The PC-FOUR, Psion's IBM Versions

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Chr$
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The PC-FOUR, Psion's IBM Versions

Postby Chr$ » Sun May 24, 2020 6:48 pm

I don't suppose anyone has copies (zips, disk images, whatever) of the contents of the Psion IBM PC-FOUR package?

I have the originals here, but they're on five 5.25" disks and it would require quite some effort to set something up that is IBM compatible and has a 5.25" drive!

Looking at the pseudo-screenshots in the manual, it appears exactly the same as our familiar QL-Archive, Abacus, Easel and Quill. I wanted to check them out in PC guise, just for the sake of it. I wondered also if the resulting files are cross compatible with both IBM/QL (apart from obviously the endings are likely to be .doc etc instead of _doc).
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Re: The PC-FOUR, Psion's IBM Versions

Postby Cristian » Sun May 24, 2020 8:47 pm

Chr$ wrote:it appears exactly the same as our familiar QL-Archive, Abacus, Easel and Quill.

Many years ago I tried a copy of this Psion suite on an Intel 80286 PC. And yes, it is almost the same as QL version. I've no idea about file compatibility.


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bwinkel67
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Re: The PC-FOUR, Psion's IBM Versions

Postby bwinkel67 » Sun May 24, 2020 8:53 pm

Dilwyn Jones has it on his site as a zip file you can download. Note it won't work on a 64 bit machine so you'll need to run it in a Virtual Windows XP one under Windows 7 and beyond.

http://www.dilwyn.me.uk/other/pcfour.zip


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Re: The PC-FOUR, Psion's IBM Versions

Postby Chr$ » Sun May 24, 2020 9:19 pm

bwinkel67 wrote:Dilwyn Jones has it on his site as a zip file you can download. Note it won't work on a 64 bit machine so you'll need to run it in a Virtual Windows XP one under Windows 7 and beyond.

http://www.dilwyn.me.uk/other/pcfour.zip

D'oh, it's happened again, I should have looked harder. I can run it on an MS-DOS or Win95/98 machine, just didn't have the 5.25" drive. Many thanks.


Collector of original and some newer QL related computers, accessories and software even though I don't understand how any of them work.
Original BBQL's: 3x German, 1x UK model (plus quite a bit of other old stuff)
Custom AT cased QL system with Gold Card, Qimi mouse, Hermes and MFM HDD
PC with QXLII card installed
Q68 also present

Ask me about near NOS re-felted good quality Microdrive Carts - many available.
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Re: The PC-FOUR, Psion's IBM Versions

Postby bwinkel67 » Sun May 24, 2020 9:26 pm

Yes, Dilwyn's site is fantastic and a good place for me to look. I have a half-height floppy drive that actually does both 3 1/2 and 5 1/4 (the are stacked one on top of the other. I pulled it out of an old Dell about 10+ years ago (though not a Dell drive0. I haven't found a new home for it because it won't connect to modern motherboards. I need to see if I can find some sort of interface card since I do still have some old-school 5 1/4 form college with info on it.


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Re: The PC-FOUR, Psion's IBM Versions

Postby Chr$ » Sun May 24, 2020 10:21 pm

I've got a 5.25" drive that was attached to a QL and I have the right lead for it somewhere (for the PCB edge type connector), but as just as for you, nothing old enough to have a BIOS that supports 5.25" 'out of the box'. I wondered if I could connect it as a 3.5" and somehow read from it, but tbh it's just not worth the hassle at the moment and the old PC doesn't have a 5.25 bay either.


Collector of original and some newer QL related computers, accessories and software even though I don't understand how any of them work.
Original BBQL's: 3x German, 1x UK model (plus quite a bit of other old stuff)
Custom AT cased QL system with Gold Card, Qimi mouse, Hermes and MFM HDD
PC with QXLII card installed
Q68 also present

Ask me about near NOS re-felted good quality Microdrive Carts - many available.
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Re: The PC-FOUR, Psion's IBM Versions

Postby stephen_usher » Sun May 24, 2020 10:37 pm

bwinkel67 wrote:Dilwyn Jones has it on his site as a zip file you can download. Note it won't work on a 64 bit machine so you'll need to run it in a Virtual Windows XP one under Windows 7 and beyond.

http://www.dilwyn.me.uk/other/pcfour.zip


Surely you can run it in DOSBOX on any (modern) machine?


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Re: The PC-FOUR, Psion's IBM Versions

Postby bwinkel67 » Sun May 24, 2020 10:45 pm

I found this which I may invest in just so I have access to a 5.25 floppy (it's $55 which is a bit higher than I want to spend):

http://www.deviceside.com/

I'm more likely to be in need of a 3.5 than 5.25 but still, would be nice to have it. I may just build my own case for the dual drive I own and also get a 3.5 to USB adapter, which are cheaper and easier to come by, stick a hub on the back of the case for both and then just have one USB cable to go to any computer.

The other two adapters out there for 5.25 disks that I've found are $99+

https://www.kryoflux.com

and

https://www.cbmstuff.com/proddetail.php?prod=SCP


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Re: The PC-FOUR, Psion's IBM Versions

Postby NormanDunbar » Mon May 25, 2020 9:20 am

The files are icompatible between PC and QL.

They have different header flags in the furst 4 bytes if I remember correctly -but I might be wrong.

The character sets are different.

The PC files are little endian while the QL is big endian.

PC 4 files, for Quill at least, don't have the option of green or white text.

There may be other differences that I've forgotten. Check out quill.cpp over at https://github.com/NormanDunbar/QStripper for more info.

HTH

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Re: The PC-FOUR, Psion's IBM Versions

Postby BSJR » Mon May 25, 2020 12:59 pm

NormanDunbar wrote:The files are icompatible between PC and QL.
They have different header flags in the furst 4 bytes if I remember correctly -but I might be wrong.
The character sets are different.

I have tried XChange for PCs some years ago and could read my QL-Archive files also there.
A major difference is that it uses special sorting files ala DataDesign, which meant the filename extensions are fixed while I had these changed from the default _dbf on the QL side. This was easy to fix.
The main problem for me was not so easy to fix. The syntax lacked the RECNUM & POSITION commands I relied upon in my program.

BSJR



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