Psion / Outlook synchronization tip

I’ve been meaning to blog this for ages; someone on one of the Psion groups pointed me to it.

It’s a small application that I now use when synchronizing my Psion Series 5mx (or Psion Series 7) with Microsoft Office Outlook 2003 called Express ClickYes.

Longtime Psion users will remember that synchronizing their Agenda and Contacts with Outlook 2000 was simple: you plugged in the Psion, ran the PsiWin synchronizer and it did its job with no interruptions.

All that changed when Microsoft introduced new security features in Service Packs 1, 2 and 3 for Office 2000. Now when you try to synchronize Outlook gets all paranoid and checks to see if it’s a virus or worm trying to plunder your e-mail contacts list.

Screenshot of Outlook security window, asking for access to e-mail addresses

Which is fair enough, but it can be annoying if all you are doing is trying to synchronize your contacts list and diary, and you are running a fairly tight ship, in terms of internet security.

Express ClickYes is an application that when run (and activated, by right-clicking the Notification Area/System Tray icon and clicking “Resume”) automatically answers YES when the pop-up dialog appears.

I find it really useful for when I set my Psion and Outlook to sync while I go and have a shower in the morning, or when I’m busy doing something else around the house. That way I don’t have to lurk by my PC and wait to click Yes. Express ClickYes does it for me … as the name might suggest. It’s a useful tool to have in your Psion/Outlook arsenal.

It’s a small world!

The earth from space.
“Our landlord Earth” from the 3D True Gallery.

A few minutes ago I checked my email. Not a very remarkable thing to do on a Wednesday evening, I check my email quite often. However, this evening I got this email in my Outlook Inbox:

On Sunday I googled “Psion 3c” for tips on how to fix my recently half-unhinged 9 year-old 3c and I discovered your splendid site. Edinburgh, I thought; I’m going to be there tomorrow for a 2 day flying family visit … I’d drop in to say hello, but it is not as if you perform miracles on old Psions in your spare time.

Then today as my sister was about to drop me off in Murrayfield Avenue to catch the Airport bus for the journey back South … “that’s the blogging episcopalian! Gareth whatsisname, coming out of the church!” By the time we had stopped, you or your double (do episcopalian priests all look the same?) had vanished.

easyJet waits for no man, so we continued to the bus stop. But I decided I’d write a note (a) to thank you for your most entertaining site and (b) to be nosy and ask you where you were at a quarter to twelve today!

all the best
Q.H.

Well, I can safely say that was me. I presided at the 11:00 am Eucharist at the Church of the Good Shepherd on Murrayfield Avenue, stayed around to chat with someone after the service — well, I say “someone” it was actually the only person who turned up for the service! — and then returned to my car which was parked up the hill on Murrayfield Avenue, outside number 34 if you’re interested, at about 11:45 am.

That’s a shame we didn’t meet up, but really cool that Q.H. emailed and told me. And here was me thinking that I wasn’t famous!

New WiFi card in my Psion

Two Psion 7Books with different sized WiFi cards in them
Spot the difference: The difference between the Lucent Orinoco WiFi card and the Buffalo AirStation cards in a Psion 7Book.

This evening I installed a new (to me) WiFi card in my Psion 7Book. Out went the Lucent Orinoco Gold (above left); in went the Buffalo AirStation WLI-PCM-L11GP (above right).

The main difference, as you can see from the photographs above, is that the Buffalo is much shorter, and doesn’t block the stylus port.

You can really see the differences here:

Lucent Orinoco WiFi card next to the Buffalo AirStation WiFi card
The much longer, and bulkier Lucent Orinoco Gold WiFi card sitting beside the slimmer Buffalo AirStation WLI-PCM-L11GP.

Hard reset before installing

In order to get the Buffalo card to work — having been using the Lucent Orinoco for months — I had to perform a full hard-reset (which involves removing the batteries and waiting a minute) and reboot the 7Book from scratch with a Compact Flash card containing the latest EPOC R5 operating system (NetBook OS v.1.05 (450) R158). Both cards use the same chipset, which I think is why I had trouble trying to install the Buffalo. I got some advice on the PDA Streets Psion Place forum to perform a full hard reset and it worked!

Psion WiFi resources

There are two major internet resources on setting up WiFi on a Psion Series 7, netBook and hybrid ‘7Book’:

  • WiFi on a netBook on Pscience5
  • EPOC FAQ(ish) on Ian Sylvester’s website

Getting your hands on these WiFi cards these days can be a struggle. I managed to get both of mine on eBay UK for around £30 – 40 each. But it took some looking, and waiting.

Opera 5.14 for Psion

The other important resource, that I’ve not found linked anywhere else, is the tip on the Opera Knowledge Base about switching off the annoying popup message in Opera 5.14 each time you submit a form — it warns that the form hasn’t been encrypted, even when the encryption warning setting is disabled in the preferences:

It involves editing the Opera.ini file adding the line Warn Insecure Form=0 beneath the [USER PREFS] section. And it works!

So there you have it. One of these days I’ll get up to speed and add all this to my main Psion website; in the meantime it’s here for reference.

I now just have to reinstall the rest of my favourite applications on the 7Book. The joys of hard resets!

PsiWin synchronization problem solved

Psion PsiWin synchronization screen

Ah! the irony! So many people email me about their problems with PsiWin, the connection and synchronization software for the Psion range of handheld computers, it was about time that I had problems too!

My problem: for some reason during the last synchronization PsiWin copied all my contacts twice, so that I had two entries for everyone. Easy, I thought, just delete the Contacts.cdb which can be found in C:\System\Data\Contacts.cdb and re-synchronize with Microsoft Outlook. PsiWin will simply create a new Contacts.cdb file, problem solved.

It wasn’t as easy as that — of course! — but I have learned something: when I resynchronized I suspect that PsiWin kept a record of what had previously been synchronized and so it did nothing, thinking that everything was up-to-date. The way to sync from scratch was to delete my PsiWin sync profile (that’s the one highlighted on the screenshot above) and create a new one. Once I’d done that everything worked as it should and I now have a healthy address book containing 548 contacts, rather than over 1,000!

Every day’s a school day!

Psion Series 7 featured in PC Plus (Nov 2005)

Psion Series 7 PDA

The Psion Series 7 as featured in PC Plus magazine, November 2005.

The Good News: The Psion Series 7 appeared in this month’s PC Plus magazine.

The Bad News: It was in an article entitled “Tech Misses”. It came in at number 48 out of 50. Here’s what they had to say:

PSION’S FINAL HOUR

Psion Series 7

1999-2002

It’s the PDA that you can’t fit in your pocket.

With a reasonably-sized keyboard and colour screen, the Series 7 PDA promised to take computing to places that a full notebook couldn’t reach. It was Psion’s swansong before it transformed into Symbian to concentrate on operating systems for mobile phones.

After pioneering the UK personal organiser market, the company had started to feel the pressure, first from Palm and then Microsoft’s Windows CE. The corporate netBook version found some interest with vertical applications, but for most consumers the lack of Windows compatibility ruled the Series 7 out as an option. So just as Psion had done in its previous life as a Sinclair Spectrum games developer, the company did the honourable thing when the going got tough and left the market.

JM

Well, all that said and done, it’s still a technical hit here at Potting Shed HQ, as far as I’m concerned.