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Q. I have a Psion Series 7 but I have never used very much because, whilst a great little defice, I have problems connecting to my main computer for back-up, printing, etc., etc.  Anyway my query is, before I go ahead with buying a (maybe Acer Inspire One?)netbook instead, can I connect to the internet/send e.mails with my Series 7 through my broadband connection, which is via waitrose.com and a Voyager 2091 router, please?

A. It can be done, but its a bit complicated and usually involves converting the board so you can add wireless cards - I'd buy a new netbook instead. Fancy donating your 7 to this site? ;-)

 

Q. I have a PSION 5, which is in perfect condition, and works perfectly using the charger, but will not work continuesly with the batteries. I put in a new set of AA bateries and the CR batteries, but it only lasts about a week, i leave it much longer, and and the thing is dead.
Any clues to what is wrong with it. Simon.

A. Ok, you need to check the settings to make sure the unit automatically turns itself off after 5 minutes or so. Also make sure the back-light turns itself off too. It could be a hardware problem - try cleaning the battery terminals with a bit of sand-paper, then see what happens.

 

Q. Thank you regarding the sound files. You are now my official Psion Guru! I have another Psion problem with an Mx. The Mx crashes if several keys are pressed in quick succession followed by several beeps. Sometimes it crashes on its own shortly after loading then beeps continuously until the batteries are removed. I have tried everything I know from soft starts to hard starts to removing all the batteries and re-starting. I have come to the conclusion with my little knowledge that the programme is corrupt.
Are there any magic key presses I can try to get it to load properly or will it need re-programming if the programme has become corrupted?
Any help will be very much appreciated before the Mx goes out of the window!
Neville

A. Sorry, I haven't got a clue about that problem, maybe a Google search? Don't ever throw old Psions away - you'll get a good price on ebay even for duff ones, or you may come across a fix in the future.

 

Q. Is it possible to run Auto Express on my Revo? I have copied the complete disc from the 3c onto the Revo but it wont run. Any advice?
Also, I have some old sound files I recorded on the 3c. Can I convert them from WVE to WAV files anywhere? Can I play them on the Revo?
Excellent web site by the way.
Neville

A. The 3c and the Revo use different operating systems, SIBO and EPOC respectively, so applications are usually not transferable.
This website
claims to be able to convert Psion WVE files to WAV's, so give that a go - not sure what format the Revo can play, but at least its a start.

 

Q. In 1993, I purchased my first Psion Series 3a. It lasted until 1998, when it got smashed along with my suitcase in an airport in Lisbon, Portugal. The Concierge at the resort we were staying at near Lisbon gave me an Internet site of someone in New Jersey, or NYC who was refurbishing the Series 3a. I purchased one from him in 1998, and was very happy with it until it fell onto a concrete parking lot and broke in three pieces six months ago. I have it operating with strategic electrician's tape appications. But I want to purchase another refurbished Psion 3a. Any chance of that happening? There is a guy in the UK who will sell me one for 160 pounds (UK). I am trying to beat his price, if possible. Thanks for taking the time to read this. Walter.

A. Refurbished (and guaranteed) Psions are expensive - for that price you can buy loads of second hand units from eBay.co.uk. Thats what I would do, just make sure the seller has good feedback, and that in the listing there aren't any faults such as broken hinges or dead screens. A quick check of eBay now shows me several 3a's going for less than £10 - about $20 - I guess they could double by the end of the auction, but thats still pretty cheap.

 

Q. Hi again ,its me about the PSION 3a! The memory thing is a real issue, the memory is even less now. I have discovered something tonight. I have about 8 word files this time and it seems to have taken up all the 1 meg flash drive memory!

I discovered that if i edit a file and save it again it uses up more flash memory, even if i delete some parts it ends up using more flash memory... Have any idea why? Each file i write has about 1000-2000 words last time I was able to save about 20 files before the memory was all used up. This time only 8, and I did a lot of editing this time around... Thanks

A. With the Flash type memory card for the 3's every time you save a file, or edit and save, it stores the data in a new place on the card, and will not overwrite the old data. In order to empty the card you have to format it. Just copy the data off the card to your internal memory, then format it again - or copy the data to your PC - then you'll have a clean card. If you've got two cards just copy the data from one to the other then format it, then copy it back

The older RAM cards, that use a button-cell battery back-up can by written over and over like a modern sd card, but are rare.

 

Q. Hi, its me from before xmas, where I bought two psion 3a's and ended up getting one for free.. The memory doesn't last too long, I got a 1mb flash card but for some reason the word files seem to take up a lot of memory on the flash drive.. Do you know where i can get some cheap flash memory cards... Ebay sells 4mb ones for a lot of money, like £40+ Thanks

A. All the bigger Psion 3a memory cards are expensive now unfortunately.
The files shouldn't be that big - are you converting them (not just copying) when you transfer them from your PC to your Psion's? That may be the problem.

 

Q. I'm thinking of buying an Asus eee to replace my Psion Revo plus 16mb. Does the database transfer from EPOC to the ASUS eee pc which I gather runs on Linux? Nick.

A. Thats a great question, but I have to admit I'm not sure. The process would involve converting all your Psion Data, via PsiWin, to Windows, then across to Open Office and therefore Linux. Another option would be to find an EPOC SDK (Psion Emulator) that could run on the Linux distribution bundled with the eee PC, so the eee PC would be a Psion Netbook Emulator, but it all sounds a bit complicated and you'd lose wi-fi, internet, etc.
My opinion would be that don't buy an eee PC if you're not ready to start from scratch - or ready to invest some serious research and time into solving the problem. (Which might not be solvable.) Sorry if I haven't been much help.

 

Q. Hi, I am looking for a cheap portable thing, all I want is it to be able to have a pasword protection, and be able to write diary logs. I think the psion seina seems decent, what is battery life like? Thanks

A. The Sienna is ok, about 20hours battery life, but remember all these psions (except the 7, Revo and II) use a button-cell back-up too, so when the main batteries fail, just pop in a new set (aaa or aa), the memory is safe. I prefer the 3c (any model), better keyboard, larger screen, can use special psion discs. If you want a really special unit get a Psion 5 - they have an amazingly good keyboard, the best of any pocket pc, then or now, you can touch type on them. As long as you steer clear of the mx models (which have faster processors and better screens but are very expensive) you can pick up a nice boxed model with leads for under £50 on ebay - Once you've used a 5 you'll wonder how you ever did without it. Just make sure you get a case to protect it.

Reply: Thats the thing, maybe I can get a siena very cheap, any other model seems to be a lot more expensive. the 3c, are the models very big, am looking for something that will fit into a coat pocket so i can write whenever i want, whats the battery life like on these models, and the 3a etc? cheers

A. Right, I see where you're coming from. You'll get about 20 hours continuous use out of a Siena or a 3, with the back-up batteries lasting about a year. They're both small enough to fit into a coat pocket, with the Siena being even slimmer.
I've atached a couple of images comparing the sizes of the a 3c vs a Siena.
Whichever one you go for make sure you get a serial lead too to connect it to your pc.

closed psion 3c vs siena
Size comparison of a closed 3c vs a closed Siena
Open psion 3c vs Siena
Both units in their open position.

Reply: do you mean when the battery fails that all the data on the psion gets erased, or do you mean the backup battery saves the current work you have done in case the aa ones run out?
thanks for the photos.

A: The memory is kept safe by the back-up battery when you change the main battery (or if it goes flat), and vice versa, so when you have to change the back-up battery (or if it goes flat), just make sure your main batteries are ok and the memory will be safe too.
Both units give you plenty of warning before you need to change either batteries.

 

Q. hi, can i ask what the backup battery is for? What happens when the backup battery runs out, does all the data on the organiser get erased? Is the data on the psion not secure when switched off, like normal memory cards?

A. Hello Again! You got your Psion yet?
Anyway, if you take BOTH batteries out of a Psion, everything in the main memory will be lost.
The back-up battery ensures that data is kept safe. (Even when turned off or changing the main batteries).
When changing the back-up battery the main batteries keep the memory safe.
If the back-up battery goes flat, as long as the main batteries have power the memory is safe, and vice versa.
With the models that have built in drives (not the Siena) you can buy memory cards that you can back-up data on too.
If you get a serial lead to connect the Psion to your PC you can back-up all your data to your computers hard-drive anyway, in a much more secure way.
Hope this clears things up.

Reply: I keep getting outbid at the last minute, of course its best to bid at the very end but I am not at home etc to do this! Do you have any for sale? I've been biddig on the 3c and 3a models but keep losing, or they go for too much money.
The memory thing is a little worrying, as long as it tells you when the batteries are running out there should be no problemo I guess

A. You need to use a proxy bidder if you want to pick up real bargains on ebay. The proxy bidder will bid on your behalf seconds before an auction ends, eliminating much of the price hikes. Pick a budget, add a few pennies, then stick the proxy bid in. Try www.justsnipe.com. Good luck.

Reply. Hi, took your advice on using a bidding sniper thingymo, and after repeated fails using that I eventually won 2 on the same day.. yes TWO psion 3a's. I have paid for them now, not best pleased about winning two but I guess I can resell one or keep it as a backup. Both came to like... £25 each with postage... Your review says they are not very sturdy, neither comes with a leather case but I wanted to carry it around with me to write.

A. Looks like you've got a couple of bargains, with lots of great accessories too. When using a sniper you do have to remember to cancel future bids if you win what you want early. I'd keep the second one as a back-up, they're only getting more expensive every year. Well done and welcome to the world of Psions!
Why not use them for a couple of weeks then write a review of what you think and I'll put it on the site, you up for that?

Reply. I'm sorry, I am no good at reviews but I will tell you how they are when i get them... Does it matter which batteries I use i.e branded cr1620 or the cheap ones from ebay? Also, the aa batteries is it worth buying expensive ones or cheap?

A. As for batteries, buy the best duracell AAs for the main batteries, and Eveready / Varta / Branded button cells for the backup battery. Don't skimp, it'll only cost you more in the long run, plus the postage on ebay batts often makes them just as expensive as ones from proper shops.
You can get the back-up batteries from watch shops and repairers, some jewellers, Digital Camera Shops, etc.
As a new Psion user it would be great to get your views on the 3's when you get them, don't worry about being technical or anything, just how you feel about the purchase and whether they do what you want them to do.
I received another 5 through the post from ebay yesterday and its great. I'll be doing a video for the site after xmas, so maybe I'll convince you to get one of those too!

Reply. Hi, got my first psion today, was excited... BUT the left hinge is broke, which I gather is a common problem, but the seller didn't state this in the auction... It also sometimes doesn't display properly when I open it, when it shows black lines... That is also a common problem with old psions, but this wasn't mentioned in the auction description!
Apart from the obvious faults I relly like the psion. I can use two hands and the display is very good. Only problem is that I cannot seem to backup and convert the files when I connect it to the pc (by the way, getting the psion to connect to my pc was a piece of cake). When I try to convert a file it says it cnanot do it, and when i click on a file to back up it doesn't quite do anything as the backup option is still empty...
Is ther an option to back up all word files using psiwin? This is the most important thing, if transferring files to the pc is not possible then I'll be in trouble.

A. The seller clearly misrepresented the item, faults like that must be listed in the auction - unless it was damaged in transit. Hinges can be glued, but if the wire that connects the unit to the screen is damaged (the black lines) it is a costly repair.
From what I remember the seller you bought off was selling a few Psions - I would contact him ASAP and explain the situation and see what he comes up with.
Now onto your file conversion problem.
Have you got the latest version of Psiwin installed? It should be ver 2.3.3. If not, get it here. And try again.
I assume you've got Microsoft Word installed on your desktop pc?
If none of this works please reply with the exact model Psion you've got, which version of Psiwin you're running, which version of MS Word you've got.

Reply. Hi, yeh, the auction specifically states that nothing is falling off, but a bit of the hinge did... The display with the bars is happening quite often... I figured out the problem with transferring files, it was because the filename had / so I renamed it and its fine now. Is there a way to batch convert several word files on the psion onto my pc as doing it one by one would be a pain. And when you backup files does it convert it into what file you want?
I think the psion is very cool, if they released a slimline version of the Series a I'd definately get it. I have been trying to look for similar pda's they don't really exist. There are those electronic dictionaries they look nice, too bad they got no pda functions.

A. Here's a link to a copy of the PsiWin instruction manual.
I'm glad you like the Psion.

Reply. Hi, the seller of the dodgy 3a has sent me another one free of charge, which is very nice of him, but I will probably send him this broken one back. Apart from that I have a question about psiwin! I know how to do all the basics, but once backing up the files, is there a way to batch convert them all at once, as opening up each one and converting it into say, microsoft word file takes a long time? Thanks!

A. Good news about the replacement Psion.
I usually convert one file at a time, the only way I know to convert multiple files is to select a few at once with ctrl-click in "my psion", then right click "copy". Psiwin then queues the files to be converted and / or copied to your pc. That may be what you're looking for, but its still pretty slow, opening up word all the time.

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