My Psion Series 7 – a month later

Nigel left this comment on my site: “I’ve also managed to get another Psion Series 7 (I missed the old one) so any news on your own experiences would be appreciated!”

On 3 June I took delivery of this second-hand Psion Series 7. A month later, how am I getting on?

Psion Series 7

Well, close followers of my blog will know that shortly after my S7 arrived, my trusty 5mx gave up the ghost. The screen cable died — a common complaint with Psions. So, for a couple of days, while I sent my 5mx to POS Ltd. to be repaired, my S7 became my primary PDA. To be honest, and I’ll have to whisper this bit for fear of offending my 5mx, I prefer the S7. It has a far superior screen, a more comfortable keyboard, and did I mention the screen? Once I saw through a screen dimly… as St Paul might have written if he’d used a Psion to write his epistles.

Actually, other than the improved screen, which is colour, and the better keyboard, and the fact that the S7 can accommodate a maximum of two compact flash (CF) cards for extra storage, and a Psion Dacom Gold Card PCMCIA modem card, and it has a superior rechargeable battery, there’s not that much between them.

I love the fact that I can run the same software on both of them — and given there is so much freeware Psion software, that’s a lot of software. I love the fact that I can send files between the two, either via IrDA infrared or on a CF card. I love the fact that I can send my Agenda and Contacts over to the S7 from the 5mx using the excellent (and free) EpocSync application. I love the fact that I can connect both of them to my PC using the same RS232 cable (though not at the same time!).

I’m still using my 5mx as my day-to-day workhorse: my contacts, agenda, and to do list. And I’ve begun to complete one of my long-term writing projects on the S7. It is perfect for that.

My one gripe is that somehow, for some bizarre reason, known only to the engineers at Psion, on the S7 the Fn and Menu keys have been transposed compared with the 5mx. There are a few other key adjustments between the two machines, but the Fn and Menu keys catch me out every now and then, particularly since I’m using both machines regularly.

Other than that, what a fantastic machine. I wish that Psion were still building new EPOC/Symbian OS-driven machines; the operating system is so stable and a joy to use (and program for). I imagine that a new Psion model would include a built-in modem, Bluetooth and wireless LAN support. Maybe even a USB port to replace the ancient RS232 serial connection. And whole lot more memory. It’s not going to happen, but it’s nice to dream.

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Gareth Saunders

I’m Gareth J M Saunders, 46 years old, 6′ 4″, father of 3 boys (including twins). Latterly, web architect and agile project manager at the University of St Andrews and warden at Agnes Blackadder Hall. Currently on sabbatical. I am a priest in the Scottish Episcopal Church, and I sing with the NYCGB alumni choir.

2 thoughts on “My Psion Series 7 – a month later”

  1. Glad the P7 is proving it’s worth, Gareth! Aside from all the positives you mention, I’m surprised other companies haven’t copied the idea of putting the keyboard to the front, instead of, as usual, behind the touch pads etc. Maybe it’s my wrists but I find it so much easier typing without having to lean across a laptop’s bodywork.

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