Psion connection problems and solutions

Yes, connecting your Psion to a computer in this day and age, may cause some problems or difficulties. Computers have evolved.. in the earlier days each and every computer came with a standard RS232 port. When you bought a Psionlink cable, connecting your Psion to a computer and exchange data & information was a snap! Here's a solution to problem 1: I read with great interest your item on connecting a Psion to a serial port and bought the connecting cable and software. Which all seemed to install OK. I also downloaded the software that you kindly gave a link for. But my Series 5 won't connect to my Win7 machine and thus I can't synchronise with Outlook 2000.

It will connect to my Win10 machine using its serial port but won't synchronise with Outlook 2016 (which I reluctantly paid 110 Pounds for). Any ideas as to how I can get my Psion to talk to my Win7 machine's USB port or to synchronise with my W10 machine's Outlook (Outlook 2000 won't install on my Win10 machine). Like others here, I find my Psion does everything that I need from a PDA and I simply want to be able to get it to synchronise with my other kit (as it always did so well with my old XP machine). Richard E. from West Sussex.

My reply to Richard: I will try to help you but with some IF's ;-) I will give you two links, one to Ebay and one to Amazon. There you will find RS232 to USB converters (do a seach on both platforms and the stick will pop up). I obtained one without a cable (just one little device with a RS232 male on one side and one USB on the other). You will find two of those at the Ebay page. The device with a cable looks exactly the same, ... (just with a cable instead of one little device). The IF is that I don't know if they will work for you. I can only say that my RS232 to USB converter stick works great with win7. I can connect my 3MX and 5MX machines perfectly and everything worked right out of the box. So it should - could work for you as well?!? Actually, my current setup & workings is an exact replica of what it used to be a very long time ago with Win95 et all. I gave two links which are out of date, but just search for 'male RS232 cable connector' on Ebay and Amazon and they will appear. Richard wrote back with his experiences and I thought it might be a great idea to share these with you. I have tried those converters (in fact I tried two different ones). The first one wouldn't allow my computer to see my Psion. The second one froze the system so badly that I could only recover by turning off its power. It might be, of course, that my Win7 computer (which is an HP laptop) simply doesn't like the RS32 to USB software. Anyway, since I wrote to you there has been a development which you might care to know about, as there might be other Psion users in my own situations.

My desktop machine (which used to run Win7) I upgraded to Win10 (BIG mistake) and it wouldn't install my copy of Outlook 2000 (which is what my Psion series 5 was happy with) and so, although it would talk to my Psion and allow me to back it up, it would not allow me to synchronise. So I bought a copy of Outlook 2016 but that wouldn't synchronise either. Anyway, I played around with the Psion synchronisation settings and removed all the default settings. Then I tried to synchronise just the calendar/agenda (and not the contacts) and, hey presto, it worked perfectly. I remembered that, when I tried to synchronise my Samsung Galaxy with Outlook, it was very slow and kept crashing Outlook when it was synchronising the contacts and I am wondering whether it is some eccentricity in the contacts file that Outlook doesn't like. To me it is the calendar that matters (I have my contacts backed up elsewhere) and so my problem is essentially solved. SOLUTION: I might be worth telling fellow Psion users to try synchronising just the calendar (agenda) rather than using Psion's defaults which are to synchronise agenda and contacts. Further to my last, I have discovered that, for this to work, Outlook must be opened first. If you just try to synchronise with Outlook closed then the Psion fails to open Outlook - possibly because Outlook doesn't recognise the Psion profile.

Problem 2: I don't know whether you can help me again but, after working OK with Outlook, my Psion 5 has stopped synchronising. The fault seems to be with the Psion, not with Outlook. When I open the synchronise dialogue it starts in the usual way and then comes up with an error message: Psion Unable to open file c/documents/agenda The only option from there is "OK" and that just closed the synchroniser. Agenda opens and works perfectly on the Psion itself and all the data on the Psion backs up perfectly. I have tried repairing Outlook but that makes no difference. I haven't as yet tried reloading PsiWin as I am worried that I might lose the connectivity I already have. Obviously, for some reason, the documents/agenda file won't open in Outlook. I have tried resetting the Psion but neither a soft nor a hard reset have restored the functionality. Any thoughts? Further to my last, only 43% of memory used, so it's not that the disc is full. I will keep trying. I suspect that there is a corruption - but how one deals with that goodness knows. Resetting seems to be the only option that Psion mention in their manual, and I've tried that. REPLY: I gladly help out where I can, but unfortunately I don't synchronise my Psion machines with Outlook or any other programs. On the other hand.. what I did a few weeks ago is I bought myself an old Toshiba laptop at a local second-hand store. For a mere 40 Pounds I got myself a decent test bank ;-) I use that machine (Core 2/2GB ram/160GB HD) to test, try & error push configurations et all. If you would have an old laptop lying around somewhere it would be great to try your previous setup. The sky is the limit but it wouldn't solve your current problem with the laptop or desktop that you use for daily (and serious) use. What I usually do is I reset the complete shabang ;-) Nine out of ten times it solves all current issues, but I understand that you don't want to lose the connectivity you have. It looks like a bummer and it seems that re-installing PsiWin could/would be the only thing left to try.

Maybe you are allowed to be optimistic.. if it worked the previous time, why shouldn't it work after a fresh install? I would re-install everything first on the second hand laptop, but hey.. I have one at hand right now. And maybe you don't. The error message "Unable to open file c/documents/agenda" could also point in the direction of a corrupt file system or.. and this may be a very silly thought, but might the disk be full by any chance? I had that type of problem many, many years ago. And it took me quite a while to figure that one out :-) I'm sorry I can't be of any more help!
SOLUTION: When I said 'resetting' I meant doing a reset on the Psion (the usual paper-clip in the hole technique) which restores everything to the factory settings and gets rid of all the data stored. Obviously I have a backup which I then use to restore my data. Anyway, since yesterday I have solved the problem. The good old Psion was only at fault insofar as it was triggering an error message which didn't apply. In fact it was, and is, working perfectly and the fault was - surprise surprise - with Microsoft. I decided to use the repair facility on Outlook (which essentially reloads the whole program). But when I tried to run Outlook after it had repaired itself, it wouldn't run unless I re-input my details - which I did. Then it wouldn't run unless I got in touch with their special page which told me that my Outlook had been blocked as someone had tried to hack into it (which I don't believe). So they sent me a resetting code and Outlook now works - and the agenda synchronises perfectly with the Psion. (and with my Samsung 'phone - so everything is in synch.) I haven't tried synchronising my contacts since the last time I tried to do so it hung my computer and Outlook (which I suspect is where the false hacking message had originated). So if there are any other Psion users who are having synchronising problems, it might well be that Outlook is at fault and needs reloading or repairing.