Psion PDAs (was Re: Modern replica/implementation of a dumb terminal?)

From: Sellam Ismail <>
Date: Wed Dec 4 19:13:00 2002

On Thu, 5 Dec 2002, Andreas Freiherr wrote:

> you're talking in the past? - I am still using my Psion 3mx every day,

For me I am ;) I don't doubt that you still find your Psion 3 useful. If
I didn't have my Series 5 I would still be using my 3a.

> What OPL can do becomes obvious with some applications, your "Red Box
> Emulator" is another example. V-Tel is also written in OPL. If I only
> had the time to complete the setup program for configuration of my
> private phone system...

Huh? What is V-Tel? Sounds *very* interesting. The "3a Box" program was
cool. It also did the Blue Box and Green Box tones (though niether work was more for novelty). You chose which tones you wanted
from a menu, and then it went to a subroutine for that box. Red and
Green box tones were chosen from a menu. Blue Box tones were dialed in
and then you hit "Dial" to send them out. I could walk through airports
chiming out MF tones. It made heads turn (I wouldn't do that today* ;)
Sadly, I believe the source is now lost for good. The harddrive that had
the backup files for that Psion has long since crashed and the batteries
(main and backup) on my 3a went dead and took the program with it :(

* Actually, in the movie Executive Decision with Steven Seagal (the only
one he's in where his character dies) and Kurt Russell, the terrorist on
the plane is using a Psion 3a as the remote bomb control :)

> Too bad that the infrared interface (3c, 3mx) was built too early to
> conform to all relevant IRDC standards, but if I can locate some
> information from the Psion SDK, there might be a solution...

Is it compatible with the Series 5 at least? Probably not as I imagine
the Series 5 conforms to standard.

> As for the RS232 interface, the "soap on rope" cable used with the 3/3a
> was changed into something that looks like a simple cable for the later
> models (3c/3mx), I think it might be the same type as for the Series 5,
> with a small flat connector at the PDA end instead of the 3-by-2
> Berg-style plug.

But I thought the dongle had the actual serial hardware in it, whereas on
the Series 5 it is built-in?

> And the display: yes, I know the pen is designed not to harm the
> display, but I cannot help feeling like it might scratch, though -

It doesn't.

> absolutely personal opinion, of course. I tried a Series 5, but compared
> to the Series 3, it didn't do enough to justify the switch: not even the
> Opera browser could do what I was looking for, so I gave up and kept the
> 3mx.

I didn't realize that was Opera! Cool.

One of these days I'm going to get Linux installed on my spare (if I can
fix it) just to do it.

Sellam Ismail Vintage Computer Festival
International Man of Intrigue and Danger

 * Old computing resources for business and academia at *
Received on Wed Dec 04 2002 - 19:13:00 GMT

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