EOL 7 Technology  Review

1. Introduction to the Psion Series 5mx

The Psion 5mx is a vest-pocket-sized computer (6.7” x 3.5” x 0.9”), equipped with a powerful word-processor, spreadsheet, database, graphics, and sound recording software. The proprietary operating system, designed by Epoc, Ltd., is similar to that of Windows. It has a touch-sensitive screen, and rather than moving and clicking a mouse, the user taps the screen with a stylus to trigger or drag icons. The keyboard is arranged like a standard computer keyboard, compressed to 70% of the width and height.

Its internal memory is sufficient to store thousands of pages of typed text but only for limited sound recordings. It folds open and closed like a minature laptop and turns itself on when it is opened. It can be linked to a PC running Microsoft Windows through software called PsiWin, available through www.psionusa.com. I have found the Psion 5mx to be durable and reliable (Greene 2001). It is powered by AA operating batteries, and is equipped with a memory backup battery (lithium CR2032) so that one can change batteries without losing data. If one does regular sound recording, the batteries need to be changed approximately once per week.

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