The Psion 3 FAQ


3.1 How do I reset my Psion?

You should not normally need to reset your machine at all. See "What is killing a process?" to find out how to terminate misbehaving applications. Doing a RESET re-initializes the system's processes. It re-starts things as though it had just been powered up, and so will make many error conditions go away. Doing a reset will also remove any software patches you may have applied. These would need to be re-applied after each reset. A soft reset will also make you lose your user-defined groups and installed software icons (but the real software, ie: the program, should still be there).

There are two kinds of reset. A SOFT RESET or WARM reset will restart processes, but leave the contents of the RAM disk, and environment variables intact. Do this by gently pushing something like a straightened paperclip into the small hole above the ESC/On key to do a "warm reset".

A HARD RESET or COLD RESET will completely re-initialize the whole machine, removing all memory contents. To do this, hold down the right shift key whilst appliying your paperclip as for a warm reset.

3.2 What is killing a process?

Killing a process is like closing an application but without letting it know. This will result in loss of data if the application didn't save it before being killed, so be warned! Usually, you can exit an application (from within it) with Psion-x (for english Psions) or Psion-Esc. If the application doesn't respond to keypresses anymore and nothing else works, you will have to kill it. For this, you can go to the system screen and press Psion-shift-k (for english Psions). You can also use other specific programs which allow killing of any process (Spy is one of them).

3.3 How can I save what's on the screen?

From any point, you can take a screen snapshot, by holding down shift, control, Psion, and S. The PIC file generated is placed in M:SCREEN.PIC.

3.4 What is the soak test? (by Jason Savage)


It has long been known in the computer and electronics industries that electrical components, for the most part, fail either shortly after they are first activated or after many years of service. Because of this fact the concept of the soak test or burn-in or life test was invented. Simply put, the machine (in this case a computer) is put through a repetitive testing loop for several hours. This procedure would then filter out most of the bad batches and prevent them from reaching the hands of the general consumers.

To activate the soak test on the Psion series 3, press (See warning at the beginning of this section) Control-Shift-Psion-K on the System screen. This procedure will cause a soft-reset of your Psion.

3.5 How can I find a text in my memos with Agenda?

Actually, you can't! Psion hasn't implemented this feature yet. What you can do, is use another program called "MemoFind" which will do just that. It's a freeware program from Psion available at usual FTP sites.

3.6 How can I make the cursor bigger?

It may get difficult trying to find the cursor in Word for example. Unfortunately, there is no way to make it bigger. Some suggested solutions are to press shift-right (to highlight a character) or home (to find the cursor on the far left).

3.7 How can I take out the "hum" when I record sounds?

The hum (apparently a 60Hz sound) appears only when you record using battery power. If you use the AC adapter, the hum disappears.

3.8 How safe is password protection?

See also "Data security with link connected" in next section.

The Word password protection is not really good. It is known that it's possible to "crack" the password (but not find it) and see the clear text in a very short time (reported by Clive D.W.Feather in Dec94). Obviously, you do need some programming skills to do it, but all in all, it is feasible, so be warned!

Another issue is power on password protection. Apparently, it is possible to bypass it somehow; no infos are given!. Just don't rely on it too much. Also, remember that if you keep some data on your SSD Disks, the potential thieve can still read those informations by simply transfering the disks into another Psion!

The bottom line is that the password functions of the Psion are useful for keeping casual snoops from reading your data while you're off making a phone call, but if you're seriously worried about security then you shouldn't be keeping sensitive material on a handheld machine in the first place.

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