Range Rover




Psion Organiser II


Flymo LT1236 mower




Psion Organiser II




The 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.



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An 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)

The 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.

When 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.

One 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.

For much more information about the Organiser II, have a look at the user forum

Here 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 conditions:-

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 up.
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 well.
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 Organiser.
At the end of a successful restore operation, the file A:RESTORE.ODB is deleted.
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 PC.