Over the last couple of months I’ve been considering buying a TV to also use as a PC monitor. I’ve been surprised to find relatively very little information online about it so here’s what I’ve discovered and my experiences so far.
Just over 48 hours ago I updated the DNS settings and initiated the switch to the new server. Other than a slightly misconfigured Cloudflare CDN everything has gone smoothly. This is in part due to my experience of having done this a couple of times now, and in part due to the excellent and clear controls that SiteGround offers behind the scenes.
My Psion archive has now been sold. This is the first day in 21 years that I’ve not had a Psion computer or book in my possession.
Many thanks to everyone who got in touch regarding these sales, and especially to the lovely Psion enthusiasts who purchased these machines. They gave me a great deal of joy over the years, I hope they serve you equally as well.
Today, I put my four Psion PDAs up for auction on eBay UK:
This was the last Psion that I bought—it must have been early 2004. I bought it to take to the US with me on holiday, and for a couple of writing projects I was working on.
It was a Series 7, bought on eBay, and later upgraded to a 7book by fitting a Psion netBook personality module. This made it capable of accepting a wi-fi adapter card (I bought two, one each of the two main chipsets that work well with netBooks).
I’m selling the lot in one bundle:
Psion 7book (Series 7 with netBook module)
Leathette carry case
Psion Series 7 user guide
PsiWin 2.3 CD-ROM
RS232 serial cable
USB to serial adapter (D400)
2 x UK power adapters
Psion Series 7 personality module
2 x compact flash cards (one contains the EPOC R5 OS required for booting the first time)
2 x Wi-fi cards (Lucent Orinoco Gold and Buffalo Air Station WLI-PCM-L11GP)
DVD containing all the Psion software I collected over the years; I used to sell this online.
I bought the 5mx shortly after moving to Edinburgh, from Inverness in 2003. It was another eBay purchase and was to replace my Psion 3mx.
I just wanted a new piece of kit. It has a 32-bit operating system, a beautiful clam-shell case, where the keyboard slides out when you open it, and a backlit, touch screen. What more could you want from a PDA?
Psion 5mx 16MB
RS232 serial cable
PsiWin 2.3 CD-ROM
Proporta.com hard case
2 x UK power adapter (one with interchangable UK/Euro/USA pins)
Boxed Purple Software Chess software (3.5″ floppy) and manuals
Palmtop Street Planner 99 software on CD-ROMs and manuals
This Psion was my workhorse for many years. It’s solid and dependable, and I don’t ever remember the screen cable breaking, which was the most common fault these machines suffered. I did have it fully refurbished a couple of times, though, from the dependable POS Ltd in London, run by Paul Pinnock.
Something I loved about the 3mx is how long the batteries lasted. I could usually get about one month’s use out of a pair of AA batteries.
Included I’ve got:
Psion Series 3mx 2MB palmtop computer
Series 3mx original user guide
Series 3a programming manual (OPL)
Programming manual (OVAL) and disk
PsiWin 1.1 disks and manual
Psion 56k infrared travel modem (with disks and manual)
4 x solid state disks (3 x 1MB and AutoRoute Express software).
I saw an advert for the Psion Siena in a copy of MicroMart, I think it was. And I immediately fell in love with it. I pondered buying one for weeks before getting up one sunny morning in my flat and travelling to London’s busy Oxford Street to purchase it at Debenham’s department store.
It immediately became my diary, contacts list, to do list, journal and programming machine. I bought a copy of PsiWin 1.1 (for £80) and connected it to my Windows 3.11 for Workgroups PC (a 386 SX-20).
I used it to write and edit my masters dissertation in 1999.
This book was the bible of Psion computing about 18 years ago. I managed to grab myself a copy in Waterstones bookshop on Edinburgh’s Princes Street, for £29.99.
It soon became quite a rare book, and so the publisher, EMCC, made it available in PDF on their website, as well as a zip archive of the CD-ROM that accompanied it. Many years ago, I gave away the CD-ROM to someone who was desperate for a copy of the original.
I’m not a big gamer by any standard. I have quite a few computers games but they mostly fall into five categories:
LEGO games—I love these, as do my three boys.
Call of Duty/Battlefield first person shooters—I only play the story-mode versions on easy level for the cinematic experience.
Story/walking simulator style games (Dear Esther, Everybody’s Gone To The Rapture, Firewatch).
Multiplayer, party-style games for my children (Screencheat, Sonic All-Stars Racing, Mini Motor Racing Evo).
Baldur’s Gate family Dungeons & Dragons’ role playing games.
Apart from the LEGO games—which are part adventure, part puzzle games—for the most part, I enjoy games for their cinematic and story-telling properties. I want escape and entertainment rather than spending hours building an empire or working out some kind of complex strategy.
Cheat / debug mode
So, for the last few years in Baldur’s Gate (in the few moments that I’ve had a chance to play it) I have activated the cheats (or debug mode). This gives me access to the entire game inventory to equip my character accordingly and a better chance to survive the adventure.
Clue: I have never yet completed Baldur’s Gate, despite owning it since about 1999 (I still own my original copy on five CD-ROMs).
Having just reinstalled my PC, I was disappointed to discover that the old way of activating cheat mode (by editing baldur.ini) had changed. This is how I managed it today (on Windows 10 Pro 64-bit, with OneDrive installed).
Locate the folder at Documents > Baldur’s Gate – Enhanced Edition. On my desktop PC this was in the default Windows 10 Documents folder within OneDrive; on my laptop it is in C:\users\<username>\Documents. It will depend on how your computer was set up.
2020-03-17 Updated cheat codes document to include instructions on how to activate cheats.
2017-04-17 Updated the location of Baldur.lua as it was in two different locations on two PCs running Windows 10. It depends, I guess, on whether Windows 10 is told to use OneDrive as the default save location.