Here’s the question that I know you’ve all be asking yourselves: will PsiWin 2.3.3 synchronize with Microsoft Outlook 2007?
Microsoft Office 2007 Beta 2 expires in nine days time on Friday 2 February so I thought it was high time that I checked to see if the fairly ancient Psion software of PsiWin 2.3.3 — released around October 2000 — would still allow me to synchronize my Psion PDAs with this shiny new version of Microsoft Outlook (my choice of PIM software).
Office 2007 genius
As I’ve said elsewhere I love the new design and improved functionality of Office 2007. The new Ribbon toolbar is a genius innovation which should make creating documents much, much easier for a good proportion of Office users who don’t care much for hunting through bewildering menu options and settings, they just want to get their document written and formatted easily and quickly. It’s just a shame that the Ribbon doesn’t extend to all areas of Outlook 2007 or Publisher 2007.
You can tell how old school the Psion is: it still uses an RS-232 serial cable to connect to the computer. However, I don’t have a serial port on my laptop — not many new laptops do these days. They are so last century!! So I have a USB-to-serial converter cable which creates a new COM port (COM 5) which the PsiWin software treats as a real serial port (cunning stuff!).
As an aside, a lot of Psion users have e-mailed me asking why their USB-to-Serial converter cables don’t work. Here’s the advice I’ve had:
Many cheap adapters doesn’t have all the signals required for PsiWin to be able to establish a link.
If it’s any consolation, it probably doesn’t work with Palms either… I generally sort them in two categories, those based on the FTDI chipset, and rubbish… If by chance your adapter does have all the pins enabled you could try to switch off the FIFO buffer on the serial port as this may also cause some problems. (Somewhere in the Control Panel.)
For others it depended on when the drivers were installed:
Installing was trouble free, but getting PsiWin to see the converter was another thing entirely. My memory is clearer on this issue.
- Uninstall PsiWin and make sure that all traces are removed by using the RegCleaner.
- Install the USB to Serial converter
- then install PsiWin.
- PsiWin will now see the new serial port.
As I had installed the USB to Serial converter over PsiWin, and not as I describe above it took me an evening of uninstalls, regcleans and installs until PsiWin saw the new serial port. Since then the connection has worked flawlessly.
So now you know!
Back to the Office
So I installed Office 2007 Beta 2 on my laptop, plugged in my USB-to-Serial cable, installed the drivers, installed PsiWin 2.3.3 and tried to connect (using COM 5 — added by the USB-to-serial port software) and … it connected. Phew! First hurdle jumped. Now, would it sync?
What can I say? It did it straight away, no questions asked, not a problem: calendar items, Contacts and Tasks all copied effortlessly from my Psion 5mx into a clean Outlook installation. That’s what I like to see. Software that’s over six years old still functioning as it was designed to; good, solid, robust software from the software engineers at Psion. If only they were still manufacturing PDAs, I’d love to see what they could come up with now.
Fantastic! Looks like I’ll be upgrading to Microsoft Office 2007 then. Just as soon as I can afford to: the UK price is seemingly going to be 57% higher than that in the USA, for the same products!