This article is a collection of information on the Psion Series 5 palmtop computers. It should be read by anyone intending to post to the comp.sys.psion.* newsgroups.
Version: $VER: Psion Series5 FAQ v1.1 (Apr 1998)
PSION SERIES 5 FREQUENTLY ASKED QUESTIONS (FAQ)
Authors & maintainers: Daniel Pfund, Jonathan Littlewood
Welcome to the FAQ for the comp.sys.psion.* Usenet hierarchy. Find the
contents table below. Questions and constructive comments are welcome.
Send them to either co-author.
IMPORTANT NOTE: this article does not contain any infos on Psion (the
company), previous machines or any other general Psion information
(like retailers list, repair centres and so on). For the people
interested in this information, please get hold of the Series 3x FAQ
available from the same source you got this article from, or send an
email to: firstname.lastname@example.org with the subject line: "send
IV. FAQ UPDATES
V. WHERE CAN I GET THIS FAQ?
VI. PSION NEWSGROUPS USAGE
1. Hardware information
1.1 Hardware specifications
1.2 Hardware questions
+ *UPDATED* Does the S5 have a soft modem?
+ *UPDATED* Can I send faxes?
+ Are SSDs compatible with the S5?
+ Can I use the CompactFlash card out of my Digital Camera?
+ Are 3c accessories compatible with the 5?
+ Is the IrDA compatible between 3c and 5?
+ My Series 5 hums when the backlight is on. Is something
+ What is a GeoFox One?
+ My stylus is jammed, what can I do?
+ *NEW* Can I connect my Psion to an Acorn computer?
2. Software information
2.1 Software specifications
2.2 Software questions
+ Can I convert Series3 data files to the Series5?
+ How do I convert my files if I don't have Win95/NT and a
+ Can I use PsiWin 1.x with the Series5?
+ Can I use an old Psion Serial Cable with the Series5?
+ *NEW* How do I prevent PsiWin Backup from crashing?
+ *NEW* I can't convert contacts from Outlook, why?
+ *UPDATED* Is there no email program included?
+ Why can't I send control characters from the Terminal
+ *NEW* Do the Comms and Comms.nam files have to be in the
+ *NEW* Why do the application icons sometimes not work when an
alarm is snoozed?
+ Do I have to reformat my CompactFlash (CF) card to recover
+ *NEW* How do I get Word to use the Printer Settings in the
+ *NEW* Can I use my PC's custom spell-check list on my Psion
+ Does the Series 5 have an equivalent to the S3c Jotter?
+ Is there a 'List' view in the Series 5 Agenda
+ Can I use the external buttons when the S5 is password
+ The Series 5 won't accept my password, what's wrong?
+ Can I remove those toolbars and slider bars on the screen?
+ Why do some programs only use four shades of grey?
+ *NEW* How do I kill a task that doesn't respond to Ctrl-E?
+ Can I browse the Series 5 ROM?
+ How do I grab a screen image?
+ *UPDATED* How can I convert images from/to BMP?
+ *UPDATED* What is Citrix?
+ Is Citrix available for the Series 5?
+ *UPDATED*Are there any known bugs?
+ Which bugs does ROM version 1.01 fix?
+ What is the difference between ROM version 1.01 and 1.1?
2.3 Programming questions
+ Is the programming manual included?
+ How is OPL enhanced?
+ Do the old 64k process limit and 512k system mem limit still
+ Why does Translate highlight a space as an 'Illegal
This article is provided "as is" without any express or implied
warranties. While every effort has been taken to ensure the accuracy
of the information contained in this article, neither the authors, the
maintainers or the contributors will assume responsibility for errors
or omissions, or for damage resulting from the use of the information
contained herein. This document is compiled in spare time for free,
and we cannot resource thorough checking of all its contents. However,
we are interested in making the FAQ as good as it can be, so your
constructive feedback is welcome.
This FAQ is not sponsored or endorsed by Psion PLC or any subsidary
companies they may own in any way.
This FAQ is *NOT* intended as a replacement of the User Guide which
comes with each Psion. Be sure to read that first and - most important
- please double read the manual, the Psion's online help and this FAQ
before posting any questions to the comp.sys.psion.* hierarchy!
I (Daniel) previously held a list of people involved in the original
Psion Series 3x FAQ which I also take care of. The list was long and
took much time to maintain as people often changed email addresses or
I simply forgot to add them.
I will not use the same technique here, so I'll simply state the
source of the section with the author's name (and email address if
you're reading the original HTML version only). When specifying email
addresses, please take care to send me an email address that won't
change every 3 months, Iname can offer you a free "forward" email
address for life; think about getting such an alias.
When no credits are given, that means the part was written by Daniel
Pfund or Jonathan Littlewood.
We (Daniel and Jonathan) assert copyright on this document. We
encourage you to distribute it widely, but only in its complete and
original form and if you do not make any money out of it.
IV. FAQ UPDATES
For the time being, we are the keepers of the FAQ. If you have
comments or suggestions, corrections, or you have some information you
want to see added or a request that we find some new answers, please
let us know. You can contact us via the Email addresses at the top of
We will update the FAQ as much as time allows. Unfortunately, we
cannot guarantee a regular monthly update. For upto date news about
this FAQ, please checkout the Psion FAQs homepage at:
V. WHERE CAN I GET THIS FAQ?
You're reading it aren't you? SAVE it :-). This FAQ is part of the
"official" news.answers FAQs and is posted monthly to
comp.sys.psion.announce and cross-posted to comp.sys.palmtops,
comp.answers, and news.answers. If you don't have reliable Usenet
access, you can also retrieve the FAQ by:
This article is archived at any site that archives
News.answers' main archive is at rtfm.mit.edu, and this article
is available there via anonymous ftp in the directory
Other news.answers FAQ archives are:
+ cnam.cnam.fr in the anonymous ftp directory /pub/FAQ
+ ftp.uu.net in the anonymous ftp directory /pub/usenet (also
available via mail server requests to email@example.com, or
via uunet's 1-900 anonymous UUCP phone number)
+ ftp.cs.ruu.nl in the anonymous ftp directory pub/NEWS.ANSWERS
(also accessible via mail server requests to
You probably will find a location closer to you with the help
of archie or some other search tool. Usually, the news.answers
FAQs are held in a directory like
"usenet/usenet-by-group/news.answers/" and you would be looking
for the "palmtops/psion" subdirectory in there.
You can use the mailserver at rtfm: send a message containing
the lines "send usenet/news.answers/palmtops/psion/series5/*"
to receive all parts or send a message containing "help" and
"index" to firstname.lastname@example.org for more information on how
to obtain separate parts.
There are HTMLized version of this FAQ available on selected
sites on the web. Refer to
http://www.geocities.com/SiliconValley/8130/faq.htm (Note that
there is no "l" at the end of "htm", this is not a typo!) to
find the closest mirror site to you. Please also use this URL
for any reference from your own web pages because it is under
my direct control and easily changeable. It contains links to
all the Psion HTML FAQ mirrors available in the world as well
as an archive file of both the text and the HTML versions of
the FAQ for easy downloading and offline reading.
There are also numerous WWW sites archiving all the
news.answers FAQs. My favorite site is in Oxford at:
And this list wouldn't be complete without citing the mother
site of all FAQs at: http://www.faqs.org
Please do NOT Email the authors or anybody else mentioned in this FAQ
for the latest version. We simply cannot handle such matters
If the date at the top of this FAQ is more than a couple months old,
there is probably a new version available online.
If you're interested to learn how this FAQ is prepared, you can check
out a page about that at:
VI. PSION NEWSGROUPS USAGE
The Psion newsgroups hierarchy (comp.sys.psion.*) is composed of
several specialized groups. Please pick the one appropriate for your
question and do NOT multiple post your question to several newsgroups.
Also, please refrain from using HTML as it is not appreciated in this
Before posting, also please observe the following simple things:
1. READ THE FRIENDLY MANUAL (RTFM) and then the FAQ before posting
any questions! Remember that these groups are here to help you out
but only if the answer can't be found by yourself. Also remember
that each time you're posting a question to the group, hundreds
(if not thousands) of people will read your question. If the same
questions come up again and again, people will just get bored and
not answer anymore...
2. DON'T BE RUDE. Obvious? Apparently not. Our newsgroup is an oasis
of civilization in a sea of adolescent vitriol and worse. Let's
keep it that way. Say it nicely or don't say it at all. If you
need to be uncomfortably direct, do it in personal mail - don't
3. When responding to a post, most handlers will give you an edit pad
with the original post inserted. Delete most of this, leaving only
the part which will set the context for your reply. This is more
effective communication, it cuts down on crud to scan through, and
reduces phone bills for those that pay them.
4. Official NETIQUETTE says you should not use the net for
advertising, but the prevalent view here is that the current level
of activity is useful without being obtrusive.
5. Posting binaries is definitively not recommended in the
comp.sys.psion.* usenet groups! There is a seperate Psion binaries
group called comp.binaries.psion which is a moderated group. The
moderator is Erik Johansen. If you wish to post to this group,
either Email your binary directly to the news group's Email
address: email@example.com and it will arrive to the
moderator or if your news program is configured correctly, post it
directly to the group. You will receive a message in return
usually after a lapse of 2-3 days maximum to confirm your binary.
It has been agreed that very large programs which are not Psion
specific (ie: don't run directly on the Psion) should NOT be
posted there but to the relevant computer group. But you should
send a small message to the comp.binaries.psion group stating that
you have just posted your program. It is also common practice to
send a description of your binary; it helps to know if it's worth
downloading it or not! Usually, this description has the same
subject line but with part0(/x) suffix. All postings to this group
have been archived and are indexed on the following FTP site:
6. Consider whether you should be mailing or posting. PING-PONG
personal dialogues may - or may not - be of interest to others. If
not, please don't post.
7. Post to the relevant newsgroup, and please don't cross-post!
Here's a guide to help you:
Used for ALL Psion binaries. Also used for large source code.
Used for posting announcements about new programs/hardware;
the FAQ is also posted to this group. This is a low volume
group and it's moderated, that means that all postings must
get approved first by the moderator (Michael L. Kaufman). If
your news server does not send your post to the moderator
(but they all do generally), you can send it yourself
directly for approval at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Used for posting questions/answers to all Psion related
programs; frequented by all Psion programmers to get your
feedback and ideas of course ;-)
Used for posting anything related with communications between
a Psion and another device. Discussion of the use of software
for such communications (such as PsiWin) should on the other
hand be discussed in the apps group.
Used for selling/buying Psion articles.
Used for any subject which does not fall into one of the
Used for posting programming questions ( OPL / C / ... ), NOT
programs! (small sources are acceptable though).
Used for posting reviews about Psion programs/hardware. This
group is also moderated by Michael L. Kaufman and again, if
your news server is not set up correctly, you can also send
your postings directly to him at email@example.com.
1.1 Hardware specifications
* Touch type keyboard (53 real *big* keys ;-) that moves out forward
when you open your Psion.
* Touch sensitive, backlit, 16 grey scales, full page width screen
(640 x 240 pixels) with stylus. Physical size: 133x50mm active
* Off screen quick access application buttons, and multiple
magnification (zoom) levels maximise usable screen space
* Sound recording and playback, with external 3 buttons control
* ARM 7100 RISC processor running at 18.432 MHz, performance
equivalent to 33 MHz 486SX
* 32bit EPOC32 platform
* 4 or 8 Mb RAM models
* Uses 2 AA batteries (quoted to last 35 hours) and a CR2032 lithium
* Size: 170x90x23mm (6.7" x 3.5" x0.9")
* Weight: 354g (12.5 ounces), with batteries
* One industry standard CompactFlash slot (no more SSD support)
* IrDA, maximum speed 115200bps.
* Included serial port, maximum speed 115200bps.
1.2 Hardware questions
Does the S5 have a soft modem?
No, Psion plans to use a real hardware external modem or the inbuilt
modems of some GSM phones. However, at the CEBIT fair in Germany
(April 98), Psion have demonstrated their EasyGSM program that will
allow you to use some GSM phones with no modem (like some Nokia
phones), but simply a cable to connect the Psion with the mobile
Can I send faxes?
Psion have released the Series 5 Messaging Suite which integrates fax
capabilities with email and web browsing clients. If you use Psion's
earlier 'EasyFax' software this needs to be removed before the
Messaging Suite can be installed on the Series 5. The Messaging Suite
is a free download from Psion's web site and allows for both the
sending and receiving of faxes.
For those users who don't need the email and web browser clients
Psion's 'EasyFax' fax-only software is still available for download at
Are SSDs compatible with the S5?
No, Psion has gone for the industry standard CompactFlash which will
mean that you will get much better prices now than before. Be sure to
get the biggest size you can as the 5 only has one slot for such
Can I use the CompactFlash card out of my Digital Camera?
In theory yes. There has been reports that Kodak cameras work fine.
With the web browser, it may even be possible to view the image if
it's saved in jpeg format by the camera.
Are 3c accessories compatible with the 5?
The 3c PC-Card adapter, Travel Modem and Parallel Link are compatible
with the 5. Since the plugs are the same (AMP/Honda connector), there
shouldn't be any problems with using your existing 3c accessories on
Is the IrDA compatible between 3c and 5?
No, the Psions (as strange as it may sound) can't speak to each other
that way. There is hope though in the form of a 3rd party add-on by
our IrDA specialist Jim Pollock. Check out Jim's web site for regular
news on this subject at:
My Series 5 buzzes when the backlight is on. Is something wrong?
No, a very quiet buzzing is normal. The buzzing is caused by the power
supply for the backlight.
What is a GeoFox One?
Psion have licensed the EPOC32 Operating System and applications to a
number of third parties, including Philips and GeoFox. The GeoFox One
is clam-shell handheld machine that differs from Psion's Series 5 in
the following ways:
* The screen is deeper (640 by 320 pixels) and is not touch
* RAM is 4 or 16 Mbytes
* GlidePoint touch pad instead of pen input
* PC Card (PCMCIA) instead of CompactFlash slot
* 94 key elastomeric keyboard, calculator rather than notebook style
* Size 187 x 120 x 20 mm and weight 390 grams
* EPOC 32 1.01 and numerous bundled applications including browser
and e-mail client
* Professional model includes PC Card 33.6K modem and power supply
The GeoFox is believed to be 100% software compatible with the Series
5. GeoFox's web site is at www.geofox.com.
My stylus is jammed, what can I do?
It appears that some styli may be jammed into the lock in mechanism.
You can unlatch this mechanism yourself by opening the RS-232
connector at the back of your Series 5 and gently pulling the lower
half of the machine's casing just below the RS-232 inscription.
Can I connect my Psion to an Acorn computer?
Paul Vigay has programmed ArcLink5. The program is shareware and
available from his homepage at:
It allows a Psion 5 (or Geofox) to connect to the Acorn Risc OS range
of computers and transfer files backwards and forwards between the
two. (Paul Vigay, firstname.lastname@example.org).
2.1 Software specifications
PsiWin 2.x (CD-ROM only) comes included with every Psion S5. This is
the program used to communicate with your PC (works only on
Windows95/NT). It will convert between most common PC application file
formats to/from your Series5 (see Psion's web site for a complete upto
date list at http://www.psion.com). PsiWin 2.x can also convert
Series3a/c applications to Series5 format but not the other way
around. Free updates to PsiWin can also be downloaded from Psion's web
site; it's worth the visit from time to time.
PsiWin 2.x can be configured to automatically detect your Psion and
back it up at configurable intervals without your intervention. V2.x
also allows you to see your Psion as another "drive" on your Win95/NT
system screen and just drag and drop files to/from it with automatic
conversions on the fly.
Included on the Psion are:
* Sheet (a spreadsheet)
* Data (a database)
* Word with spell checker and thesaurus
* Time (and World map, now together in only one app)
* Calc (a calculator with 2 modes: simple and scientific)
* Sketch (a drawing program)
* OPL32 program editor
Removed since the 3c:
* Jotter (but see below)
* 2 Agenda views: List and Busy View (but see below)
* Outlining and Evaluate in Word
* Sorting and Print Areas in Sheet
* File Manager
* Calling OPL routines in the Calculator
Useful additions since the 3c:
* Object embedding: you can now include a spreadsheet in a Word
document for example. Possibilities are endless...
* Mac-like (or BeOs like if you prefer) folder operating system.
* Touch sensitive screen with stylus.
* Automatic turn on/off when opening/closing the computer.
* Postponing of alarms
* "Relational" powerful Database
* Compressed pictures and sound (record up to 4 minutes per Mb or
* VT100 emulator in Comms.
* Agenda entries may span past midnight and may be marked as
"tentative" when not finalized.
Psion have also released a ShockWave demo downloadable from their web
2.2 Software questions
Can I convert Series3 data files to the Series5?
Yes, but only from the Series3 to the Series5 at this time. Maybe some
3rd party software will be available soon to take care of the other
How do I convert my files if I don't have Win95/NT and a CD-ROM?
PsiWin 2.x is too big to be put on diskettes, so you'll have to find a
friend who has such a machine. Several dealers can also offer to do
the transfer for you when you purchase a Series5 from them.
Alternatively, download the latest version directly from Psion's web
site directly to your computer.
Apparently, if you ask Psion Plc, they are able to offer you 12
diskettes for a nominal fee. Enquire with them if you really need
The Comms application can be used to transfer data in formats common
to both machines. For example Word documents can be saved as text on a
Series3, transferred via the XMODEM in the Comms application, and read
back into Word on the Series5. Some formatting will be lost and this
route is not possible for Agenda files.
Can I use PsiWin 1.x with the Series5?
Yes, but remember that the Series 5 file format converters are only
available for 32-bit Windows systems. PsiWin 1.x will map the long
filenames on the Series 5 to 8.3 format filenames when seen from the
PC. For example, the word file named:
S5 FAQ latest version
will be displayed on PsiWin 1.x as:
The 8.3 style filename can be specified by embedding it at the
beginning of the long filename. For example the word file named:
S5FAQ.txt latest version of S5 FAQ
will be displayed by PsiWin 1.x as
Can I use an old Psion Serial Cable with the Series5?
The Series5 docking cable is the same as that used by the Series3c and
Siena. Cables from earlier Psion machines, including the Series3a,
cannot be used with the Series5.
How do I prevent PsiWin Backup from crashing?
A number of users have reported that PsiWin Backup (PWBKBACK) reports
an invaid page fault while the rest of the application works
faultlessly. In many cases this has been narrowed down to the length
of the 'Owner Information' on the Series 5. From the main screen
select 'Owner...' from the 'Information' menu and edit the information
to the bare minimum. It is not known what the exact limit is.
I can't convert contacts from Outlook, why?
It would appear that Outlook's address book has too many fields for
the Psion to handle when converting in this manner. So, reduce the
number of fields you want to convert (ignoring things such as
Assistant and other usually empty fields) by creating a custom map
(the option is given when exporting from outlook) and selecting only
the main fields. TIP: Having one field called address works better
than four fields for Street, Town etc. (Gareth Brandwood,
Is there no email program included?
The Series 5 Messaging Suite provides e-mail, fax and web browsing
capabilities and is a free download from Psion's web site.
Why can't I send control characters from the Terminal Emulator?
Ctrl-<letter> combinations are used as hotkeys for menu items. Use
Ctrl-Fn-<letter> to send control characters via the terminal emulator.
Do the Comms and Comms.nam files have to be in the Documents Folder?
By default the Comms and Comms.nam files are placed in the Documents
folder, however they can be moved elsewhere. Since the Comms
application always opens the last used examples of these files it is
only necessary to move them to another folder and run Comms from
For example you could move the Comms and Comms.nam files to
C:\System\Apps\Comms\ and then press 'Enter' on the moved Comms file.
This will start the Comms application. Exiting the application records
C:\System\Apps\Comms\ as the files new home and prevents them being
recreated in the Documents folder.
Note that in EPOC 1.00 this does not work for the Comms.nam file.
Why do the application icons sometimes not work when an alarm is snoozed?
When the task list is being displayed the application icons are
disabled. If an alarm goes off while the task list is being displayed
and the user selects 'Snooze' the application icons are disabled and
won't allow the user to switch away from the alarm screen.
The solution is to press 'tab' to switch away from the Alarm screen.
You can then close the task list and switch applications as normal.
Although not listed on the Alarm screen, pressing 'tab' when the alarm
is sounding will snooze the alarm for 5 minutes and remove the alarm
Do I have to reformat my CompactFlash (CF) card to recover space?
No, space is recovered immediately now when you delete a file on it.
How do I get Word to use the Printer Settings in the Control Panel?
Word takes its printer settings from a template and ignores those set
in the Control Panel. So create a new document called 'Normal' and
change its printer settings to your desired default values. Save the
document and then cut and paste it into C:\System\Apps\Word\.
Subsequently when Word creates new documents it will use
C:\System\Apps\Word\Normal as its template and select the correct
printer details. Incidently if you set a password when you save the
'Normal' template that password will apply to all your new Word
Can I use my PC's custom spell-check list on my Psion Series 5?
Yes - with a little bit of simple mouse clicking. Here's how to do it
if you use Microsoft Word. It may look daunting but it's simply
awkward to explain.
Load up Microsoft Word's custom user dictionary (Click from the
'Tools' pull down menu: 'Options', 'Spelling & Grammar',
'Dictionaries', 'Edit') into Word. Remove the very top line only.
Convert the text into a table (from the Table pull down menu) and
insert another column. Shift the original column so that it is to the
right of the new one. Insert the `#` key into all the empty rows in
the left column (use copy and paste to speed things up).
Now, select all (Ctrl+A) and paste into a text editor (e.g. Notepad or
Super Note Tab). Use the find a replace functions to remove the empty
spaces leaving each word preceded with the `#` key.
Add in the following line at the very top of the file (copy and paste
it from here):
#HEADER START#1#16#0#0#=#HEADER END#
You should then end up with a file in the following format:
#HEADER START#1#16#0#0#=#HEADER END#
Close Word down WITHOUT SAVING ANY CHANGES. In your text editor, 'Save
As' the text file as 'User.dic'.
Copy this file into the following location on your Psion (use Windows
Explorer to speed things up):
NB, if you already have custom entries in your Psion Spell Checker
they will be replaced. If you want to preserve them, load up
and copy the entries into your MS Word Custom.dic - alphabetise them
(Sort A- Z) and then continue as before. (Gareth Brandwood,
Does the Series 5 have an equivalent to the S3c Jotter?
The S3c Jotter application can be emulated using Data on the Series 5.
PsiWin 2 will automatically translate Jotter files from earlier
machines into Data files.
To set-up a Jotter file using data, create a new file and 'Change
Title (type 'Text', length 50)
Date (type date)
Notes (type 'Memo', length unlimited)
The Date field will default to the current date when records are
added, automatically date stamping the records.
Is there a 'List' view in the Series 5 Agenda
The 'List' view, that in the S3x listed all Agenda items in
chronological order, is not present in the Series 5. However
equivalent functionality is available from the 'Find' command. Press
Ctrl-F in any view to display the 'Find' dialogue. Leave the 'Text to
be found' field blank and set the other fields as appropriate.
Clicking on [OK] displays a chronological list of all relevant
entries, very similar to the S3x 'List' view.
Can I use the external buttons when the S5 is password protected?
If the Series 5 has been password protected, or Owner Information has
been set to be displayed at switch on, then by default Voice Memos
cannot be kicked off by the external buttons.
To use Voice Memos under these conditions do the following. Before
closing down press the external record button until the machine
bleeps. The Record application is launched but is labelled as 'Voice
notes'. Now switch off. The machine will still respond to the external
buttons to make recordings even with password protection or Owner
The Series 5 won't accept my password, what's wrong?
Passwords are case-sensitive and unfortunately there is no indication
of Caps Lock on the Password screen. Make sure that you are entering
the password with the correct case. If this fails press Fn-Caps and
Can I remove those toolbars and slider bars on the screen?
Yes, in all applications you can have a complete screen full of
important information without extra "gadgets".
Why do some programs only use four shades of grey?
The screen's sixteen shades of grey mode takes considerably more power
than when only four shades are used. Where sixteen shades are not
needed software authors will tend to use the more economical mode.
How do I kill a task that doesn't respond to Ctrl-E?
If an errant task does not respond to Ctrl-E when you attempt to close
it switch to the 'open files / programs' task list (Ctrl+System),
select the task and press Shift+Ctrl+E. This will display a warning
that this option is for 'Emergency use only'. Clicking on the 'Yes'
button should kill the task. In addition some OPL programs can be
killed with Ctrl-Esc.
If the above fails and the task is still running, switch to the task's
screen and press Fn+Shift+Ctrl+K. This should kill anything. Note that
using this key sequence while displaying the Series 5's main screen
will cause a soft reboot of the EIKON shell. Do not try this without
closing all running applications (and preferably backing up to
CompactFlash or a PC.) This will lead to loss of your screen settings
(zoom level, title bar position, information displayed with icons) but
should not lose any data apart from the previous battery usage.
Occasionally the system time will be lost. However it is common to
find that a significant amount of memory is freed up by a soft reboot.
Can I browse the Series 5 ROM?
Yes. First check your system preferences and ensure that "Show hidden
files" and "Show 'System' folder" are both checked. Then from the
system screen bring up the Browse window by pressing Ctrl-Tab instead
of just Tab. When the file browser is displayed click on the drive
letter and select 'Z'. You can then browse the machine's ROM.
Returning from the file browser will leave system screen showing the
How do I grab a screen image?
Setup the screen you wish to grab and press Fn-Ctrl-Shift-S. A
dialogue will be displayed prompting for a filename and grey scale or
monochrome. Once saved, start a new document in Sketch and "Merge
in..." as 'EPOC Picture'.
How can I convert images from/to BMP?
Psion have provided BMCONV.EXE on the PsiWin 2.x CD-ROM in the Extras
directory. (Alternatively, you can download it from their web site).
This is a DOS based program, but must be launched from a DOS session
from within Windows. At the DOS prompt, just type BMCONV and you will
see the short instructions. Basically, this tool allows you to either
merge multiple BMP files into one Psion MBM (Multi BitMap) file or the
other way around.
BMCONV is commonly used to convert PC graphics in the BMP format to S5
Sketch files so that they can be included in S5 documents.
First use BMCONV to convert the .BMP file to a .MBM file (containing a
single bitmap). Then in Sketch select the 'File' menu and click on
'More'. In the sub-menu select 'Merge in...' and in the 'Merge in'
file selection dialog change the file type to 'EPOC picture' and
select the .MBM file. Finally select 'More' from the 'File' menu again
and then select 'Save as' to save the image as an S5 Sketch.
Remember that existing sketches can't be directly included in other
documents but you can include a new sketch in a document and then
merge in an existing graphic in the way described above.
What is Citrix?
Citrix allows Windows 95/NT 32-bit applications to be split between a
remote server and a thin-client. The remote server is responsible for
executing the processor intensive parts of the application while the
thin-client, in this case the Series 5, is only responsible for
displaying the application's output and accepting input from the user.
In practice this means that users will be able to run heavy-duty
Windows applications on their Series 5s. The Psion will be responsible
for the user interface and will communicate with a remote Server via
land-line or wireless link. The server's processing power and database
connectivity thus become available to the Series 5 user.
Is Citrix available for the Series 5?
Not yet, it is still in development by Psion Software. (David Nalley,
Are there any known bugs?
The problems listed in this section were found in the ROM Version 1.00
machines. At the time of writing Psion have not released a definitive
list of which of these problems have been fixed in ROM Version 1.01.
See the section below for details of the bugs known to have been
Printed Agendas do not contain dates when some international date
formats have been selected. Double click the 'International' icon in
the Control Panel and set the date format to day/month/year to ensure
dates are printed.
Create an Anniversary for any date other than the 1st or 2nd of the
month and give it a ten day preview alarm. Edit it and click the
[More...] button. If the 'Specify Start Year' box is not checked the
day of the month is set to '2' regardless of its previous value.
The Print Range setting does not work. Regardless of the page range
set Word will always print the whole document.
In Sheet selecting a column and then Paste Special Formats will cause
the application to hang.
Entering the (illegal) formula =SUM(A1:A2+A3) causes Sheet to crash.
If the referenced cells contained numerical values the spreadsheet
will be corrupt and will not reload into Sheet.
When using Freeze panes any calculated value in the frozen pane is not
updated when the values it references change. The actual value in the
cell is recalculated but the new value is not redrawn on screen.
Redrawing the cell can be forced by selecting the cell and clicking
the Bold button twice.
The TIME() function displays the time incorrectly for some values. For
example =TIME(13,50,0) displays '13:49'.
If the right shift key and any key of the QWERTY row and any key in
the ZXCVBNM row are held down simultaneously (for example when
attempting to type 'CE' fast) all text typed while editing the entry
is erased, as if the Esc key had been pressed. The same sequence
causes an 'Abandon Changes' dialogue to be displayed in Data.
Highlight a range of cells (for example A1:A6) and then hold down
[Ctrl] to select another cell (C6) so that a non-contiguous set of
cells are highlighted. Clicking on AutoSum causes Sheet to crash.
Precedence of '^' and '*' is reversed so that =2*3^2 returns 36 rather
than 18. The on-line Help cites the correct precedence.
The formula =MIN(2,MAX(3,4)) returns 1 (regardless of the figures
There is a limit of around 25 fields for records in the Data
application. This can prevent S3x Data files being imported into the
Series 5 database.
Embed a sheet into a data record. Double click on the sheet in the
'Cards' view and edit the sheet. Click on [Done] and the sheet appears
to be saved to the record. However if you switch to the 'List' view
and back again the changes are lost. You must select 'Edit Entry'
before making changes that you wish to be saved.
Export as text
If the text of any field in itself contains any text-delimiter, this
delimiter is not doubled on output. Hence such a text-file cannot be
re-imported in the data-application without manual editing; eg: Peter
"Pete" should be exported as Peter ""Pete"", but it is not.
Import from text
Problem with fields containing linebreaks. (such as Address:) An
imported linebreak cannot be re-exported. (!)
It seems that if PsiWin is running in the background and the Series 5
is connected via the link cable, then it is impossible for the Series
5 to be permanently switched off. This happens despite selection of
manual connection (no autosearching) and the link being turned off at
the Series 5. It seems that the serial port of the PC is still polled,
the Series 5 is detected and then switched. This completely overrides
all power management settings on the Series 5. It results in flat
batteries overnight, swiftly followed by the back-up battery and then
This even happens if manual connection only is selected. The only way
to overcome this is to either close PsiWin or suspend it by right
clicking on the PsiWin icon on the Win95/NT system tray.
When converting between the Data application and a PC database (in my
case Access) both text and memo fields are converted to text fields of
length 255 characters. (Even though on the S5 the maximum allowed
length for text field is 250)
An Access table with more than 16 fields cannot be converted to S5,
probably due to a limit of around 4000 bytes upon total recordsize.
Which bugs does ROM version 1.01 fix?
Series 5s began shipping with ROM version 1.01 around the beginning of
October 1997. Psion haven't released a list of problems that ROM
version 1.01 fixes but the following have been reported by users:
Selecting a range of pages to print now outputs only those pages and
not the entire documents.
Frozen cells are now updated correctly.
A problem with the application hanging when overruns occured has now
What is the difference between ROM version 1.01 and 1.1?
ROM version 1.01 started shipping in new Series 5s around the
beginning of October 1997 and fixes a number of bugs present in the
ROM version 1.1 will ship in the first half of 1998 and will include
major improvements in functionality - though Psion have not divulged
what these will be. Existing machines can be upgraded to the new
version by Psion for a fee. The ROM is held on a plug-in daughter
board in the centre of the machine. Access to the board requires
disassembly of the machine and while users will be able to swap the
ROMs themselves it will void their warranty.
2.3 Programming questions
Is the programming manual included?
Yes, the programming manual is available on the PsiWin CD-ROM in
electronic format. It is in MS Word format but Psion have also
released it in HTML format on their EPOCWorld web site.
How is OPL enhanced?
OPL32 uses almost the same commands as OPL16. Some have been removed
and others are new. Porting OPL16 programs to the Series5 is a more or
less complicated task depending on your original program's complexity.
CALL and OS for example are gone now, so you'd have to find another
OPL32 is extended with the help of OPX (OPL eXtensions). These are
external "library" files programmed in C++. There are several OPXs
already included in the S5's ROM.
Do the old 64k process limit and 512k system mem limit still hold?
No, you can now use as much space as you want with your application.
System memory is not limited to 512k either.
Why does Translate highlight a space as an 'Illegal Character'?
Unlike the Series 3 Shift-Space is considered an illegal character in
OPL source. Shift-Space inserts a non-breaking space, regardless of
the status of the caps lock, and looks identical to a normal space on
screen. To make non-breaking spaces easier to identify tick the 'Show
spaces' option in Tools Preferences... This shows spaces as dots and
shifted spaces as ordinary spaces.
All pages coming from http://www.geocities.com/SiliconValley/8130/
(and this is one of them!) are copyright 1997 Daniel Pfund.