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Useful Psion 5 Information
Please bear with me as more and more links, etc. are added to this site. Since the Psion 5 was only released quite recently, I'm still in the middle of gathering all the information I can. As a result, this page will be constantly "under construction".
||None of my (or anyone else's) programs written for the 3a/3c/3mx/Siena will work on the new Psion 5. However, I am now an EPOC World member (see below), so am already in the process of porting my programs!! You can find more details on my Developments News page. So far, I'm quite pleased overall. Some of the new features in OPL32 are not only "nice", they're also powerful and many functions when ported will require a lot less code. You can see for yourself if you like - by trying JWIN for EPOC! Ports of Launch Pad and then TimeMan (in that order) are to follow soon. All registration codes are the same, so registered 3a/3c/3mx/Siena users who upgrade their machines to a 5, will also be able to upgrade my programs for free!|
So far, these are the best places to look for information, details, etc...
Since the 5 is still a relatively new machine, there have inevitably been a few bugs which found there way into the release software. The most major bug is to do with moving icons around the "Extra's" bar, and you can find more details on Steve Litchfield's Psion 5 bug page. Apart from that, somebody else has also setup a more general bug page with details of specific bugs in the internal applications (eg Word, Sheet, etc.). Thankfully, most of these have been fixed in the more recent Series 5 machines, which all come with ROM v1.01 (instead of the original v1.00) installed.
- Psion's own site. Obviously, Psion have plenty of details about their own machine! There are pictures, specifications, answers to questions, and even a (very big) demo program. You can also grab the file OPLMAN32.ZIP which contains the full OPL manual (with an OPL16 to OPL32 porting guide) in Word 6.0 documents. The file is only about 450K, but it unzips into 4.5mb!!!! If you're a shareware/freeware author for the Psion and want to port existing programs, or even if you're new to OPL and want to knock up some small programs for personal use, this is essential. You may also find some of the file conversion tools to be of use.
As well as all that, you can now get Psion's free communications package, Message Suite. This essential Series 5 application provides a neat but powerful E-Mail program, a very competant Web Browser and full Fax send and receive capabilities. You can read Psion's Overview of the product, go directly to the download page or if you're eager to try it right now and waste no time, click here to download the .ZIP file directly (about 1.5 MB). The current version of Message Suite is v1.52F (released on 6th October 1998). This new version now support e-mail attachments and also multiple mailboxes - and to aid the receiving of PC attachments, the suite includes special viewers for MS Word 95 and 97 files as well as plain text files too.
Since Message Suite includes full fax send and receive capabilities, Psion wish it to be a replacement for their previously released EasyFax program. However, if space on your 5 is limited and you just want to send/receive faxes but not use E-Mail and Web, you can still visit the EasyFax information page or download EasyFax v1.01F via this link.
And yet more goodies from Psion - they have also made a major update to PsiWin freely available! Click here to read the Overview of PsiWin in general, or visit the PsiWin upgrades page for details of what's new in the latest release (v2.1) and to see if you need it or not. To download it (and be warned, it weighs in at 16mb), go to the download page by clicking here, or click here to start downloading the self-extracting .EXE file (English version).
If you're a user of Microsoft Office '97 and are still using PsiWin v2.0 or v2.01, then Psion have released a set of plugins which allow conversion of Psion documents to their equivalents in Word '97, Excel '97 and Outlook (and vice versa). Click here to go the the download page, or here to download the plugins directly. Note that you do NOT need these plugins if you already have PsiWin 2.1 (see above).
- 5 Alive is now the undisputed king of EPOC news! This site has come a long way in a short time, and is updated every day to provide the latest news from all areas of the Psion World, with reviews, tips, hints and also a software library. This is one site I check daily, and I'd advise you to do the same!
- PDA Online has recently given up its role as a daily news site, as the webmaster has other commitments and can't afford the time. However, it is still an excellent resource, as it has a comprehensive software library and many other 'features' of interest.
- Soft Base Computing also have some cool pages dedicated to the Series 5, its specs, software available for it, links to authors, etc. and more! This site now houses an automatic software news page, which is updated by the authors of programs when they release new versions, ensuring it's as up-to-date as possible!
- If you're looking for general Series 5 answers/knowledge, then the Series 5 FAQ is an good place to start.
- As usual, Steve Litchfield was one of the first of the authors in the Psion world with details on his web pages about the 5! You can visit his new Series 5 Software page, or the OPL32 page and even a page dedicated to the new EPOC World facility (see below).
||If you want to seriously develop programs for the Series 5 or the other EPOC platforms, then a subscription to either the OPL32 or C++ SDK is what you need. More importantly, you'll also find the support from Psion Software which comes with it to be a great help! To find out more, please click on
the picture to the left.
EPOC World started 1998 with a major update, and v2.0 of the C++ SDK was released at the same time. More recently, v1.1 of the OPL SDK has also been released. These new releases include lots of new tools and (more so in the C++ one) some essential documentation updates, as well as tweaks and refinements to the old documentation.
Probably the most visible change is that both the public and private (members only) areas of the EPOC World web site have been given a major overhaul with a totally new layout and several new and useful web based features.
As well as that, EPOC World members now have access to a new beta testing area. This holds the next releases of popular programs (eg Message Suite and PsiWin) but in beta form for developers to test!
- If you're already a member of EPOC World and have the v1.xx SDK, you may want to develop programs which run on both the Series 5 and the new Geofox-One using the WINS emulator. The icons/files that come on your CD don't allow for this, but I have managed to adapt a .ini and .bmp file for this purpose. These files and usage instructions are available here as a .zip file for you to download. It's not perfect, but it's very useful!
- If you do plan to write a program for the 5 (or even if you're porting older OPL16 programs), then you'll soon find out they will have to be event-driven. If you're rusty on it, or don't know what it is, RMR Software have very kindly released a free "core" program. This will show you many useful things; how to handle help files, how to capture pen events, how to use toolbars and GETEVENT32 being some of the highlights.
- Once you've created your program, you'll probably want icons for it. The new MBM format the 5 uses to store bitmaps/icons is great for this! Not only does it allow you to store many bitmaps into one file, but it also compresses these pictures to make the resultant file smaller. However, the process of actually doing that can be a bit confusing! Don't worry though, my instructions page is here to help!
- PalmTop B.V. This company have some Series 5 software that'll amaze and delight you! If you don't download and play with the Spectrum emulator or Doom for the Series 5 you're gonna be missing out!
While you're here, you may also be interested in a "clone" of the Series 5! A company called Geofox have licensed the EPOC operating system and software from Symbian and have used it in their own machine - the Geofox-One. The basis for this "comparison" table was gathered from a public Psion newsgroup. The original poster was somebody called "bj", to whom I'm very grateful:
Incidentally, the e-mail and web programs are not on the ROM of the Geofox, so they can be deleted if you don't want to use them in order to free up RAM.
|Diagonal display size||5.6"||6.8"|
|Min/Max RAM (MB)||4/8||4/16|
|PCMCIA slot(s) (I/II)||0||1|
|Separate numeric pad||No||Yes|
|Warranty||1 year||3 years|
|Base price ($US)||$599||$499|
|E-mail/Web||Free download from Psion||Included with machine|
So, which machine do you prefer? In the end, it will all come down to personal preference, and (although I've never used a Geofox) I personally prefer the Series 5. The keyboard is truly excellent and although the screen may be smaller than on the Geofox, I like the pen-based style of navigation, and think that the glidepoint will be too fiddly. As I say though, the choice really is yours - and it's made harder by the fact both machines are very compitent and very desirable!
Images at the top of this page are taken from Psion's WWW site and are property of Psion UK PLC.
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