Psion Series 5mx: Software

Additional software

The Psion supports a number of software development environments including:

The Java environment is currently the most accessible environment for my use as most of my development is carried out under Unix (either Solaris or FreeBSD).


One of the deficiencies I have found with the Psion is the lack of an FTP client, causing me to write my own. Native FTP clients have recently been addressed by a shareware author distributing through Neuon (nftp), and another through RMR (RMRFTP).

This is a text mode client which resembles those found under Unix. This makes it easy for Unix users to transfer groups of files using familiar commands.

Like most of my work this was developed under Unix. To use it you will require the Java VM. There are 2 ways of installing and running the program:

NB: it is viatally important that you create the file C:\System\java\console or you will not get any output.

Please note:


Snaffle: A Java WWW Page Fetcher for Psions

Psions are great portable document readers. However, reading web pages can pose a problem as they tend to need an Internet connection to get all the parts of the saved pages. Snaffle solves this problem by bulk downloading a page and all the things linked to it (this process is limitted by a user settable number of levels and a set of strategies for accepting pages). This allows the inbuild Psion web browser to display pages without needing an active internet connection.

A particular advantage of this program is that it leaves references to pages that it did not download active. This allows the user to connect at a later date to the referenced location if they so choose.

To use the program:

Pressing `Fetch' will start recovering pages. The status field displays the operations performed. Recovered files are named in sequence from 1 and stored in destination directory. In typical use, a user will click on the `1.html' file in the destination directory to view the pages.

Two `File' menu options `Load' and `Save' are provided to allow settings to be used and stored in text files. This allows regularly used sites to be easily reloaded.

A third `File' menu option `Exec' will take a set of concatenated settings files and download the pages specified in the directories specified. This is useful for automating regular downloads.

The `Proxy' `Set Proxy' option brings up a dialog box which allows the user to set the name of the proxy server to be used. This name is in the form of a URL with protocol `http', and the hostname and port of the proxy server. For example Note: You must set the proxy before attempting to retrieve any page as Java remembers the unsuccessful access and displays an error each time an attempt is made to retrieve the page, regardless of the problem being fixed.

The recovery strategy is used in addition to the depth to limit the number of pages recovered. The recovery strategies are:

Embedded images are handled specially. All the embedded images referenced in an HTML file are downloaded at the same time the file is downloaded (provided the images match the recovery strategy).

Like most of my work this was developed under Unix. To use it you will require the Java VM.


Please note:

AutoBack: A Java Backup Program

Portable devices like the Psion 5mx are hard to backup if you are not a regular user of a PC. This program addresses this problem in part by providing a mechanism that takes a list of files and and generates a zip file on a specified ftp site. The program remembers its last settings when the program is closed.

To use the program:

AutoBack supports several modes of operation the action of the `Execute' key depends on several factors.

The `Dump Level' feature allows users to backup only changed files. Please note that if you reduce the dump level, AutoBack will delete higher valued dump files as they contain out of date information.

The `Dump Level' is selected by pressing the `+' and `-' buttons. The dump level can only be incremented by one level over the level of the last dump. However, the dump level can always be reduced. Pressing the `-' button when `0' is displayed will clear `Dump Level'

A typical use of AutoBack would be to perform a level `0' dump once a week and then level `1' dumps daily. If the level `1' dumps become too large then level `2' dumps would be used as level `2' dumps only contain files that have been changed since the level `1' dump was completed.

To restore your files simply unzip the dumps in order from least to greatest. Please note that files deleted afer the level `0' dump are not detected by this dump strategy and will reappear in the recovered file set.

Three `File' menu options are provided: `Open' allows the user to select a file other than the default settings file. This could allow a user to have several different archive sites with different subsets of the system stored on them. `Load From' and `Save As' are provided to allow settings to be used and stored in text files. Note that the files loaded and saved overwrite the contents of the open settings file. The open settings file is saved when the program is exitted or when a new settings file is openned.

Like most of my work this was developed under Unix. To use it you will require the Java VM.


Please note:

EZipM: Epoc Zip Manager

This program is a tool for creating and extracting zip files on Epoc devices. It was written mainly for my own convenience and hence the user interface leaves much to be desired. It is written in Java.

Please note that there are other programs released which solve at least part of the problem that this program addresses: Zippy and RMR Zip.

The program has 2 modes selected via the function menu:

In `UnZip' mode files are extracted into the `Destination Directory'. If the `Destination Directory' field is blank files are extracted absolutely. In `Zip' mode the value of `Base Directory' is removed from the front of the file names given in the `List of Files to be Zipped' list before adding the files to the zip archive. For files which do not have the value of `Base Directory' as a prefix the file is added to the archive with its absolute path name.

There are a few known problems with this program:

Like most of my work this was developed under Unix. To use it you will require the Java VM.


Please note:


S/Key is a one time password generation system available on several platforms. This system was later expanded to cover other hashing algorithms as described in RFC 2289. SKey is an EPOC native program for computing responses to S/Key and OTP challenges. This allows users to access remote systems easily over insecure links without sending their actual passwords in the clear.

Shots of the user interface are provided below:

Further information can be found in:

The program has been implemented following the Epoc development model provided by Symbian in the SDK. An engine (in C) is interfaced with an Eikon UI. An active view and help have been provided. The standard EPOC development tools have been used.

This program has been built and tested for a Psion Series 5MX. I have received reports that it works correctly for the Revo as well.

Please note:


UIDs used by programs I have authored

Maurice Castro / SERC /