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My Top 15 Psion 3a/3c/3mx Programs

This is a list of the 15 programs which I personally use the most, and generally feel are the best ones I've found. When I first got my 3a, I did a lot of WWW searching to find the best and most useful programs for my new machine. Since then, I've kept quite upto-date on all the new stuff that's come out, and all the updates on the older ones. To be perfectly fair, I have not included my own programs (TimeMan, JWIN, Launch Pad or PassApps), but had they been included, they'd be at the top of my list for sure :-))

Please note, all of these programs are designed for the 3a. Most should run on the 3c too, but I suggest you contact the respective authors for details of any Siena versions.


Position Program Current Version
15 Pelican Battry Checker1.3
14 Charm2.0a
13 OPP1.7F
12 JBEyecon1.1
11 Draw2.85
10 Calc3a1.7
9 Filer3.0
8 Psi-Mapper/GB6.0
7 HTMLViewer1.44
6 Fairway2.4
5 Finder2.0a
4 JBData1.5.6
3 RMRBank2.0
2 PsiZip1.3F
1 Purple Software's File Manager3.02F

Well, that's the way I rate 'em anyway! Just click on the links for more information and download options. Sorry there's no screen shots of each application, but that would occupy too much of my web space - shots can usually always be found on the author's web sites though.


Pelican Battery Checker

This was one of the first utilities that I ever picked out for my 3a. The idea is to provide a graphical representation of your current battery status. This is something it does very nicely, although a bit more gradiation between the levels of "Good", "Low" and "Replace" would be nice. One other very useful feature of it is that it will also tell you the battery status for all your current RAM SSD's, and also if you have enough power to write to a Flash disk or play sounds on the 3a/3c/3mx. There is even a version available for the Siena now...

Battery Checker is FREE and is available from Pelican's Web Page

Charm

Another utility, this very simply program contains the whole SIBO character set. One extremely useful feature is the ability to copy a character from Charm into a Word document for example. Although there is no help, it's still very useful and easy to use, with 4 different sizes of the selected character displayed, along with the relevant ASCII key-code for it.

Charm is FREE and is available from The Sunsite Archive

OPP

This is probably not of interest to most people, only those who intend to write software for the 3a/3c/3mx/Siena. OPP is an "OPL Pre-processor". Basically, it's an add-on for OPL and it allows you to use many new extensions and features. If you're distributing shareware, then the "#pragma no_revtran" feature is very useful - it provides quite good (but not 100% effective) protection against the RevTran program. Apart from that, OPP also allows you to use many "C" style constructs like #ifdef...#end. However, a vital feature for many authors (including myself) with code over the 40K size limit for opening in the OPL editor, is that OPP has a feature called #include, so you can combine several code files into one end .OPA/OPO program file. For me, OPP has proved vital in the development of all my Psion programs!

OPP is Shareware with a fee of 10 UK Pounds and is available from Andy Clarkson's Web Page

JBEyecon

This is quite a new program, and is the first of two programs to make it to my favourites from John Boyce. JBEyecon will allow you to view all the .PIC files on your Psion or in a remote directory. It can also be setup to view and extract the .PIC (usually icon) files from .APP's or .OPA's. There are several views in which the .PIC's are shown in different ways, and the program also supports the launching of Rick Andrew's Draw to edit the selected .PIC. At a mere 11k, it's worth having for those times where you want to browse all you .PIC files quickly.

As with all of John Boyce's programs, JBEyecon is FREE and is available from John's Web Page

Draw

This is the .PIC editor for the Psion 3a/3c/3mx. It's feature packed and well worth the registration fee of 10 UKP (20USD). It supports creation, viewing and editting of Psion .PIC files, and has many advanced features such as zoom and fill. It's a very well finished application, and even supports the conversion of .PIC files to more standard formats (eg BMP, GIF) by use of the FirePic software.

This application is Shareware with a fee of 10UKP (20USD) and is available from Rick's Web Page

Calc3a

The Calculator that comes on the ROM of the 3a (and indeed 3c/3mx) is perfectly adequate for day-to-day, simple calculations. When you want to start doing things a bit more complex or more advanced, then it will only be able to take you a certain way before it can go no more. Enter Calc3a! This Shareware calculator is another excellent application. The number of functions it boasts is more than impressive, it's amazing! For the very reasonable registration price, you also get graphs drawing, equation solving and much more! It's even more impressive then the Casio type graphics calculators when you think that its on a machine not even dedicated to the task!

Calc3a has recently become Freeware! (the author had not got the time to continue support of a shareware version) and should be available from Richard Schmidt's Web Page. However, this appears to be off-line at the moment, so you can get it from here for now.

Filer

Filer is the type of utility you need if you use your 3a seriously! The built in "File Selector" is pretty basic and is not extremely easy to use to put it mildly! There are a whole host of file managers for the Psion (Some commercial, some free and some shareware) and the lucky 3c owners have the Files software built into its ROM! That itself is a good piece of software in its own right. For the 3a users, Filer is in my opinion the shareware file manager. It supports all the usual (copy, move, delete, tag, etc.) features, plus a whole lot more! Although some may say the price is high for shareware, I'd say it's worth it. Since Filer is written in C it's very fast, and it's clear that a lot of work has gone into Filer's development. Beaten as the best file manager only by my favourite application Purple Software's "File Manager".

Filer is Shareware with a fee of 30 to 43 USD (depending on how you register it) and is available from Thomas Nemec's Web Page

Psi-Mapper/GB

The King of all Psion Shareware! Psi-Mapper is a legend in the Psion world, with over 2000 registrations to its name. It comes in several versions (1 for Great Britain, Ireland, London and now one for France!) and is very comprehensive! There are hundreds and hundreds of optional maps and "overlays" which you can add to Mapper, ranging from the location and frequency of all the BBC radio stations across the UK to all the zoos in the UK. Out on the road, this program is truly useful for finding where the nearset services are or how far to your next turn off for example. It also supports a GPS moving map, in fact there's so many features, that I certainly don't know them all, and I bet Steve forgets some of them too! An excellent application and well worth having "just in case". The only reason it's not further down the list is that I don't have chance to use it as much as I'd like becuase I don't have my own car!

Mapper is Shareware with a fee of 14UKP (25USD) and is available from Steve Litchfield's Web Page

HTML Viewer

As you're reading this page now, you probably aren't even thinking about what software you are using to do so. Netscape Navigator and Mircosoft Internet Explorer are the 2 main PC web browsers. However, it's now possible to browse the web on your humble little 3a/3c/3mx (and now Siena too). HTML Viewer is one of the Psion applications which allows just that. It's the best off-line viewer available for the Psion at the moment (the other being WebSurf which was written in OPL so is quite slow, but has a nice interface to balance things out) and it has achieved this because it has been written in C. This allows for a significant speed advantage and it's actually very fast! Most of the more advanced HTML features are supported (tables, forms, GIF's, etc.) and the author says it will be able to handle on-line browsing in the near future. At the moment, on-line browsing can be done via the PsiMail Internet package, which I have found to be quite good when testing it. However, it's worth saying that the browser included with that ("Web") is pretty basic, and even HTML Viewer supports more features! The lack of table support is probably the most annoying, so let's hope Micro can get the on-line copy of HTML Viewer out soon so we can replace the standard Web application!

HTML Viewer is Shareware with a fee of 20UKP (30USD) and is available from Micro Cheng's Web Page

Fairway

This is a very popular golf game for the Psion and is another offering from Steve Litchfield. It's so popular in fact that Psion put it on their "Games 3a" package! The game is excellent and has good graphics (extremely good when you stop and think this game is running on a 480 x 160 pixel display with no colour) and there are also some token, but well selected, sounds which are optional. I've spend quite a while playing this since I first downloaded it, and am well and truly hooked! The only other contender as far as I'm concerned on the "Top Psion games" front is "Ultimate Poker". This is also excellent, with good gameplay, graphics and carefully chosen sounds that add to the game as a whole. I recommend both fully.

Fairway is Shareware with a fee of 12UKP (20USD) and is available from Steve Litchfield's Web Page.

Ultimate Poker is also Shareware with a fee of 10UKP (18USD) and is available from Ian Pinkard's Web Page.

Finder

This is quite an old application now, the Copyright reports 1994, but it is still extremely useful. It is a full task switcher and task launcher. Finder responds to the hotkey of control-space, so is even more useful for those people who have the dreaded broken button bar. Once Finder is brought to the foreground, it updates and produces a list of all current tasks, a graph (optional) also shows a trace of your memory usage pattern which is a nice idea. Each of these can be assigned a letter key, so that pressing that letter will switch to that task. The program is very configurable, with many options that can be changed. In my opinion, this is a must for every Psion.

Finder is FREE and is available from The Sunsite Archive

Note: If you've got a Siena, Finder won't run on it. However, all is not lost as you can use my free Siena Task List program instead.

JBData

This is the second and final of my favourite programs from John Boyce - it is also one the most well known and powerful Psion programs of all! It is common knowledge that the SIBO Data applcation is not as good as it could be. There is no sort option and there is no line view either for a start. Thankfully, Psion have decided to remedy this in the Series 3c Data program. However, JBData is still the best database to use out of those 3. On the 3a, this choice is obvious, JBData includes sort and a line view and has many more enhancements over Data itself. Indeed, JBData is an incrediably powerful application! For 3c/3mx users, I still recommend the use of JBData ove the ROM's Data application. The program will provide better facilities and more features than the 3c application on its own.

As with JBEyecon, JBData is FREE and is available from John's Web Page

S3abank

This is another very popular program for the Psion, in fact it's the most registered one of all time! Written by RMR Software (Alan Richey), it is one of the biggest and most powerful bank/finace trackers available. I even chose to use it over Psion's own Money application. It is quite slow at times, but this is due to the fact it was written in OPL - not know for its speed! Despite this, the application copes very well with lots of different accounts and many different transactions. Part of the attraction of this package is the sheer number of options you can configure - the "Set preferences" menu is bigger than the main program menu! Another thing that is amazing about this program is the number of add-in modules there are. There are modules (released by RMR separately as programs in their own right too) for keeping track of everything from Expenses to how your Shares are doing! Each one is accessable from the main program interface, which is easy to use itself, via the diamond key. Full Psion Standard help is included which is more than enough to get you started.

RMRBank is Shareware with a fee of 20UKP (30USD) and is available from RMR Software's Web Site.

PsiZip

Another quite new application, PsiZip is written by Serge Shestopalov. It does what the name implies and creates PKZip (the industry standard) compatiable .ZIP archives right on your Psion! It the only program able to do this. That in itself is impressive, but PsiZip can also unzip files too! But the list of features goes on way beyond that, and is far too extensive to list here. The program consists of just one (85K) .APP file so is very easy to install. The on-line help is very useful, and not only that the program is written in C, which makes it very fast and easy to use! The interface is great and the program can be used by anyone from novices to experts. Personally, I use it to create and store compressed versions of things I no longer use frequently, old OPL code is a good example. The compression rates are almost identical to the PC versions of PKZip, with only minor differences (some things PKZip compressed better for me, some PsiZip did!). This is a truly amazing program, and I'm extremely glad I had the privialge of being involved with it as a beta tester from the very start of its development. I can't recommend this more highly, so get it and get it now! Deciding between this and my number one choice was very, very close indeed. In the end, PsiZip came an extremely close second.

PsiZip is Shareware with a fee of 15UKP (25USD) and is available from Serge Shestopalov's Web Page

And finally my favourite Psion application......

Purple Software's "File Manager"

This is an excellent piece of Psion Software! It will run on the 3a, 3c and 3mx and is well worth buying. Although it's a commercial product and so costs a little more, it is definitely worth the money, even for 3c owners. In my opinion, it is the best, fastest and easiest to use file manager available. I compared it to the Files software included in the 3c's ROM, and after a good look at both, my advice is uninstall Files, and go and buy File Manager! It really is that good. There are lots of options, the many different ways to search for file (by name, by date, by attributes and more!) being just one example. You can set a different font size for each window, and you can even set the amount of time it spends trying to build the directory tree! It's not perfect though - it doesn't allow you to copy files from the Psion's ROM for one. Also, the help is a bit short and in some places a bit too short, but, having said that, you should find you never need to refer to the help because the program is so easy to use in the first place! And finally, the application launching is the biggest problem - Files, Filer and RShell (by Konstantin Saliy) all have far better ways of launching applications on your Psion with specific extensions. However, you very rarely find a perfect application, so I still say Buy it, Buy it, Buy it!

(By the way, I have no connection to Purple Software, I just like File Manager a lot)

File Manager is a Commercial Product with a price of about 30UKP on its own or 40UKP included in "ToolKit1". As a result, there are unfortunately no trial copies of File Manager. If you want more details then you must Mail Purple Software.


Well, there you have it! If you think there's anything wrong, or there's anything I've missed, then please mail me with your comments.
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