My final Psion report
Written by JackSon Hollis © 2008/2009
15_11_2008 doc. ver. 1.01 (epoc32)
16_11_2008 doc. ver. 1.02 (epoc32)
29_01_2009 doc. Ver. 1.03 Html support buil 001 (Word 97-2003)
11_02_2009 doc. Ver 1.03 Html support build 001 (Word 97-2003)
03_04_2010 doc. Ver 1.04 Html support build 001 (Word 97-2003)
- Something from my early psion times
- Other programs
- System improvements
- OS Image skins
- Other impovements
- source codes and motherfuckers
- Epoc bugs
- Large CF cards, partitioning
- Total Dead End
I've been thinking hardly many times how to start my Last psion Finall report. Very much thoughs, very much emotions and many other things has been coming into my mind and making chaos to organize well this report during my life on many of Psion machines. Anyway - Hello All fans of Psion machines!! I am (still, in the time of progress of writing this document) big fan of these machines too. Unfortunately this time is shorting and shorting.
My early psion times and novadays
I bought my first Psion in the spring of 98. It was 1MB version of very nice PSION SIENA. I've been very happy, experiencing new features which has been found very revolutionary comparising to „like PDAs“ as SHARPs, CASIOs diaries. Siena cost me 9980 CZK (inc.VAT) - it was about 350 Euro in that days (plus minus today). Please notice that 350 Euro for such small and tiny "calculator" was pretty enaugh in consequence of my netto monthly income in that days which has been about 700-800 Euro. By few words - horrible price :). But I respected. In that time Psion was a brand name, such machines was not common too much, if you wanted - simply you had to buy.
In the 2001 I bought for very good money very low used MC218. I, PokeStudio and my brother Omega we found fan club here in Brno city and named it Psion Club Brno (PCB). And as I remember on the one of our first session in some pub there came about 10 or 15 people all over around whole Czech republic. He he, it was marvelous time.
However, I had MC218 till 2007.
Then I found somewhere Psion Series 7 for very interesting price and I decided to go on and buy it. Price was perfect, only about 3500 CZK (130 Euro ? in the convergence at that time I think).
I found S7 as the best machine which Psion UK ever developed even if many other users reviewed that the best Psion machine has been S3. On the S7 you could have tons of databases in fact limited only by capacity of CF cards, but not limited by 16bit system as it was on S3 Sibo. So I believe that S7 or NetBook has been the best Psion.
And so I started to use S7 as my primary machine instead of standard or classic PC notebook.
I forget to speak about very early troubles with S7 Rom module. Really horrible troubles. When I bought S7, it was with original S7 rom module build in. After using it and trying to install some favorite software, I found that my new S7 is pretty hard to use. For example Mobipocket reader installation on some CF cards showed terrible epoc kernel panic error messages which were nowhere described and maybe only programmers of EPOC32 kernel should know what all its means. Many of my CF cards corrupted with S7 and opening some documents (like Codesafe databases, ebooks, Orga files and so) were extremely slow in better case, or absoluteely impossible. (I tested about 20 cards – some of them has been very old cards which should be compatible, and also I had a lot of very new CF cards – Extreme III, IV, HighSpeed and so. No any of that cards worked well)
I will not describe here my way to Prague company which was still repairing Psion machines in that days and what all they tried to repair. I will only say – they tried, re-soldered, tested, I payed, and they didnot found the problem, and S7 didnot worked well again. But I am not blaming them. They had no chance to get it. They were in closing with Psions.. I found the problem after few days later. Yes, maybe you gues now. It was all in Personality modul. I bought Netbook Personality modul, changed it with original S7, downloaded latest Netbook OS and machine started to work like never before. Everything has been working, everything has been fast. I started to remake many of my databases to colour version. Also I upgraded my Agenda to new style. My personal and work things started to have better look and higher speed. Anyway – I completely dont understand how is possible, that Psion UK (or whoever) was able to took responsibility for such shity versions of S7 Rom.
Today, 10 or 11 years later, I still have few Sienas which I bought for very little money. Also I have Revo 16MB, very new Psion 5mx and many parts from my old MC218, few mboards from some other Revos, Sienas and also some boards from S5 and S5mx. Also I have Netbook (2x 4GB CF cards) and SevenBook. (Also I had third Netbook, but this one I sold to my friend in Prague). Few machines (Sienas) I gave to my parents for theirs contacts/agenda events to replace theirs "paper" books and incredible stickies which covering everything in theirs house.. he he I am kidding a bit.
Why I am now talking suddenly about it? Using S3 and S5/S7 is good combination. Sometimes you can't take S5 or S7 everywhere you wish, due to environment, possibilities of stoling machines, possibilities of damage and so. I want to say - yes, you can take, but why to risk. If some asshole will stole my Siena, i will go buy another for little money or I will pick up from drawer another one. But stoling or damaging my S7 with 8GB of CF cards (especialy it is all about DATAs) could cost me pretty much time and money to get data back.
Series 3 to Series 5/7 communication incompatibilities
(The thing I will never understand)
Due to what I had written above (using S3 and S5/7 together), I’ve been thinking many times how to combine or synchronize data and files between such different machines.
Anyway, I can very understand that S5 with new Epoc 32bit OS has to had some changes. As on OS basis, and of course on file basis. But what I will never understand that was IRDA incopatibility (or generaly – direct communication incopatibility) between S3/Siena and S5/Netbook. Thias extreme possibilities to live without PC, to live without Microsoft and still be happy, still work well, to make your work usefull, make what you need, send it by mail, browse internet and so and so, be online few hours on email or on nICQ or nIRC and so .. Generaly, living without PC and Microsoft has been really really great. But,
Time flies … (Hysteria by Special FX 1987)
I asked my very good friend PokeStudio who is also very good coder to make such program which can transfer files vice versa, for me. To make programm (or utility) which will be able to emulate S3 IRDA protocol, let I and also other fans can transfer files (especialy txt and bin files) vice versa my machines, because I have still believed using S3/Siena and S5/S7 is very good combination. Such utility would be fantastic, because I can't take to pub my Netbook and make notes or make some events the same way as on Siena, so transfering data before or after should be really amazing. Unfortunately, PokeStudio after half year didnot came with anything special (although he had my full support what I was able to give = machines + very core technical documentation of IRDA protocols and also time - in fact it is exactly year), so I decided to leave my hopes in his God's omnipotence and stop this project.
Unfortunately there is only three ways how to transfer data from S3 to S5 a.v.v. (and vice versa). All three ways are pain.
- via PC (pain, you have to start PC and it takes power)
- via Cable (pain, not comfortable, you have to have tons of cables + criss cross link reduction, and still it is not working always - sometimes it is working, sometimes not, don’t know why and when … )
- via IRDA, using shareware IRSEND5 (pain, because you have to pay for programm which is nearly 12 years old, not updated, one version)
Back to IRDA via IRSEND5 column à This would be another story – to pay for obsolette software. Are you paying for games on ZX Spectrum today? Or ATARI 600? Are you mad? I dont think so, do I? Also I wanted to piss-off author of IRSEND (Jim Pollock) due to fact he did not replied any of my 6 or 7 emails, sent to all his email addresses I found on the internet, about his programm and also due to fact that I think selling such programms (made in year 1943) is completely ville. He he he. But today, it is all away)
So I started other projects. Many of them were in progress allready…
It was few years ago when we had consulted in PCB (Psion Club Brno) how to make some good pictures for 5mx and Revo for wallpapers and we found some result. Use only 13 or 14 greys and dithering method (Floyd Steinberg) to make very good wallpaper pictures. 13/14 greys because of Psion font is not masked (XOR) and it is only simple OR when font is drawn on the screen. Because of this OR any system font is not visible on the black (or very very dark) wallpaper. Many guys forget this when they were doing wallpapers for 5mx (with configured system.ini - GREYMODE = 16). So we did few wallpapers with 13/14 greys (I cant recall now if it was exactly 13 or 14 greys) and it looks very very good. As usual, nobody did anything more than few more wallpapers. Maybe OSG did, but I am not sure.
After few years, when I bought S7, the question of wallpapers has been answered immediately. I found some few wallpapers especialy for Netbook, nice works, but not much. Only few pieces. So I decided to make my own..
And now, after one year I can present here about over 1500
wallpapers. Which has been :
- manualy selected
- gamma/bright/contrast and other
corrections things used
- dithered specialy to psion's pallette
- and converted to MBM
All wallpapers are structured to thematical folders (CAR,AUTUMNS and so on), so you can select theme which you like.
Yes you are reading it right – 1500.. ONE THOUSAND FIVE HUNDRED !
All wallpapers has been found on the net as free works (maybe few (has been copyrighted, but authors didnot replied me), so you can you use as you wish (except selling and other commercial activities).
All wallpapers are for free. You can download it as you want. Yes, I was working on it for more than year, and I dont want to pay anything from you. You hear well. 1500 wallpapers, tons of hours, I had wet skin, my wife was not speaking with me, but I was stupid and doing wallpapers, and I dont want to pay money. Free. Free. Free. For some motherfuckers which wants to pay for each word they are saying – THESE WALLPAPERS, ABOUT 280MegaBytes ARE FOR FREE GOD DAMN IT!!! He he he ..
So enjoy my wallpapers. You can download it here.
Full overview of all wallpapers
I think and I believe I was first who applied Interlace method of HI-RES pictures for ZX Spectrum 128k (it used 2 VRAMs). It was in 1992 or 1993, I cant recall exactly now. I can say, on an old TV technology Interlaced pictures were very stable. We had on 512x192 or 256x384 pictures on the ZX Spectrum which has naturaly only 256x192 points. It was nice, it was funny, and it was working.
I was curious if this will work under OPL too. Now, I can present some pictures here and finaly I can say - YES, IT IS WORKING VERY WELL.
So now on the Psion Netbook you can has pictures in the resolution - 1280x480 or 640x960 and you can see it very well. Netbooks display has slow refresh (but not much slow) and screen is very compact, stable and not blinking much (except never explained watter effect in some cases, but about this i will talk little later).
So, again - I am giving to public my Interlace viewer for free. Yes for free. It took some time to code, but I dont want to pay for it, because I believe nobody would today buy my lame code he he. So people, you have my source code, you have some examples, you can enjoy hires pictures on your psion. It is looking nice and maybe you will find some usefullnes for your life. And if not, you can throw it away.
BTW there is some sample pictures ...
This is original MBM picture (snap taken from XNView). As you can see, resolution of this picture is really 1280x480 pixels.
And this is how it is looking in SDK emulator of Psion Netbook
Picture taken by Canon A510 just right now, let you can see how it really looks.
When doing that Interlace engine (engine he he, perfect word) I found that blinking with different colours flats makes special effects with colours and after few tests I made some examples and I found really crazy colours. Not native of course.
Maybe you can remember your early days in 80’s on your first ZX Spectrum. As you as me we were all experiencing with mixing of attributes with different colours ..
10 PAUSE 1
20 PRINT AT 0,0;PAPER 5;“ „
30 PAUSE 1
40 PRINT AT 0,0;PAPER 4;“ „
50 GOTO 10
Maybe you think I am stupid when I am presenting some simple Basic programm made in the head of somebody with IQ of no more than 70. Let me explain - I wanted to show you the principles.
So I started new project – 4096 colours on Netbook from native palette of 256 basic colours.
Mathematicaly it is very possible. Each coulor has 4bit of depth and so it is 4+4+4 in all RGB levels so it is 2exp12 = 4096 variants.
BUT ! One big BUT has disappeared soon.
I found that psion netbook display „rains“ if you use some basic psion colours. Ok, maybe you dont understand. So, view some picture (classic JPG for example) and find some places where picture „rains“ or „flows“ or so.
Principle of watterfalling effect (or better to say – moiree) is this, I think :
Interference of visible and non visible points on the screen according to frequency of LCD …
I want to say – moire effect, or effect of watterfalling (name it yourself please) which you see in pictures you can emulate manualy yourself when you change fastly some colours in some unsynched frequency (I think it is Vsync) and you will make binary pattern 101010 where 1 is represented by pixel with colour1 and where 0 is represented by pixel with colour80 (for example). Recall your early days on ZX Spectrum where we were doing more colours using „chessboard effect“ where 0 was PAPER and 1 was INK. Paper was CYAN and Ink was GREEN. On the TV Set you saw nice cyangreen colour which was not in the native palette. But in this PSION case, we are not on TV set low quality but on LCD quality which is many times better. So, when some conditions are kept then you can see this watterfalling.
So, due to some tests and hocuses focuses I started to thought that Psion Netbook display :
This is very relevant ideas (1-3) due to fact that if you view some pictures, sometimes you see that some colours which doing moire effect (or rain), especialy some dark colours (or colours with some percentage of grey), and you see some binary texture like 1010101010 where 1 is darker colour and 0 is lighter or vice versa, if you will look sharp and close.
Due to this, very maybe it seems, that psion makes colours from palette of some basic colours by this way.
That idea is supported by another thing > when you take such moired colours (some basic psion colours) and mix them, you will see it this (d)effect much more, like doubled. You can see on the display that this colours are very much dithered, moired or rained. And this effect happens due to process named „interpolation“.
So I think, psion netbook display has no 256 colours but only 16 or maybe 48 or I dont know how much and the rest of coulours are mixtured by system or by lcd drivers.
Yes, they lied to us !! I am screaming on Psion management. He he.
Of course it is only hyphotese. Because nobody knows how it is working exactly in kernel of Epoc 32, or how is display controled.
I tried to find Part Number of Netbook display and contact anyway manufacturer for technical specification of LCD, but I was not sucessfull. I can tell you, perhaps there is no body on the world who know which company made Netbooks displays. Somebody said me Hitachi, I heard also Toshiba, but nobody knows which type or P/N or some more information. Everywhere where Ive been asking for this information nobody knew.
Until December 14 of 2008 … (tudduuu du duuuuuuu – imagine some dramatical sound background)
But there were some other interesting projects we had planned recently .. And some of those projects were nearly done ..
- OS Image skins
Well, this was also very interesting projects. Thanks to some guy who released Netbook img decompilern (I forgot his name and name of programm but you all know what i mean) I had possibilities to export many icons from Netbook’s OS.IMG file and replace it for another but much nice 256 icons taken from free PC sources.
There is example of my test of new „skin“ of Netbook OS
Unfortunately, I had to stop with this project. Again and again, I was very alone to do all this only by myself.
Finding complete icon set similar to Netbook’s OS. J J .. It is pretty hard. I found many freeware icons sets, but in fact no one has been complete. And mixing some icons from one set with completely another type of icons from another set I guessed it would not be nice (and in fact, it wasn’t, really).
Thanks to this project, I discovered how Psion handles with icons (AIFs, MBMs) and I can say it is great masturbation. Now I know why doing many things on Psion has been a bit complicated for simple end user (although I understand that normal or standard end user of machine is not mad as me to change icons), BUT I can on the other side say – and why not ? Why end user cant change some icons of some application ? And answer by Psion – there is SDK, there is BMCONV, you have to write your scripts – it is pretty bad answer
For example to make some new AIF of know application you have to do this :
Many times you are using DOS command line program BMCONV to make MBM files. I was always screaming when I wanted to do some animation and had to use this „very modern“ and very user friendly program ..
But I did some universal scripts and it helped me. But if I will imagine me as standard, unexperienced common user of office, then these kind of people have no chance to make it. They cant make scripts in XLS, then repaste it to TXT, make it as BAT, prepare folders and so, 90 percent of that is in old DOS command line, especialy if you cant rename all files to continuous system..
This was example of development by Psion. Do it manualy in command line yourself.
On this place I have to speak a bit about something what killed all Psions ..
Psion Multimedia ..
I remember in early 2000 somebody wrote very nice article to some czech psion forum about what he thinks. The article was named : Quo Vadis Psion. That man was first who openly said something what we all thoughs, we all knew, but we didnot told.
Yes, the death of Psion machines came in the time when machines like Jornada PDA series reached to the market. It was machines based on slow WinCE. But where everywhere has been all Psion advantages (fast, stable, good keyboard, 30 hours of running on AA batteries) against Jornada 725 ? Colourfull, 200 MHz CPU, Mutimedia support, 56k build in modem, USB, and the same size (maybe a bit bigger) as 5mx and tons of applications, also games which was not possible to do on 5mx. Especialy colours and audio/video support has been very good strategical move by HP. Unfortunately Psion management didnot understand this (in fact they didnot understand many things) and did no any moves. Psion had only S7 machine with horrible usability, without multimedia support, bigger size, slow display refresh and so (but S7 had leather case. Very important, bitterly).. I very remember Psion talks (especialy some interview was with Psion speaker (female, cant recall her name now..) how they doing only machines which people really need, how they listening carefully users, how they inovate machines, how Psion will not waste moneys in advertisement but use them to development (oh my god !!!) and others bla bla blas. It was all shits. We knew it. Everybody knew it. End user needs were completely somewhere else. And what happened later ? After one and half year Psion had to closed it.
But, back to Psion Multimedia …
Anyway, are you still reading me ? Yes I know, it is quite long. But I still believe you will find in my horrible long article something usefull.
Ok, back to multimedia ..
At some Psion Club Brno meeting I presented first Psion Stereo Sound on the world !! And it was very successfull, everybody like it, it was perfectly working… He he, of course you had to had two 5mx machines and play in each different channels .. Then put it by your ears, left ear left channel, right channel to right ear and you had Psion Stereo. Yes, I know. It was extremely stupid and very kidy idea.
However Psion Video was not so bad idea to do, due to fact S7 and Netbooks would have good possibilities to play some video files. Series 7 and Netbook had good display and faster CPU so there was expectation of some atd least codec for MPEG1. But, again some BUT. Nobody did that codec!
And due to my OPL knowledge I did some OPL player of multiple MBM images in one file.
It is all based on very stupid routine which load MBM images to screen with some short delay. Player takes some information about whole animation file from some small .inf in the way of
SoundName.snd (standard PSION aLAW sound), if no file exist then no sound
Unfortunately you have to prepair whole Animation file by yourself.
Take some standard MPG or DIVX file, reframe it to separate files (frame_00001.BMP or .JPG), then some resizing or frame loosing, then convert to one whole file .MBM via some joiner (BMCONV, or MBMBuilder by OSG) ..
Do you think is it fucking to make animation by this way ?? Yes, it is. But there is no other way !
(sorry, but Java FrameWork 1.1 player is blind road. It is blind as blind is way with MBM pictures.)
Also I am giving to public my player with commented source code (you will see it is unfinnished, some subroutines are in alfa or beta and so, but main player is I think stable and fastest as it can be in OPL). You can play with it or throw it away.
Meanwhile I was doing on some other and interesting project …
Yes, I am boring you maybe, but ok, this will be my few last things which I will tell you. Then I will stop and leave psion to die completely..
Some funny cases about Psion source codes
It is about few years ago when I started to think about what to do, when some programs will stop work perfectly or their functionality will be limited by modern technologies (typically Internet applications). This idea came to my mind when PokeStudio (technician, softwarecian, coder and very goodfriend) replied in some forum when PSION announced to stop development of Psion Machines in 2001. He replied something like "without Psion UK or source codes we cant do anything. Microsoft will sniff, change few Word's or Excell's DLLs for SAVE AS format and we can go to play Ice Hockey". I remember - nobody believed him in that time on that forum. I started to feel this is the real end of good psion platform and without sources it will die. Sooner or maybe a bit later. Few months later I noticed first nICQ problems with connection due to old protocols. Little few years later I started to write letters to some of authors of psion programms, let they release what is possible, let this platform can live more a bit. Maybe somebody (enthusiast of course) would be able to remake/rewrite/add code or continue with their work.
Today : nICQ is always red even if you are online.
Me and PokeStudio we set down and prepared some rules (called premises)
Basic prermises 1
- all our activities are free and non commercial, non profitable
- we are not porting any code to any other platform than psion, not now, not
in future, not without your permission
- we can/will sign any agreement about source codes, also with penalties
- we can/will inform you or consult with you any changes in source codes
- we can/will make all changes under your company name, for free
Basic premises 2
(our overiview on the psion in commercional line in novadays)
- Psion platform is commercially dead for at least 6 years. Completely. No
discussion about it.
- There wont be new machines based on Epoc32. Never. Forget it! PSION UK will never resurrect themselves from ashes, due to Symbian OS licences and many other reasons. Mr. D.Potter, founder of Psion UK, will never come again with machines based on Epoc32.
- There is no active shops with psion machines and accessories (maybe except of Pulster.de and Ebay, but Ebay is Bazaar and not shop at all, but Pulster for how long ?)
- Selling of some kind of some software for Psion is the same as selling games for Sharp MZ 800 or Atari 130 XE or ZX Spectrum 16 or 48k. By one word - unsellable. We can admit that maybe some very technical sw can be still sold, factory basis and so. But if you will code some Battery metter and you accept some payments ? Sorry, it is silly! Time for selling is far away.
- We accept and very understands copyrights and many other reasons of authors.
- We don't accept "no answer". Excluding deads, suicides and such cases.
- All of our activities are focused to "bring more functionality", "make it
more compatible", "upgrade/update", „make this platform as hobby“ and to help to last users of psions let their machines works better.
So I started to search, find and contacts many coders of interesting psion software. For example : nICQ (David Kren), Phoneman (Stephen Godfrey) and many other people.
Sometime I was succesfull and sometime I was not sucesfull. Due to shorting this document I will talk only about that unsucesfulls. For example to find Dr. David Kren and ask him for source code of nICQ – unreal. That guy doesnot exist on this world maybe. And without his source code you can’t make nICQ to work again.
The best and the last case was Phoneman ..
This was most funny case (but on the other side it was my bad dream) in the whole story of all my work about source codes and letters to authors.
Phoneman - maybe there is no Psionist on the world who dont know this program. Very good piece of software from Stephen Godfrey. Shareware firstly but then some free generic code has been released for all users. Thank you Stephen for coding such good program and releasing it to public. But it is only thank you I can say to you.
Few years ago, Nokia and other mobile phone companies started to produce phones with new OSs, new formats of new protocols and old good Phoneman started to not work well.
For example N72 (or N92). It is doesnot working via IRDA completely. You can’t do anything with this phone.
For example T610 and N6070 which are pretty old phones are still working well.
So we said there are big needs to make new plugins or make some changes in Phoneman then I contacted Mr. Godfrey. Sorry, I wanted to say - I TRIED to contact him.
I sent him few breathtaking, hearthtaking and hearthbreaking letters. I explained him few times what we want to do (see premises) and I bold that our focuses are very trustfull and we have no any intention to port or sell his stuff to other platforms. All our premises we could implement to any agreement which I asked to talk about with him.
To all my emails - absolutely no any reaction from his side. Completely silence. Btw - please dont believe all my mails falled to some spam ashtray. No way. I sent my mails really several times on several address. Mr. Bioeddie called to him from his mobile phone and explained him everything and gently asked him to talk about this case.
After three or four years we have no any answer from Mr. Godfrey. And it is one and half year after Bioeddie's phone call and still no answer. Can you understand it ?
I think simple bare sentence which we are learning in first level of basic school was too much to Mr. Godfrey to answer.
Or more simpliest answers like :
- yes, ok. lets talk about it.
- no, I am not interested
- no, I lost my source codes I have no documentation from plugins
- no, I have future plans with my PhonemanPro
- no, go to hell with your psion
Any of such answer has been also too much to write to us
I think I can understand that Mr. Godfrey has no duty to say me or to anybody else what he want to do with his Phoneman project. But formal and informal rights, written and non-written laws, some internet ethiteque and finaly rules of decent people are saying => TO ANSWER SOMETHING!! Saying hello, how are you, answering to questions, looking to the eyes when talking with somebody, those are basic rules in any type of communication between humans. We were able to accept any answer (including last one "go to hell", cos it is some ANSWER at all !!), but silence? this was really under our inteligence. (hm, when I am thinking about this again, I think I heard that Mr. S.G. doesnot replied not only to me, but also to many many other guys who wrote him.)
Project of contacting authors for theirs source codes brought partial success. I have to thank you for great cooperation to these guys :
Yes, yes .. I am finnishing .. we are at the end almost ..
So you can see it yourself. With such support it is mad and naive to try to do something with dead platform. I was using Netbook not only for playing with nonsences, but also for serious work in agenda, personal/work publications, articles and such things, so our tries to reincarnate some usefull programms which was not working perfectly in novadays was not so mad. So we tried and we was generaly unsucesfull because three main programs we didnot get source codes – Phoneman, plBeam, plFep.
Bugs and Problems..
I will try to look on many problem by the eyes of year 2000..
- PRINT SUPPORT
Horrible. After few days of playing with printing on my BJC 80 I found that Netbook is very hard to use with printing. Yes, yes, I know.. It is printing. And thats all. Why it is printing only in few colours I dont know. (technicaly I know, due to some internal driver or gfx convertor or whatever, but from managers opinion I dont understand how somebody can make product which in fact is not doing for its prices what all machines or classical notebooks doing for triple less price. Please tell me somebody why netbook for about 65000 CZK – (price of full Netbook here in CZ in 2001) was not able to print in more than 16 colours ?? I really dont know why ? And from the view of EndUser who paid so much - I dont want to know why ! I want let it is working !!)
He, he .. it is far away.. swam songs...
As I remember Psion UK was not able (in fact they didnot wanted) to make machines with more localizations than English, French, German and I guess also Spain.. Pretty not enaugh in the multilanguage Europe or in whole world dont you think so ?
I remember when I was talking in that days with regional and only official distrubutor of Psions for Czech republic on this theme. I was wondering why there is no native Czech version of psion machines because it is pretty easy to change src and other loc.associated files in main ROM. They told me that PSION UK told – „you have to sell more, then we will make other language localization“.
Today, I have to say it was funny and foolish/silly reason, because to localize main OS in psion machines (based on Epoc32) is very easy. Especialy in Netbook. To change rsc and few other files takes minimum time, minimum money to prepare 30 another language versions of OS.IMG and put it on their pages or distribute it on some CF cards.
As you see, unbelievable, isn’t it? Psion could have machines in the Polish or Hungarian language done by few clicks. Why they didnot did it you can answer yourself..
- PCMCIA SUPPORT
Minimum.. Trust me, it is (and it was in fact) really pain.
- Three or four WiFi cards? Whats it is? Without chance to find nearest WiFi nets? You have to know exact name of net and so. Horrible..There is no any detailed description of Wifi support in SDK or in Psion Programming books. Pain. Horrible.
- Some CF/SD/MMC reductions - nothing special
- VGA Voyager - not bad, but check prices. Today still about 200 USD. In Germany I found some company which sells this card for 999Euro (ludicrous madness)
what else ?
- Ethernet Cards - also pain. Many 33kbps, 56kbps, and thousand other some baud cards, ISDN cards but no RJ45.. I was not able to find any PCMCIA ETHERNET CARD which was possible to put to wall via RJ45 cable and work.. I bought horrible much cards but none is working.. Funny is : most cards are done by Psion which don’t work with Netbook.
- Bluetooth - Swam songs. Forget it.
- Psion bugs
Psion Netbook, also 5mx and also Series 3 was not without bugs. Remember IRDA tranfer bug when AutoSwitch Off timer has been set more than 30 mins. I sent report about this bug to psion. They didnot answered. Later I get information from my regional psion distributor that Psion UK knows about this bug and they will not do with it anything. Very good answer!
Also Series 3 has been sometimes „forgetting“ items in databases. Nobody carried about it.
Series 7 and Netbook it was also extreme example. Tons of programmers left Psion and then toilet cleaners and gatekey keeepers had to translate in many ways unfinnished source code for Series 7 in Teklogix. Netbook was perfect, they had to hire some coders back to repair source code and translate it well.
Final result, total end
Psion is terriffic example how to bury great product although many others companies (including Palm) survived critical market situation (i dont care how they survived, but they survived generaly).
Bad manager access to customers needs (please remember that interview with Patricia Miller).
Completely exorbitance prices. I know that Flextronics which has been producing some batches of 5mx machines made them for about 150 USD for Psion. Please remember how much cost 5mx in 2000 and compare it with 150 USD. So Psion had about 500% rabat on it. OMG! (this 150 USD is not speculation. I was talking with somebody who was nearly „in group of vip“ and we were talking little. On my question about money he closed his eyes with a little move of head, but prices has never been told exactly. So it is not speculation, but on the other side I can’t proove it)
However, now it is one year after my netbooks completely crashed. I had no psychical power to repair it and to get all data back. I decided to change platform and OS, and besides standard wintel problems, i am plus minus happy with my Asus EEE 901 and XP.
I would like to wish all current psion users good luck with their machines and say good bye (and to some others i would like to say please don't come back and good bye)