This is a discussion on PSION Series 3/3a palmtop FAQ part 3/6 - Palmtop ; Archive-name: psion-faq/part3 Version: $VER: Psion FAQ v2.6 Posting-Frequency: monthly URL: http://www.geocities.com/SiliconValley/8130/faq.htm part 3 See part 1 for complete table of contents of this FAQ (including this part's). 3.10 How can I permanently change the distance units in World? (by Ian ...
Version: $VER: Psion FAQ v2.6
See part 1 for complete table of contents of this FAQ (including this
3.10 How can I permanently change the distance units in World? (by Ian
World takes its distance cue from the printer defaults set on the
System screen (Psion-y on UK Psions). Set it to centimetres and World
will use kilometres as default.
3.11 Why do some programs crash with an "Invalid arguments" error?
Some applications (mainly free/shareware) crash with an error message
ERORR in PROGRAM\PROC
This is due to changes in the UK default settings of either number
formats (System menu) or time format (Time). You could try changing
these but you're better off informing the programmer of the problem!
3.12 Why is my Psion not switching itself off automatically anymore? (by
1. Obvious: because you changed the "Auto switch off" to NO.
2. You changed it to "If no external power" and you're using external
3. The Series 3 will only switch off if no task is outpending (eg: a
spreadsheet is calculating in the background).
4. Some badly programmed programs do never stop performing a task. If
you know which one it is, close it. If you don't, close them all.
5. Some files are still running but you can't see them on the System
screen. These are often IMG programs which might sub-application
programs (ie: launched by another one) that you are not supposed
to see. You can attempt to see them by cycling through the running
processes with Shift-System. If you want to kill a process, you
can use Shift-Psion-k. If you cannot find any suspect processes,
then the process probably doesn't allow you to bring it to the
foreground. The only way to find these is to use SPY from Psion
and kill them from there. But beware, don't kill any SYS$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 (email@example.com, 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. TIPS & TRICKS FOR GENERAL USAGE
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
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 EEIPEN@eeiatns01.eei.ericsson.se 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!
AS I DO NOT HAVE BACK UP FACILITIES, I DECIDED TO HAVE A GO BY
LEAVING THE MAIN BATTERIES CONNECTED. AS IT HAPPENS ON BOTH
OCCASIONS I DID NOT LOOSE ANY FILES TO MY SURPRISE
* 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
I FOUND ON MY PSION, THE BEST WAY TO REMOVE THE KEYBOARD COVER WAS
TO LEVER THE FRONT PART OVER TWO RETAINING LUGS. A FLAT SCREW
DRIVER PUSHED INTO THE DEAD CENTRE OF THE FRONT EDGE COVER AND
TWISTED APPROX. 45 DEG. WILL REVEAL THE RETAINING LUGS. WHEN THE
FRONT EDGE IS LIFTED A FAIR AMOUNT OF FORCE IS REQUIRED TO PULL
THE BACK EDGE AWAY FROM THE HINGES
* 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
RIBBON LOCKS ON THE CONNECTOR FORWARD. Carefully slide the cable
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
ON MY SECOND OCCASION I DECIDED TO TRY PREVENTING REOCCURRENCE BY
STICKING A THIN STRIP OF SELLOTAPE / SCOTCHTAPE ACROSS THE
CONNECTOR TO THE BLUE RIBBON.
* 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
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.
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
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
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)
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).
Mr. Peter Hodac
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
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
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:
rte de la Maladiere 4
Phone: +41 21 691 89 62
PEAT - Psion Enthusiasts Association of Toronto [Canada]
E-mail Blake Nancarrow (firstname.lastname@example.org) for more info
or call him directly at (416) 535-1899 extension 3.
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
Psion Users Group Netherlands (Psion gebruikersvereniging Nederland)
8700 AB Bolsward
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.
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: ftp://ftp.it.dtu.dk/pub/psion/index.html and at the IC FTP site
in the packages/psion/comp.binaries.psion directory.
Psion is also on CIX. Check the Palmtop A forum. There is an offline
reader for the 3a (only) called "ReadCIX"
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".
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 John@lyster.demon.co.uk
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 email@example.com
* ??? +32 3 226 20 79 [Belgium]
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 firstname.lastname@example.org 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:
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: http://www.volksware.com/mobilis/
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. SHAREWARE & FREEWARE
5.1 Relevant FTP sites
* Imperial College
Administrator: Lee McLoughlin email@example.com
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
Mirror for the USA at: ftp://ftp.phone.net
Administrator: Fric firstname.lastname@example.org
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 (micro.hensa.co.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,
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
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