Accidental Productivity, and Psion failures

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Today I was unintentionally more productive than I intended to be. I’d not intended to be productive, well, maybe a little productive, but it got out of hand, like it usually does. Although I did spend nearly 2 hours just sat on the sofa reading (Annalee Newitz, The Terraformers – it’s excellent so far). It made up for yesterday which was mostly errands, which are productive and necessary, but I’m not good at feeling like I’ve achieved anything particularly when I’m just doing the adulting needed to live in the modern world.

And yesterday was almost entirely errands (recycling run to the recycling, various stores hit up for stuff including the last two fence posts for the big bed in the garden, prescription collected…), although I did stop at Kathryn’s work for lunch with Kathryn which was very nice. I also had another go at the notPsion 3a. I’d had a suggestion on Mastodon to try applying some pressure to the top of the screen where there’s a wrap-around connector which can, apparently fail.

And the spares Psion 3a (a real one), had arrived.

The first idea didn’t work, sadly. And so I took apart the second Psion which initially didn’t seem to work at all – but when I got it somewhat in pieces I tested the screen on the Acorn and that did work – then I had a momentary nose at the spares one – and got it working! It turns out that was just a faulty battery connector cable, although the case for it is absolute garbage.

It’s cracked in multiple places (the screen hinge was broken on one side, and I think the second side disintegrated during the process of disassembly).

But then I found out something unfortunate. Despite the Acorn Pocketbook II apparently being a rebadged Psion 3A, it turns out that around 1994 – when the Acorn Pocketbook II appeared* – Psion changed the screen and the new screen got a new casing. This is something that even the person selling Psion spares on ebay who – apparently – used to work at Psion seems unware of (and didn’t seem to believe me despite me supplying photographic evidence)…

This is what the edge of an early-to-mid 3A screen looks like


…and this is what the edge of an Acorn Pocketbook II / Later Psion 3A looks like.


Contrary to popular belief, the screens are not interchangeable. I *think* the clamshell as a whole would be, if you wanted to. And they are electrically compatible. But the internals and clips inside the screen clamshell are very different and would need extensive modification to fit.

Thankfully, the photos they sent answered the question, but now I need to wait for a quote for shipping to the US :-/

However, this whole odyssey has lead me to a point where I’m a bit nervous about actually using the bloomin’ thing once I get it working. I’d kinda thought about the Psion as something I could haul to work or wherever with me so I could do a bit of writing if I wanted to. But now – having spent quite a lot of time trawling through ebay auctions and discovered that the they all seem for 1993 or prior Psion 3As… Which makes getting spares for this thing a bit tricky.

Ah well.

Anyway, I also spent a chunk of yesterday tidying my desk – we have a renewal of our adoption homestudy due, and we’re taking the opportunity to do a bit of spring cleaning. My desk I find kind of irritating – at least in part due to the fact it’s not really a desk, it’s a adjustable height workbench, with no drawers. And because of the way the strengthener is placed you can’t easily put drawers under it.

So this morning I decided to suck it up and order a new desk. It’s height adjustable, and I also ordered a monitor stand having finally got fed up with a chunk of the desk being taken up with monitor stands… anyhow, we’ll see if this works better. I hope so – being able to actually use the height adjust will be nice – and I also picked up a (shoe) rack that seems to just about support the printer, which fits under the old desk / workbench – kinda – which should mean that we can shuffle the printer to under the glowforge so I can actually have a bit of leg room.

Anyhow. So today I did a whole bunch more washing up – including a frying pan that was being given away free in a box on the street that I spotted on my run. That took a *lot* of scrubbing, but the inside has come up pretty well. The outside less so :-/

Laundry, all the adulting stuff (blech), and then I did a bit more on the house! Yes. I actually set to on the kitchen shelves – I decided to try the Laura Kampf joinery technique of clamping the two bits of wood together, then cutting them, the idea being that they’ll fit together pretty much perfectly.


This was the first time that I’ve used the biscuit joiner (it works!) and I have to say the heat and such made for a not ideal glue-drying time, which mean that I didn’t end up aligning the two halves as well as I’d like. Buuuut, I think it’ll do. We have to wait for it to dry – and yet again I’ve realized I need a *LOT* more clamps.

Unsurprisingly, that took longer than I estimated it would (there’s a shocking thing), but instead of calling it quits on working (which was my original plan), I ended up deciding to go and put the “automatic window opener” on the greenhouse (on the hottest day of the year so far, with the sun blazing down). Irritatingly, but unsurprisingly, it was horribly made and a total nightmare to fit. It doesn’t really fit our greenhouse very well, but I eventually hodged the bugger in and I think it should work.

Then, ice pop consumed, I sat down an enjoyed my book for a while. I know I have this drive to get things done, which sometimes can be kinda irritating to myself. I meant to have more of a break today – since this weekend we have the home inspection, and I’m going to be filming on Monday, and…tomorrow’s a workday. So this was a bit of a rest-fail. But I’m glad that I started on the shelves, it’ll be nice to get them up – although I still need to strip and blue the shelf brackets.

* Apparently it launched in 1995, but mine says manufactured in 1994.


Kate's allegedly a human (although increasingly right-wing bigots would say otherwise). She's definitely not a vampire, despite what some other people claim. She's also mostly built out of spite and overcoming oppositional-sexism, racism, and other random bullshit. So she's either a human or a lizard in disguise sent to destroy all of humanity. Either way, she's here to reassure that it's all fine.