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Getting online with a 1987 Psion Organiser II

Bringing an Eighties handheld classic into 2020 with a little help from a Raspberry Pi and a Bluetooth chip.

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Handheld computers were around long before smartphones and the World Wide Web! In the UK in 1987, you could have walked into any branch of Dixons, parted with £99, and exited with a Psion Organiser II. It was the iPhone of its day - the first truly popular 'consumer' handheld computer, with useful 'organiser' features like a diary and database. Unlike your iPhone, it was also fully programmable out of the box, making it a must-have accessory for techies and yuppies alike!

In this project, I have modernised my Organiser by adding Bluetooth, enabling me to connect it (fairly) easily to my modern laptop and Raspberry Pi. I can download email summaries & RSS feeds from the internet to the Organiser via some simple Python scripts. I have even posted tweets from it!

I hope you enjoy my project, and that it might inspire you to get out and about in the modern world with an old Organiser - when lockdown is over, I certainly plan to!

What is this Psion Organiser II?

Arguably the first pocket computer that wasn't just a glorified programming calculator. It was made in the UK and sold in mainstream high street shops and department stores. Plenty of programs ('apps') were available and - crucially - it was marketed as a 'lifestyle accessory' rather than a computing tool thanks to its built-in diary, alarm clock, calculator and information database. In spirit, I'd say the Organiser II was the first smartphone - though of course it did not have a mobile phone built in! (A plug-in pager was developed though...)

It was launched in 1986, at which time it was truly a cutting-edge device. It dominated its market for a good few years. However, by the turn of the nineties sleeker and shinier competing machines from the likes of Casio and Sharp were starting to enter the UK market, and from then on the Organiser II's days were numbered. It was effectively replaced in the shops by the slimmer and more capable (but more boring) Psion Series 3 in late 1991, which was a more traditional clamshell device with a QWERTY keyboard. The story wasn't quite over though - the Organiser II's durability and versatility meant that it had a remarkable afterlife in industry, and production trickled on until at least 1994. In all, over 700,000 Organiser IIs were sold.

My Organiser II is an XP model with 32 kilobytes of RAM, made in late 1987. At the time, this would have been the top-of-the-range model, available from your nearest Dixons for £139.50 - about £385 at 2019 prices!

So how does this 'getting online' thing work then... (updated Feb 2020)

Here's a simple(ish) explanation.

Back in the late '80s, in the days before Bluetooth and WiFi, the only way to move your information between the Organiser and a 'proper' computer was via a special device called the Psion Comms Link. The Comms Link was essentially a serial cable (plus a bit of software) that plugged into the top of the Organiser.

Fast forward 30+ years to 2019 and the brave new 5G world. Serial ports have long since vanished from PCs. However, with a bit of modification to the Comms Link, we can replace the serial cable with a Bluetooth-TTL chip. The Raspberry Pi 3 (and 4) have Bluetooth on board, so it's relatively easy to get the Pi and Organiser II talking wirelessly over Bluetooth once the Comms Link modification has been made.

(Before making the difficult financial decision to invest £4 in an HC06 Bluetooth chip, I first tried connecting the Psion physically to the Pi's GPIO pins. This worked, but it was a bit cumbersome...)

Has anyone else tried anything similar?

Similar 'retro computer as a serial terminal' projects exist, involving TRS-80s, Apple IIs and even the little Psion Series 5 from the late nineties. I have not seen any Pi-Organiser projects though, unless I've missed something.

Having said that, the idea of the Organiser as a portable 'connected machine' goes back over 30 years! I have read articles from old editions of IPSO FACTO - the newsletter of the long-deceased Psion user group  - in which authors described reading email on an Organiser II via a Comms Link, a battery-powered modem, and BT's Telecom Gold service - a pioneering 1980s 'dial-up' email system. All you needed for true on-the-go email communication was a phone box and an acoustic coupler, to hook up your modem.

Email in your pocket way back in 1987 - wow!

Psion RSS.pdf

How-to guide for using your Organiser II as a portable RSS feed reader, using my little rssion.py script.

Adobe Portable Document Format - 69.70 kB - 06/07/2020 at 18:31

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rssion.py

A very simple Python script that converts RSS feeds into Organiser-readable format. Read the above PDF file for simple instructions on how to use it.

x-python - 697.00 bytes - 06/07/2020 at 18:26

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  • 1 × Psion Organiser II I'm using the 32K XP model (sometimes also called the LA) introduced in 1987. There was a cheaper model with 8K RAM called the CM, and a 'deluxe' model called the LZ which was introduced in 1989 and had a 4-line display. Ooh, fancy!
  • 1 × Psion Comms Link A remarkably hard-to-find Organiser peripheral. Vintage units from the 80s have an RS232 port, modern units have a USB.
  • 1 × Raspberry Pi 3/4/Zero W, or any modern laptop with Bluetooth
  • 1 × HC06 Bluetooth Chip Readily available off eBay. HC05s will probably work as well (no guarantees!)

  • Psion Organiser II as a portable RSS reader

    James Fossey06/07/2020 at 11:41 0 comments

    Hello again!


    The last few months have been difficult for us all, and I hope everyone reading this is well.

    In my last log, I had completed my project to bring my Psion Organiser II into 2020, by Bluetoothing the Comms Link. So now I can easily connect it to my laptop, or a Raspberry Pi, and download files to it.

    The process itself is easy, but there are some obvious limitations. You've got the issues of the tiny 16*2 screen (unless you've got a fancy LZ model) and the limited memory - about 23.8KB on my machine! So what can we actually use this device for in 2020, besides as an alarm clock?

    This got me thinking about RSS feeds. These give very brief summaries of (e.g.) news headlines, designed for mobile devices - though maybe not 35-year-old ones ;) 

    Using the Python feedparser library I was able to write a very simple script that prints a summary of some chosen RSS feeds in 'Organiser-readable' format, i.e. with the different 'fields' in each post separated by tabs, and each post presented on a new line. I can run this script on my laptop or Raspberry Pi and then transfer the results to my Organiser II via my Bluetoothed Comms Link. No programming on the OrgII side needed - and let's face it, hardly any on the modern side either! I look forward to whipping out my Organiser on the train to catch up with BBC News, once I get back to work!

    I'm writing some brief instructions, which should be fairly easy to follow for anyone familiar with the Organiser II & Comms Link. It should also be possible to read emails (or email subject headings at least) in a similar way.

    For now though, I'll share with you the obligatory low-resolution video is up on my Psion Twitter. https://twitter.com/PsionOnline/status/1269591507973148672/

  • Bluetooth has arrived!

    James Fossey02/28/2020 at 20:49 0 comments

    Finally the Psion Organiser II has joined the wireless revolution!

    I purchased an HC06 chip for the princely sum of £3.85 off eBay. This chip converts the TTL signals produced by the Psion Comms Link to Bluetooth radio signals and vice versa. With a bit of crafty soldering, I wired up this HC06 chip to the Comms Link - this was actually quite easy, because I had already soldered the necessary wires to the Comms Link in an earlier part of the project - see log entry 'Back in action' from 2 Sep 2019 and the pictures in my last log.

    It works better than I expected (i.e. it actually works!) Using a Linux program called 'rfcomm' (I'm guessing this means radio frequency communication) I can control a terminal session on the Pi from the Organiser wirelessly at a distance of a few metres, at the lightning-fast speed of 9600 baud. All I needed to do was 'pair' the HC06 Bluetooth chip with the Pi (this is fairly straightforward so I won't go into the details here) and then use a little 2-line script to generate a terminal session over Bluetooth, which I'll attach to the project page when I get a mo. I can even transmit/receive files to/from the Pi from/to the Psion (delete as applicable!) via the XMODEM protocol, using the 80s software built into the Comms Link chip. I find this very exciting, which says a lot about me ;)

    Most pleasing of all though - my modified Comms Link with its added circuitry still just about fits inside the original Comms Link case* so that's a bonus if I ever venture out in public with the Organiser II again. Which I probably will :)


    I don't plan to enhance the design any more; I'm pretty satisfied with it,  given that I'm not an engineer or anything, just someone interested in old technology with a bit of Linux knowledge and an old soldering iron. I'll hopefully put together some photos and maybe a bit of a summary when I get the time. Until then, enjoy some pictures of 1987 crashing awkwardly into 2020 in the form of my Bluetoothed Comms Link.

    The added HC06 Bluetooth chip is appropriately coloured. Note the resistors - these connect to the TXD pin on the HC06 which together form a potential divider (the Psion outputs 5V, the Bluetooth chip only takes 3.3V)
    Slightly blurry close-up

    *though unfortunately it doesn't screw back together properly any more as I had to savagely snap off the 'tunnel' for the screw (engineers probably have a technical term) with a flathead screwdriver in order for the chip to fit. Elastic bands may be a solution.

  • Some pictures

    James Fossey12/06/2019 at 20:24 0 comments

    Hello again! It's been a while. I haven't done much with the Organiser II recently (except using it as an alarm clock and diary) but I hope to do the Bluetooth thing soon...


    Here are some heavily-overdue pictures of the project as it currently looks. The modified Psion Comms Link is plugged into the Organiser. Three wires link it to the GPIO pins of the Raspberry Pi (transmit, receive & ground). I'm hoping to replace these three wires with a Bluetooth chip nestled inside the Comms Link box so that the Pi and Organiser can talk wirelessly.

    Those three spindly wires connect to the Pi's GPIO pins
    Here's to 20 years of defeating Y2K (some Organisers aren't so lucky)
    The menu of programs seen when you switch the OrgII on. Not too dissimilar to your iPhone.

  • Back in action!

    James Fossey09/02/2019 at 19:57 0 comments

    I've worked out how to receive and transmit 3.3V TTL signals directly from/to the Psion Comms Link. This means the Psion can now communicate with 'modern' devices without needing complicated RS232-to-TTL converters and associated dodgy soldering...

    Why 3.3V instead of 5V? It turns out that the HC-06 Bluetooth adapter, which I eventually hope to connect to the Comms Link to allow the Organiser & Pi to talk wirelessly, cannot cope with 5V signals on its TX/RX pins. The Comms Link emits 5V TTL signals, so I had to make a simple voltage divider using two resistors, to 'step-down' the 5V signal emitted by the Comms Link to the 3.3V required. It was then a matter of soldering a few wires on to the Comms Link PCB in the right places, found by (vaguely educated!) trial and error. It all seems to work nicely at 1200 baud. For now I've wired it up to the Pi's GPIO TTL pins. In short - The Pi-on is back in action!

    The serial cable (which, avid readers will recall, terminates in a bulky DB25 connector) is now surplus to requirements, so I can cut it off to free up space inside the Comms Link's plastic case. Hopefully the Bluetooth adapter will fit inside the case, making the whole thing vaguely elegant...

    The new, streamlined connection. Note the redundant serial cable and the jazzy wiring colour scheme

  • Thoughts on Bluetooth...

    James Fossey08/30/2019 at 20:47 0 comments

    First - it was lovely to see the Pi-on featured on the Hackaday blog a few weeks ago! (https://hackaday.com/2019/08/03/raspberry-pi-helps-vintage-psion-find-its-voice/)

    Since then I've been tinkering about a bit. With the help of the Comms Link I downloaded a word processor to the Organiser. It's called AutoScribe Plus, it was sold by Widget UK (now defunct) in the late eighties/early nineties and it's actually rather good. (Well, it's as good as a 2-line word processor can be!) Widget gave permission back in 2002 for Psion users to distribute their old software freely, so if you have an Organiser II and wish to process words with it, head over to https://www.jaapsch.net/psion/packs.htm, pick 'Autoscribe Plus v5.11' and enjoy.

    I even managed to get the Organiser displaying web pages (in pure-text form of course) using the w3m text-mode web browser on the Pi. The Wikipedia home page, BBC News page and the retro Hackaday homepage were all view-able.

    Unfortunately some of my soldering surrendered last week, so the Pi-on is now out of action. This led me to think - could I replace the RS232 serial cable connecting the Pi and Psion with a Bluetooth module like this https://tinyurl.com/y5fs4e9q? This transceiver can convert Bluetooth signals to 5V TTL signals and vice versa. The RPi 3 has Bluetooth built in, so it should be possible to wire this chip up to the Comms Link, provided I can find how to supply and receive 5V TTL signals (as opposed to 12V RS232 signals) to/from the Comms Link correctly.

    I've dismantled the Comms Link and I've managed to 'insert' a 5-volt TTL signal from an Arduino's serial pins to the Comms Link board, so that the data is received properly on the Organiser screen. Now I need to work out how to 'tap' outgoing 5-volt TTL signals on the Comms Link board before they get converted to RS232 and sent down the serial cable. Here's a hopefully not-too-confusing summary of what I've just attempted to describe!


    Injecting 5V TTL data into the Comms Link :
    serial cable --> 12V RS232 --> 5V TTL (have managed to 'insert' signals here from an Arduino) --> Organiser

    Tapping 5V TTL data before it gets converted by the Comms Link:

    Organiser --> 5V TTL (need to 'tap' the signal here) --> 12V RS232 ---> serial cable

  • 1980s Twitter @ WOMAD 2019

    James Fossey07/29/2019 at 20:18 0 comments

    Organiser II with Twitter client & Comms Link
    Let me tweet it like it's 1986 yeah...

    The Pi-on Organiser made its first festival appearance yesterday - but hopefully not its last...

    ...To explain: I am an IOP outreach volunteer, and they kindly allowed me to include '1980s Twitter' as one of the many interesting diversions on offer at the World of Physics at this year's WOMAD festival in Wiltshire. Sunday afternoon punters could type their tweet on the Organiser II then send it via the Comms Link to the Raspberry Pi. The Linux command-line Twitter client 'PTT' and the WOMAD wi-fi did the rest. 64 tweets in total - not exactly 'trending' but still a respectable number. You can browse the tweets @PsionOnline - do give us a retweet or a like (twitter.com/psiononline)

    Me and my Psion @ WOMAD 2019. There were more people here earlier on, honest...

  • An upcoming 'gig' and a bit of added elegance...

    James Fossey07/26/2019 at 18:43 0 comments

    ...well, 'elegance' might be overdoing it a bit. With a mixture of skill, cunning and brute force (read: a vague plan and a pair of scissors) I have equipped my Raspberry Pi 3 with a 25-pin serial 'port'. Essentially I removed the old 9-pin female connector from the RS232/TTL converter I was using with a 25-pin male connector. This means that all the fiddling about poking wires into serial connectors is no longer necessary, as I can just plug the Comms Link into the Pi for lovely reliable 1200-baud communication :)

    Suffice to say this all relies on some slightly dodgy soldering, but I think it's a great improvement on last week's experimental arrangement. The entire device now fits in the palms of two hands!

    The Pi-on Organiser (yes that's what I'm going to call it!) can be used to read RSS feeds, by means of a simple Python script. I can also read mail using mailx, though it is a little difficult.

    Assuming my soldering survives, I'm going to be demonstrating the Pi-on Organiser as part of Institute of Physics events this Sunday at the WOMAD festival. (Fits in quite nicely with the 'history of electronics' theme of the day!) I'm setting up Python Twitter Tools - a command-line Twitter client - on my Pi 3 so hopefully punters will be able to write and post tweets from the Organiser II over the Comms Link. Whether anyone will find this remotely interesting (pun not intended) is, of course, yet to be seen...

    Update about 2 hours later: Twitter client installed & working! Keep an eye on @PsionOnline this Sunday 28th.

  • It works! (well, sort of)

    James Fossey07/18/2019 at 10:51 0 comments

    The Comms Link duly arrived on Tuesday, and after a bit of fussing around with serial connectors I have managed to get the Pi and Psion physically connected. Better still, they are actually talking properly to each other at a not-exactly-zippy 1200 baud, using the terminal emulator included with the COMMS software (see previous log). In other words, the Organiser is now acting as a 'dumb' terminal for the Pi. Trouble is, it's not exactly portable at the moment...



    In this picture you can see the Organiser with Comms Link attached (bottom right) and the hefty Comms Link cable, which terminates with a female DB25 connector on the left of the photo. My Raspberry Pi 3 (top right) has an RS232/TTL converter attached. The female DB9 connector on this converter is connected to the DB25 connector of the Comms Link by three red wires poked into the relevant holes. This bit is, unsurprisingly, rather fragile. See the table at the bottom.

    What can I do so far? I can login to the Pi using the Organiser's keyboard and do all the basic terminal stuff. The only awkward quirk so far (other than the Organiser's tiny 16x2 screen, of course) is that the Psion's EXE key does not act like ENTER. Instead I keep having to press Ctrl-J on the Psion. The left arrow key takes on the role of Control in the Psion COMMS software.

    Table of connections...

    DB25 on Comms Link - DB9 on RS232/TTL converter
    TTL side of RS232/TTL converter - Pi GPIO pins
    Pin 2 - Pin 2
    VCC - Pin 1 or Pin 4 (3.3V or 5V)
    Pin 3 - Pin 3
    TXD - Pin 8
    Pin 7 - Pin 5 (Ground)
    RXD - Pin 10
    All other pins unconnected
    GND - Pin 6 (other ground pins are available...)

  • The Comms Link cometh

    James Fossey07/09/2019 at 22:31 0 comments

    I've ordered a Comms Link. Well, in fact, it's an original Psion Comms Link with a free Psion Organiser CM included. Yes, that's the right way round - the cable is worth more than the Organiser now! Total cost £22, but I hope to recoup some of that by re-selling the Organiser CM. This is good news for the project, because it means all that fiddling around with machine code and SSCR now won't be necessary. The disadvantage is that the solution won't exactly be compact. Oh well.


    What exactly is a Comms Link? It's a device that equips a Psion Organiser II with an RS232 plug. They were sold by Psion as a must-have Organiser accessory for the eyewatering sum of £60 in early 1988 - bear in mind the cheapest Organiser II sold for £99 at that time!

    (picture of Comms Link from Centre for Computing History)
    http://www.computinghistory.org.uk/userdata/images/large/65/95/product-86595.jpgSee that grey box with 'Comms Link' written on it? In there is a little chip which contains some terminal emulation/file-transfer software for the Psion, imaginatively called COMMS. If I connect the RS232 end to the Pi (via an RS232-to-TTL converter and possibly a 25-9 pin converter) and the other end to the Psion, I should be able to control a Pi terminal session using the Psion. Which is basically the aim of this project.

  • Is the Psion actually useful in 2019?

    James Fossey07/03/2019 at 20:49 0 comments

    OK, I admit this project hasn't advanced very much recently as I've had quite a lot of other stuff to be getting on with. But I have been trying to make use of the Psion (in its standard form!) in my everyday life. Is it worth buying a Psion Organiser II for a few pounds off eBay in 2019 - if you don't intend to modify it? Well, here are a few uses for the device.


    - It's a good, loud alarm clock. You can set 8 alarms up to a week in advance.

    - The database is good for storing small amounts of information for short periods of time. I've used it to note down things like phone numbers and brief 'reminder' notes.

    - Psion Tetris (see last log) is good fun for whiling away 10 idle minutes.

    - You can buy a selection of Datapaks* containing original 1980s Organiser programs on eBay for £7.50 a pop. Things like word processors, the 'Travel Pack' and the 'Games Pack.' I haven't tried any of these but some of them could still be fun and/or useful.

    Of course, if (unlike me) you own a fancy smartphone you can do all of these things at lightning speed in glorious Technicolor. But hey, that's what ordinary people do - and being ordinary is a bit of a waste of time.

    As a final note - I have noticed recently that some modern (USB) Psion Comms Links have appeared on eBay for the not inconsiderable sum of £35 + postage. Realistically I think the Comms Link route is the only viable way to get the Psion (sort-of) online, so I am tempted to take the plunge. If I do, rest assured I'll witter on about it here...


    *'Datapak' was Psion's commercial name for a removable storage device for the Organiser. A Datapak is just an EPROM in a plastic case. It was possible to buy blank datapaks of various sizes (I have a 32K and a 16K Datapak) and also 'pre-recorded' datapaks containing commercial programs. They plug neatly into the back of the Organiser.

View all 12 project logs

  • 1
    Buy a Psion Organiser II

    Start with the fun bit! Here's a short Organiser II buying guide I produced myself - consult the websites for more detailed/informed insights...

    There are four models of Organiser II - all should work with this project. I own two Organisers - a 1988-89 CM model and a 1987 XP model.

    1. The CM with 8K RAM and a two-line display, introduced in 1986. This was the basic 'consumer' model throughout the Organiser II's life. Be aware that some program packs do not run on the CM owing to lack of memory e.g. the Pocket Spreadsheet.

    2. The XP, introduced in 1986 and quickly upgraded. Very early XPs have 16K RAM, all others have 32K RAM. All XPs have two-line displays. From 1986-89 XPs were the top of the range Organisers; from 1989 they were demoted to mid-range status. I believe XP means 'executive & professional' - very 80s!

    3. The LZ with 32K RAM, a larger range of built-in programs, and a fancy four-line display, introduced in Spring 1989. This was the deluxe model, and was only surpassed by...

    4. The LZ64 with 64K RAM, otherwise the same as the LZ. Introduced in Spring 1989.

    You may also see 'P250' or 'P350' branded models. These were Organisers intended for use in industry; usually they were designed to run a single software package but some can be 'hacked' back into normal Organisers. If in doubt, avoid!

    Also bear in mind some LZ64s seem to suffer from a 'buzzing capacitor' problem - again if you're not confident in fixing this you may wish to avoid this model...

    (to be continued)

  • 2
    Buy a Psion Comms Link and a HC06 Bluetooth adaptor

    The HC06 Bluetooth adaptor is quite simple to get hold of. They are all over the internet at dirt-cheap prices. Check reviews and images though to make sure you're getting a decent one. Mine cost £3.85 in February 2020 from a UK seller.

    The Comms Link is a vintage device, so it's harder to get hold of. It plugs into the top of the Psion and allows it to connect to a PC via an old-fashioned serial cable. The design and firmware of the Comms Link was updated during the Organiser II's long life. The Comms Link device itself is a grey, square-ish box with 'Comms Link' written on it.

    Be careful: you do not want a Psion 3Link, which was designed for the later Series 3, introduced in 1991. Nor do you want anything with the word 'parallel' in the name, unless you happen to be a vintage printer enthusiast! If your Comms Link looks like a Comms Link but has 'RS232 Link' written  on it, you are looking at a very early 1986/87 model which might have more bugs and less functionality.

    I believe all Comms Links work with all Organiser IIs, except perhaps these early RS232 Links. If you have an LZ or LZ64 you might like to look for a later version of the Comms Link which can take advantage of the 4-line display. These can be identified easily as they have a little red LED in the corner, whereas the earlier 2-line Comms Links do not.

    Prices of Comms Links vary and availability is quite limited on eBay. Your best bet might be to browse Organiser II listings to see if someone is throwing in a Comms Link. That way you'll get a spare Organiser as well! I bought my Comms Link along with a battered Organiser CM for about £16 in summer 2019.

  • 3
    Learn how to use the Organiser

    Before modifying the Comms Link, now is a good time to get to grips with the Organiser II itself. It's a really impressive machine for its time and can still be useful today. I do not own an LZ/LZ64 so I'll give a quick runthrough of the menu options on a CM/XP.

    FIND/SAVE - allows you to compile a simple database of 'records' i.e. stuff. Try navigating to SAVE and press EXE - the screen says 'SAVE A:' and type in 'Stuck in 80s handheld computer - send help!'. Hit ENTER. Now go to FIND. Enter 'handheld' and hit EXE. Your message is displayed. The Organiser II has searched its database for every record with 'handheld' in it (FYI - not case sensitive) and will display these one at a time. Hit EXE and it'll say 'END OF PACK' which means it has run out of records with 'handheld' in them.

    DIARY: A simple yet useful diary which splits eternity into 30 minute segments. Use the arrow keys to navigate through the endless mists of Time and press EXE to enter a diary entry on some random day in the late 80s. It can even ring an alarm for you in advance. For serious use you'll need the Y2K fix (see later).

    CALC: Remind yourself that 1+1 = 2 with the OrgII's handy calculator. The keyboard defaults to 'numeric & symbols' mode but you can use trig functions etc by hitting SHIFT and the down arrow to go back into 'letters mode', then entering SIN, COS etc.

    PROG: Enter the wonderful world of OPL programming. Read the manual to find out more.

    ERASE: Delete outdated, incriminating or embarrassing files from your Organiser.

    TIME: Tells you the time and date. By default it'll probably have woken up on New Year's Day 1986, 1987 or 1988 (a good way of working out the rough age of your Organiser!) and it won't let you go past the millennium. A Y2K fix is available at Jaap's website, but you'll need a non-full datapak and a functioning Comms Link. (Datapaks are cheap on eBay, and a 16K one is all you'll need for this.)

    INFO: Tells you how much room you have left on your Organiser (yes, I'm afraid that figure is in bytes) and any datapaks you have installed.

    ALARM: 8 alarm clocks in your pocket, as the ads used to say. Genuinely useful even today. Quite loud as well.

    COPY: Copy stuff from your Organiser to a datapak, or a datapak to the Organiser. Hours of fun for all the family.

    RESET: Want to annoy a retrocomputing enthusiast? Use this option to restore their Organiser II to its factory settings and delete all files. 

    OFF: When the fun is over, switch the Organiser II off. (PS: hitting the 'O' key does this quickly, provided you're at the main menu.)

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resnonverba wrote 02/05/2020 at 01:12 point

Yes very interesting I will be following great stuff!

  Are you sure? yes | no

Tom Nardi wrote 06/04/2019 at 17:08 point

I owned my fair share of similar smartphone precursors, from the little Casios up to the Palm Pilot and Sharp Zaurus, but this is the first time I've ever seen this one in particular.

Very interested to see where the project goes from here.

  Are you sure? yes | no

Starhawk wrote 06/02/2019 at 23:46 point

I'll just leave this here...

http://forum.psion2.org/YaBB.pl

  Are you sure? yes | no

don.vukovic wrote 06/07/2020 at 21:30 point

300 An Error Has Occured!: Unable to open .cat

For all links on that home page.

  Are you sure? yes | no

Starhawk wrote 06/07/2020 at 23:51 point

Yeah, it's been that way for a couple months now. The moderator, Marksan he calls himself, he told me a few months before *that* that he had some sort of horrible cancer, and he was Stage IV at the time, and the diagnosis was terminal... I believe inoperative as well, I'm not sure.

On top of that, nobody there has physical access to the server -- it was owned until the early 2000s (2003 or 2005, I forget, I think '03 tho) by a dude named Boris, until he had a heart attack that killed *him*. Someone on there got in touch with his surviving family, and was able to get remote-admin priviledges, but for some reason that's *all* they got.

Coincidentally, Boris also created and maintained (until his death) a CommsLink replacement program that works in Win9x/2k/XP/Vista/7 -- although officially nothing after XP is supported, I have a copy somewhere that I've used on a Win7 install and it works... alas, the forum was also the help-docs repository, and I *don't* have a copy of that material, so I hope you're enough like me to be well-acquainted with the "press random buttons and see what works" method of learning how to use something ;)

I did send an email, shortly after the 'collapse' to Jaap, and I never got a response... I suspect that what happened was Marksan died, and he was the point of contact with Boris' family (and had either neglected to set up a backup contact person, or was unable to do so, in time), but I honestly don't know.

I'll send Jaap another email in a minute or two... poke me again, please, in a couple days (a reply here, or anything using the '@' symbol and then my handle, with no space in between, will alert me) and I'll let you know if I got any sort of response and if so what it was.

  Are you sure? yes | no

James Fossey wrote 06/08/2020 at 16:34 point

Thanks don.vukovic for reminding me about this, and thanks Starhawk for your efforts & the extra information. Very sorry to hear the news about Marksan.

  Are you sure? yes | no

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