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

ifconfig sl0 pointtopoint
slattach -v -p slip -s 9600 /dev/ttyUSB0

Password: fishsoup

ssh [email protected]

57600 Hayes Compatible Modem


Direct cable connection 115200

Serial Port Recommendations

  • FTDI 232 USB

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