Anyone who knows me, knows I’m a huge fan of all Psion PDAs; they were my first introduction to computing and programming, after all. Disappointingly, aside from the odd game of Zork, there’s not much one can do with them these days.

A few years ago–back when I was working for Bromium–I gave in to the urge to brush the dust of my various Psions in an attempt to turn them into something a little more useful. While I didn’t succeed much in adding utility, I did manage to get the Series 5 connected to the internet over Wi-Fi.

Catching up with the latest news from pdavision

These notes are mostly here to document the event, and serve as a reminder for me for the future when I choose to build something more.

The setup relies on a TP-Link 3G router, running a custom Linux install.

modprbe slip
opkg --dest ram
opkg install nano
opkg install kmod-usb-serial-ftdi
opkg install kmod-slip

net-tools-slattach – not available in the default and needs building

Ultimately, this approach seems far too involved and difficult to reproduce; it also doesn’t deliver on a solution up to the convenience and quality I expect of a Psion. They were, after all, incredibly easy devices to use.1 It seems important that any approach here continues that trend of finesse one expects.

Configure an IP address

/etc/config/firewall
/etc/config/network
ifconfig sl0 pointtopoint 10.71.72.2
slattach -v -p slip -s 9600 /dev/ttyUSB0

Password: fishsoup

ssh [email protected]

57600 Hayes Compatible Modem

Configuration

Direct cable connection 115200

Serial Port Recommendations

  • FTDI 232 USB


  1. With the exception of connecting to the internet, ironically.