Tuesday, 5 January 2010

Come back Psion...



Blues has been discussing the various attributes of a rather smart piece of kit, and it got me thinking that it was only a few years ago that I was relying on one of these for a huge amount of info!

I got mine around 1995, when most PCs still had Windows 3.1 as the operating system (Windows 95 was far too new, for our firm anyway...), and it wasn't cheap. (£300?) The leather case was free when I got it too!

But it was a tactile piece of kit, you could get a great diary going, the alarms were fun, and the contacts could just swell and swell in that little brain. Mrs S even bought me a games programme for all those far-away holidays...

More fun came when you were driving late at night on the M2, and needed a phone number. You had to turn on the car's interior light, flip open the Psion's lid single-handed, hold it in front against the steering wheel with your right hand, find the number with your left hand, memorise it out loud, and punch it into the Motorola fixed lead car-phone strategically placed just a bit too far to the left for comfort...

But the real problems came when you had to sync with your PC. The PsiWin manual was nearly as big as the PC blurb itself and written in Old Russian, and although the cable was easy to connect, from then on, everything went pear-shaped! I spent hours fiddling about on-screen, and it really was rocket science to get the files downloaded. Most people I knew just gave up when they tried to connect the two, and we all spent hours in the pub, mucking about with the various settings! I loved mine and was heartbroken when it broke (for the second time), in 2002, and I still miss it.

But there must be some odd vibes in all this, because only a few hours ago, I managed to get it's replacement, an 'Ipaq' pocket PC, to restart after the Christmas break, because it had run the battery down to extinction and was in dire straits.

When I connected it to the computer, everything lit up, it began to sing, and the synchronisation started immediately - which is something it's refused to do for months...

I've also just looked everywhere, and I've lost the dear old 3a...bugger!

11 comments:

Thud said...

My most sophisticated bit of kit in 95 was hammer and bolster.....still is.

lilith said...

You also had the problem that if the battery and back up battery ran down you lost all your data....and the wand housing breaks so you lose the little pointer thing.

Scrobs... said...

Thudders, that will last forever! I bet it also sings in the right hands...

I always use my Dad's old pre-WW2brick hammer, (for brickwork that is, not mending Psions), and it still with his initials on it, and the bolster has a blade about one inch deep now!

Scrobs... said...

Hellfire Lils, yes you're right, and it would cry out when the battery got too low!

I always used the sombre bell chimes for the alarm, which were very realistic. One day, I went back to my office, having set them for a certain time, and the office Mr Grumpy was by the window, peering out and muttering that he'd never heard church bells near here before...

I never did tell him!

Scrobs... said...

BTW Lils, an ordinary pencil is the best wand you can use, and if your desk is anything like mine, then you'll have about twenty-five thousand biros, pencils, pens, felt tips, rulers, back scratchers, etc, all stuck into various receptacles, the largest of which is an industrial chemical wheelie bin...

lilith said...

I have to say I gave up with mine, Scrobs. It never was much use to me, but I was never the techie that you are ;-)

Mermaid of Moorgate said...

Oh dear, I've only just about worked out how to turn the beeping sounds off my mobile when I press buttons on it. It took me two days to know how to answer calls. Your knowledge astounds and baffles me, as much as the modern world is terrifying to me. But then again, I am 1200 years old.

Scrobs... said...

Lils, but you are a gardener! That's more techie isn't it!

I have to admit to being the local techie on our neighbours' PC, and have just got back from showing them a few tricks on their Outlook. She's 75, and he's over 80, and they buy and sell stock all over the world! Lovely people!

Apart from that small gem, I can muck up any bit of electrical kit at three paces, just by dribbling gibberish at it...

And I've still got to fix the wall lights outside...

Scrobs... said...

Merms! What a pleasure to hear from you again, and I hope and trust all is well with you!

I was only thinking of you and your site recently, as I do when I know the monthly visit to a certain wine bearing establishment off Moorgate is looming on the cards.

My liver is hoping that the trip tomorrow is off...

Don't worry about the beeps, unless you want to star in Holby City!

T. P. Fuller said...

I have a ring binder note book, purchased from a Lipton's store in Midhurst in 1976. It is now held together with an elastic band. it serves amazingly well.

Scrobs... said...

Fuller, my Friend!

Aaaah Midhurst - home territory of Tuscs and Iders, and 'The Angel', where I spent many a happy lunch with - I believe - a gallon of Horndean HSB, unless I'm mistaken...

If you drive through Midhurst at 180 miles an hour, (from the east), you'll undoubtedly crash into an office/shop area known as 'Knock Hundred Row', which used to be inhabited by a close friend and architect, now long removed back to Canterbury, or St Albans, or some other place where I don't go these days!

All the houses have some allegiance to The Pope, or someone (Cowdray?) as most are painted beige/orange...

But, back to 'The Angel' and the pints are on me my friend...