of interest, Klaus notes: The Psion Modem
Adapter (cable), Partnumber 055856, is wired like this:

Pin name Pin number Direction DB-25
Mini-Din Series3 - Other
DCD 1 <------------- 8
RD 2 <------------- 3
TD 3 -------------> 2
DTR 4 -------------> 20
SG 5 -------------- 7
DSR 6 <------------- 6
RTS 7 -------------> 4
CTS 8 <------------- 5
RI 9 <------------- 22
FG shield -------------- 1

The Mini-Din connector pins are numbered as follows (as viewed from
the wire side):

9 8 7
6 5 4 3
2 1

To help you get online easier, Steve Litchfield has written an article
that's available on his web site as:

6.8 With a PCMCIA modem

TeleAdapt, a UK company, has released the "Modulette" hardware add-on.
This equipment plugs in on one side to the 3-Link cable and offers on
the other side a regular PCMCIA socket for any standard PCMCIA modem.

The "Modulette" is also available from PSIOlogic in Germany; contact
Michael Baas at or check out their web site at for more information.

Psion has also released a self powered PCMCIA modem adapter. Check out
their web site for more details.

6.9 With a packet radio TNC

If you want to work packet radio mobile/remote, your Psion will be
just great because of it's small size. Adding a TNC (Terminal Node
Controller) is just like adding a modem actually (that's what TNCs are
in the first place!), so make the "un-null" cable first (as described
in the modem section). Be sure to have a full cable with the CTS/RTS
lines and set XFLOW OFF on your TNC as you should prefer ably use
these hardware lines instead of software XON/XOFF codes. As for a
specific packet program, you're in luck: Roger Muggleton (G0HZK@GB7WIR
on packet) made a nice program called Pocket Packet. The program is
available from the usual FTP sites or directly from Roger's homepage
(see WWW section). Now if someone could just write a little BayCom
driver program...which I personally doubt is feasible but you may
never know!

For more information concerning packet radio and amateur radio in
general, I would recommend you the* Usenet

6.10 With a cellular phone

Psion have released the "Telenote" program and cable which allows you
to send and receive SMS messages with a Nokia 21xx cellular phone.

Al Sutton is also working on a SMS program interfacing with the Psion,
see the WWW section for a link to his home page on the web for more

If you want to use your cellular phone as a modem or a fax modem, you
need to get the data expander and PC card for it from Nokia directly.
Except of course if your mobile phone has an inbuilt modem! You should
then be able to directly connect it with your Psion.

6.11 Via the IrDA port (3c/Siena)

Pete Bentley has kindly made an IrDA FAQ and it's available on his
homepage at:

Note: IrDA transfers are only possible with the 3c/Siena computers.

6.12 Terminal emulation

The 3-link cable software includes a dumb terminal emulation. VT100
emulators are also available. There are some at the IC archive:
* VT100 emulator from Psion GmbH
* VT100 emulator from Widget

(these are crippled versions of commercial products).

Nfsc is a fully-capable VT220 terminal emulator for the Psion released
under the GNU general public license. It supports all modem speeds and
Psion font sizes. One drawback is that there is no scripting language.
A simple work-around is to set your modem so that it doesn't hang up
when the DTR line is off. You can then use the robust scripting of
Script (built into the CommsLink) to automate dialing and loging in,
then simply exit and launch Nfsc. Contact Benjamin Teitelbaum
( for more information. Nfsc is available at:

There are also free/shareware/commercial alternatives: FreeVT (File: or PComm (commercial; Psion)

6.13 TCP/IP stack

The official Psion TCP/IP stack is under way and will be released with
PsiMail Internet. No definitive dates have been set, but it seems most
probable to appear mid 1997.

End of part 4/6


[Go to previous part]
[Go to the index]

Daniel `HB9VBC' Pfund

Apr 17, 2004, 7:27:13 AM4/17/04
Archive-name: psion-faq/part5

Version: $VER: Psion FAQ v2.6

part 5

See part 1 for complete table of contents of this FAQ (including this


Psion, in their great generosity, have released their Psion emulator
for the Series 3 and later on for the Series 3a. This is a PC product.
Also please note that it is completely *unsupported* by Psion and do
not ask them for new versions, other platforms, etc... I think that it
was quite nice of them to offer their users (and potential users) such
a nice tool. We wouldn't want it to stop, would we? The files are
available as usual in the IC archive in the development directory.

7.1 Limitations & bugs

The following limitations & bugs were reported:
* The keyboard is only "British" and doesn't accept your regular
keyboard map (either use one of the techniques described in the
"Can I change the keyboard?" section or see below for a more
permanent way around this problem);
* No sound;
* The system screen "loses" your configuration each time you launch
the emulator;
* It only works in DOS with 4Mb RAM and at least a 386 processor;
* Caps lock works but doesn't show the symbol like on a real Psion;
* Shift diamond key doesn't work;
* It doesn't accept direct keyboard scan codes - this is mostly used
in games.

7.2 Tips & tricks

* Alt+Ctrl+shift+S makes a screen snapshot and automatically
increases the screen number in the file (unlike the real Psion);
* Alt+Ctrl+shift+C shows some memory parameters (useful for
* Ins key on the numeric keypad (0 key) switches between
applications like Shift-System button on the real Psion;
* If you replace the 480 by 160 in the HHSERV.PAR file by 640 by
480, you will get a complete screen on your PC.

7.3 Changing permanently the keyboard mapping (by Uwe Kallmeyer)

The keyboard map is held internally in the file EPOC.DLL. You must
thus patch this file to suit your own keyboard. It contains three
tables, one for Psion/Ctrl keys, one for shifted keys and one for
normal keys. These tables start at locations (for the file dated
4.12.94, size 94736):

Psion/Ctrl $35D8
Shift $33D8
Normal $32D8


8.1 Overview of development possibilities

There are a number of ways in which you can program the Psion. Choose
the one which fits your abilities, requirements, and budget.

8.2 OPL programming directly on the Psion

This is the most straightforward. If you can live with the cramped
keyboard and screen, you can pursue this option with no further
outlay, anywhere you can take your Psion.

If you haven't got the OPL Programming Manual, I suggest you order it.
It's really a great manual (unlike most others I've seen). If you are
impatient to receive it, it's also available online at:

Some alleviators:
1. A database of the OPL commands is available from the IC archive
(see section 5) which you can load into the built-in DATA
2. Switching off the clock in the OPL editor will give you more
active screen width. CONTROL/menu toggles this.
3. CONTROL/Word takes you straight to the OPL editor from the system
4. Get OPP from Andy Clarkson. This is really *the* programmer's tool
for programming directly on the Psion. It allows you to have
exactly the same functionnalities as with Psion's S3ATRAN and even
more directly on your Psion!
5. Get OPPDebug from Andy Clarkson. This is a fine debugger for OPL.
Psion haven't written one themselves, so this is a must for all
serious programmers!

You can also make use of some of the data which follows in this
section, so read on.

8.3 OPL programming from a PC

You can compose your OPL text files on your PC and send them down to
the Psion with the link for translation, or you can obtain S3ATRAN
from the IC archive (Section 5). S3ATRAN will translate your OPL
source into .OPO format which you can then use the link to move to the
Psion. In addition to translating simple OPL, S3ATRAN understands a
number of C-like pre-processor commands, which make source preparation
easier. As well as this advantage, source preparation on a PC allows
use of the full-sized keyboard and screen, use of whatever text editor
you favour, convenient storage and archival of important source code,
and access to printers. It also allows you to make bigger programs
since you are not limited to a 64k source like on the Psion.

For those using windows, you can use Psion's Opl Development
Environment (ODE) which is a *very* nice programmer's tool for
developing OPL in windows. ODE is commercial.

There is a Psion 3 emulator for the Series 3 and another one for the
Series 3a, both available in the IC archive, which allows you to run
OPL programs on the PC. For more details, see elsewhere in this FAQ.

The "Psionics files" are a collection of information for the OPL
programmer who wants to know more than is in the programming manual,
but who doesn't want the expense and effort of getting the SDK. They
include general explanations of system concepts, descriptions of all
the system calls usable from OPL, information about some useful device
drivers, and random other useful items. Much of the information is
taken from the official Psion SDK manuals, with permission. Clive D.W.
Feather is widely appreciated for having taken the time to bring this
information to the Psion community. You can get the latest set of
files (which change quite frequently), from the WWW site. See that
section in the FAQ for the address.

Psion offer Software Development Kits - "SDKs". The lowest level is
the documentation-only level. This currently includes two large
ring-binders which document vast amounts of detail about the Psion.
Though much is of prime relevance to C programmers, a lot of essential
information can be gleened by the astute OPL programmer. System calls,
file formats, transmission protocols, OS structure etc. are all to be
had. The SDK costs 75 UKP. See the contacts section if you want to
order it.

8.4 C Development on PC

The second level of SDK (see above) is called the "Standard SDK". It
includes the documentation mentioned above, and some software on
floppies. The software comprises the TopSpeed C language system, an
interactive Psion debugger, some customisation files, and some
examples. This costs 155 UKP.

"TopSpeed C" is a general purpose development environment and C
compiler. You can use it to write C programs for your PC, and the
development environment allows you to add other language compilers.

Psion's customisation files taylor TopSpeed C so that it can generate
image files which will run on the Psion.

The Psion debugger allows C programs to be debugged. Debugging can be
done at the C source code level, or at assembly language level, or in
a mixture of the two. The debugger also allows programs to be run
locally on the PC in a form of Psion emulator, or run on the Psion
itself through the serial link. A slew of very useful features are
included in the debugger.

Psion also provide some example programs which are referenced in the
manuals. Going through these with the manual is a good way to learn
about the Psion and the best way to program on it. The SPY application
is amoung the examples included.

It is theoretically possible to write C programs for the Psion using
other compilers, but extensive expertise would be needed to avoid the
pitfalls. For example, Topspeed C implements parameter passing in a
way which is compatible with the Epoc operating system.

Object-oriented programming is possible in this C environment.

8.4.1 Can I use another compiler than Topspeed? (by Dan Ramage)

"It is impossible to write sibo applications with anything but the
sibo sdk for several reasons.

Topspeed can output small memory model code staying within the 64k
code and data segment. In addition, Topspeeds calling conventions
don't use the segment registers (which can really mess up your
psion). Another reason is that topspeed code is compact and
executes quickly on sibo machines."

8.5 Advanced C Development on a PC

The highest level of SDK is the "Professional SDK". This adds the
source code of various device drivers to the Standard SDK. It costs
295 UKP.

8.6 Available books (by John A Watson)

In order of complexity, the following books are available.
1. First Steps in Programming the Psion Series 3 by Mike Shaw, 14.95
GB ISBN 0-7457-0145-0 An introduction to the basic principles of
2. Graphic Programming on the Psion Series 3 by Bill Aitken, 14.95
GBP ISBN 0-7457-0156-6 As the title suggests this is for those
interested in graphics.
3. Serious Programming on the Psion 3a by Bill Aitken, 16.95 GBP ISBN
0-7457-0035-7 (Series 3) ISBN 0-7457-0282-1 (Series 3a) A complete
OPL programming tutorial from basics to advanced especially
graphics including sprite design.
4. Machine Code Programming on the Psion Series 3a & 3 by John
Farrant, 16.95 GBP As the title suggests this book tells you how
to program in 8086 machine code and assembly language. The
price/package includes a fully functional two-pass assembler with
text editor and debugger.
5. Introduction to Using the Psion Series 3 by Ros Lawton & Isaac
Davis, 14.95 GBP ISBN 0-7457-0146-9 14.95.
6. The 100 Most Frequently Asked Questions for You and Your Psion
Series 3a & 3 by Richard Bloss & Adam Taylor, 9.95 GBP ISBN

8.7 How to do various things: tips & tricks

(Thanks to Andrew Baldwin for material)
1. First - reading the programming manual which came with your Psion
more than once is thoroughly recommended !
2. REVTRAN - is a reverse translator available at the archive. It
turns OPO modules back into OPL - though variable names may be
lost. This program allows developers to see how others have
implemented their programs, and this may give valuable insights
into useful programming techniques. Please note that you should
not use REVTRAN to circumvent protection mechanisms, to avoid
paying shareware fees, to steal programs or fragments thereof, or
to do anything else illegal or anti-social. Some OPL programs are
protected against reverse translation (with the help of OPP for
3. SPRITES - the manual doesn't make it clear. You can have only one
sprite. You must emulate any further sprite functionality in OPL.
4. MULTI-DIMENSIONAL ARRAYS - are not provided in OPL, but they can
be emulated. For example, a two dimensional array: ARRAY%(X%,Y%)
may be implemented by declaring ARRAY%(Z%) (where Z%=X%*Y%). You
can now access element (a%,b%) as ARRAY((b%-1)*X% + a%). Each
access requires arithmetic so this will incurr a speed penalty.
OPP, the OPL preprocessor, implements this (exactly like
described) but with complete transparency to the programmer.
5. SPEED - OPL can get slow. Here are some ideas for speeding them
+ Where does your program spend the most time ? Find out, and
concentrate on those sections. It's pointless speeding up
code segments which will not impact overall speed
+ The use of floating point numbers is very slow; the Series 3
calls code which emulates a floating point processing chip.
Major gains can be had if you avoid floating point numbers.
Often integers can be used with a mental shift of the decimal
+ BUILT-IN FUNCTIONS like SIN can also be very slow. Sometimes
it is preferable to build a table of answers and use a
look-up strategy.
+ On the Series 3a, make use of the procedure cache, which can
keep often-used procedures in memory - thereby avoiding a
heavy time penalty for loading them in. On the Series 3 there
is no cache to use, but you can place the procedure code
inline to avoid the overhead. There will be a
readability/complexity overhead to trade off.
+ Use gUPDATE to restrict screen updates, as detailed in the
+ OPL allows the programmer to call machine code routines,
which can be highly optimized for speed. These can be built
from C programs using the SDK, or with an assembler
(available in the archive). Programming at low levels
requires extensive knowledge of the Series 3 Operating
System. During development crashes are common, and data loss
may well occur. Also note that re-implementing a code segment
at a lower level will not necessarily give significant speed
improvements; it depends on what the code is doing.
6. Various
+ The manual states that you can only load up to 3 modules with
LOADM, whereas it is 7 really.


Please note that the software described here is just a small part of
available software and that it would be impossible to track down every
single share/freeware Psion program. If there is a program which you
would like to see added to the list, please write a mini review in the
same style as these here and mail it me. I'll gladly add it and give
you credit!

Just some guidelines if you wish to submit a mini-review: mention the
author (and Email address if possible), the exact filename and the
type of program (free/share/cripple) as from the list below. Do not
write more than 2-3 sentences and do not mention any "this is great"
or "this is bad" comments, thanks!

If you want to know more about these programs, you may want to check
out my Psion programmer's on the web list at: or
alternatively, check out Steve Litchfield's review section at:

A.1 Applications

I've used the following definitions below. These may not accord with
their standard meanings as used elsewhere.

a fully functional program is provided, but the user is asked
to pay for it.

as shareware, but the functionality of the program is
restricted in some way to encourage registration. (This may not
make it unusable - ANY restriction puts a program in this

the fully functional program is given away free. It is probably
still copyright to the author and conditions may be imposed on

the program is distributed under the GNU General Public
Licence: among other things, this means it will include source

Note that when ``*'' appears, this means the version number. New
version come out very often, so I can't track down each program.

The following people have contributed their reviews (see the first
part of this FAQ for their Email addresses):

Roger Burton-West (RBW)
Andy Clarkson (AC)
Steve Litchfield (SL)
Neil Masson (NM)
Daniel Pfund (DP)

* APPMAN: Jeremy Wakefield freeware (RBW)

For the advanced OPL programmer only, how to use those cascading
dialogues and other flashy features of the built-in apps.
Challenging but very useful.
* BATCHK: Pelican software: freeware (SL)
Shows you the state of your batteries in a one-screened pretty
display. Even shows the state of the battery in RAM SSDs!
* CALC3A*: Richard Schmidt nagware (RBW)
Not to be confused with all the other calculators out there! Solid
and stable scientific calculator, including editable preset
equations. A little bulky, but very impressive.
* CMDP: Psion, Inc.: freeware (RBW)
DOS-style command line interface for the 3a and Workabout. Handy
if you like command lines (I do). Slightly quirky.
* CON3A: Tim Bentinck: shareware (SL)
A comprehensive units conversion utiility. Allows every conversion
under the sun, and a few more.
* DUMP3A: Wolfgang Schirmer freeware
Elderly but still useful hexadecimal/ASCII file editor. Perfect
for inspecting and modifying binaries, finding resources, etc.
* DPBANK*: Daniel Pfund shareware (DP)
A small and very easy to learn and set up bank accounts tracker.
Lacks all the bells and whistles of the "big shots" but uses much
less memory.
* DRAW: Rick Andrews: shareware (SL)
Painting and drawing application. Its basic function is to let you
create PIC files for use as icons or in slide-shows or in your own
programs etc. Allows PCX import/export.
* EIKON: Roger Burton West freeware (RBW)
One of a great many icon editors available - essential for anyone
writing applications, or just customising the look of the system
shell. Yes, this one is my own; it has more features than the
competition, it's faster than most, and it's free.
* FE830: Psion, Inc.: freeware (RBW)
Hex/ASCII file editor for the PC, optimised for TLV files. Needs
some technical knowledge, but invaluable for data recovery from
corrupted files. (An internal tool used by Psion themselves, I
* FIREPIC: Andrew Baldwin freeware
Picture viewer. Nothing special there, but this one will read and
write PCX files as well as PICs; further DYLs may be written for
other formats; and it's being used by an increasing number of art
* FONT*: Steve Godfrey crippleware
Edits Psion fonts. You can use them in your own programs, but not
in the built-in apps or for printing.
* JBDAT*: John Boyce freeware (RBW)
Replacement for Data, with much better functionality. Needs lots
of memory, but much more useful than the standard app.
* JBFND*: John Boyce freeware (RBW)
Searches files (even open files) for a text or hex string, and can
auto-launch files that match.
* JBLAUNCH: John Boyce freeware (NM)
Provides a single icon under which you can launch any program.
* JBSTOPGO: John Boyce freeware (NM)
Stops all your programs before a backup and restarts them
* JBTREE: John Boyce freeware (SL)
Allows you to browse round a Psion disk, tagging and deleting,
viewing or moving files. Lots of extra features too, such as
viewing the space that could be reclaimed on a flash SSD.
* INSTALL: Psion GmbH: freeware (NM)
Provides configuration for your Psion, so that your system layout
can be restored after a reset. (DP:Only works correctly with
english type Psions!)
* LOTTERY3: freeware (SL)
This application will run a complete simulation of thousands of
years playing, just for you, showing how often you would have won
(or, more probably, lost) during that time.
* MACSYS: Tom Dolbilin freeware (RBW)
The Macro System allows automation of most common Psion tasks. It
can record and play back a sequence of keystrokes: but macros are
actually full OPL programs, and can use all the power available to
the system. A little tricky to master, but very rewarding. Several
macros are available on the Net as separate files.
* MAP*: Steve Litchfield shareware
Huge geographical information system with multiple overlays. Maps
of the UK, Ireland and London are available (separate
registration). NOT a route finder, but handy for general
information and basic town plans.
* MEMOVOC: David Joyce shareware (DP)
Instead of typing memos into your Psion, you can now speak them!
Allows for hands-free recording triggered by a loud sustained
* NOTEPAD: Pelican Software: shareware (NM)
A useful note-taking utility with links to other Psion
* OPP*: Andy Clarkson shareware (NM)
This is an OPL pre-processor with various C-like features, such as
#defines, includes, 2D arrays. Makes OPL much more readable. See
also section "Programming" for more info.
* OPPDBG: Andy Clarkson shareware (AC)
For OPL programmers. This is a run-time source level OPL debugger.
Shows which lines of OPL code are being executed. Examine and set
values of local variables in the running program. Requires the
separate OPL preprocessor utility (OPP 1.4F).
Switches password protection on overnight. I use my Psion far too
often to put up with entering a password every time I switch it
Two small utilities which allow printing from a PIC graphics file
(for example, a screen-dump of a spreadsheet) to an Epson or Canon
BJ printer.
Gives a graphical representation of where your precious memory has
gone. Can do files only or can sum all the space under
directories. Also shows space recoverable on a flash by formatting
it. (DP:still quite buggy, but a new version should come out
* PLAN: Andy Clarkson crippleware
A project planning application. You enter task and resource
details and dependencies between tasks. Plan will then work out
the schedule for each task and the project as a whole (includes
Gantt and Pert charts, interface to Microsoft Project,...).
* READER* and TCREADER: Barry Childress
nagware (RBW)
Probably the best text file viewer for the Psion, with many
display options and good buffering. TCReader is a PC program to
compress text files that Reader can view on the fly; it usually
manages about 50% reduction in size.
* RFM110: Psion, Inc.: freeware (RBW)
TSR to mount Psion drives over serial link to a PC, allowing
normal PC software to access them. Old and sometimes unstable, but
still my favoured serial comms package (even over RCom/PsiWin).
* RVTRN*: Mike Rudin freeware (RBW)
Extremely useful package to convert translated OPL programs back
to source code, in case you've lost the source or want to see how
someone else did something. Controversial, and some programs have
anti-Revtran "traps".
* SAIKAN: Jamie Packer freeware (author)
A Japanese character (kanji) dictionary. Supports searching by
reading, meaning, stroke count, radicals, JIS code, etc. Displays
comprehensive information on 6,355 (JIS X0208-1990) characters.
(NB: requires about 1MB of disk space.)
* S3ABANK*: Alan Richey crippleware (RBW)
An excellent general personal finance handler, with optional
modules for inventories, expenses, petrol, etc. Shareware version
is severely limited (only 3 accounts). Needs lots of memory.
Alternatives are available; easier to use and less power/memory
hungry, but not as complete: BankPlus, DPBank, SCBank.
* S3AEM1: Psion, Inc.: freeware (RBW)
Series 3a emulator for the PC. Try before you buy a Psion, test
new software, or run programs at greater speed. See also
"Emulator" section in part I of this FAQ.
Supplies an event-driven interface to OPL. Menu selections and key
presses are supplied as events to your OPL code.
* S3UZIP*: David Palmer
Port to SIBO machines of Info-Zip team's Unzip. Runs on
MC400/HC/S3/S3a/Workabout. Unzips any version 2.xx zip files,
including across a remote link (the fastest way to move files to a
Psion). Versions >= 1.4 include notes for developers on how to
call Unzip from C/C++ or OPL.
Gives a UNIX-like command line interface. This is particularly
useful for creating directories and removing files, where the
Psion menu interface is rather clumsy. Not the least of its
virtues is the fact that it understands filenames using forward
(/) slashes as well as back (\) slashes.
* TOPIX: Uwe Kallmeyer crippleware (RBW)
Multi-level outline editor, with links to files from other apps
(such as Word or Sheet). Perfect for large project management and
keeping track of long lists.
* TUBEFINDER: Steve Litchfield
freeware (SL)
A simple routefinder for the London Tube system. It's not the most
accurate and thorough program in the world, but then hey, it's

A.2 Games (by Dan Ko)

Name Stars Zip Exp Mem Type FMT Collection Description
------------ ----- ---- ---- ---- ---- --- ---------- ------------------ ***** 9k 10k 12k F F ? exciting puzzle **** 63k 87k 39k D+C F ? rolling ball **** 115k 197k 46k S+C F+S GamesPck3a THE golf game ***** 9k 16k 6k S F ? Tetris nuff said
Patience *** - - 8k C R 1Mb/2MbS3a zzzzzzzz ** 15k 42k ? F F slow platform **** 33k 62k ? S F+S GamesPck3a cool space game ***+ 31k 81k 14k S F ? strategy ** 40k 68k ? S F doubt it 2slow2big platform ** 9k 12k? ? S F S3 was much better

Stars: Arbitary rating units, overall personal impression includes
adjustment for size.
* waste of space
** avoid; boring, limited appeal
*** OK, if you've nothing better to fill your flash with
**** excellent, recommended
***** can't live without it

Zip: The zip file size
Exp: How much space the installed components will take up
Mem: Free system memory required to run in
Type: S Shareware
D Demo
F Freeware/PD
C Commercial
Format: F floppy (ZIP file)
R built into ROM
Collection: Name of collection which contains this game

End of part 5/6


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[Go to the index]

Daniel `HB9VBC' Pfund

Apr 17, 2004, 7:27:20 AM4/17/04
Archive-name: psion-faq/part6

Version: $VER: Psion FAQ v2.6

part 6

See part 1 for complete table of contents of this FAQ (including this


This is the official Psion commercial Software list taken from Psion's
"Software & Accessories" catalog v2 (Oct95). Thanks to Psion for
providing it. All telephone numbers are UK unless stated otherwise.

Prices are either known from v1 of the catalog or fall into one of the
following categories in v2 (in UKP)
* A: Less than 30
* B: 30-50
* C: 51-74
* D: 75-99
* E: 100+


Agenda Link - Please inquire for price.
from Widget Software Ltd. +44 1438-815-444
Share information in your Series 3 or 3a Agenda by linking it
to either Lotus Organizer or MS Schedule Plus. Agenda Link
translates the data from Series 3/3a to these popular Windows
information managers.

Asset Tracking - Please inquire for price.
from Advanced New Technology +44 182 571 3058
Equipment Inspections,PAT checks plus more all within this well
proven system. Control of all items, history, inspections,
overdue status, locations and status. Full PC management
control interface.

Banker - Please inquire for price.
from Pelican Software +1 713 242 8928
Personal finance software for the Series 3a. Banker Imports and
Exports to Quicken. Very easy to use and provides features such
as easy transfers, split transactions, password protection,
unerase, reconciliation, pop up Calculator and Calendar,
reports, printing, reminders and Tidy.

Banking Assistant - GBP 89.95
from Portable Software +44 190 463 3918
Built around a multi-currency, multi-account system with tax
handling and cash flow forecasting. Separate budget planner and
petty cash recorder plus an energy monitor. Complete with over
100 sophisticated financial calculators and converters.

Child Support and Legal Aid - cat E
from Dodona Ltd. +44 122 264 4131
ChildSupport calculates liabilities and entitlements to child
support and includes welfare benefits calculations. LegalAid
calculates entitlement and contributions to a Green Form,
ABWOR, Civil and Criminal Legal Aid.

Electrical Design Suite - cat E
from Electrical Engineer +44 1275 462 113
The programs come in the form of spreadsheet files, together
with technical data for the on-board database, some utilities
for OPL and readme files.

Finance Pack - GBP 49.95 for Series 3, GBP 59.95 for Series 3a.
from Widget Software Ltd. +44 1438 815444
Ideal for home finance, self-assessment for income tax, small
business accounts (without VAT). Ask for the "Widget Software
Guide to Getting Rich", a four page booklet containing full
details on this package.

Helper 3 and Renovator - cat E
from Ferret Information Systems Ltd. +44 122 264 4660
Helper 3 calculates Income Support, Family Credit, DWA and
Housing Benefits. Renovator calculates entitlement to
Renovation, Grants for Owners and Tenants, Landlords and
disabled Facilities Grants.

Office Assistant - GBP 89.95
from Portable Software +44 19 463 3918
Designed to help co-ordinate a busy office. Integrated time
facility includes project monitor. Helps with filing and
retrieving documents. Petty cash account plus inventory and
loan equipment tracking.

Plain Paper Invoicing - cat D
from Lasersoft +44 1904 633918
The convenient and efficient way to issue invoices and to
prepare quotations, particularly suited for small businesses
and for those who are self-employed.

Pocket Publishing - cat C
from Hockney Engineers Ltd. +44 113 245 5061
The easy way to print personalised letterheads and the quick
way to write every day letters, with a choice of high profile
distinctive styles. For use with Canon Bubble Jet Printers or
Hewlett Packard and compatible laser printers.

Sales Assistant - GBP 89.95
from Portable Software +44 190 463 3918
Integrated order processing, stock control and customer care.
Full set of output documents and management reports. Special
versions available for several industries.

Text Assistant - GBP 89.95
from Portable Software +44 190 463 3918
Assembles letters, memos, orders, invoices or notices without
lots of typing. Lays out the page automatically. Financial
documents totalled allowing discount and tax calculations.
Links to the Data system to produce mail shots.

Training Assistant - GBP 89.95
from Portable Software +44 190 463 3918
Contains a register and results recording system. Designed for
use in industrial training as well as educational
establishments. Allows for self assessment by students. Carries
out much of the tedious analysis and report writing.


Note: The "Acorn Pocket Book" is a re-badged Series 3.(the II is a 3a)

Acorn Schedule - GBP 19.95
from Acorn Computers Ltd. +44 122 325 4254
Supplied on an SSD ROM card with manual. This combines a diary,
personal organiser and timetable. Also includes the spell

Acorn Plotter - GBP 35.19
from Acorn Computers Ltd. +44 122 325 4254
A graphical plotting application meeting all curriculum needs
in Math and Science for key stages 3,4 and onwards as well as
most of the requirements for A-Level. Supplied on SSD with

Explorer - GBP 92.82
from ExpLAN UK Ltd. +44 182 261 3868
Designed to allow the introduction of an IT content to field
trips and surveys by replacing the traditional pen and paper
worksheet with a structured set of questions on an Acorn Pocket
Book or Series 3/3a.

Event - GBP 24.95
from ExpLAN UK Ltd. +44 182 261 3868
A desktop diary for Acorn RISC computers designed to work with
Schedule on the Acorn Pocket Book and Agenda on the Series

Occasion - User version GBP 69.95. Network version available.
from ExpLAN UK Ltd. +44 182 261 3868
A personal organiser application for Acorn RISC computers.
Comprising a diary, address book, phone book and note book.
Information may be exchanged with applications running on the
Acorn Pocket Book and Series 3/3a.


3a Bridge - cat B&C
from Interdata Developments +44 161 792 2871
Email: The ultimate Bridge program
specifically written for the Series 3a. This Acol-based program
will appeal to both inexperiences and serious players at all

3a Chess - cat B
from Purple Software Ltd +44 171 388 3111
Email: A powerful chess game that
incorporates a wealth of useful features.

Adventure pack I - cat B
from Interdata Developments +44 161 792 2871
Email: Adventure pack is an Infocom
text adventure interpreter with games such as Zork, The
Hitchhicker's Guide To The Galaxy, Colossal Cave Adventure and
many more.

A cornucopia of leisure programs - cat A
from BroadOak Computing +44 1491 576837
Includes 10 programs: Biorythms, Lottery, RPI '95 (purchase
price comparaisons), Tchance (for football pool results),
Roulette, Nim, Poker Dice, Quintet, Papillons (a cryptic
crossword like game), and Looksat (directions for satellite TV

Diamond Score - cat C
from ProCreations Inc. +1 206 335 4470 (1 800 599 7828 in USA)
A fun, easy and powerful way to score Baseball and Softball,
whether professional, amateur or little league.

DrawIt - cat B
from Purple Software Ltd +44 171 388 3111
Email: DrawIt is an object based
drawing program incorporating and extensive set of pre-drawn
lines, arrows, curves and shapes. Shapes can be re-sized,
grouped, ungrouped, ordered and rotated.

EMCC Backgammon - GBP 21.90 + (depending on disk/SSD)
from EMCC
Email: Multilingual backgammon game
with loads of features like Undo user move, save & retrieve
game, best move hint... For 1 or 2 players. Available either on
disk or SSD.

Expotel Pages
from Mobile Software +44 181 906 0002
Email: UK Hotel Reservations
Service. Significant discounts for booking your hotels with
Expotel. Booking service is free. Used with the relational
database "Mobile Pages". Expotel Pages is available for 6.95
GBP from Widget Software.

FloChart - cat B
from Purple Software Ltd +44 171 388 3111
Email: FloChart is a free form flow
chart designer which supports the full ANSI set of flow chart

Games 3 - GBP 34.95
from Widget Software Ltd. +44 143 881 5444
Seven exciting and innovative games for your entertainment.
Includes Castle, a full text adventure game; Bandit, a fruit
machine; Poker and Solo, classic card games; Reversi, Quad and

GolfCard - GBP 69.95 and Analyst - GBP 25.00
from M-P (Golf) Systems +44 181 394 2049
GolfCard is a Database and Scoring System for use on and off
the golf course. Use it to score all popular match formats for
1 to 4 players, Then save course details and match for
reference and analysis. Analyst allows you to monitor you and
your partners' progress. It can show all or a selection of a
player's scores on one course at once, and then calculate
averages, eclectic scores and other statistics.

from Mobile Software +44 181 906 0002
Email: Directory of over 4500 UK,
USA & Australian restaurants. Members enjoy 25% savings at all
participating restaurants. Used with the relational database
"Mobile Pages". Fully working versions are available free from
Transmedia Europe on +44 171 930 0700.

Miscellany - GBP 34.95
from BroadOak Computing +44 171 836 7640
Includes Biorhythms, the Series 3 character set, the date of
Easter 1901-2199, Football Pools manager and draw selector, RPI
price comparisons 1947-1994 (9 indices) Games for Thinkers &
Gamblers. Includes Roulette, Nim, Poker Dice and Quintet.

OrgChart - cat B
from Purple Software Ltd +44 171 388 3111
Email: OrgChart is a free-form
organisational chart designer. Built-in intelligence ensures
logical connections are maintained when charts are edited.

Paint and Compose - GBP 69.95
from Widget Software Ltd. +44 143 881 5444
Paint can display or print downloaded PCX, GIF, or BMP files,
create new pictures or capture and print spreadsheet graphs or
screen shots. Compose can create and print melodies on bass or
treble clef.

Voyance Astrology - cat B
from Voyance Astrology +44 1636 611 563
A comprehensive Astrology program for the Series 3a. Comes with
an introductory manual on Astrology which provides everything
necessary for anyone to learn the basics of this ancient


Air Navigator - GBP 116.33
from Dolphin Digital +44 120 248 3050
Flight Planning software for PPL through to commercial use.
Flight plan, fuel consumption and cost displayed or printed.
Stores aircraft and route information, full weight and balance
schedule plus dB Hold, crosswind, conversions, sunrise, and
sunset etc. Full European or American database available.

astroNAVCOMP - From GBP 149.00
from Intecma Associates OMEGA +44 184 434 4570
Multi-leg rhumb line and Great Circle passage planning.
Celestial navigation with integral almanac for sun, moon,
planets and stars. Easy to use - fixes computed without
plotting. Running fixes. Graphic display of D.R., fix, and
position lines.

Astro-Navigation - Please inquire for price.
from Maritek +44 141 554 2492
Sextant sight reduction calculations done quickly.
Automatically compensates for refraction, parallax and sun
diameter. Equally easy for moon, planets and stars. Running
fixes, use for predictions and gives time of sunrise/sunset,
twilight and transits. May be combined with Navigator.

Coastmaster 3 - Please inquire for price.
from Dolphin Maritime Software Ltd. +44 172 845 4171
For the Yachtsman or professional Navigator who needs to store
very large numbers of waypoints and routes. Computes
intermediate points along a rhumb line, automatic route, ETA,
true/apparent wind and many others.

FindIt - cat E
from Widget Software Ltd. +44 143 881 5444
FindIt provides drivers real-time information on journeys. It
can also display details about road junctions, petrol stations,
fast food outlets, banks and 12 other databases.

Flight Analyser - Please inquire for price.
from Top of the Stack +44 123 585 0157
For glider pilots and balloonists. Allows you to upload, view,
analyse and archive electronic barograph traces on the Series
3/3a. Features include auto scaling, multiple zooming, GPS
support, automatic selection of climbs and descents and many
useful utilities.

GNAV3a - cat E
from Pooleys Ltd. +44 181 207 3749
Professional flight planning using waypoints created from
latitudes and longitudes, national grid references or bearing
and distances from known waypoints or a track and distance.
Pooleys, Europe, US databases available.

grafTIDE - cat E
from Intecma Associates OMEGA +44 184 434 4570
Heights of tide Tidal curve plotted for any day and any port in
a user-maintained Port library. 30 day hi/low curve.

LGBK3a - cat E
from Pooleys Ltd. +44 181 207 3749
An electronic logbook for the Professional or Private pilot.
Handles both Fixed Wing and Rotary Wing. Includes a CAA CAP371
calculator for flying limitations and duty hours. Produces A4
certified print outs.

Navcomp - GBP 149.00
from Intecma Associates OMEGA +44 184 434 4570
Passage and race planning. Multi-function multi-leg system with
built-in tidal streams for N. Europe. Estimated hourly
positions with graphic display of groundtrack. Up to 99 legs,
234 named waypoints with index. Wind oriented tacking. Optional
NMEA0183 interface.

Navigator - cat D
from Maritek +44 141 554 2492
A chart table companion for navigation, passage planning and
keeping a log. Unlimited waypoints/routes. Computes a detailed
passage plan. Computes present positions, bearings, ground
track and speed, and keeps performance data. Full GPS
capability with optional receiver. Optional astro-nav facility.

Navplan - cat E
from Airtech Systems +44 1224 74225
Email: Navplan is a flight planning
package for pilots of all experience levels, both helicopter
and fixed wing. It is flexible enough to be simple and
informative to any user, whilst remaining powerful enough to
cope with any demands placed upon it by a commercial operator.

Nautical Assistant - Please inquire for price.
from Portable Software +44 190 463 3918
Check the European tide tables from the built-in data tables.
Numerous navigational, waypoint and racing calculators

Odyssey - cat D
from NavTech Software +44 181 291 5475
Email: A comprehensive record of
flying hours including night, x-country, instrument and
simulator time, plus approaches, landings and remarks. Uses
defaults for rapid entry.

Oil Survey 3 - Please inquire for price.
from Dolphin Maritime Software Ltd. +44 172 845 4171
For oil and chemical cargoes. Up to 99 surveys may be stored.
All the usual ASTM-IP tables plus many extras. Ability to print
out survey with surveyor's name etc. via optional cable.

Sierra - cat D
from NavTech Software +44 181 291 5475
Email: IFR/IVR flight planning and
utilities for the private or professional pilot. Uses default
values for fast planning with auto fuel plan and auto frequency
windows. Uses TAS, RAS or MACH no. and can save multiple

Sightmaster 3 - cat D
from Dolphin Maritime Software Ltd. +44 172 845 4171
Email: An Ocean Navigation program
which includes memory of all data for navigation, Sight
reduction with all corrections automatically applied, Almanac
for 59 stars, the sun, the moon and all 4 planets until 2100

Stability Draft and Trim 3 - Please inquire for price.
from Dolphin Maritime Software Ltd. +44 172 845 4171
For ship loading calculations. Storage for up to 10 ships, up
to 99 voyages per ship, up to 99 cargo spaces, stores etc. per
ship. All results printable via optional cable.

Tides - cat D
from Maritek Ltd. +44 141 554 2492
Fast calculation of tidal heigth for hundreds of ports round
the British Isles and Western Europe. You may also add more
ports yourself.


S3 Backup - Please inquire for price.
from Point.X +42 224 225 347
Provides simple and easy to use file backup from specified
Series 3/3a disks (internal, A, B or any combination). Program
runs from MS-DOS command line and can be included to the batch
files. Program compares the files on Series 3 with contents of
"archive" on PC to copy a new file.

3BASE - Please inquire for price.
from The Turing Machine Company +31 206 533 033
A user-friendly Windows application offering data integration
between your Series 3/3a database and many of the world's
PC-based database applications. 3BASE will convert between
Series 3, Series 3a, dBase IV, Windows Card, IIP95LX and FoxPro
files and a variety of other database formats.

S3WP - Please inquire for price.
from Point.X +42 224 225 347
Converts text between Series 3/3a Word processor and
WordPerfect 5.1 files without losing any formatting information
(styles, emphasis etc.). Database files (application DATA) can
also be converted to WP 5.1 files. Utility is running from
MS-DOS commands with various parameter settings.

Commander 3a -Please inquire for price.
from Yellow Computing +49 713 695 1111
A toolbox of utilities for the Psion Series 3 and 3a. The
Commander-Shell allows all file functions such as copying,
renaming, deleting etc. Also includes a fast Database-Viewer,
Data Compression, Hex Editor, SSD-Manager, Graphics view and
print utility etc.

dBase Convert - Please inquire for price.
from Point.X +42 224 225 347
Converts Series 3/3a database files from and to DBase file
format (dBase III compatible). Also the ODB files (OPL data
files) are handled. Program is MS-DOS command line driven and
several parameters are provided. Agenda files can be
transferred to dBase as well.

ESP/3 (Electronic Sales and Purchases for Series 3) - GBP 75.00
from Oak Software +44 192 681 5041
A communications base using the ESP/Net service which brings
customers and producers together electronically. Additional
applications can easily be written as required.

InterData - Please inquire for price.
from Lacegem Ltd. +44 161 792 2871
Gives you the power to manipulate your data effectively on your
Series 3/3a and to work with, share and convert your data for
use with your favourite Windows database. InterData S3 and
InterData PC are supplied as a suite of two programs on a 3.5
inch disk. Interdata S3 available alone on flashpack.

PComm - contact ASC
from Advanced System Consultants Inc. +1 513 429 8575
PComm is an easy to use PC-like communications program for the
Psion Series 3(a), HC or WorkAbout. Supports ANSI, VT100,
IBM3270, X/Y Modem. Scripts are compatible with Procomm 2.0.

Series 3 Tools - GBP 49.95
from Widget Software Ltd. +44 143 881 5444
Puts you in control of your Series 3/3a, telling you how much
RAM you have left, how much space each file on your SSDs takes
up and how to make the most of what you have left. Also
includes Convert utility and Task Manager.

Tool Kit I - cat B
from Purple Software Ltd +44 171 388 3111
Email: Comprises 4 programs: File
Manager (also available seperately), Convert (converts various
things like currencies, length ...), PicView (view PIC, PCX,
BMP and GIF pictures on your Psion) and ScnPrint (Print your
screen direclty).

VT100 Emulator - GBP 58.75
from Widget Software Ltd. +44 143 881 5444 Keep in touch with
office system or test equipment on site direct from the Series
3a. Use with remote system via modem or connect direct to any
host requiring VT100 capability. Supports most VT100 features
including underline, bold, reverse video, scrolling and keypad

Wasp Time Recorder - Please inquire for price.
from Wasp Software Ltd. +44 173 755 5989
Portable Time Recorder for professionals. A host of features
which you would have been pleased to think of yourself to make
your business more fluent and profitable. Download and upload
client details from network or mainframe. Report locally or on
any supplier's system.

Waspbox - Please inquire for price.
from Wasp Software Ltd. +44 173 755 5989
Provides office machine costs recovery for professionals.
Copier, fax control and direct chargeback to client account
irrespective of computer software supplier. Any office machine
can be made to function only when valid client codes are
entered. Stand-alone or networked. Local reports or mainframe.

Winlink - GBP 29.99
from Widget Software Ltd. +44 143 881 5444
Winlink makes communicating between a Series 3 or 3a and
Windows easy. You need a Serial Link (RS232) Cable in order to
use Winlink.


Berdy Smartdocs - Please inquire for price.
from Berdy Medical Systems +1 201 843 3366 (or 1 800 66 BERDY)
SmartDocs is an easy to use hospital rounds assistant. With
SmartDocs, you can quickly record your patient's diagnosis and
procedure information on the spot. SmartDocs stores basic
patient information, insurance data and ICD-9 and CPT codes
with a minimum effort.

Compute-A-Diet - cat C
from Comcard Ltd. +44 190 577 8957
A complete dietary analysis system incorporating the UK
National Food Database. Calculates your ideal weight, dietary
requirements, daily averages and much more. US and Aus.
versions also available.

COSHH Assessments - Please inquire for price.
from Advanced New Technology +44 182 571 3058
Allows H & S mangers to view COSHH details directly from the
Series 3 and also enables them to undertake COSHH Assessments
using the base chemical details. Full PC management control

Ezey-Log - Please inquire for price.
from Ezey-Log +44 161 903 9888
Ezey-Log is a computerised log book designed by doctors for
doctors. Allows you to store and generate your Anaesthetic,
Surgical or Procedure Log Book. Package includes PC archive and
link. Features include quick form-type input, simple transfer
protocol to PC, workload breakdown, flexible input facility.

Risk MATRIX Assessments - Please inquire for price.
from Advanced New Technology +44 182 571 3058
Full, user driven, Risk assessment system. Employs the Risk
Matrix method of determining the risk level. Full risk action
control and measures in place facilities. Full PC management
control interface.

Risk HRN Assessments - Please inquire for price.
from Advanced New Technology +44 182 571 3058
Full, user driven, Risk assessment system. Employs the Hazard
Rating Number formula technique to determining the risk level.
Full risk action control and measures in place facilities.

Room Safety Checks - Please inquire for price.
from Advanced New Technology +44 182 571 3058
The H & S Manager can walk into a room and check all safety
aspects. Complete with hazard ratings, notepad and automatic
action alarms directly from the Series 3 Agenda. Full PC
management control interface.

Visual P.A.T Inspections - Please inquire for price.
from Advanced New Technology +44 182 571 3058
All electrical equipment can be checked easily and quickly for
any obvious visual defects. Full recording of inspector, date,
time and full results. Full history and overdue reporting. Full
PC management control interface.


Contact Edge - cat C
from Total Computer Systems +44 199 257 5151
Manages prospects, sales and business contact information by
integrating a relational contact database and user defined
report generator with the Psion 3 Agenda, Word and Spreadsheet.
Contact TEAM links 3a's with Lotus Notes sales and marketing
database for 2 way data exchange.

Contact Team - cat E
from Total Computer Systems +44 1992 57515147
A complete sales and marketing multi-user system, written in
Lotus Notes, which has a sophisticated gateway to the Series
3(a) and integrates with the built-in applications (ie. Word,
Sheet ...). Handles Email linking to Lotus Notes mail and Lotus

G-Tabs - cat C
from Gartside Neville Ltd. +44 1703 268001
A sophisticated, easy to use system for collecting time,
expense and cost data. Comprehensive facilities include
activity timing, reviewing, cutting/pasting, merging,
backing-up, printing and data transfer to the Psion Spreadsheet
and PC-based accounting, database, spreadsheet and bespoke

Job Search - cat B
from Maritek +44 141 554 2492
Helps the job seeker keep track of job applications,
interviews, etc. It displays details of any application, lists
applications and gives breakdown of the current state of

Timebase - cat C
from Widget Software Ltd. +44 438 815444
Timebase records time, activity, expenses and costs
electronically, either in "real-time" using the built-in clock
of the Series 3a or by manual entry after the event.

Timebase Integrator - cat C
from Total Computer Systems +44 1992 57515147
A powerful, multi-user time recording system with several
options for data capture, including recording time on a Series
3(a), and additional report generating and project monitoring

Timing Assistant - GBP 89.95
from Portable Software +44 190 463 3918
Contains a set of business and domestic timing utilities. These
include a professional work timer, a scheduler plus fitness,
phone and chess timers. With Data Assistant which extends the
built-in Data system.


Asset Tracker & Portable Appliance Testing - Please inquire for price.

from Surveying Technology +44 171 702 3850
A Facilities Management tool that utilises the Series 3a and
interfaces with Seaward PAT testers. Simplifies using the Psion
Series 3 in conjunction with a CCD barcode scanner to keep
track of company assets.

Condition Survey Master - Please inquire for price.
from Surveying Technology +44 171 702 3850
Designed for Building Surveyors and Property Managers. A fully
customisable Condition Surveying system using GUI allows fully
detailed internal and external works to be monitored and
downloaded into the Windows database.

Geodos - cat E
from Viker Data AB +46 31 36 32 00
Geodos is a complete surveying software package for the Series
3. Connectable to optional surveying instruments and GPS
systems. Free stationing, traverse measurements, eccentric
measurements, polar and rectangular setting out and
measurementm resection, intersection...

Geographical Database - cat D
from Fawnbench Ltd. +44 127 645 1239
Displays a map of the UK from a digital database including
roads, railways, and rivers with full annotation showing town
and road names. Features can be searched for by name and
location. Users can add their own features represented by
custom icons.

Planned Building/Room Inspections - Please inquire for price.
from Advanced New Technology +44 182 571 3058
A complete Building/FM managers package. Buildings/Rooms can be
set-up with standard blocks of questions, enabling all aspects
of the room to be checked. Full hazard ratings and automatic
agenda and alarms when actions are due.

Spotter's Mate - cat D
from Brider Ltd. +44 1344 360290
Spotter's Mate is the ideal companion for the railway
enthusiast on the move. It contains all the current British
Railways locomotives and multiple units, details of which can
be displayed in seconds.

Survey Master Graphique - Please inquire for price.
from Surveying Technology +44 171 702 3850
For creating survey drawings. A comprehensive list of commands
that include entering symbols, editing data on site,
calculating angles and viewing drawings on site. Download the
survey drawing into AutoCAD or use DXF translator.

Tube - cat B
from SW Systems +44 1793 872146
Email: Enables you to navigate the
Lodon Underground, locate stations and places of interest and
automatically calculate routes between any two stations.


DataDeLuxe - GBP 69.95
from Pocket & Soul +32 3232 3468
Database for the Series 3 and 3a. Works with all existing data
files. Toggles between a record view and table view of all
selected records. Contains multiple search and select options
and fast alphabetical sort routine.

DataView and DataView Pro - cat B/C
from Purple Software +44 171 388 3111
Email: DataView is an easy to use,
yet versatile, database manager that offers complete
compatibility with databases prepared using the built-in Data

Information - cat B
from Surerange Analysis Ltd. +44 483 304960
Email: A collection of small
databases in Psion Data format containing commonly used facts.
Disciplines include Physics, Mathematics, Biology, Geography,
Language and Computing.

Mobile Pages - cat E
from Mobile Software +44 181 906 0002
Email: Mobile Pages is an
innovative solution to an age old problem - equipping people on
the move with the information they need to do their job. It
allows easy downloading of information normally stored on
business and corporate computers, providing access to that
information in a simple and flexible manner by creating a
relational database.

Multivue - cat B
from The User Group +44 1752 262627
The complete businessman's database - design your own
split-screens, scroll through information, select any mix of
records, with full mail merge and label printing. Simple export
facility to remote computers.


Advanced New Technology +44 182 571 3058
With a wide range of on-hand experience, work closely as
partners with companies requiring custom systems to provide an
effective solution in almost all aspects of business and
industry. References for quality satisfaction available.

Iceberg Software Ltd +44 137 181 0829
A consultancy service offering a professional team to meet your
software requirements. Experience includes financial trading
software, analytical, datafeed and remote Psion based access to
PC applications. Can develop ideas and produce software for MS
Windows, MS Windows NT and the Psion Series 3a.

PNJ Consultants-Software Engineering +44 181 740 0215
A software engineering and consultancy service is provided for
all types of Psion machines. Applications can be developed
professionally to your requirements for use on their own or in
conjunction with larger systems.

Right Hand Software Ltd. +44 181 319 8576
Develop general and business applications for the Psion range
of computers. Services include business requirement analysis,
software design and programming in C or OPL, integration with
desktop systems and implementation, training and support.

The User Group - +44 175 276 8515
User group for Psion. Receive unlimited technical support,
advice, newsletters, shareware, new software, discount
hardware, special offers, own bulletin board, regional seminars
and fun. Cost is GBP 28.00 per year.

Psion Rentals
Blake Nancarrow can rent Psions in Canada. See the credits
section for email contact address.


First Steps in Programming the Psion Series 3.
By Mike Shaw. GBP 14.95
from Kuma Books Ltd. +44 173 484 4335
Step by step instruction of the programming process of OPL.

Introduction to Using the Psion Series 3.
By Rod Lawton and Issac Davis. GBP 14.95
from Kuma Books Ltd. +44 173 484 4335
Disregards all the computer jargon and concentrates on the
machines abilities and potential as your own Personal

Serious Programming on the Psion Series 3.
By Bill Aitken. GBP 14.95
from Kuma Books Ltd. +44 173 484 4335
Program planning and writing with many worked examples.

Graphics programming on the Psion Series 3.
By Bill Aitken. GBP 14.95
from Kuma Books Ltd. +44 173 484 4335
Detailed explanations of graphics programming with numerous
worked out examples.

Serious Programming on the Psion Series 3a.
By Bill Aitken. GBP 16.95
from Kuma Books Ltd. +44 173 484 4335
Covers all the commands of the Series 3a including sound,
drawing and filling in black and grey plus a major section on

Programmeren in OPL - Please inquire for price.
from Portasoft +31 757 042 05
Describes how you design an application in OPL for the Psion
Series 3 and 3a. It starts with simple programming and
continues with subjects like using structures, procedures,
menus and window functions. Available in Dutch.

Desk Stand - GBP 16.99
from Widget Software Ltd. +44 143 881 5444
If you don't have enough hands to talk on the phone and use the
Series 3 at the same time, then you need this black, anodised
aluminium desk stand. The angle of display makes it easier to
read the screen and reduces glare. Designed to make your Series
3/3a stand out above even the largest mound of paperwork

The Cradle - cat E
from Widget Software Ltd. +44 143 881 5444
The Cradle is a docking station for Psion computers in a
vehicle. It provides connections to the power and data and is
easily adjustable for viewing.

End of part 6/6


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