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P > PSION > Organiser II   

Organiser II

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 legend "XP".

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 It was superseded as a PDA in 1991 when Psion brought out the Series 3 range, but continued to be manufactured until the late 1990s.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 beyond repair.

Thanks to Damian Walker for information and picture.

NAME  Organiser II
TYPE  Pocket
ORIGIN  United Kingdom
YEAR  1986
KEYBOARD  36-key Alphabetic
CPU  HD6303X
SPEED  0.92MHz
RAM  CM: 8 KB, XP: 16 KB, LA/LZ: 32 KB, LZ64: 64 KB
ROM  CM/XP/LA: 32 KB, LZ/LZ64: 64 KB
TEXT MODES  CM/XP/LA: 2 lines x 16 chars, LZ/LZ64: 4 lines x 20 chars
SOUND  Buzzer
SIZE / WEIGHT  142 (D) x 78 (W) x 29 (H) mm / 250g
I/O PORTS  Proprietary
POWER SUPPLY  9v/.1A battery or mains
PERIPHERALS  Proprietary memory expansions
PRICE  CM: £79.00 - LZ64: £179.00

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