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Utility pack

User Manual

This is Part 3 of the original user manual that came with the Psion Organiser One.


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Table of Contents

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There are two solid-state drives for datapaks in the back of your Organiser. (See Figure 1.1. and 1.2.) When you first purchase your Organiser, drive number one contains a real datapak. A dummy datapak is fitted in drive number two to protect the electrical connectors. For the same reason you should always keep a real or dummy datapak (or a program pack) in each drive.

Changing A Datapak

Always switch off your Organiser before you remove or fit a datapak.

The datapaks slide into and out of their drives, and have an easy-grip outer surface. Take care not to press the ON/CLEAR key when removing or fitting a datapak. (This is easily avoided by laying the machine face down on a flat surface, since the keyboard is slightly recessed.) Simply press down and out on the ribbed portion of a datapak to slide out of its drive. To fit a datapak, push it into the required drive until you feel it click home.

Use the white label on your datapak to mark it for identification later.

Two Datapaks

The 'SAVE' and 'FIND' activities can be directed at either of the datapak drives and the number of the target drive is shown in the activity indicator, i.e. 'FIND1:', 'FIND2:', 'SAVE1:' and 'SAVE2:'. To move from 'FIND1:' to 'FIND2:' press the FIND key again. If you press FIND repeatedly, Organiser selects datapak drives one and two alternately. Similarly for save: Organiser checks which datapak drives contain datapaks, and only offers available options.

Once you have used a particular drive, the Organiser assumes you want to continue using the same one until you select the other drive or switch off.

Re-Using A Datapak

Although datapaks store your information permanently, it is possible to clear an entire datapak using a special process called formatting. This is achieved by controlled exposure of the datapak in ultra-violet light in a purpose-built machine, the Psion Formatter. The reformatted datapak will be completely blank and read fur re-use. Note that the white label on the underside of each datapak is to protect it from excessive exposure to light and must be removed before formatting can occur.

Copying Between Datapaks

You may wish to copy a record from one datapak to another. Perhaps you are passing on an address to a friend, reorganising your data storage or preparing to re-use a datapak.

To copy a record, fit the two datapaks, find the record in one and save it to the other. For example: Imagine you have a record in the datapak in drive one which you want to copy into the datapak in drive two. Press FIND to make 'FIND1:' appear. Now find your record in the normal way. When it is displayed, press SAVE until 'SAVE2:' appears to the left of your record. Press EXECUTE to save the record in the datapak in drive two. The copying process is now complete. You will be able to do this with all your record except those you have erased.

You may wish to transfer your record from the original datapak into a new one of equal or greater storage capacity. If your original datapak contains any erased records, you will save space by this process because erased records will not be transferred.

If you want to copy all records in one datapak into another, set the Organiser to 'FIND1:' and 'SAVE2:' or vice versa before you start so that it automatically chooses the correct datapak each time you find or save a record.

For example, to copy all the records from the datapak in drive one to the datapak in drive two, press FIND until 'FIND1:' appears, then SAVE until 'SAVE2:' appears. Now, press FIND, EXECUTE, SAVE, EXECUTE and repeat this sequence until you return to the first record. (Remember to note the first record you copy.)


When a datapak is too full to accept the text you are trying to save, Organiser displays the message " DATAPAK FULL" . To make any more records you need another datapak. Your Organiser is originally fitted with an eight kilobyte (8K) datapak, which can hold 10.900 characters, but you can buy datapaks with greater storage capacities.


This message means the Organiser is having a difficulty accessing the datapak. You should not see it unless your datapak has suffered physical damage. The only likely exception is if you have tried to save after receiving the " BATTERY LOW" message in which case you will be able to find the existing records, but no more can be saved on this datapak. It is advisable to transfer the records into another datapak. The corrupted datapak can then be reclaimed in a Psion Formatter.

Pressing ON/CLEAR clears such error messages so that you can continue.


When you are entering information you want to save, think about finding it and structure it to give maximum retrieval efficiency. Points to remember:

  • Include the word that you will most likely want to use as a search clue. (For instance, if you record the name and phone number of a good local plumber, include the word 'plumber' so you can find his phone number when you need him, although you've forgotten his name.)
  • When a record is recalled, you see its first sixteen characters immediately and because you scan it backwards, its last few characters are instantly accessible too. Use both groups for the information you will need most often, remembering that you need to know quickly which record you have found. (For instance, if you are looking up your personal classification of all the hotels you know in a certain town, you will probably see your comment immediately, and if that is favourable, flick back to see the phone number.
  • If you want to categorise several records, which do not share an obvious search clue, so that you can retrieve them as a list, preface each one with the same unusual character series. (For instance, when you are entering records of things you must do this month, you could start them all with QDQ.)
  • The answer to a calculation can only be saved if you edit it. You could usefully do this by adding a label, to give it a meaningful identity. For example, supposing you have calculated the floor area, in square yards, of a kitchen which measures 15 feet by 12 feet, and 'CALC:15*12/9=20' is displayed. You might, for instance, edit the result to add the label 'KITCHEN FLOOR' at the beginning and 'SQ YDS', or whatever abbreviation you prefer, at the end.
    Now you can save the information and be able to find it easily when you need it. If you had several records of floor area you could enter 'FLOOR' or 'SQ' or 'YDS' as a search clue to find them all in a quick succession. To find the kitchen area in particular, it would be quicker to search for '*KITCH'.


Blank Display

If you cannot see anything in the display when you switch on, follow these steps until something appears in the display:

  1. Adjust the contrast control over the full range.
  2. Disconnect battery, reconnect securely and try again.
  3. Try a new battery.
  4. Remove any datapaks and start again.

No Response To Keyboard

If the display is alright but the keys seem to have no effect:

  1. Make sure that you are not trying to type more than two hundred characters on a line.
  2. Press ON/CLEAR a few times and try again.
  3. Disconnect the battery, wait for one minute and then reconnect it.


Dimensions (with protective cover closed)
  Length 142.0 mm
  Width 78.0 mm
  Depth 29.3 mm
Weight (as Sold)
  225 grams  
Power Consumption (Milliwatts At 9V Battery Input)
  Machine Off 0.2
  Machine On 40.0
  Datapak access (during execution of 'SAVE' or 'FIND')
  one datapak 500.0
  two datapaks 800.0
  Sixteen character alpha-numeric (dot-matrix) liquid crystal display.
  A total of thirty- six keys, comprising:
  Editing keys: SHIFT, DELETE, SPACE, << and >>
  Character keys: A to Z    or
    0 to 9, arithmetical symbols and punctuation.
    Significance selected with SHIFT.
  HD6301X eight-bit CMOS microprocessor chip with 0.9216 MHz clock. (3.6864 crystal frequency source)
  Total 14 Kbytes with one datapak
  ROM 4 Kbytes (internal to microprocessor)
  RAM 2 Kbytes
  EPROM 8 Kbytes (datapak, extendable)
  CMOS real time clock with 32768 Hz crystal frequency source
8K Datapak
  Capacity: 8 Kbytes (10900 characters of packed data)
  Storage medium: EPROM (Erasable programmable read only memory)
  'Find' time: worst case with full datapak 5 secs max.
  'Save' time: 4-8 characters per second according to battery age.
  Data Retention: 'Mean Time to Failure' 50 years at temperatures up to 100° C
  Formatting: 30 minutes in Psion Formatter prepares datapak for re-use.
  Life: Can be formatted up to 100 times.


Psion has a policy of continuous product development and improvements. Small modifications arising from this are not necessarily documented in this manual.


CONTRAST CONTROL WHEEL  A knurled wheel in the right-hand side of the Organiser viewed from operating position. See Fig. 1.3. Provides display adjustment to suit different conditions. Rotate it clockwise to darken the display, and anticlockwise to lighten.

DATAPAK Removable cartridge for permanent and portable information storage. Re-usable after formatting in Psion Formatter.

SOLID-STATE-DRIVES  Drives one and two in the back of the Organiser provide electrical connection for datapaks or program packs. Do not leave them exposed. Do not try to save records when the "BATTERY LOW" warning has appeared. Always switch off before removing or fitting a datapak.


ON/CLEAR  Switches Organiser on. Also: press to resume normal operation after setting clock, or to clear current line. If line is already empty, resets Organiser, recalling clock. Useful as an ESCAPE route if you are stuck.

MODE/HOME  Selects 'ENTER', 'OFF', 'CALC' in succession and where appropriate 'ERASE'. When there is information in the current line, press this key to return cursor to the start of line and see the activity indicator.

SAVE  Press to select 'SAVE' activity when you want to store information on a datapak.

FIND  Press to select 'FIND' when you wish to access your stored information. Current line is cleared and last search clue shown.

<< and >>   Allow you to read backwards and forwards along the current line. Also control position of cursor within display window. Press either of these keys to introduce cursor when clock is displayed so you can set time and date.

CHARACTER KEYS  White upper labels show the alphabet. Press to type information For numbers and symbols shown in yellow you must press SHIFT.

SHIFT  Press to select numbers and symbols shown in yellow. Press it again to return to letters.

SPACE  Press to type a space.

DELETE  Press to delete the character above the cursor or to the left of the curser if at end of text.

EXECUTE  Press to carry out the selected activity.


You now have the information you need to make full and efficient use of the Organiser. Any Psion products you buy to expand the capabilities of your Organiser will contain full instructions for their use.


Your Psion Organiser (excluding battery) carries a one year warranty against mechanical and electrical failure other  than the case of misuse or damage arising from negligence. There are no user-serviceable parts within your Organiser or datapak, and any attempt to dismantle or repair your Organiser other than by an appointed Psion Service Agent will invalidate this warranty.

Should you experience any problems consult this booklet with particular reference to the troubleshooting section. If you find no solution to your problem send your Organiser in suitably protective packaging to:

Service Dept.
Psion Processors Ltd.
22 Dorset Square

We can accept no responsibility for goods damaged in transit to us. This warranty does not affect statutory rights.