In 1986 Psion launched their second pocket computer, the Organiser II.
Initially there were two models: the 8K RAM model CM and the 16K model
XP. Both had a 32K ROM containing simplistic software, including a card
file database, diary and clock. Less simplistic was the OPL programming
language, a semi-compiled structured language allowing full use of the
machine's features. It was this that principally guaranteed the
machine's success. Later, the XP was upgraded to 32K RAM for the U.S.
market, and given the model name LA, though the cases still bore the
In 1989, two upgraded models were released, the LZ and LZ64. These
featured an enlarged 20x4 display, a choice of 32K or 64K RAM, and a 64K
ROM containing more sophisticated diary and card file software, along
with a notepad application. The OPL language was upgraded with a few
extra statements to take advantage of the machine's capabilities (and to
rectify a few omissions from the CM/XP's built-in language).
Expansion was through a proprietary connector in the top of the machine,
protected by a sliding door. Bar code readers and a thermal printer
were available. Memory expansion was through a pair of expansion slots
in the back of the machine. "Rampaks" were simple battery-backed RAM
expansions. "Datapaks" were EPROMs which acted as write-once-read-many
drives and were formatted with an external formatter device - a simple
UV light with timer that erased the EPROMS. "Flashpaks" were EEPROMs,
which acted similarly to Datapaks but could be formatted using the Psion
itself. Software was supplied on Datapaks, or occasionally PROMs. The
model CM could use only Datapaks.
The Organiser II range was used in a wide variety of environments,
including retail and industrial environments in which its hardy case was
particularly valuable. It was superseded as a PDA in 1991 when Psion
brought out the Series 3 range, but continued to be manufactured until
the late 1990s. Their robust design may well allow them to continue
functioning long after the later Series 3 and 5 range machines are
Thanks to Damian Walker for information and picture.