Psion Organiser II Re-creation

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PaulK
Posts: 45
Joined: Wed Jan 04, 2023 11:54 am

Re: Psion Organiser II Re-creation

Post by PaulK »

Andrew ,

Sounds great!

Yes, I think a fast version of OPL would be excellent. For a lot of people, OPL is a big reason why the Psion Org2 was such a hit, so keeping this on a future recreation is pretty key, in my opinion anyway. Coding "on the go" is a must have. Maybe we can add new graphics commands to enhance it further?

I wish I had the ability and skills that you have - really excited to see where this goes. Forget fancy new graphics cards, multi core CPUs and Apple AR/VR goggles, a revamped Psion Org2 is what floats my boat!

I can't contribute technically, but if you want a contribution to component costs, I'd be happy to chip in - no pun intended!

Cheers
Paul
amenjet
Posts: 225
Joined: Tue Jan 03, 2023 7:54 pm

Re: Psion Organiser II Re-creation

Post by amenjet »

PaulK wrote: Tue Jan 30, 2024 11:49 pm Andrew ,

Sounds great!

Yes, I think a fast version of OPL would be excellent. For a lot of people, OPL is a big reason why the Psion Org2 was such a hit, so keeping this on a future recreation is pretty key, in my opinion anyway. Coding "on the go" is a must have. Maybe we can add new graphics commands to enhance it further?

I wish I had the ability and skills that you have - really excited to see where this goes. Forget fancy new graphics cards, multi core CPUs and Apple AR/VR goggles, a revamped Psion Org2 is what floats my boat!

I can't contribute technically, but if you want a contribution to component costs, I'd be happy to chip in - no pun intended!

Cheers
Paul
Well, the Pico has two cores, so it is multi-core...

Here's a photo of it running the 3.3 ROM, The odd characters are because the screen is a different size to the LZ ROM I normally run. This is a debug run tracing code using the USB CLI. You can see the USB cable coming out of the side of the organiser. I have had to cut the ccase away a bit near the contrast knob hole, it's almost in line with the USB but not quite. I mistakenly built this with a Pico and not a Pico W so no wifi on this with the power board that is fitted. You can still fit a power board with the wifi module and that will work. The characters on the far right are status for the wifi link.
IMG_20240131_084747275_HDR_p1.jpg
The display looks blue for some reason but is actually white. This hardware, well, the main PCB anyway, is suitable for the new code, I will need to do a power PCB with an SD card slot and whatever I decide to put in the datapack slots. I'm thinking of using the same form factor as a datapack but have a different interface. have a datapack with a big serial flash chip, another with an SD card slot, and so on. Well, these are just ideas at the moment.

With a rewrite of OPL is would be much easier to add graphics commands, or I/O commands, yes.
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Martin
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Joined: Mon Jan 02, 2023 5:18 pm

Fascinating

Post by Martin »

Observation

As with the majority of our small but perfectly formed user group I read everything and understand very little of what you, MartinP, Lostgallifreyan and Zenerdiode put in these threads. It appears to me that you're doing here what no-doubt a team of engineers took to create the original Orgniser..

It's fascinating to watch
Sincerely
Martin

PS. I'm with PaulK if you need any help with 'development funds' put me down as a contributor. (PM me)

PPS. Psion introduced 'graphic' commands to the series 3 OPL..
.
GraphicCommands.jpg
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amenjet
Posts: 225
Joined: Tue Jan 03, 2023 7:54 pm

Re: Fascinating

Post by amenjet »

Martin wrote: Wed Jan 31, 2024 3:27 pm Observation

As with the majority of our small but perfectly formed user group I read everything and understand very little of what you, MartinP, Lostgallifreyan and Zenerdiode put in these threads. It appears to me that you're doing here what no-doubt a team of engineers took to create the original Orgniser..

It's fascinating to watch
Sincerely
Martin

PS. I'm with PaulK if you need any help with 'development funds' put me down as a contributor. (PM me)

PPS. Psion introduced 'graphic' commands to the series 3 OPL..
.GraphicCommands.jpg
Ah, yes. I had a series 3, two actually, in the 90s and bought the SIBO SDK. A very well engineered piece of software. Object oriented but in C. I remember the graphics commands. I think getting backwards compatibility with the organiser OPL is quite important? The extra commands aren't going to be, obviously so less of a problem. Or is backwards compatibility not tooimportant?

I'm also wondering if there's much point in doing the translation stage? I think the Pico is probably fas enough to interpret the OPL directly. It would mean no object code and distribution would be source code only, but is that a problem?

As for funding, I'm happy making prototypes and so on, If anyone wants some, once they are working, I'll sell them at cost price. This is more about keeping the organiser alive, and having some fun along the way.
Daren
Posts: 68
Joined: Tue Jan 03, 2023 10:03 pm

Re: Psion Organiser II Re-creation

Post by Daren »

Very interested, and great to see you back at it @amenjet

For me datapak isn’t needed, although I would not mind if it was - maybe the slots could be used for other things?

OPL is I think essential, even if just as an option, other programming languages would be great too.

Call me old fashioned but I like the comms slot, I think there are tons of rs232 peripherals and devices out there, some decades old and still in use, it would be a shame to lose that functionality - I guess there would be other ways to implement rs232 though maybe.

I think possibly the biggest concern from a users perspective might be battery life? I’m guessing you’d look to do away with PP3 battery due to low capacity?

Other things I’d love to see, but no idea if possible:
Proper audio, with audio output jack, mp3 and wav playback.
A range of wireless comms options, maybe even IR tx/rx (thinking programmable remotes etc)
Midi support
Some kind of “take over” mode whereby modules could be inserted into datapak slots and completely change the functionality - think about how cartridges worked on old games consoles. So essentially a bootable alternative operating system.

Regardless I will follow along with great interest, and like everyone else am excited to see where this goes, I think it could have wider appeal outside of the forum and Psion enthusiasts too.
amenjet
Posts: 225
Joined: Tue Jan 03, 2023 7:54 pm

Re: Psion Organiser II Re-creation

Post by amenjet »

Daren wrote: Thu Feb 08, 2024 4:59 pm Very interested, and great to see you back at it @amenjet
I think I needed to do something else for a while...
For me datapak isn’t needed, although I would not mind if it was - maybe the slots could be used for other things?
This seems to be the consensus, that the datapacks aren't really necessary. This is interesting and not having to get them working is less work than building a new storage solution, such as SD cards.

OPL is I think essential, even if just as an option, other programming languages would be great too.
Yes, I think so too. I'm more of a fan now I've looked at the internals. my idea at the moment, and I have to implement this, which will take a while, is to re-implement the original organiser OPL including the original QCode, so there is a new translator and runtime engine. That can then be extended with new features and should run much faster than the original on the 6303. The organiser 'OS' can then be recreated in this new OPL and we have an equivalent organiser that can run the original OPL programs, but which is running on the Pico hardware and has access to SD cards and Wifi etc. You's also be able to extend the 'OS' in C, with a rebuild. The new OPL should be programmable on board like the original.
Call me old fashioned but I like the comms slot, I think there are tons of rs232 peripherals and devices out there, some decades old and still in use, it would be a shame to lose that functionality - I guess there would be other ways to implement rs232 though maybe.
Using a Pico W you have wifi or Bluetooth, and the Pico PIOs are capable of generating RS232, or SPi or I2C using code to define the protocol. Another advantage of running on the new hardware, you can have an RS232 adapter in code. the Pico has USB too, but to get to it you need to cut a piece of the case away unfortunately.
I think possibly the biggest concern from a users perspective might be battery life? I’m guessing you’d look to do away with PP3 battery due to low capacity?
Yes, the Pico isn't a low power device, but with data stored on SD card you can turn off completely and not lose data. The current recreation saves the A: drive to serial flash when it turns off and restores it at power on, so it has that feature.
Other things I’d love to see, but no idea if possible:
Proper audio, with audio output jack, mp3 and wav playback.
A range of wireless comms options, maybe even IR tx/rx (thinking programmable remotes etc)
Midi support
The PIOs of the Pico an do this sort of thing. Even the speech synthesiser IC can be emulated by a Pico...
Some kind of “take over” mode whereby modules could be inserted into datapak slots and completely change the functionality - think about how cartridges worked on old games consoles. So essentially a bootable alternative operating system.
That's a bit harder. The Pico has its code in flash, but that is easily reflashed over USB just by copying a file to the Pico in mass storage mode.
Regardless I will follow along with great interest, and like everyone else am excited to see where this goes, I think it could have wider appeal outside of the forum and Psion enthusiasts too.

Thanks for the comments, it's all most welcome.
amenjet
Posts: 225
Joined: Tue Jan 03, 2023 7:54 pm

Re: Psion Organiser II Re-creation

Post by amenjet »

Up until now I have left the Psion organiser github repository private but allowed access to anyone who is attempting to build a set of PCBs up or otherwise interested. I'm now wondering about making it public, is anyone interested? With the new direction for the recreation, things will be changing so it's very much still a work in progress, and there's a good chance that things won't work, PCBs will be wrong and so on, but if people are interested i can open it up.
In the past I've added people as collaborators but that allows changes to the original repository, so isn't a good way for lots of people to see the repository, it's more for one or two people to use it. When you make it public you can fork the repository and create your own independent copy.
Daren
Posts: 68
Joined: Tue Jan 03, 2023 10:03 pm

Text size

Post by Daren »

One thing that might be handy - LZ text size is getting a bit hard to read without glasses for some of us now ( :lol: :ugeek:) what about a key combo say mode+space to make the text temporarily bigger like the 2 line size? Would be quite useful when out and about and wanting to quickly read something when no glasses to hand.

Also maybe 8x40 could be handy too, then it could be used on some bulletin boards, which seem to be enjoying a resurgence lately. Maybe LoRa mesh stuff too there are RS232 to LoRa devices out now.
amenjet
Posts: 225
Joined: Tue Jan 03, 2023 7:54 pm

Re: Text size

Post by amenjet »

Daren wrote: Sat Mar 30, 2024 1:22 am One thing that might be handy - LZ text size is getting a bit hard to read without glasses for some of us now ( :lol: :ugeek:) what about a key combo say mode+space to make the text temporarily bigger like the 2 line size? Would be quite useful when out and about and wanting to quickly read something when no glasses to hand.

Also maybe 8x40 could be handy too, then it could be used on some bulletin boards, which seem to be enjoying a resurgence lately. Maybe LoRa mesh stuff too there are RS232 to LoRa devices out now.
That sort of thing is definitely possible. The OLED display I use, and I think it was about the only one I could find that would fit in the case, is about the same pixel resolution as the LZ, so enlarging the font would require sliding the screen about to see all of it. Possible, though, and much easier if you replace the OS of the machine.

I did buy a big display to plug in to the top slot, but never got round to hooking it into the Psion. I think my general purpose top-slot PCb would have worked, at least for a prototype. Obviously, it's not a very portable solution, but as a docking station type thing might work quite well. Again, easier with an OS replacement.
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