back to article RIP Psion PLC: You're with Motorola now

Motorola Solutions - the profitable bit of Motorola that wasn't gobbled by Google - has completed its acquisition of Psion PLC, and can now start integrating the company. The purchase was announced in June, but it's taken a while to complete despite the £129m offer being unanimously recommended by the Psion board. Motorola will …

COMMENTS

This topic is closed for new posts.
Anonymous Coward

Plus lets not forget Psion's early contributions to the Sinclair machines.

They also had a trademark on the name Netbook.

4
0
Silver badge

I'm pretty sure they invented the PDA so that Hungry Horace could better schedule his skiing trips.

6
0
Anonymous Coward

Both their work on the Spectrum (VU3d - 3d Modelling on the Z80? :)) and QL (The Psion Suite) were amazing.

But the Horace games can never be beaten as playable classics!

1
0
Anonymous Coward

netBook™ & netPad™

And netPad™, the perfect competitor name to the iPad. I wonder why no one used that term, as they did with netbooks?

1
0
Silver badge
Linux

Could have been a contender

Sent from my LZ64

2
1
DJV

Reminiscence time...

My Psion 5MX is still sitting in a drawer, damn good machine in its time. Keyboard has never been beaten, sigh...

7
0
Anonymous Coward

Re: Reminiscence time...

I was temped to downvote you. Unless it is faulty, it should be in use like mine!

I did find some time ago on the Internet an article that compared a Apple airbook laptop thing with a Psion Series 7. IIRC, the only bad thing it said about the Psion was lack of wireless, but I presume if one had a compatible mobile that wouldn't have been a problem?

1
0
Thumb Up

End of an era

What a great device the LZ64 was. I bought mine in the late 80's from Dixons for the princely sum of £199. It came with the Oxford English dictionary if my memory serves me right. Still dig it out from the drawer ever now and then.

0
0

This post has been deleted by its author

Anonymous Coward

very fond memories of the Psion 1, I've still got it somewhere

0
0
Anonymous Coward

Personally, I found the Psion "I" useless. Things kicked off with the Psion II, though - that was simply awesome. I still have 2, but one is starting to have display problems, and without spare zebra strips I don't think I can repair it (zebra strips connect the display edge to the PCB).

Actually, I think I'll flog them. I have a gazillion data packs (amongst which 2x 256k Flash), the swipe reader, the barcode reader and even an interface for a Mitutoya digital calliper which I built almost 25 years ago (must check if I can still find a program that uses it - I remember I had to include some assembler into an OPL program to read it :) ).

0
0
Anonymous Coward

The Psion 1 is useless in the same way the ZX80 was useless

1
0
Silver badge

Psion was kinda dead anyway

I got a 3c and later got the 5mx and boy was it awesome. Not only the keyboard and touchscreen but also the stuff you could do with it. I even ran Norton Commander on my 5mx. Still, from there on it went downhill pretty fast where consumer products were concerned.

With a little more innovation I can't help wonder if things couldn't have been different.

1
0
Holmes

Re: Psion was kinda dead anyway

My Psion 3A still works despite being dragged on a hiking trip 15 years ago and getting dunked in goats piss in the process, none of my apple machines managed to live that long and the worse they had to suffer was obsoleteness.

1
0
Anonymous Coward

The Irony

Of all the companies to end up owning Psion, it had to be Motorola, the company there at the very beginning of Psion's decline. Thor and Odin must be turning in their graves.

To this day, I will not buy a Motorola phone, though admittedly it's not as though they're good enough for me to be missing out on anything...

3
3
Nev
FAIL

Why...

... has there never been a worthy successor to the '5?

Even after all this time there is nothing that compares to it in terms of design, usability, battery life and software integration.

2
0

This post has been deleted by its author

Anonymous Coward

5mx still going strong

I still use my 5mx, backed up by the emulator running on WINE on Linux. Incomparable battery life, unbeaten by any smartphone today, Agenda and Data applications simply just work, and a fabulous keyboard. No decent replacement yet, in my book.

I am tempted to try an Open Pandora, but my ideal would be something that runs the 5mx applications with the 5mx keyboard, and with some updated technologies: and e-Ink screen, for example, USB mass storage host & client, and (possibly) low-power Bluetooth. I definitely don't want an IP stack, or anything that allows outside crackers to crack into the machine - hence the (possibly) around Bluetooth. Having decent encryption of user-entered data would be good too.

I hoped that the phonebook functionality would be divorced from the phone telephony side of things, so that I could look up a contact in the database, the hit a key that would communicated via Bluetooth with a (dumbish) phone to dial the offered number, but that was not to be.

Ah well, I'm just a bearded and sandal wearing techie with dreams.

2
0
Bronze badge
Boffin

an excuse to post my PDA collection pictures again

http://powerlord.smugmug.com/Gadgets/PDA-cabinet

spot the series 5. Could have sworn I had a revo and a series 1, but just checked and not... need to remedy that!

can anyone guess every one correctly ?

0
0
Thumb Up

Re: an excuse to post my PDA collection pictures again

I was going to have a go at naming then, and then I saw an Atari PDA (!?) and gave up!

Nice collection, thanks for sharing the photos.

Now let's Google 'Atari PDA'.

0
0

Re: an excuse to post my PDA collection pictures again

That would be the Atari Portfolio - I have one keeping my apple newton company...

Great little DOS based portable.

0
0
Anonymous Coward

Re: an excuse to post my PDA collection pictures again

I think saw a Compaq iPaq PocketPC (tm) of some flavour but I don't think I saw an HP95LX (early days, DOS and Lotus 123 in ROM, where I started with handhelds) or a slightly later HP Jornada 720 (nice hardware, decent touchscreen for the time, OK keyboard, shame about Windows CE). Or did I miss them?

0
0

Re: an excuse to post my PDA collection pictures again

So you bought the other Amstrad PenPad! Did you ever actually use it for anything? Still have mine in a drawer after replacing it with a 5mx (which is not used as much it should be, but in use every now and then).

0
0
Silver badge
Facepalm

"and the company that, argues our own Andrew Orlowski, could have been the UK's answer to Sony."

Bit like Jeremy Clarkson and cars then? He buys it, it suddenly becomes uncool

4
1
Bronze badge
Go

We had a customer bring in a couple of the lovely 5mx models recently. Had a small issue I could easily fix thanks to its CF slot.

Said owner uses this daily for recording a load of architectural stuff (about as much as I understood of what he does).

They're still going strong for many people..

0
0

I used my netbook on a train 18 months ago when I got upgraded to 1st class free and actually got asked where I'd got it from by a couple of business people. I was just testing if out would work on the wifi. They loved the instant on and keyboard. Late Psioneers!

0
0

Pioneering

Back in the late 90s I sent my first mobile email from a train using a Revo, hooked up to my Nokia 8210 phone over infrared. Good times.

1
0
Coat

Lucky guys, all of you... *mutter*

Never had a chance of owning (or using) any of those early devices, but it is understandable that those just *works* unlike today's hi-tech gimmickry gadgets which tend to give issues whether these be battery life, wifi (yes, I'm pointing at iOS6 specifically) or just plain usefulness.

Had the 48k ZX Spectrum though, does it count? :D

Seems that old-tech still have the upper hand regarding reliability and usefulness over today's fancy bling.

On my way to play Manic Miner and Horace in the Park.

1
0
Megaphone

Netbook keyboard, please license it!

Pls pls Motorola let other people devices with that Netbook form factor, including that fantastic keyboard.

Even today, no other device of that size has had a keyboard so luxurious.

PLEASE :)

1
1
Unhappy

Very typically English

It's very typically English to have something superb and then not have it fulfil it's potential. What would a Jonny Ive designed Psion been like?

2
0
Thumb Down

Re: Very typically English

Expensive and rubbish?

1
0

Re: Very typically English

My eyes skated from one line to another there, and I thought you were suggesting a Jonny English designed Psion!

2
0
Happy

Psion 3A

I had one of those.

Plus side - taking it to America and amazing the people I showed it to how our British tech was doing

Minus side - it wiping a cash card because I left it underneath it's speaker.

Happy(ish) days

0
0

oooohh - so this is why Motorola laid off thousands with Google planning to lay off thousands more engineers. They needed the money to buy another company. Yup, sounds good to me. Throw the talent to the curb because they're done with them.

0
1
Anonymous Coward

Different Motorola

Like most people, you seem to not be aware that Motorola Solutions has NOTHING to do with cell phones at all.

The whole consumer side of the business was split off and became Motorola Mobility and was promptly bought by Google.

Motorola Solutions has a portfolio including public safety radio systems and RFID and POS solutions for industry and retail, this latter part being where Psion fits the picture.

1
0
Bronze badge
Boffin

Sony UX50

If you have a look you'll see a Sony UX50 in there.

Now _that_ was a PDA ahead of it's time too.

Came out nearly 10 years ago in 2003.. now remember this is just the same year the first colour phone came out.

bluetooth

GPS

hardware accelerated video playback

camera

480x240 colour touchscreen

expandable memory

keyboard

the weird thing is - it didn't sell well because it cost over 400 quid.

and yet now, we thing nothing of paying 600 quid for an iphone.

it's a strange strange world.

0
0

Re: Sony UX50

inflation at 3% per year compound

0
0
Gold badge

Re: Sony UX50

In my opinion, the best PDA I ever had was a Sony Clie NX70.. Small, usable, multiple, in those days already capable of video and audio recording and the most awesome feature I VERY much miss in modern smartphones: the ability to act as a universal remote control.

In those days, my son was ill quite often so I spent many evenings in A&E wards in hospitals - with the Clié, I could at least change the channels of the TV in there :)

0
0
This topic is closed for new posts.

Forums