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Psion 1 Homepage


Utility pack

User Manual

It wasn't easy to get hold of the original Organiser One Manual. Finally Evan Koblentz, editor of the Computer Collector Newsletter helped me out.

The document contained a scan of a paper copy of the original manual! Not really good quality, but the printouts were clearly readable. This explains why a few images don't look as brilliant as they should.

The 'screenshot' figures are reproduced by means of HTML and CSS. They closely resemble the original drawings, at least in modern browsers. (NS4 is none.)

Since OCR wouldn't work, the whole text was typed. I paid close attention to making an exact copy, so what you see below is really the contents of the original manual that came with the Organiser back in the mid '80ies. The layout is slightly more stylish, though.

printer friendly version


The Psion Organiser is a sophisticated pocket computer containing digital electronic components. It has been designed for ease of use, but to ensure that you make the most of its capabilities, we suggest you read this booklet.

To avoid any possible damage your Organiser should not be exposed to extremes of temperature or humidity. Do not subject it to hard knocks or excessive force, nor use volatile fluids when cleaning the case.


Part 1

Where Things Are
Getting Started
Clock Setting
Switching Off
Basic Concepts
Operating Framework

Part 2

Information Editing

Part 3

Notes About Datapaks
Hints About Records
Technical Data
Reference Section

A Psion Organiser Pocket Computer.

One 8k datapak for information storage.

One dummy datapak.

Six spare datapak labels.

This instruction booklet.

Registration card.

Battery (only with direct mail orders).


The Psion Organiser that you have just purchased is a computer for your pocket - an expandable system with a micro processor significantly more advanced than those commonly used in micros 200 times its size.

Your Organiser has two unique and versatile 'solid state drives' concealed under its protective sliding case, and these matchbox sized units are key to the open-ended power of the Organiser.

Supplied with the Organiser, in one of these drives, is a datapak which can permanently store over 10.000 characters, allowing you to use it for such information as diary engagements, telephone numbers, expenses, train times and exchange rates.

Additional datapaks allow you to create an infinitely large and secure personal information base, which, when used in conjunction with program packs from the software library, provides unbeatable processing power in your pocket.

The Organiser is also a sophisticated calculator, and can carry out complex calculations involving up to 200 characters and two levels of brackets. You may enter and edit both data and formulae exactly as you would write them.

So, thanks to your Psion Organiser, you can now walk around quite comfortably with a computer in your pocket.


Fig. 1.   Rear View With Protective Case Removed

  1. Drive one containing datapak for storing information.
  2. Dummy datapak in drive two, protecting space for another datapak or a program pack.
  3. Contrast control wheel.
  4. Battery cover.
  5. Tab for removing battery cover

Fig. 2.   Front View With Keyboard Exposed

  1. Display window.
  2. Keyboard.
  3. Protective case.
  4. Protective case slides down from here to expose the keyboard
  5. A spring catch holds protective case on. A firm pull slides case off.


Fitting The Battery

Your Organiser uses any 9 Volt PP3 size battery. For a longer operating life the use of alkaline a rechargeable batteries is recommended. You should not use a mains adapter because it may damage your Organiser.

Grip the protective case (Fig.2.3) just below the separation point (Fig.2.4) and pull it firmly downwards until it comes right off the Organiser. Find the tab of the battery cover at the back of the Organiser (Fig.1.5). Pull the tab to remove the cover, and tip out the battery connector. Connect the battery and tuck it well into its compartment. To replace the battery cover, slip its lip into the corresponding groove just inside the battery compartment. Clip the tab into place and your organiser is ready to use.


Look at the keyboard before you continue. Most of the keys have labels above and below them. The use of the SHIFT key allows you to move between the alphabet shown in white and the numbers shown in yellow. The blue symbols shown below some keys are only for use with program packs.

The first two keys on the top row of the keyboard have red labels above and below them to indicate the different effects each can produce, depending on when you press it. These keys will be referred as ON/CLEAR and MODE/HOME respectively.

This booklet gives you the relevant information about the keys, as you need it. For a summery of key functions, see the reference section.

Switching On

Press the ON/CLEAR key, the top left hand key on the keyboard. The clock display will appear in the window. If you cannot see it, you may need to adjust the contrast, using the contrast wheel (see Figure 1.3.).

Experiment to find the setting that suites you best. (If you accidentally press another key as well as ON/CLEAR you will see a different display. Press ON/CLEAR once or twice to recover the clock display.)

If the message " LOW BATTERY" appears when you switch on, the battery voltage is too low and you need to fit a new one as soon as possible. Pressing ON/CLEAR clears the message and produces the clock display. Incidentally, the clock runs for fifteen seconds after the battery is disconnected (provided the machine was switched off first), so you need not reset it if you connect the battery within this period.


Reading from left to right the display shows the time (by the twenty-four hour clock) in hours, minutes and seconds, and the date. As soon as the battery is connected, the clock starts running from midnight on December 31st. The time you see in the display depends on the time elapsed since you fitted the battery.

To set the time and date, simply edit the clock display. Press either of the chevron keys, <<  or  >>  and a dash, called a cursor, appears under the hours in the display.

00:09:12 JAN 1 

You can move the cursor between the various segments of the display with the chevron keys. >> moves to the right and << moves to the left.

Position the cursor beneath the segment you want to alter. Now Press A to advance that segment by one unit. Because the clock is still running, what you do to one segment affects the others as natural updating occurs between seconds and minutes, minutes and hours etc.

For example if you press A when the cursor is under the minutes in this display

00:59:02 JAN 1 

the display automatically changes to

01:00:02 JAN 1 

If you want to stop the clock to prevent this natural updating, press B. Now you can alter each segment independently.

When you are ready to move on, press ON/CLEAR. Organiser will clear the cursor from the clock display and the clock resumes normal running.



Pressing << or >> when the clock display is present selects clock setting and brings in the cursor.


Pressing << or >> moves the cursor left or right. Pressing A adds one unit to the selection on the display above the cursor.

Pressing ON/CLEAR returns the clock to normal running, and removes the cursor.

Pressing B stops the clock until the next time ON/CLEAR is pressed.


Press the MODE/HOME key repeatedly until 'OFF:_' is displayed. If you now press EXECUTE the display will disappear and the machine is off. (Press ON/CLEAR to switch on again.) If the Organiser is left on for five minutes without any keys being pressed it will switch itself off.

For instance:

00:09:12 JAN 1 

press MODE/HOME twice





The Organiser is a microcomputer dedicated to handling your vital day-to-day information in a powerful but simple way. Information is treated in single discrete lines, each line being up to two hundred characters long and containing any combination of letters, numbers, symbols and spaces. You can think of it as a list of items on an oversized notepad, each item on a new line.

Manipulating this information is simplicity itself. Select an activity, such as 'SAVE' or 'FIND', which is then indicated on the left of the current line, and press EXECUTE to action it. In this way, your information can be stored in total security in a removable datapak (see Figure 1.1.) from which it can be retrieved whenever required. Each line stored in your datapak is called a record.

When you look at the display, (see Figure 2.1.) you are effectively looking through a window at the current line of information. Using the << and >> keys, you can move this window back and forth along the line to view any part of it.

For example, your display may look like this:


where the line contains a full London address and telephone number.


Organiser keeps you informed via the display, while you communicate with the Organiser using the keyboard.


Menu of Activities

The activities available are:

'ENTER' for general purpose information entry and editing
'SAVE' for saving your data permanently in a removable cartridge called datapak
'FIND' for retrieving records you have saved; providing access via any aspect of their contents
'CALC' for calculations; allows you to alter the contents before and after execution
'OFF' for switching your Organiser off
'ERASE' for cancelling records; only available when appropriate

These provide powerful information storage and retrieval facilities as well as a sophisticated calculator. Further activities and specialist functions are available through special program packs. For details see the list of available extensions, enclosed with your Organiser.

Selecting An Activity

Organiser reserves a space to the left of the information line for an indication of current activity. This indicator is separated by a colon from the contents of the line.

The most important activities, 'SAVE' and 'FIND', are selected by pressing the SAVE and find buttons respectively. The others are selected by pressing the MODE/HOME key. Press MODE/HOME repeatedly now to take the Organiser round a succession of activities. Watch the indicator change from






back to


and so on.

An activity is current as soon as its indicator appears. However that only shows what the Organiser intends to do with your line of information. To convert that intention to action, you must press EXECUTE.

Organiser allows you to choose various activities in turn, using the MODE/HOME and SAVE keys, while it holds the current line to be processed in each of the ways you choose. Your line of information can be anything: data to be stored; a record just retrieved; or a calculation to be performed. Whatever it is, Organiser assumes you want to continue using the same line unless you signify otherwise by pressing FIND or ON/CLEAR or switching off.

The current line is not visible when 'OFF' is selected, but reappears in the next appropriate activity. However, if you actually switch the machine off it forgets the current line. Any information you want to keep must be saved beforehand.


EXECUTE is the action key. Organiser waits for you to press EXECUTE before it carries out a calculation, saves or finds a record, or switches off, according to which of these activities you have selected.

Remember that actioning 'SAVE' with the EXECUTE key will make a permanent record of the current line in your datapak.


With these basics in mind, you can choose to experiment, or read on for detailed instructions.