I bought my original Psion Organiser II in the late ’80s, mostly because of its aesthetics. It looks superficially similar to The Guide in the TV adaptation of ‘The Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy’. I’ve also had a fascination for pocket programmable devices since owning a HP programmable scientific calculator which saw me through college.

Not a lot to say about my original, other than it saw a lot of use as a pocket organiser, mainly for storing phone numbers and calendar events.

The one I own now has a short yet interesting story.

My eldest two children studied at Durham University and, whilst visiting them, came across a fascinating store in Durham’s Indoor Market called The Record Shed. And for the six years that I visited, I saw a number of retro computing items come and go, yet the Psion Organiser in the corner cabinet did not sell.

Last summer (2023) I popped in and got chatting to the owner about this, thinking I’d purchase it to add to my collection if the price was right. He’d bought it for his wife as a birthday present many years ago and she didn’t really got on with it. So it spent most of its life in the box in a cupboard somewhere, then the best part of 5 years in his store.

I managed to get a good look at it before purchase – the box and polystyrene inserts are in excellent condition, the manual looks unread, and the unit itself is mint. So I parted with the £20 he was asking for it and went on my way.

Thankfully after popping in a 9V battery the unit fired up first time with no issues.

As an aside, Barry Thomas, the author of the manual, commented on this Bluesky thread. He’s now an engraver and you can find his website, Poor Frank Raw, here.