Psion Organiser II was the second edition of what was really
the first generation of the PDA (Personal Digital Assistant). Originally,
the Organiser II was produced with a two line screen, in CM
and XP versions. In 1989 a four line screen version was introduced
in the LZ and LZ64 versions.
essential "accessory" was the COMMS LINK, an RS232 adaptor
with a 25 pin female D-sub connector (this was the standard
connection for a PC RS232 serial port in those days! You'll need
a 25 pin male - 9 pin female adaptor for current PCs)
original COMMS LINK only works with the two-line Organisers. The
later version works with both two- and four-line types. Outwardly
there is no visible difference between the two types of COMMS LINK,
so trying it out with a four-line orgainser is the only way to find
out which it is.
plugged into the top port, it used the Organiser's power supply
and also booted up with a number of additional OPL routines which
enable some very sophisticated communications with the PC.
of the great assets of the Organiser II is its programming
ability, using the OPL (Organiser Programming Language) editor and
compiler built into its system. One of OPL's strengths is its ability
to use the COMMS LINK to directly create, read and write files (including
directory listings) on the host PC's hard disks.
much more information about the Organiser II, have a look at
are some of the programs which I wrote for my LZ64 over the years.
They may be used and distributed freely, subject to the following
1) The program may only be distributed as part
of the entire zip file archive
2) The attribution and copyright at line 2 of the listing is retained
3) No responsibility for the reliability of the programs is implied
and they are edited and used at your own risk
At the bottom of page C-1 (Appendix C) of the programming manual
for the LZ Organiser II is a beautiful little throwaway,
which records that memory address $20A7 contains the information
which the Organiser uses to define "workdays" for the
alarm function "Wrkday". Seven bits of the byte each refer
to a day of the week, which can therefore be set (value = 1)
or unset (value = 0). It seemed an open invitation to
change the settings, an option which was not introduced by Psion
until the Series 3.
An earlier (slightly rough) version of this program was published
in 1990 in "Ipso Facto" vol IV, p 29. The
program suite (in a Zip file) contains three routines:-
WORKDAY.OPL which is the front end menu
WORKDAYV.OPL which views the current settings
WORKDAYS.OPL which sets the value to enter (the POKEB function)
into the memory address in order to change the workdays.
NB trying to set none of the days of the week as "workdays"
causes the Organiser to suffer a fatal crash, so this error is trapped
and the default settings used instead.
This program was published in 1994 in "Ipso Facto" vol
VIII, p39 and was written in order to create an automatic full backup
of the Organiser II.
The routine allows the user to select the A: B: or C: devices by
pressing the "mode" button. It then reads through the
Organiser II's directory listing for that device and writes
each file (with the appropriate name and file type) to the backup
directory on the PC. The path to the destination directory on the
PC is written into the program at line 27 of the listing and
you may wish to edit this to suit the file system on your PC.
(It is assumed that if you are using an Organiser II, you will
be familiar with the DOS path command, if not you will need
to read up on it!)
In the case of a heavily used Organiser, this program will work
the battery quite hard, so ensure that you have a good one loaded.
When running WinXP Pro, I've had some problems with the backup routine
crashing part way through, although it usually completes if you
persevere. Earlier versions of Windows pose no known problem.
This program, also published in 1994 in "Ipso Facto" vol
VIII, p39, is the companion to BACKUP.OPL and was written in order
to automatically restore the full set of files previously backed
Embedded into the listing at line 40 is the PC path to the backed-up
files, so you will need to edit this, ensuring that it matches your
back-up path. You must also edit the path in line 69 to match as
The program again allows you to use the "mode" button
to select the device which you wish to restore. Then it reads the
directory listing of the back-up directory on the PC. It is necessary
for this to be written as a data file (A:RESTORE.ODB) on the Organiser,
as there's no other way of doing the next bit!
Now the program reads the PC's directory listing from A:RESTORE.ODB
and downloads each file in turn to the appropriate device on the
At the end of a successful restore operation, the file A:RESTORE.ODB
If the restore crashes, a re-run of the program identifies the old
file A:RESTORE.ODB and asks if it can be deleted - the answer is
YES, unless you've a good reason for not doing so.
This is the third element in my Backup/Restore suite and
was published in 1994 in "Ipso Facto" vol VIII, p56.
It was in fact written some years earlier, but this is
the final developed and smartened-up version.
I find it very useful and think it's rather neat - I hope you agree!
The program allows any chosen file of any type from any device on
the Organiser to be backed up to, or restored from, any directory
of the PC, asking you for the relevant information. It uses the
XTSEND and XTRECEIVE routines integrated into the COMMS LINK, in
the same way as do BACKUP.OPL and RESTORE.OPL.
Many users of the Psion LZ went on to use the Series 3. Whilst
it was possible to convert Organiser II data files (such as
address books) to Series 3 format, no provision exists to convert
the LZ diary to a Series 3 agenda. However, it is possible to convert
a Lotus Organiser 2 diary to a Series 3 agenda.
This OPL routine was written to locate the saved LZ diary (saved
as DIARY.ODB) on any of the devices (A:, B: or C:) and convert each
entry into Lotus format. The converted entry is then written directly
to the PC's hard disk. A progress indicator is included.
This procedure is based upon LOTUS.OPL and has been written in order
to convert the Psion LZ diary into a format which can be uploaded
into Microsoft Outlook and is known to work with Office 2003.
This program was written as an exercise in manipulating information
taken from the Psion's clock. It is used to keep a log of time spent
on a particular task, which can then be output as a file on the